New Poems by Dareen Tatour, Under House Arrest in Israel

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On Monday, July 18 at 9:00 a.m., Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour — currently under house arrest for alleged “incitement” via poetry — has her next court date:

Photo: Zahi Khamis. Previously appeared on Mondoweiss.

Photo: Zahi Khamis. Previously appeared on Mondoweiss.

At this hearing, the judge will rule on whether Tatour can live at home in Reineh, a small Palestinian town outside of Nazareth, for the duration of her trial. She has been living in an apartment in Kiryat One, outside Tel Aviv, since October, and only allowed a special 48-hour pass to visit her family on the first day of Eid, described by Mondoweiss in “A Visit to Dareen Tatour.”

Her family rented her the Kiryat One apartment after she was ordered by the court to leave her village. Tatour also wears an ankle monitor.

As an editorial in Haaretz calling for Tatour’s release notes, Tatour was arrested last October “at a predawn raid of her home by a large number of police officers, like some dangerous criminal.”

The dangerous crime? A poem that Tatour posted on Facebook, called Qawem ya sha’abi, qawemhum,” translated by poet Tariq Al-Haydar as “Resist, My People, Resist Them.” The poem allegedy incites violence.

Over 150 writers, poets, translators, editors, artists, public intellectuals, and cutural workers — including Alice Walker, Naomi Klein, and Jacqueline Woodson — have signed a petition urging Tatour’s release. The petition, at Jewish Voices for Peace, is still open to signatories.

Activists will also gather outside the hearing on July 18.

Two new translations of Tatour’s work, by Jonathan Wright:

I’ll Forget It, As You Wish

By Dareen Tatour

Translated Jonathan Wright 

Dareen's electronic monitor. Photo: Kim Jensen.

Dareen’s electronic monitor. Photo: Kim Jensen.

As you wish,

I’ll forget it,

The story of us that’s now part of the past

And the dreams that were once the fill of our hearts.

We would have liked to make them come true,

But we killed them.

I’ll forget things, o love of my life,

Things we said,

The poems we wrote on the walls of our hearts

And drew in colors,

The trees under which we sat for a time,

And the names we carved.

I’ll forget them,

As you wish,

So don’t be angry.

I Will Not Leave

By Dareen Tatour

Translated by Jonathan Wright

They signed on my behalf

And turned me into

A file, forgotten

Like cigarette butts.

Homesickness tore me apart

And in my own country I ended up

An immigrant.

I abandoned those pens

To weep over the sorrows

Of the inkwells.

They abandoned my cause and my dream

At the cemetery gates

And that person who’s waiting

Laments his luck

As life passes.

Besiege me,

Kill me, blow me up,

Assassinate me, imprison me.

When it comes to my country,

There’s no backing down.

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