ما كتب عن الشاعرة

 

 

 

 

 

 

عنوان الرسالة:   "شعر المقاومة النسائي: دراسة عبر ثقافية

مقارنة لأربع شاعرات فلسطينيات وايرلنديات" 


إعداد :    ريهام محمد عبد الرحمن أبو زيد

إيميل : rehamabuzaid@hotmail.com 

إشراف:    أ.د. جمال عبد الناصر.

 

الدرجة:   الدكتوراة

التخصص:   اللغة الإنجليزية وآدابها (شعر)


  ملخص الرسالة:

       فى زمن يتشدق فيه النظام العالمي الجديد بالحرية وحقوق الإنسان وحق الشعوب فى تقرير مصائرها، لم تزل بعض الدول تعاني من ظلم وعدوان الاحتلال، ولعل أبرز مثالين على ذلك فلسطين وأيرلندا الشمالية، اللتين يرزحان تحت نير الاحتلالين  الإسرائيلي والإنجليزي حتى الآن. ولقد كانت كل من هاتين الدولتين فريسة للأطماع الاستعمارية منذ أقدم العصور، مما شحذ قرائح شعرائهما للتحدث بلسان حال شعبيهما وإلهاب حماستهما لمقاومة المحتل الغاشم ورفض كافة صنوف الاحتلال. ولم تكن الشاعرات أقل وطنية من الشعراء فالجميع فى خندق واحد يكتوي بنيران الظلم ويقبض على جمر المعاناة. ولقد راحت كل واحدة تلعب دورها على الساحتين السياسية والاجتماعية إلى جانب دورهن الثقافي فى مجتمعاتهن معبرين بذلك عن آمال وطموحات جماهير    شعبيهما.

       وتتناول الدراسة الحالية شعر المقاومة النسائي الذي بدأ يحظى باهتمام عالمي جديد وذلك عبر نماذج مختارة من إبداع شاعرتين فلسطينيتين، وهما فدوى طوقان (1917 ـ 2003) وزينب حبش (1943)، مع مقارنتها بنماذج مشابهة لشاعرتين أيرلنديتين وهما إيفان بولند (1944) وبولا ميهان (1955)، فى محاولة لإبراز وتقييم دور شعر المقاومة النسائي وكيفية تجسيده لمعاناة وآلام الشعوب، ومن ثم قدرته على التعبير الصادق النابع من الحس الأنثوي المرهف. وبذلك تخرج الدراسة كما هو مأمول  من نطاق المحلية إلى العالمية، حيث أن الإنسان هو الإنسان، بغض النظر عن معطيات الزمن أو المكان، كما تسعى الدراسة إلى إدانة أشكال الظلم والاحتلال كافة واعتداء الإنسان على أخيه الإنسان، وتدعو للسلام والإخاء والمساواة.

وتقع الدراسة فى خمسة فصول ومقدمة وخاتمة علاوة على قائمة بثبت أهم المصادر والمراجع المستخدمة. تمهد المقدمة لموضوع الرسالة بشكل عام وذلك باستعراض أهميته وأبرز ما تم تناوله كما توجز المنهج المتبع. ويأتي الفصل الأول حاملاً عنوان: المعضلة الفلسطينية: خلفية تاريخية ـ أدبية، ليلقي الضوء على الخلفية التاريخية للمعضلة الفلسطينية، كما يقدم للشاعرتين الفلسطينيتين، أما الفصل الثاني فيعالج القضية برمتها كما يوحي عنوانه:

فدوى طوقان وزينب حبش: باعثٌ حتمي للمقاومة، من خلال قصائد الشاعرتين الفلسطينيتين التي تعكس الآثار المدمرة للاحتلال الإسرائيلي على الشعب الفلسطيني بعامة وعلى المرأة الفلسطينية بشكل خاص من خلال عدة محاور جدلية شائكة. أما الفصل الثالث وعنوانه: المشكلة الأيرلندية: نظرة سياسية أدبية عامة، فيتناول جذور المشكلة الأيرلندية كما يقدم الشاعرتين الأيرلنديتين، أما الفصل الرابع المعنون: إيفان بولند وبولا ميهان: مشاعر مؤلمة للرفض، فيناقش تلك المشكلة كما تعكسها قصائد الشاعرتين والآثار المدمرة للاحتلال البريطاني على كل من الشعب الأيرلندي والمرأة الأيرلندية. بينما يقوم الفصل الخامس والأخير المعنون: شاعرات المقاومة في فلسطين وأيرلندا: تقييم مقارن، بعقد مقارنة بين النموذجين الفلسطيني والأيرلندي لتبيان الملامح المشتركة بين التجربتين وكذا أوجه الاختلاف بينهما، وهكذا يفجر الوضع المأسوي الحاضر لكلا الشعبين مجرداً بعد أن حاولت تناسيه أو إهماله الذاكرة البشرية. ثم تأتي الخاتمة لتوجز أهم الأطروحات التي تناولتها الرسالة، كما تكشف عن أهم النتائج التي توصلت إليها، وتفتح نوافذ جديدة للمهتمين بالبحث فى ذات الموضوع.

وهكذا فقد حاولت هذه الدراسة أن تحقق غرضين أساسيين أولاهما الأصالة والإضافة العلمية وذلك بتحري الدقة في التأصيل للمرجعيات العلمية والنفاذ إلى مناطق متفرقة من البحث في ساحة التاريخ الإنساني المعاصر وذلك لمصلحة القارئ المتخصص وغير المتخصص.

 


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

First and foremost, I thank God Almighty for the great help He generously bestows upon me when I badly need it.

A deep gratitude is owed to Prof. Gamal Abdel Nasser, who has been a kind mentor all the way. His directions and pieces of advice have taught me so much, and have - indeed - encouraged me to finish this challenging project.

 

I’m thankful to the Palestinian poet, Zeinab Habash, who supplied me with her poems and some of her books.

 

I am equally thankful to my family: my parents, my husband and my daughters, who have given me moral support, enabling me to bear the having burden of this task.


Title:     Woman Resistance Poetry: A Comparative Trans-Cultural Study in Four Palestinian and Irish Poets


By :    Reham Mohammed Abdel Rhman Abu Zaid

 

Supervisor:    Prof. Gamal Abdel Nasser

 

Degree:   PhD.

Specialization:   English Language and Literature (Poetry)


 

Women poets are no longer marginalized in the modern age. Their writings have transcended an impressive array of socio-political, psychological and cultural obstacles to attain a positive and influential position in the world of literature. But, the struggle of their recent rise has been difficult, especially those who have lived under Occupation or Colonization. Their works have expressed definitely and sensitively the psycho-political traumas of their occupied and colonized countries and the traumatic psycho-cultural imprisonment of the women in their countries. Their works should, therefore, be reexamined and reappraised.
The present Dissertation focuses on some selected poems of four famous Palestinian and Irish women poets, Fadwa Tuqan (1917-2003) and Zeinab Habash (b. 1943). Then, it considers some poems of the Irish women poets, Eavan Boland (b.1944) and Paula Meehan (b.1955). The selected poems of each side are categorized into three phases according to the development of the poets’ poetic voices. In the first phase, their voices began low and shocked. But this phase was the starting point of the poets’ creative journey defying many hardships. Then, their voices became loud and conscious in the second phase. The third or the contemporary phase shows the loudest voices of the poets. Some, technical and thematic changes have accompanied every phase. There are many reasons that have caused this development such as: the escalation of the Occupation’s or Colonization’s violence, the availability of the means of publication more than before and the insistence of the poets to defy gender segregation and marginalization. The selected poems of each country are, then compared to each other.
The trans-cultural comparison has many values in this Dissertation. It enlarges the scope of this study. It proves the similarity of the human feelings towards wrongness regardless place and time limits. It also internationalizes the studied experiences. It clarifies more and more the importance of the women poets’ roles in their societies. It moves from regionality to universality. Hence, it supports the objectives of the Dissertation considerably.
This Dissertation has many objectives. It aims to show the disastrous effects of the Occupation or Colonization on the whole people generally and on women particularly. It also tends to prove the importance of the roles of women poets. It sheds light on the value and the quality of woman resistance poetry and the societies’ urgent need to it. It illuminates the devastating psychological effects of oppression and wrongness. It also clarifies the similarity of the horrible aspects of the Occupation or Colonization in every place and in every time. It points to the deprivation of the occupied or colonized people of their own human rights. It also shows that resistance is a legally protected right to the occupied or colonized people.

In addition to the above objectives, the Dissertation also aims to prove that the poet may be like the political ambassador and the pen, on the other hand, may become like a weapon. Its purpose also is to challenge the assumptions and the stereotypes about women in both literature and society. The Dissertation brings out the close relationship between poetry, politics and history showing how they are interwoven together. It aims to condemn all kinds of Occupation, Colonization and Imperialism. It calls for peace, equality and brotherhood. It invites the readers to help all the needy and the tortured everywhere.
The Dissertation aims to differentiate between resistance and terrorism. Resistance, as already observed, is a legally protected right of the occupied or colonized people. Violent and/or non –violent resistance is a reaction to the Occupier’s/Colonizer’s terrorism. The latter is the illegal creation of Occupation/Colonization and hence its condemnation.
The Dissertation is, also, concerned with sending a message to the Human Rights Organizations and the human conscience everywhere that: "there are racism, torture, wrongness, oppression, suppression, suffering, violence and Occupation in many parts of the world" in spite of their presence.
To achieve the above objectives, the main body of the Dissertation is divided into five chapters, an Introduction and a Conclusion. The ‘Introduction’ paves the way for the study as a whole, showing the importance of its topic, justifying its choice and introducing its methodology.
Chapter One: "The Palestinian Dilemma: A Historical Literary Background", furnishes briefly the necessary historical and political background of the Palestinian issue. It also introduces the two Palestinian poets giving some biographical notes about them.
Chapter Two: "Fadwa Tuqan and Zeinab Habash: Inevitable Impulse of Resistance", examines the poems of Tuqan and Habash as mirrors to the around painful circumstances revealing the Israeli hypocrisy. Israel commits the most hideous crimes then calls for peace, appears as innocent defender for itself and weeps beside the Wailing Wall.
Chapter Three: "The Irish Problem: A Politico Literary Overview", provides a survey of the historical and political reasons of the Irish problem It also presents the two chosen Irish poets.
Chapter Four: "Eavan Boland and Paula Meehan: Painful Feelings of Rejection", tackles the selected poems as reflecting their country’s problem. The chapter, further, shows how the English Colonizer has made the island of Ireland appear on the map as a beheaded bird without its North.
Chapter Five: "The Palestinian and Irish Women Resistant Poets: A Comparative Assessment", weaves the previous four chapters together into a trans-cultural comparison showing the similarities and the dissimilarities between them.
The "Conclusion", then, recapitulates the main arguments and findings. It, also, summarizes the answers suggested to the inquiries raised in the previous chapters.
Woman resistance poetry is the natural consequence of the poets’ life-experiences, both as women and as occupied persons, though it may be thought to glow with suffering and pain.

It is hoped that such a study has added something fresh to the already received opinion about women writing, in general, and resistance poetry in particular. This may contribute considerably to an interesting area of human knowledge. Genuineness and originality, thus, have hopefully been realized in such a modest research, regardless of the great pains taken in its accomplishment.

 

                                   INTRODUCTION

Poetry was heard for thousands of years before anyone thought of writing it down. It has been known as a source of delight, nurture and illumination. William Wordsworth defines it as “the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge”, and “the impassioned expression, which is in the countenance of all science” (Myszor 170). Poetry had acquired a political and a social value long time ago. Plato, in his book, The Republic, had stated: “if poetry is to earn respect, it must demonstrate that it is not only ‘pleasant’ but also ‘useful’ to states and to human life” (40).
Many of the poems surviving from the ancient world are “a form of recorded cultural information” about the people of the past. Such poems are “prayers or stories about religious subject matter, histories about their politics and wars and the important organizing myths of their societies” (http://en.wikipedia,org). Poetry has, thus, interacted with politics by affecting people, influencing the way they see the world, the way they live and the way they tolerate the different types of lifestyles in the world. Here comes the social and political function of poetry.

The relationship between (literature in general and poetry in particular) and politics has grown steadily all over the world with the spread of Colonialism. With Colonialism many political problems have appeared, leaving their impact on poetry. Colonial writing comes in many shapes and forms; it covers a large time frame, from about the 16th century to the 21st century. Colonial literature, including poetry, should be clearly distinguished from post-colonial literature. The latter kind is “the writing which reflects in a great variety of ways, the effects of Colonialism”. But colonial literature is “the writing produced by authors who belong to the colonizing power… and written before independence in the relevant region” (O’Reilly 7). Colonial writing can act as a backdrop, highlighting the particular concerns of post-colonial authors who have, in various ways, responded to it. The term ‘post-colonial’ is resonant with all the ambiguity and complexity of the many different cultural experiences it implicates.
In a literal sense, the term ‘post-colonial’ is defined, in the second College Edition of The American Heritage Dictionary, as something “of, relating to, or being the time following the establishment of independence in a colony” (811). In practice, however, the term is used much more loosely. While the denotative definition suggests otherwise, it is “not only the period after the departure of the imperial powers that concerns those in the field, but that before independence as well”. Even more generally, it is “used to signify a position against Imperialism and Eurocentrism” (http://www.english.emory.edu. Further more, post-colonial theory, generally as the essence of post-colonial writings, involves
Discussion about experience of various kinds: migration, slavery, suppression, resistance, representation, difference, race, gender, place and responses to the influential master discourses of Imperial Europe such as history, philosophy and linguistics, and the fundamental experiences of speaking and writing by which all these come into being.
(Ashcroft 3)
The word ‘resistance’, which is included in colonial and post-colonial studies, can be defined simply as “an underground organization engaged in a struggle for national liberation in a country under military or totalitarian Occupation” or “a political unit organized to promote revolution” (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/resistance). Consequently, resistance poetry is an anti-occupational or anti-colonial poetry. It is written to oppose any foreign conquest or hegemony.
A difference should be made in this context between such terms as “Colonialism, Imperialism and Occupation” that are used frequently in the Dissertation. Colonialism means “an alleged policy of exploitation of backward or weak peoples by a large power” or “to make or establish a colony” (http://www.postcolonialweb.org). Colonialism, also, is “the extension of a nation’s sovereignty over territory beyond its borders by the establishment of either settler colonies or administrative dependencies in which indigenous populations are directly ruled or displaced”. Colonizers dominate “the resources, labor and markets of the colonial territory and may also impose socio-cultural, religious and linguistic structures on the conquered population” (http://encyclopedia. thefreedictionary.com/colonialism ).
But, the contemporary use of the term ‘Colonialism’ and the related ones, such as ‘colonize and colonialist’ has far different basic meanings, political implications and emotional resonances: ‘Colonialism’ and ‘colonize’ have become “codewords for any relation involving exploitation” (Landow 1). Hence, the relationship between Britain and Ireland is a colonial one. So, Northern Ireland is considered one of the British colonies according to all the above definitions.
Imperialism, on the other hand, is “a policy of extending control or authority over foreign entities as a means of acquisition and/or maintenance of empires”. This is through direct territorial, conquest or settlement, or through indirect methods of exerting control on the politics and/or economy”. The term ‘Imperialism’ is used to describe “the policy of a nation’s dominance over distant lands, regardless of whether the nation considers itself part of the empire”. The ‘Age of Imperialism’ usually refers to “the old Imperialism period starting from 1860, when major European states such as Britain and France started colonizing the other continents such as Africa” (http://encyclopedia. Thefreedictionary.com/imperialism).
The term ‘Imperialism’ is used in a more broad way than the term ‘Colonialism ’. But Colonialism is older than Imperialism, because it began nearly in the 15th century, although Britain colonized Ireland before that time. Colonialism, thus, began with the “Age of Discovery’, led by the Portuguese and Spanish exploration of the Americas, the coasts of Africa, the Middle East, India and East Asia. Therefore, Imperialism, as broader than Colonialism, refers to formal and informal control. Imperialism has been frequently employed for economic exploitation in which the Imperialist power makes use of other countries as sources of raw materials and cheap labor, shaping their economies to suit its own interests and keeping their people in poverty. In recent years, there has also been a trend to view Imperialism not at an economic or political level only, but at a cultural level also, particularly in regard to “the widespread global influence of American culture ‘cultural Imperialism’” (http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com /imperialism).
Occupation can be defined as “the holding and control of an area by a foreign military force” (Webster 804). It is “an invasion, conquest and control of a nation or territory by foreign armed forces” (http://www.thefreedictionary). Occupation differs from Colonialism and Imperialism in that both Imperialism and Colonialism are set by powerful countries upon weak ones extending their hegemony and control. But Occupation may set by armed forces of any country, which may have relations with a powerful country to support it. Some armed forces may have no country at all, as they occupy a land in order to make it their country like Israel. The members of Israel came from all over the world as waves of Zionist emigrants in order to occupy Palestine and to make their Jewish state.
There is, still, a difference between Zionism and Judaism. Zionism is “a national feeling”. It “did not permit a compromise with the Arabs” (Thompson 61). The first Zionist organization was founded in 1897 by Theoder Hertzl as a result of obvious general feelings of anti-Semitism. Naturally, all Zionists are Jews, but not all the Jews, in Palestine or outside it, are Zionists. Zionism is a “nationalist creed, and like all violent nationalist, must employ violence to gain its ends” (Thompson 96). Zionism has been “an ugly creed, one cannot write about Palestine without referring to this ugliness”. It has “revealed itself as possessing evil characteristics (Thompson 96).
The word ‘Zionism’ was probably first used by Nathan Birnbaum in an article published in 1886, as Ritchie Ovendale argues in his book The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Wars. Zionism has come to be understood as meaning “a movement for the re-establishment of a Jewish nation in Palestine, or as one writer insists ‘Erez-Israel’” (Ovendale 3). Hertzl is commonly regarded as the father of political Zionism. But several writers before him had argued in terms of a separate Jewish state. When he wrote Der Judenstaat, translated as The State of the Jews, Hertzl’s diaries show that in formulating his ideas he was influenced by “the activities of Cecil Jhon Rhodes, the great Imperialist who bestowed his name on a country ‘Rhodesia’ in May 1890” (Ovendale 4). Out of the first Zionist meeting in Basel in August 1897, emerged “the world Zionist organization, a national flag and a national anthem” (Ovendale 5). But, Ovendale sees that “the Jews were not a nation, and a national home would make them aliens in the countries in which they lived” (31).
Zionism produced the State of Israel, occupying the land of Palestine. Violent and non-violent resistance to the Israeli Occupation is a legally right to the Palestinian people. The Palestinian people have used non-violent resistance methods side by side with the armed struggle in their attempts to achieve their goals against Zionism. In the occupied territories, school and commercial strikes, petitions, protest telegrams, advertisements and condemnations in the daily papers and the attempts to boycott the Israeli goods are manifestations of non-violent struggle. This struggle utilizes the largest possible amount of the potential and resources of the Palestinians presently on the inside. It offers all sectors of the Palestinian society an opportunity to engage actively in the struggle. It can also neutralize an important sector of the Israeli society. Such a strategy can focus the public international attention to the Palestinian cause by revealing the racist and expansionist features of Israel. It can also remove the Israeli myth of “the Arab violence’ or ‘the Palestinian terrorism’.
The Palestinian and the Irish resistance are always defined by Israel and Britain as ‘terrorism’. Terrorism can be defined as “the systematic use of murder and destruction and the threat of murder and destruction in order to terrorize individuals, groups, communities or governments into conceding to the terrorist political demands”. Terrorism, the taking of innocent lives by terrorist guns and bombs, is “a crime against humanity” (Gilmour 131). But, the armed struggle or resistance against the Occupation or colonization is “perfectly legitimate because the rule of the invader has no legitimacy” (Gilmour 132).
Israel’s aim, like that of Britain, is to reinforce the notion that it is “The Palestinian people who are the terrorists”, while Israel is “the patient victim-acting in self-defense under only the most extreme cases” (Kanazi 2 in http://www.politicalaffairs.net). Israel “murders many innocent civilians”, the international community “hears nothing, sees nothing and does nothing… in anger and desperation, a Palestinian blows himself up in an Israeli crowed… the Western world is utterly overcome with a wave of condemnations of Palestinian terrorism” (Kanazi 2 in http://www.politicalaffairs.net). When
A policy of starvation, assassination and systematic killing is imposed, when people are brutalized in the streets, when schools are raided by Apache helicopters, when a whole nation is collectively abused and violated with almost no protection…. for those victims blowing oneself up might actually seen like a rational way out of a despairing situation.
                   (Kanazi 2 in http://www.politicalaffairs.net)
An example of the Israeli false pretensions of the ‘Palestinian terrorism is the book of Benjamin Netanyahu, Terrorism: How the West can Win. He assures that “terrorism is an anti-Western phenomenon”. The battle against it is “a part of the struggle between the forces of civilization and the forces of barbarism”. The two main antagonists of democracy in post-war world, as Netanyahu sees, are “communist totalitarianism and Islamic radicalism … and between them they have inspired virtually all of contemporary terrorism”. He continues; “The West must line up behind Israel and against the Palestinians” (133). He believes that the Palestinian resistance to the Israeli Occupation and its violence is terrorism. Here, there can be a question whose answer refutes Netanyahu’s pretensions that is: Is the IRA in Northern Ireland totalitarian communist or radical Muslim?
 Britain, too, has a “counter-insurgency” policy in Ireland. The British constitution “does not recognize insurgency”. Britain has had “no legal third way between peace and war”. Hence, the British tendency has treated “insurgency as a temporary aberration and not as the result of a breakdown in normality demanding special legal measures”. This has led to “repression” (Gilmour 130). The British policy in Ireland has been “terrorism” not the Irish resistance to it. An accident can be taken as an example. In nineteenth-century Ireland, the sense of general resistance to British law often coalesced into a sort of rival government, which defended security of tenure by violence and intimidation. A tenant who took over a farm from which the previous tenant had been evicted was violently punished. The groups who carried out the violence would now be called ‘terrorists’, but these enforcers of the unwritten law were representatives of the community. So, it was the imposition of the British law in Ireland, which actually provoked disorder. The colonizer is who creates violence and terrorism not the resistant. Sorrowfully, a report entitled, The Sociology And Psychology of Terrorism, written by Rex A. Hudson and published, by the library of Congress in September 1999, categorizes the Palestinian, the Irish and the other resistance organizations in all over the world as “terrorist” groups.
Like resistance, ‘gender’ is an important branch in colonial and post-colonial studies. Women have had experiences very different from those of men under Occupation or colonization. The growing awareness of women’s writings and of their importance has been an integral part of the development of post-colonial literature. The women writers in general, and women poets in particular, have challenged stereotypes and marginalization in their societies. In Palestine and Ireland, as two occupied and colonized countries, women poetry has mirrored not only the women experiences but also the whole people’s experiences. The women poets have supported the people, giving them enthusiasm. They have faced the occupier / colonizer revealing his crimes. Woman resistance poetry has sprung. The contemporary woman resistance poetry, in both Palestine and Ireland, like their politics, contains strong voices that may seem irreconcilable. The growing number of women poets, in both countries, reflect “an increasingly confident generation of women writers, several of whom… incorporate into their work a strategic and imaginative awareness” of their surroundings (Armitage xxviii).
In terms of the cultural and political impediments to their creativity, the struggle of the Palestinian and Irish women poets has been a particularity difficult one. This struggle makes their recent rise in popularity and influence is more remarkable. They become enjoying an unprecedented public prominence and good levels of publicity. The increase of publishing and reading opportunities has helped them so much. Some of these women poets are now mobilizing institutions to their own ends and enjoy public endorsement and popularity. The great increase in the published writings of Palestinian and Irish women poets in the last decades redefines their position in relation to their literary tradition and encodes their own lived experiences in new and varied forms. Their works have expressed definitely and sensitively the psycho-political traumas of their occupied / colonized countries and the traumatic psycho-cultural imprisonment of the women in their countries, which are equal. Therefore, their works should be examined and reappraised.
This Dissertation examines and reappraises some selected poems of four famous Palestinian and Irish women poets. It tackles seven poems of the Palestinian women poets, Fadwa Tuqan (1917-2003) and Zeinab Habash (b. 1943). Then, it studies seven poems of the Irish women poets, Eavan Boland (b. 1944) and Paula Meehan (b. 1955). The seven chosen poems of each side are categorized into three phases according to the development of the poetic voices of the women poets. In the first phase, their voices began low and shocked. Then, their voices became loud and conscious in the second phase. The third or the contemporary phase shows the loudest voices of these poets. This development has many causes such as the escalation of the occupation’s or colonization’s violence, the availability of the means of publication more than before and the insistence of the poets to defy gender segregation and marginalization. The selected poems of each country are, then, compared to each other in a trans-cultural comparison.
The trans-cultural comparison has many values in this Dissertation. It enlarges the scope of this study. It proves the similarity of the human feelings towards wrongness regardless place and time limits. It also internationalizes the studied experiences. It clarifies more and more the importance of the women poets’ roles in their societies. It moves from regionality to universality. Hence, it supports the objectives of the Dissertation powerfully.
This Dissertation has many objectives. It aims to show the disastrous effects of the Occupation or colonization on the whole people generally and women particularly. It also tends to prove the importance of the roles of women poets. It sheds light on the value and the quality of woman resistance poetry and the societies’ urgent need to it. It illuminates the devastating psychological effects of oppression and wrongness. It also clarifys the similarity of the horrible characteristics of the Occupation or colonization in every place and in every time. It points to the deprivation of the occupied or colonized people from their own human rights. It also shows that resistance is a legally protected right to the occupied or colonized people.

In addition to the above objectives, the Dissertation also aims to prove that the poet may be like the political ambassador and the pen, on the other hand, may become like the weapon. Its purpose also is to challenge the assumptions and the stereotypes about women in both literature and society. The Dissertation brings out the close relationship between poetry, politics and history showing how they are interwoven gether. It aims to condemn all kinds of Occupation, Colonization and Imperialism. It calls for peace, equality and brotherhood. It invites the readers to help all the needy and the tortured everywhere.
In serving the above objectives, the main body of the Dissertation is divided into five chapters. Then it is concluded by an essay in which the main arguments and findings are recapitulated. It also sums up the resolutions of the inquiries raised in the chapters and raises new aspects of investigation attributed to the main issues of the study. The Dissertation has also a Bibliography that contains the primary and the secondary sources.
Chapter One is entitled The Palestinian Dilemma: A Historical Literary Background. Therefore, it furnishes briefly the necessary historical and political background of the Palestinian issue discussing the roots of its current problem. It also introduces the two chosen Palestinian poets, Tuqan and Habash, in addition to some biographical notes about them.
Chapter Two is entitled, Fadwa Tuqan and Zeinab Habash: Inevitable Impulse of Resistance. It studies how the poetry of Tuqan and Habash mirrors the around circumstances. Hence, it makes an analysis of three resistance poems for Tuqan and four for Habash. The number of Habash’s poems is more than that of Tuqan’s, in spite of the latter’s great position in the literary world. The cause of this is that the contemporary poet, Habash, presents in her poems personal experiences like dispossion, imprisonment and others that Tuqan hasn’t. She also presents current events that happen nowadays. The third reason is that her poems express clearly the development of the women’s poetic voice. The seven chosen poems are studied through three phases according to the development of the poets’ poetic voices. The first phase presents the low shocked voices of the Palestinian women poets. These voices became louder than before and more conscious in the second phase. Then, the third phase presents their current loudest voices. The reasons of this development are mentioned in the chapter.
A standard version of translated poems is used in Chapter Two. The translated poems of Tuqan are drawn from some authentic: web sites. But the chosen poems of Habash are translated by the poet herself in her book Palestinian Dreams (that was sent as a gift).

Translation has a vital role in trans-cultural comparative studies. It has a pivotal importance to the political poetry, because it may attract a large foreign audience to the problem. But there are many factors to consider when the impact of translation is discussed. Does translating a poem change the meaning of its original work? How can the translator know exactly what the poet meant or how he felt? Does the translator at some point, become the actual poet? Generally, translation has been thought “to have an impact on interpretation and meaning in a variety of ways, as well as brings two cultures together” (Welch 7). Some of the original meanings may be lost because of the difference in the English language. Not every word has an exact translation; therefore translator must approximate words or ideas.
The translator may also have an impact on the poem. Some of the significant points and feelings are lost. Lastly, the structure of the poem may be different. Some poems may be broken down into stanzas, while others are not. Spacing and punctuation may also vary therefore impacting the way the poem is read and interpreted. So, the translated version of the poem may have a different flavor or message than the original. Translating a poem
Into English does not turn it into an English poem; the more faithful the translation is … the closer will it be to the parent culture. It will still be, for all intents and purposes, an Arabic poem comparatively related to the tradition of English verse as assimilated by the translator.
(Enani 11)
 Chapter Three, The Irish Problem: A Politico-Literary Overview, supplies the main historical and political background for the Irish problem. It also presents the two chosen Irish women poets, Boland and Meehan, providing some biographical information about them.
Chapter Four, Eavan Boland and Paula Meehan: Painful Feelings of Rejection, discusses this problem as reflected in seven selected resistance poems of Boland and Meehan. It traces the development of the poetic voices of the Irish women poets through three phases. The first phase studies their poetic voices as low and shocked. In the second phase, these voices became louder than before and more conscious. The third phase presents these voices in their current loudest position. The causes of this development are discussed in this chapter.
Chapter Five, The Palestinian and Irish Women Resistant Poets: A Comparative Assessment, weaves the previous four chapters together. Therefore, it compares between the two intricate problems of Palestine and Northern Ireland. It also compares between the chosen samples of the women resistance poems of both countries showing the similarities and the differences between them.
Comparative literature involves “the study of texts across cultures”. It is “interdisciplinary” and “concerned” with patterns of connection in literatures across both time and space” (Bassnett 1).. The term ‘Comparative Literature’ had originally acquired its name firstly from a series of French anthologies used for the teaching of literature published early in 1816. In the 1820s and the 1830s, the term was used largely. The earliest English usage is attributed to Matthew Arnold in 1848. Then, it had appeared in Germany in a book by Moriz Carriere in 1854. After that it began to prevail. But
What becomes apparent when we look at the origins of comparative literature is that the term predated the subject. People used the phrase ‘Comparative Literature’ without having clear ideas about what it was.
(Bassnett 21)
The trans-cultural comparison of the Palestinian and Irish woman resistance poetry needs the Dissertation to be thematic, though technique is never ignored. Content and form, as is taken for granted, are inseparable. While discussing motifs, reference is made to such technical features as imagery or the poetic style, as they accompany the development of the poetic voices of the poets. One of the difficulties of the topic of the Dissertation is the lack of relevant sources, especially those concerned with the political analysis of the chosen Palestinian and Irish poems. It could be regarded as a shortcoming in the Dissertation. It could be justified, as the subject is unprecedented. The detailed discussion of the political problems of the two countries may be regarded as another shortcoming in the Dissertation because it is mainly poetic. But the nature of the subject as it studies resistance poetry dictates a good knowledge about the political and the historical roots of the problems, which have produced such resistance poetry.

                      The Palestinian Dilemma: A Historical

                                             Literary Background

Palestine is at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. It is bounded to the North by Lebanon, to the Northeast by Syria, to the East and Southeast by Jordan, to the Southwest by Egypt and to the West by the Mediterranean Sea. The space of Palestine is about 27,009 thousand square KM. The name Palestine has two poignant meanings, firstly as something delicious or beautiful and secondly as the land protected by God (http://english.aljazeera.net).

The history of the bridge that joins wing Asian Arab world to his African Western, Palestine, is fraught with interest and written in suffering and blood. Palestine has been subjected to many conquests and has been ruled by many nations such as Egyptians, Jews, Assyrian, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Turks, English and Zionists. The history of Palestine had begun 600,000 years ago. Paleolithic and Mesolithic period was from 600,000 to 10,000 B.C. The earliest human remains were found in the south of the lake of Tabariyya, at El-Ubeidiya (http://www.palestine-net.com 1). The old Palestinian man built one of the first towns in the history, Jericho ‘Ariha’ (7000 B.C.). In it, there were settled agricultural communities. Evidence of such settlements were found at Tell es-Sultan, Jericho and include mud-brick rounded and square dwellings, pottery shards and fragments of woven fabrics (http://en.wikipedia.org). The continuous Arab immigrations that came from the south of Arab Peninsula and the Arab Gulf formed the Canaanites (3000 B.C.). They made ‘the Canaanite Country’ (2500 B.C.), building number of cities such as Akka, Gaza, Ashdod and Asqelon (http://en.falastiny.net).  The Canaanite city-states held trade and diplomatic relations with Egypt and Syria (http://en.wikpedia.org).
Palestine’s location made it the meeting-place for religious and cultural influences from Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia and Asia Minor. It was also the battleground for the great powers of the region and subjected to domination by adjacent empires beginning with Egypt in the 3rd Millennium B.C. Palestine faced under the Egyptian rule such invaders as the Amorites, Hittites and Hurrians. These invaders were defeated by the Egyptians and absorbed by the Canaanites. New invaders appeared in 1400 B.C., the Hebrews, the Philistines (after whom the country was later named) and an Aegean people of Indo-European stock. In 1230 B.C., Joshua (the divinely commissioned successor of Moses and military leader of the Israelites during the conquest of Canaan) conquered parts of Palestine. In 1125 B.C., the Israelites, a confederation of Hebrew tribes, defeated the Canaanites but not the Philistines who established an independent state on the Southern coast of Palestine. They comprised a confederation of five city-states: Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod on the coast and Ekron and Gath inland, and controlled the Canaanite town of Jerusalem. The Philistines are, also, credited with introducing iron weapons and chariots to the local population. But Israel’s king, David, defeated them in 1000 B.C. Jerusalem was made the capital of King David’s kingdom and it is believed that the First Temple was constructed in this period by King Soloman (http://en.wikipedia.org). Then, Palestine was conquered by Assyrio in 721 B.C., Babylonia who smashed Israel in 586 B.C. and destroyed the Royal palace taking the Jews marching in chains into exile to Babylon, Persia in 539 B.C., Greece in 333 B.C. and Rome in 63 B.C. (http://www.palestinehistory 2).
In 63 B.C. Palestine became a Roman province. Jewish revolts against the Romans were violently put down. After Christ, in 70 A.D., the Romans sacked Jerusalem. The temple of the Jews, their last place of resistance, was burnt to the ground. In 135 A.D. Jerusalem was completely destroyed. The Jews were put to death or carried off to slavery in other countries or fled to various parts of the world. Then, their relation with Palestine finished. Christianity spread. Eastern Roman (Byzantine) rule was interrupted by a brief Persian Occupation in 614-628 A.D., and ended altogether by the Arab conquest to Palestine in 638 A.D., Muslims entered Jerusalem under the leadership of Omar ibn Al-Khattab with no bloodshed. They rebuilt it. It has become the third holiest city of Islam. Palestine enjoyed a golden age of glory like the rest of the Muslim empire (http://www.Palestinehistory). Jews were permitted to return to Palestine for the first time after 500 years. Christians and Jews were granted the official title of “Peoples of the Book”. Abbasid rule lasted from 750 to 969. The Fatimids, from Tunisia, conquered Palestine by way of Egypt in 969. They remained till 1099 (http://en.wikipedia.org).
From 1099-1187, the Crusaders kept arriving and establishing the ‘Latin kingdom of Jerusalem’. A notable urban remnant of the Crusader architecture of this era is found in Acre’s old city (http://en.wikipedia.org). Salah Al-Diin Al-Ayyoubi (from Kurdistan) defeated them in the battle of Hittin in 1187. He freed Jerusalem. Palestine was administered from Cairo, even when the Mamluks succeeded the Ayyubis in 1260. Their leaders Qutuz and Al-Zaher Beibars defeated the Mongols (Tatars) in Ain Jaloot battle near ‘An-Naasira’ (Nazareth) in Palestine on 3 September 1260. In 1517, the Ottoman Turks of Asia Minor defeated the Mamluks. Palestine remained under their control for four centuries (http://www.palestine-net.com 2-3).
In 1878, the first Zionist settlement (Petach Tiqva) was established in Palestine under the guise of agricultural community. From 1882 to 1903, the first wave of Zionists (about 25000) entered Palestine as illegal immigrants from Eastern Europe. In 1896, Theodor Hertzl, a journalist from an Austro-Hungarian origin published Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State) advocating the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine or elsewhere (such as Argentina) (Ovendale 5). According to the forged Hebrew tradition, “the land of Canaan is part of the land given to the descendants of Abraham, which extends from the Nile to the Euphrates River”. This land is said; also, to include an area called “Aram Naharaim, which includes Ur Kasdim in modern Turkey, where Abraham’s father was born” (http://en.wikipedia.org).
In the period between 1900 and 1901, Sultan Abd Al-Hameed the Second issued a statement forbidding the Jewish travelers from settling in Palestine for more than three months. In 1902, the Jews proposed a tempting offer to Sultan Abd Al-Hameed in which the rich Jews would promise to pay all the debts of the Ottoman state, to build a squadron to defend it, and to offer a loan of 35 million gold dinars for the Ottoman’s run-down public treasury. However, Sultan Abd Al-Hameed refused all offers. His courageous reply to the offer, which came via a memorandum sent to Theodor Hertzl, was:
Advise Doctor Hertzl not to take serious steps in this matter because I cannot give up one foot of the land for it is not my personal property; it is the property of my people. My people fought for the sake of this land and their blood was shed. Let the Jews save their millions. If my empire is torn apart one day, the Jews can separate Palestine without any cost. However, as long as I am alive, dissecting my body with a knife is easier for me than to see Palestine separated away from the Islamic State. And this will not be. I cannot agree with dissecting our bodies as long as we are living.
                        (http://www.palestine-info.co.uk)

When the Jews became certain of the failure of all possible attempts, they began working on the declination of the Ottoman Empire. From 1904 to 1914, the second wave of Zionist illegal immigrants (about 40,000) arrived in Palestine and increased the Jewish percentage to 6% of the total population. The Jews increased their activities in Palestine. During the World War I, in May 1916, Britain and France divided the Arab countries between them in the Sykes-Picot agreement. The advantages of colonization in taking Palestine away from the Arab world met with those of the Jews in establishing a national homeland. Actually, it was the European rulers who offered a national home on Palestinian land for the Jews long before the Jews themselves suggested it. In particular, the offer came from France and Britain in an attempt to get rid of the Jewish problem in Europe and to achieve colonial gains from the Jewish State (http://www.palestine-info.co.uk).
The colonialist competition between Britain and France was obvious. The aims of both were to defend their benefits in the area. Britain found Palestine a suitable place to spread her authority on the Middle East because of its geographical location. Therefore, it is better to separate the Asian part from the African part of the Arab Region and to create situations that do not allow the two to establish a union in the future. A report by a committee formed by the British Prime Minister, Henry Campbell-Banzman, in 1907 dictated:

Working for the sake of keeping the Arab region divided and undeveloped and for fighting against the union of the Arab people and any kind of intellectual, spiritual and historical relationships among them. This would be done by working on separating the African part of this area from its Asian part by establishing a strong, strange-human barrier on the land bridge that connects Asia and Africa. This, in turn, will form, near the Swiss Canal, a friendly force for us and an enemy for the inhabitants of the area.

                    (http://www.palestine-info.co.uk 2)
On 2 November 1917, the British government issued the Balfour Declaration, in the form of a letter to a British Zionist leader from the foreign secretary Arthur J. Balfour promising him to establish a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine (http://www.palestinehistory.com 4). The British troops, commanded by Edmund Allemby, captured Jerusalem on 9 December 1917. Then, they occupied the whole land after the defeat of the Turkish forces in Palestine at the Battle of Megiddo in September 1918 and the capitulation of Turkey on 31 October 1918 (http://en.wikipedia.org).
In April 1920, Peace Conference Higher Council in San Rimo placed Palestine under British mandate. During the 1920s, more than 100,000 Jewish immigrants entered Palestine. They increased rapidly. Extensive Zionist agricultural and industrial enterprises began. Zionists attacked violently the Palestinians and took their lands. The Jews formed the Haganah (an underground terrorist organization) in March 1921. On 3 June 1922, Winston Churchill declared that Palestine would not be turned into a Jewish National Home but that a National Home would be established there. On 7 July 1937, the report of the Peel Commission recommended the partition of Palestine. On 17 May 1939, the British government published a White Paper restricting Zionist immigrations into Palestine to 75000 persons over five years and establishing an Arab-Jewish State in Palestine within ten years. Restricting the immigrations was rejected by the Zionists who organized terrorist groups and launched bloody campaigns against the British and the Palestinians. On 28 November 1947, the General Assembly adopted a plan for the partition of Palestine, which was accepted by the Jews but rejected by the Arabs (Rondot 201-205).
Imperialist Britain terminated its mandate on Palestine on 15 May 1948. The United Nations (UN) decided to divide Palestine into two states on the date of British withdrawal (the Palestinian Nakbeh ‘Catastrophe’). The Jewish provisional government declared the formation of the State of Israel. The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon joined Palestinian and other Arab guerrillas in a war in which they failed. The small Gaza Strip was left under Egyptian control and the West Bank under Jordan by the United Nations (http://www.palestinehistory 5-6). Dr. Fayez A. Sayegh, from the Research Center of the Palestine Liberation Organization, comments on this period in his book, Zionist Colonialism in Palestine saying that:
It was at that stage in the tragic history of Palestine that Palestinian Arabs-debilitated by thirty years of British suppression-proved incapable of withstanding the assault of the Zionist community, organized and trained and armed as it was, and supported by the European-American international community of the day. The Arab people of Palestine lost not only the battle for the political control of its own country-it lost its country as well.       
              (Sayegh 10)

From that time up till now, Palestinians have been forcibly expelled from the homeland which has ruthlessly, been emptied of its rightful inhabitants and opened “for a well-organized and liberally-financed new wave of colonization” (Sayegh 10).

On the 5th of June 1967, Israel attacked Egypt, Jordan and Syria simultaneously. The war ended in six days with an Israeli victory. Israel occupied Gaza Strip, Sinai Peninsula, Arab East Jerusalem, West Bank and Golan Heights. But, on 6 October 1973, Egypt and Syria gained a lot of advanced positions in Sinai Peninsula and Golan Heights defeating Israel. In 1975, the United Nations General Assembly resolution 3379 considered Zionism as a form of racism. An Israeli-Egyptian Peace Treaty took place in 1979. In 1988, the Palestinian National Charter (PNC) meeting in Algiers declared the State of Palestine as outlined in UN partition plan 181. After secret negotiations, PM Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat signed an historic peace agreement in 1993. Israel agreed to allow for Palestinian self-rule, first in Gaza Strip and the West Bank town of Jericho, and later in other areas of the West Bank. The final version of the Declaration of Principles was signed in Cairo in May 1994. In November 1995, Israeli PM Rabin was assassinated in Tel-Aviv by a right wing extremist. In December 1996, Israel planned to expand the Jewish settlements in Arab east Jerusalem. In 1998, Wye River memorandum urged the legitimate rights for the Palestinians. In November of the same year, Palestinian President Yasser Arafat inaugurated Gaza International Airport. In March 2000, Pope John Paul II visited Palestine. Since 2000 up till now there are more failed talks over land, Jerusalem and refugees (http://www.palestinehistory 6-8). The Palestinian problem has become more complicated, and the Palestinian conditions have become worse. 

Zionists’ ambitions in Palestine have girded their lions and fed on the Palestinian blood. The Zionists have committed hideous massacres against the helpless Palestinians. Racial discrimination and addiction to violence and terrorism have been the main characteristics of Israel. Palestine has become a land of persistent and tireless Arab resistance. Rebellions, here and there, in 1918-1919, were put down by the Anglo-Zionist forces. The Palestinians expressed their opposition to the Balfour Declaration in the first National Conference in 1919. In March 1920, armed hostilities broke out between Arab villagers and Zionists in the North. In April 1920, Arab Zionist fighting took place in Jerusalem. On 1 May 1921, bloody disturbances in Yaffa happened between the Jews and the Palestinians who protested against the Zionist waves of immigration. On 5 August 1922, PNC approved economic boycott of the Zionists. In August 1929, clashes over the Western Wall ‘Alburaq’ of Al-Aqsa Mosque (it is sacred to Muslims, but the Jews claimed it to be the remaining wall of the Jewish Temple, all studies have shown that it is from the Islamic ages and part of Al Aqsa Mosque), those clashes led to 116 martyrs and 232 wounded among Palestinians and 133 killed and 339 wounded among the Jews (http://www.palestine-net 4-5).

The Jews continued to make bloody attacks on the Palestinians, especially the Zionist terrorist organizations such as Haganah and Irgon, which were formed by Zionist extremists in 1931. In November 1935, Sheikh Izz Eddin Al-Qassam led the first Palestinian unit resisting Anglo-Jewish policies and died in a battle with British forces near Jenin. A countrywide rebellion (The Great Uprising) lasted from 1936 to 1939. Britain formed court martials to face that uprising, called for reinforcements replacing governors by army generals and attacked violently with the Irgon the Palestinian villages. In October 1939, the separatists from Irgon formed a third terrorist organization called ‘Stern Gang’. In May 1946, Palestinians stroke in protest against the American help and recommendation of 100,000 more Jewish immigrants. In July 1946, Irgon blew up the king David Hotel in Jerusalem killing 91 people (http://www.palestinehistory.com 5).

From December 1947 till the proclamation of Israel in May 1948, the Palestinians were engaged in a life - and - death battle. On 2 December 1947, Palestinians declared a 3-day strike protesting partition. Disturbances resulted in killing 6 Palestinians and 8 Jews. From 21 December to March 1948, Irgon and Haganah made coastal ethnic cleansing of Palestinian villages. In January 1948, Arab Higher Committee formed local committees to defend Palestinian villages and towns against Jewish cleansing. Volunteers arrived Palestine in order to join the Arab Salvation Army (ASA) in January 1948. On 16 February, ASA lost near Bisan, Syria. From January to March, Jewish National Fund encouraged the expulsion of Arabs from Haifa. The Haganah and the Palmach (another Zionist armed group) attacked Palestinians near Al-Hula Lake (north of Tabariyya) and in An-Naqab. From 30 March to 15 May 1948, the second coastal cleansing operation by the Haganah against the Palestinians happened between Haifa and Yafa. Villages and towns of Jerusalem fell to Haganah in another operation called “Nachshon” from 6 to 15 April 1948 (http://www.palestine-net.com 10-11).

On 9 April 1948, Irgon and Stern terrorists committed Deir Yassin massacre. They killed 254 civilians in this Palestinian village in Jerusalem district. The destruction of the villages of Jerusalem continued till 15 May. From 15 April to 25 May, psychological and military wars were being used to capture Safad and then Tabariyya. Haganah launched offensively on Haifa whose defenders lost on 22 April. On 25, Irgon attacked Yaffa. The Irgon and Haganah operations in Yaffa led to the expulsion of 50,000 Palestinians. The number of the Palestinian refugees from different areas reached on 3 May from 175,000 to 200,000 because of the Zionist attacks. In May and June, Haganah captured Ramallah and the villages around it as well as Akka and the coastal areas. On 13 May, ASA and the local fighters attacked Gush Etsion and captured it in return of the Jewish attack on the Hebron road. Yaffa surrendered to the Haganah. In May and June, ASA took some areas of Jerusalem from Haganah. Iraqi units took positions in Jenin. Egyptian units reached Ishdod (coastal town). Jordanian units reached Bethlehem. Syrian and Lebanese units restored some Northern villages (http://www.palestine-net.com 11-13).

The 1948 war ended with the defeat of the Arabs and the Israeli Occupation of all Palestine committing more and more massacres such as: Ain Ezzaitoun, Baldat al-Shaikh (60 martyrs), Mansurat al-Khyat, Sa’Sa’a, Qisarya, Wadi’ Ara, Abu Kabeer village, Nasir ad Din, Hawsha, Al Wa’ra Al-Sawda, Haifa, Husayniyya, Bayt Daras, Burayr, Khubbayza, Abu Shusha (50 martyrs), Al-Tantoura, Qazaza, Lydda , El-Led (426 martyrs), Al-Tira, Ijzim, Beer Sheba, Isdud, Al Dawayima, Jish, Majd al Kurum, Safsaf, Sa’sa, Saliha, Arab al Samniyya, Aylabon village, Al-Ba’na / Dair Al-Asad and Al Khisas. The real number of the martyrs is unknown. More than 300,000 Palestinians were excluded from their homeland (http://www.palestinehistory.com/massacre 2-3). In this year, 1948, the Palestinians’ unyielding resistance and sacrifices for decades “failed to overt the national catastrophe”. But those sacrifices “were not in vain”. For they “underscored the legitimacy of the Arabs’ claim to their national heritage. Rights undefended are rights surrendered” (Sayegh 23).

The Jewish writer, Daniel Bar-Tal writes about the Israeli massacres in his article entitled,  “No more Violence”, saying:
We, the Israeli Jews, are proud of the violent activities of the underground organizations in the pre-state period. We revere the wars and other military operations performed by the Israeli Army after the establishment of the State of Israel. We de-legitimize all the violent activities carried out by the Palestinians and repress memories of violence by our side considered excessive or atrocious.
                    (2)

In spite of the continuation of the Israeli violence, the Palestinian resistance has lasted. The Jewish forces committed other massacres such as: Iqrith (December 1951), Al-Tirah (July 1953), Abu Ghosh (September 1953), Qibya (14 October 1953, 67 martyrs), Gaza (1955), Qalqalya village (10 October 1956, 70 martyrs), Kafr Qasim (29 October 1956, 49 martyrs), Khan Younes (3 November 1956, 275 martyrs) and Acre (June 1965) (http://www.palestinehistory. com/massacre 3). As a result, some Palestinian organizations were founded such as Fateh (1959), Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) (1964), Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) (1968), Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine DFLP (1969), Palestinian National Salvation Front (1973), Abu Nidal Organization (ANO), Revolutionary Council (RC) and Hamas (1988). All these organizations have the same aim to end the Israeli Occupation and to set Palestine free. Their resistance and military operations have retaliated the enemy (http://www.palestine-net.com 14-15). But Israel considers them terrorist organizations and must be annihilated. 

The Israeli forces have insisted on the expulsion of the Palestinians. They committed another massacre in As-Sammu’ village in 1966. After the 1967 war, several guerrilla organizations within PLO carried out attacks on Israeli military targets, with the stated objective of “redeeming Palestine”. In 1974, UN recognized PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinians. Israel killed 3500 Palestinians in Sabra and Shatila massacre on 16 September 1982. From 9 December 1987 to 1993, a series of uprisings (First Intifada) included demonstrations, strikes and rock-throwing attacks on Israeli targets. During this Intifada, Israel was committing hideous crimes. In February 1988, for example, Israeli soldiers buried alive four men from the village of Salem near Nablus. They also shot rubber bullets at the eyes of three- four years-girls intentionally in cold blood (Farag 88-89). Israel also committed, at that period, massacres such as those of Oyon Qara (20 May 1990, 7 martyrs), Al-Aqsa Mosque (8 October 1990, 23 martyrs) and Hebron (1994). In 1990, Yasser Arafat demanded UN emergency force to provide international protection for the Palestinians because of the Israeli crimes. In 1993, Israel deported 415 active members of Hamas to a buffer zone in south of Lebanon (http://www.palestinehistory.com 7).

Israel killed 53 Palestinians in another massacre in Ebrahime Mosque on 25 Febrauary 1994. In January, April, July and August 1995, Palestinian martyr bombing killed about 30 in Israel. Israeli Army killed 109 Palestinians on 18 April 1996, in Qana massacre. The Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) was formed in the same year. The visit of Ariel Sharon, who committed Sabra and Shatela massacre and became PM, on Thursday 28 September 2000, to Haram al-Sharif of AL-Aqsa Mosque caused a lot of anger to the Palestinian worshippers. They threw stones on him and on his secretaries. A great number of the protested Palestinians were injured at that day. Al-Aqsa Intifada has begun and lasted up till now (http://www.palestinehistory.com).

Israeli soldiers show contempt and coldness when they kill the Palestinian civilians mercilessly. A General in the Israeli Army, Eitan Ezra, comments: “We don’t regret anything that we’ve done. We’re ready to do anything for the safety of our soldiers and our people. Our soldiers have been given the order to fire on the Palestinians. We must drive fear into their hearts by firing at their chests and heads”(http://www.palestiniantragedy.com/intifada). Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, one of the right-wing Shas Party members and a partner in Sharon’s national unity coalition, declared another important announcement. He said: “It is forbidden to be merciful to them [Palestinians], you must give them missiles, with relish-annihilate them. Evil ones, damnable ones” (http://www. palestiniantragedy. com /intifada).

Ever since the first day of Al-Aqsa Intifada, Israeli soldiers have answered the rock-throwing Palestinians with helicopter gunship, tanks and advanced weapons. So far, more than 4,000 civilians have lost their lives (among them more than 750 children), and almost 44,500 have been wounded. Many of them have become disables.  Since the intifada is still in full swing, these figures continue to rise (http://www.Phrmg.org/aqsa/fatalities). The Palestinian economy has suffered huge losses (more than us $ 3,000,000,000). The Israeli tanks and dozers plowed up about 7,647 hectares of Palestinian agricultural land. The Occupation also confiscated about 21,412 hectares for building the Separating Racial Wall, and the people have become 60% poorer. Meanwhile, they have been restricted even more by the cement blocks, new settlements and highways built for these settlements (http://www.pnic.gov.ps).
 A total of 4,000 buildings sustained heavy damage, while more than 69,884 homes were destroyed (http://www.Sabiroon.org/index.phtml). The Israeli soldiers have committed the ugliest inhuman crimes in the history of mankind. The Palestinian people resisted. The martyr bombings of the members of the Palestinian organizations have killed more than 900 Jews, and about 1,743 have been injured, according to the Israeli reports (http://www. Palestiniantragedy.com/Intifada). The above statistics is an overview of the Palestinian agonies, as the Israeli propaganda claims that the Palestinians are terrorists and the Israelis, who are occupiers, are victims, and the Western media in general supports this direction since decades. This increases the despair and makes the Palestinians, in special and the Arabs, in general, hopeless of the American and the Western policies.

By their tireless rejection of the Zionist colonialism, and by their endless sacrifices in defense of their homeland over years, Palestinians of all walks of life eloquently testified, by word as well as by deed, in ink as well as in blood, to their devotion to their national rights and their resistance to Israel. Palestinian literature in general, and poetry in particular, has witnessed the development of the Palestinian issue from the very beginning up till now. The most practiced literary form is poetry, because the poem is the quickest way to express the poet’s self and to respond to events. Palestinian people
are always in a hurry because you never know when they [the Israeli soldiers] will impose a curfew, when you will be able to travel, when the shooting will start again; therefore people do not have the time and concentration to read long pieces. ( Abd Al Rahman)
 
The Palestinian poetry has been more expressive and more committed to the people’s struggle than the documents and manifestos of the Palestinian political groupings and parties. In the beginning, the poets have been clear and direct in warning against the coming Zionist dangers through Jewish emigrations. Then, they have played a great role in expressing the Palestinian dilemma and the people’s suffering encouraging them and imparting them zeal and persistence. The Palestinian poetry has been a major factor behind strengthening the national feelings of the Palestinian people. The poet Mohammed Isa’af EL-Nashashibi (1882-1948), for example, foretold, as many poets, the Palestinian disaster early before its happening. He published a poem in 1910 opening with:
Palestine got lost
Nothing remained except blood .
                                                                     (trans.in http://www.en.falastiny)
               
The Palestinian poetry, before and after the “Nakbeh” in 1948, has centered on the need to commit to the homeland, to foil the conspiracies of the Zionist movement and to resist the Occupation. This kind of poetry has been known as resistance poetry. It could be divided into four phases according to the circumstances to which it appeared as a reaction. The first phase was the poetry before 1948. The poets of this period protested against the British mandate, Jewish emigrations and Balfour Declaration. The most famous poets of this period were Ibrahim Tuqan, Abu Salma and Mohammed Ali Saleh. The second phase was after the “Nakbeh” in 1948. The poetry of this period sprang from ‘the diaspora’ when the poets were extracted from their homeland. The most famous poets were Tufiq Zyada, Hana Abu Hana, Essam Abas. The third phase began in the fifties. The poems condemned the Occupation’s massacres and expressed the painful situation of the Palestinians. The poetry of such poets as Mahmoud Shafiq El- Hoot, Salim Gubran, Samih El- Qasim, Haron Hashim Rashid, Fadwa Tuqan and others was a masterpiece. The fourth phase started with the First Intifada in 1987. Many great poets such as Mahmoud Darwish, Zeinab Habash and others represented the Palestinian sacrifices. The Intifada, as “a period of acceleration and condensation has inspired and influenced” the Palestinian poetry (Ashrawi 77). The poets are still in the battlefield of the Palestinian question up till now.

The Palestinian women poets have a prominent role in the Palestinian dilemma. They have fought fiercely in order to achieve fame. They have succeeded to bring to light the Palestinian issue from a feminine perspective. Most Palestinian women poets see that it is their duty to their people to write about the national struggle, to describe, explain and to work towards liberation. Other poets stress more that their role is as spokes persons for the Palestinian people. However, it is crucial for the poet, in fulfilling her role, on any account, that she is actively committed to her homeland’s issue. The famous Palestinian poet, Mahmoud Darwish (13-3-1942) refers to the importance of the Palestinian women poets’ role as that of men poets, saying to Fadwa Tuqan in his poem, “Diary of a Palestinian Wound: Quatrains for Fadwa Tuqan” (1987):
Sister, these twenty years
Our work was not to write poems
But to be fighting
 ( Darwish)

 

However, the status of the women poets is further influenced by the economics and politics of the Palestinian literary scene, which has to survive under very difficult and discouraging circumstances. Their role is in general, hindered by factors outside their control such as: Israeli censorship and Israeli measures that curtail the distribution of books, magazines and newspapers. Publication is restricted. All local magazines and newspapers have to go through the Israeli censorship bureau before distribution. Books are, in general, censored after publication, which means they can be confiscated and/or placed on the banned books list, making possession of these books illegal. These restrictions and others have severely crippled the Palestinian publishing industry. Also, the often poorly equipped libraries are more often closed than open as a result of the curfews, strikes and military closure orders. “All women writers’ productivity has been certainly influenced”. But, they insist on facing “these difficulties” and “struggle fiercely against all these hinders”
(Der Velden 24). Fadwa Tuqan (1917-2003) and Zeinab Habash (b. 1943) are two outstanding modern poets, fighting against all difficulties faced the Palestinian women poets. 

Fadwa Tuqan was born in Nablus, Palestine, On 1 March 1917, to one of the influential families in her city. She knew Palestine under the British rule, the creation of Israel, the Occupation and the uprisings. She was introduced to poetry by her brother, the renowned poet, playwright and Radio Palestine director, Ibrahim Tuqan, who died in 1941 and whose poems became “rallying cries during the anti-British revolt of 1933-39” (http://www.salaam. co.uk/knowledge). Their relationship left a distinctive mark on her life. He was the only one who taught and supported her. His martyrdom, along with the 1948 ‘Nakbah’ led to Fadwa’s involvement in political life in the 1950s. Her father’s imprisonment in Akka prison in the 1936 Uprising, then his exile to Egypt and his death there in 1948, were also among the main reasons of Fadwa’s turning to write about the political issue of her country. Later, with the annexation of the West Bank in 1967, she became one of the mediators in the talks between the then Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Dayan and former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel-Nasser (http://english.aljazeera.net).
Although Fadwa Tuqan grew up in an environment favorable to artistic ferment, she suffered in her ultra-traditional family as an unwanted child, with a despotic father, a submissive mother and not allowed to go to school. The power of her vocation as a poet and the help of her brother enabled her to find personal freedom and ultimately express her solidarity with her torn people (http://www.islam-online.net). She later attended Oxford University (1962-64), where she studied literature (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/fadwa-tuqan). It was however her personal struggle “to give my life a higher meaning and value than seems to have been planned for” that was the main force in her life (Tuqan: 1990, 12). She was able to fulfill this dream “through sheer perseverance, self-confidence and quiet rejection of the efforts of others, mostly men, to diminish my capabilities and curtail my efforts towards self-realization” (204).
The most productive of all Arab women poets, Fadwa Tuqan is called “the poet of love and pain” because her poetry deals with themes of personal and national love and loss. She started her career writing about nature, love, loneliness and sadness before turning to national themes. Her second volume of poetry entitled I Found It (1956) is considered as her actual mature voice where she is more forward, more adventurous and more courageous (http://www.jmcc.org). Tuqan captured her nation’s sense of loss and defiance. Her works tell of the struggle of her people stripped of their land and liberty, describing the cruelty of the Occupation. She has been nicknamed as “Poetess of Palestine” (http://groups.msn.com). Tuqan received many prizes. She won the International Poetry Award in Palermo, Italy. She was awarded the Jerusalem Award for Culture and Arts in 1990 and the United Arab Emirates Award in the same year. She also received the Honorary Palestine prize for poetry in 1996. She has been the subject of a documentary film “Fadwa ... The Story of a Poet from Palestine”, directed by the novelist Liana Bader in 1999. It is a sensitive portrait of her life and accomplishments (http://jerusalemites.org). She served on the board of trustees for An-Najah University in Nablus (http://www.salaam.co.uk).
At the age of 86, Fadwa Tuqan died on 12 December 2003, leaving behind about 14 collections of poems and a number of academic researches focusing on the Palestinian women’s role in resisting the Israeli Occupation. Among her collections are: Alone with the Days (1952), I Found It (1956), Give Us Love (1960), In Front of the Closed Door (1967), The Night and the Horsemen (1969), Alone on the Summit of the World (1973), The Nightmare of Day and Night (1973), The Collected Poems (1978), Political Poems (1980), and The Last Melody (1999). She wrote a two-parts autobiography entitled A Mountainous Journey (1985) and The Most Difficult Journey (1993). Her work has been represented in English translation in several major anthologies including Modern Arabic Poetry, An Anthology (1987). So, she gained an international audience. She deserves greatly to be “the grand dame of Palestinian poetry”. She will be remembered for her undying love for the land and people of Palestine  (http://www.bethlehemmedia.net).
The Palestinian poet Zeinab Habash was born in Beit Dajan-yaffa, Palestine, on 15 April 1943. She was the seventh child in her family. She and her family were violently dispossessed by the Israeli forces from their land and immigrated to the West Bank in 1948. This event has had a great effect on the works of the poet. She studied in the UNRWA School and in EL A’eshiaa School in Nablus. She had a B.A. in English language and literature from Damascus University, Syria in 1965, and M.A. in Education from Birzeit University, Palestine in 1982. She now works a General Secretary of the Educational Committee in the Ministry of Education. She plays a vital role in her society. Her poetry side by side with her social activities plays a great role in healing the people’s pains and catching the attention to the Palestinian problem. She is a member in: The Palestinian Writer’s Union, League of Palestinian Artists in Ramallah, Patients’ Friends’ Society, Palestinian Diaspora and Refugee Center (Shaml), In’ash Al Usra and others. She is the head of a committee for improving general and higher education in Palestine. She has shared in many conferences and workshops inside and outside Palestine such as in Jerusalem, Jericho, Ramallah, USA, Beirut, Paris, Nigeria, Cairo and others (http://hotmail.msn.com/msg). “MS. Habash is a beacon of real hope in the frustratingly glacial progress of the peace process in the Middle East”. She is also “an illustration of something that is often missed in the news” (http://www.saferplanet).
The events of 1967 have had a great effect on the poetic production of Zeinab Habash. She has turned from writing romantic poetry to national poetry in which she has depicted the Palestinian struggle and her refusal to the Zionist Occupation and its massacres. Her family encouraged her to write poetry. In 1968, Habash was imprisoned because of her resistance to the Occupation. She also was deprived from the publication of her poetry till “Oslo Agreement”. The martyrdom of her younger brother (Ahmed) in 1971 and her nephew (Bassam) in 1982 from one hand, and the two Uprisings and the daily inhuman crimes of Israel from another have given Habash the raw material of her resistance poetry (http://www.Zeinab-Habash.ws). In an introduction of an International Conference, the following words were said about her:
[Habash] represents the Palestinian people. She is a life-long educator and author, and has served her country as a teacher, a school principal, and now is an executive of Palestine’s government. From her current position as General Secretary of Education for the Palestinian National Authority, she is responsible for setting the curriculum for more than 600,000 students. Yet, her influence and her desire to help others reach even further than that. She has become renowned in the Middle East as an icon for passion and dedication to building a better future for the youth of her region.
     (http://www.thewaytohappiness.org)
The first poems of Habash, or her juvenilia poems, were broadcasted in 1957, in ‘With Our New Literature’ program. Then, she published some apolitical poems in some magazines such as The New Horizon (Al Ofq El Gadid) (1962) and The Jordan Broadcast Newspaper (Garidat El Ezaa El Ordinia). When she turned completely to political poetry, the Israeli Occupation prevented its publication, till ‘Oslo Agreement’.

Habash has five poetic collections: Tell Sand (1993), Palestinian Wound and Blood Blossoms (1994), Don’t Say He Died, Mom (1996), They Carved My Memories into My Body (1997) and Because It Is My Country (1999). She has four books of verses: Ode to Beloved Country (1995), Love Letters Tattooed on The Moon’s Forehead (1996), What has the Sea Said and Five Tulips and a Rose (2006). She published books in Education, short stories and short plays (http:// hotmail.msn.com/msg).

Beside their social roles and activities, Tuqan and Habash have written resistance poetry. It has been inspired by the Israeli crimes and the Palestinian people’s suffering. Their poetic voices have begun low and shocked because of the surprise of the Israeli Occupation, the declaration of the State of Israel and the atrocity of the Israeli forces. With the escalation of the Israeli violence and massacres, their poetic voices have become louder and louder. 

                        Fadwa Tuqan and Zeinab Habash

                        Inevitable Impulse of Resistance

There are specialty and unlimited peculiarities regarding Palestinian literature, especially poetry. They are the occupied homeland itself. They are the Zionist prison and the cancerous Israeli settlement policy. They are the mixture between reality and memory. They are the Palestinian pain and suffering which the Zionist Occupation continues to root everywhere in Palestine. Despite the brutal exercises pursued by Israel to dismiss the Palestinians from their own lands, the national feelings, strengthened by the Palestinian poetry, have helped the Palestinians to adhere to their homeland, to deepen their roots and to resist the Occupation.
The Palestinian resistance has been characterized by the participation of women in general and women poets in particular in demonstrations and in direct confrontations with the Israeli army. The role of the Palestinian women poets in resistance has developed into a more dynamic one. They have become active in areas previously closed to them, such as participating in the political activities. They have “transformed their family tasks to a responsibility for all of the community, restructuring these as a crucial element of resistance” (Abdel Jawwad 61).
Generally, woman resistance poetry in Palestine has developed according to the political changes and events. It has sprung apparently with the declaration of Israel and the Israeli massacres in 1948. But, the women poets’ voices began low and shocked. They were low because of the gender segregation and the social constraints imposed on women at that time, and because of lack of the means of publication. They were shocked because of the Israeli Occupation and crimes. Consequently, the woman poetry was characterized by using figures of speech and imagery. It appealed to the reader’s imagination, re-creating and communicating the deep feelings of sadness, which the poet experienced. The imaginative and figurative language was the only refuge for the woman poets from the painful reality. They took care of technical devices mainly. Yet, they had an inevitable impulse of resistance.

Fadwa Tuqan as an outstanding Palestinian woman poet presented in her poetry the above imaginative and figurative characteristics of the first phase of the Palestinian woman resistance poetry in the period of the “Catastrophe” and after (till the late of the 1960s). Tuqan’s voice “was not a fighting one” but “bereaved, deprived, gentle and insistent, and visceral at times” (Beydoun 7). It was a voice “searching for love” only to find “fate”, searching for “a song and a flower to find instead a grave and the tank”. She found around her “only mourning and violence”. So, she was shocked. Her poetry is “ a small song of loss, a small elegy for a dead family and a small love for a fallen city” (Beydoun 7). Her poem “My City Is Sad” sums up symbolically the devastating effects of the Israeli Occupation to Palestine as follows:
The day in which we knew death and treason,
the tide was made back,
the windows of the sky were closed,
and the city contained its breaths.
The day of the crease of the waves; the day
in which the abominable passion opened the face,
the hope was reduced to ashes,
and my sad city was asphyxiated
while swallowing the pain.
If echoes and without signs,
the children, the songs, loose themselves.
while they undress, covered with blood feet,
the sadness crawls in my city,
a planted silence as it mounts,
dark like night
a terrible silence that transports
the weight of the death and the defeat.
Ay, my sad silent city!
The fruits and the grain can thus be burned,
in time of harvest?
Painful end of the route!
                      (Tuqan: 1993, 370-371 trans. In http://groups.msn.com)

As early as the 1948 war, Ben-Gurion’s advisors counseled him, at a meeting on January 1, 1948 to “wage a total war”, and “to strike the whole of the Palestinian transport and commerce, to strike ruthlessly and over a vast territory, without any other considerations”. In those days, Ben-Gurion wrote in his diary: “During the assault we must be ready to strike a decisive blow; that is, either to destroy the town or expel its inhabitants so our people can replace them” (Kapeliouk 17). However, most of the files relating to the Israeli atrocities, from that time till now, have remained “under lock and key, on the pretext that their opening could harm the national interests” (Kapeliouk 17).
Fadwa Tuqan’s spontaneity and faithfulness in the depiction of the Israeli crimes at that period are remarkable. Her vocation as a poet and her responsibility as a Palestinian citizen make her:
Shouldering the pain of the family, which we can easily call Palestine. Poetry came to her in the image of the Palestinian fate, ultimately her choice to write poetry was not as important as her real mission, which fell somewhere between that of Joan of Arc and Al-Khansa’.
             (Beydoun 7)

Tuqan’s volumes of poetry are considered as a witness of her double role as a poet and a Palestinian citizen and her real feelings towards her country’s dilemma, so that her poetry has achieved its real authenticity. The pioneering quality of her work appears in her poem “My City Is Sad”. Its theme has an individuality of treatment and a delicate lyricism overlained by elaborate description.
The title of Tuqan’s poem “My City Is Sad” is a humanizing metaphor by which the poet describes the condition of her city after the Israeli Occupation. Here, her city symbolizes the whole of the country, Palestine. The poet attributes one of the human characteristics “sadness” to an inhuman. Other humanizing metaphors are used and extended throughout the poem such as: “knew the death and treason”, “tide was made”, “the city contained its breaths”, “the abominable passion opened the face”, “my sad city was asphyxiated”, “swallowing the pain”, “the songs loose”, “they undress” and “ the sadness crawls”. There are also some concretive and animistic metaphors such as: “the windows of the sky” (concretive), “the hope was reduced to ashes” (concretive), “a planted silence” (animistic), “mounts dark” (animistic), “silence that transports” (animistic), “the weight of the death and the defeat” (concretive) and “painful end of the route” (concretive). All these metaphors cluster together in order to draw the picture of the Palestinian people’s condition after the Occupation.
In her poem, “My City Is Sad”, Tuqan presents the tortured Palestinian people with words such as: my, we, my city, children, fruits and grain, while she presents the torturing Israeli Occupation through its crimes. The indirect appearance of the oppressor and the opposition between its crimes and the oppressed people deepen the impact of the poem on the reader showing the shocked voice of the poet. The poem is written in blank verse. It has two stanzas; the first  consists of nine lines and the second twelve lines. There is no rhyme scheme. There is a variation in line-length. All these things match with the poet’s sense of loss and sadness and the Occupation’s irresponsible crimes that make disorder everywhere.
Throughout the poem, “My City Is Sad”, Tuqan depicts how the Palestinians suffer so much because of the Israeli Occupation. Death becomes everywhere. Pain “suffocates” the people. The adjective “sad” is used many times in order to emphasize the feelings of the poet and her people from the beginning of the Occupation. The second stanza completes the picture of the first. It shows how the city becomes empty and silent. Both the children and the songs (the two motives of happiness) disappear. Nothing remains in Palestine except sadness, defeat, silence, blood and the Occupation. Run-on-line technique hastens the tempo of the poem and helps the poet to tell quickly her narrative-descriptive recitation.

The use of the pronouns “My” and “we” in Fadwa Tuqan’s poem “My City Is Sad” refers to the unification of the poet with her people and her country’s catastrophe. The simile in the sixth line of the second stanza “dark like night” images explicitly fear, horror and ambiguity around the poet and her people because of the Occupation. Darkness envelops the whole country and makes the Palestinian people live an eternal night. There is no way out. Some environmental elements appear in the poem such as: “the tide”, “the waves”, “the fruits and the grain” and “the time of harvest”. The poet is affected greatly with her country. The vocabularies throughout the poem are employed in an impressive spontaneity and cleverness in order to express the idea of the condition of the occupied people.
The poem “My City Is Sad” ends with a phrase of lamentation because of the loss of Palestine transferring the feelings of pain, suffering and bitterness to the reader. The poet’s bitter tone leaves the reader with two colors in his mind: black (the color of darkness, mourning and death) and red (the color of blood). Nothing remains in Palestine except these two colors. Tuqan takes refuge in using imagery throughout the poem in showing the devastating effects of the Occupation on her country. Her low shocked voice turns magically her last phrase of lamentation “painful end of the route!” to a hidden call for the reader to resist the criminal.
After the Arabic defeat in the 1967 war, about which the European and the foreign media spoke rejoicingly as if it were the end of the Arabic nation, Fadwa Tuqan used symbols and imagery in her poem, “The Deluge and the Tree”, in order to express the events. Tuqan writes:
When the hurricane swirled and spread its deluge
of dark evil
onto the good green land
 “they” gloated. The western skies
reverberated with joyous accounts:
“The Tree has fallen!
The great trunk is smashed! The hurricane leaves no life in the Tree!”
Had the Tree really fallen?
Never! Not with our red streams flowing forever,
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ما كتب عن الشاعرة

 

 

 

 

 

 

عنوان الرسالة:   "شعر المقاومة النسائي: دراسة عبر ثقافية

مقارنة لأربع شاعرات فلسطينيات وايرلنديات" 


إعداد :    ريهام محمد عبد الرحمن أبو زيد

إيميل : rehamabuzaid@hotmail.com 

إشراف:    أ.د. جمال عبد الناصر.

 

الدرجة:   الدكتوراة

التخصص:   اللغة الإنجليزية وآدابها (شعر)


  ملخص الرسالة:

       فى زمن يتشدق فيه النظام العالمي الجديد بالحرية وحقوق الإنسان وحق الشعوب فى تقرير مصائرها، لم تزل بعض الدول تعاني من ظلم وعدوان الاحتلال، ولعل أبرز مثالين على ذلك فلسطين وأيرلندا الشمالية، اللتين يرزحان تحت نير الاحتلالين  الإسرائيلي والإنجليزي حتى الآن. ولقد كانت كل من هاتين الدولتين فريسة للأطماع الاستعمارية منذ أقدم العصور، مما شحذ قرائح شعرائهما للتحدث بلسان حال شعبيهما وإلهاب حماستهما لمقاومة المحتل الغاشم ورفض كافة صنوف الاحتلال. ولم تكن الشاعرات أقل وطنية من الشعراء فالجميع فى خندق واحد يكتوي بنيران الظلم ويقبض على جمر المعاناة. ولقد راحت كل واحدة تلعب دورها على الساحتين السياسية والاجتماعية إلى جانب دورهن الثقافي فى مجتمعاتهن معبرين بذلك عن آمال وطموحات جماهير    شعبيهما.

       وتتناول الدراسة الحالية شعر المقاومة النسائي الذي بدأ يحظى باهتمام عالمي جديد وذلك عبر نماذج مختارة من إبداع شاعرتين فلسطينيتين، وهما فدوى طوقان (1917 ـ 2003) وزينب حبش (1943)، مع مقارنتها بنماذج مشابهة لشاعرتين أيرلنديتين وهما إيفان بولند (1944) وبولا ميهان (1955)، فى محاولة لإبراز وتقييم دور شعر المقاومة النسائي وكيفية تجسيده لمعاناة وآلام الشعوب، ومن ثم قدرته على التعبير الصادق النابع من الحس الأنثوي المرهف. وبذلك تخرج الدراسة كما هو مأمول  من نطاق المحلية إلى العالمية، حيث أن الإنسان هو الإنسان، بغض النظر عن معطيات الزمن أو المكان، كما تسعى الدراسة إلى إدانة أشكال الظلم والاحتلال كافة واعتداء الإنسان على أخيه الإنسان، وتدعو للسلام والإخاء والمساواة.

وتقع الدراسة فى خمسة فصول ومقدمة وخاتمة علاوة على قائمة بثبت أهم المصادر والمراجع المستخدمة. تمهد المقدمة لموضوع الرسالة بشكل عام وذلك باستعراض أهميته وأبرز ما تم تناوله كما توجز المنهج المتبع. ويأتي الفصل الأول حاملاً عنوان: المعضلة الفلسطينية: خلفية تاريخية ـ أدبية، ليلقي الضوء على الخلفية التاريخية للمعضلة الفلسطينية، كما يقدم للشاعرتين الفلسطينيتين، أما الفصل الثاني فيعالج القضية برمتها كما يوحي عنوانه:

فدوى طوقان وزينب حبش: باعثٌ حتمي للمقاومة، من خلال قصائد الشاعرتين الفلسطينيتين التي تعكس الآثار المدمرة للاحتلال الإسرائيلي على الشعب الفلسطيني بعامة وعلى المرأة الفلسطينية بشكل خاص من خلال عدة محاور جدلية شائكة. أما الفصل الثالث وعنوانه: المشكلة الأيرلندية: نظرة سياسية أدبية عامة، فيتناول جذور المشكلة الأيرلندية كما يقدم الشاعرتين الأيرلنديتين، أما الفصل الرابع المعنون: إيفان بولند وبولا ميهان: مشاعر مؤلمة للرفض، فيناقش تلك المشكلة كما تعكسها قصائد الشاعرتين والآثار المدمرة للاحتلال البريطاني على كل من الشعب الأيرلندي والمرأة الأيرلندية. بينما يقوم الفصل الخامس والأخير المعنون: شاعرات المقاومة في فلسطين وأيرلندا: تقييم مقارن، بعقد مقارنة بين النموذجين الفلسطيني والأيرلندي لتبيان الملامح المشتركة بين التجربتين وكذا أوجه الاختلاف بينهما، وهكذا يفجر الوضع المأسوي الحاضر لكلا الشعبين مجرداً بعد أن حاولت تناسيه أو إهماله الذاكرة البشرية. ثم تأتي الخاتمة لتوجز أهم الأطروحات التي تناولتها الرسالة، كما تكشف عن أهم النتائج التي توصلت إليها، وتفتح نوافذ جديدة للمهتمين بالبحث فى ذات الموضوع.

وهكذا فقد حاولت هذه الدراسة أن تحقق غرضين أساسيين أولاهما الأصالة والإضافة العلمية وذلك بتحري الدقة في التأصيل للمرجعيات العلمية والنفاذ إلى مناطق متفرقة من البحث في ساحة التاريخ الإنساني المعاصر وذلك لمصلحة القارئ المتخصص وغير المتخصص.

 


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

First and foremost, I thank God Almighty for the great help He generously bestows upon me when I badly need it.

A deep gratitude is owed to Prof. Gamal Abdel Nasser, who has been a kind mentor all the way. His directions and pieces of advice have taught me so much, and have - indeed - encouraged me to finish this challenging project.

 

I’m thankful to the Palestinian poet, Zeinab Habash, who supplied me with her poems and some of her books.

 

I am equally thankful to my family: my parents, my husband and my daughters, who have given me moral support, enabling me to bear the having burden of this task.


Title:     Woman Resistance Poetry: A Comparative Trans-Cultural Study in Four Palestinian and Irish Poets


By :    Reham Mohammed Abdel Rhman Abu Zaid

 

Supervisor:    Prof. Gamal Abdel Nasser

 

Degree:   PhD.

Specialization:   English Language and Literature (Poetry)


 

Women poets are no longer marginalized in the modern age. Their writings have transcended an impressive array of socio-political, psychological and cultural obstacles to attain a positive and influential position in the world of literature. But, the struggle of their recent rise has been difficult, especially those who have lived under Occupation or Colonization. Their works have expressed definitely and sensitively the psycho-political traumas of their occupied and colonized countries and the traumatic psycho-cultural imprisonment of the women in their countries. Their works should, therefore, be reexamined and reappraised.
The present Dissertation focuses on some selected poems of four famous Palestinian and Irish women poets, Fadwa Tuqan (1917-2003) and Zeinab Habash (b. 1943). Then, it considers some poems of the Irish women poets, Eavan Boland (b.1944) and Paula Meehan (b.1955). The selected poems of each side are categorized into three phases according to the development of the poets’ poetic voices. In the first phase, their voices began low and shocked. But this phase was the starting point of the poets’ creative journey defying many hardships. Then, their voices became loud and conscious in the second phase. The third or the contemporary phase shows the loudest voices of the poets. Some, technical and thematic changes have accompanied every phase. There are many reasons that have caused this development such as: the escalation of the Occupation’s or Colonization’s violence, the availability of the means of publication more than before and the insistence of the poets to defy gender segregation and marginalization. The selected poems of each country are, then compared to each other.
The trans-cultural comparison has many values in this Dissertation. It enlarges the scope of this study. It proves the similarity of the human feelings towards wrongness regardless place and time limits. It also internationalizes the studied experiences. It clarifies more and more the importance of the women poets’ roles in their societies. It moves from regionality to universality. Hence, it supports the objectives of the Dissertation considerably.
This Dissertation has many objectives. It aims to show the disastrous effects of the Occupation or Colonization on the whole people generally and on women particularly. It also tends to prove the importance of the roles of women poets. It sheds light on the value and the quality of woman resistance poetry and the societies’ urgent need to it. It illuminates the devastating psychological effects of oppression and wrongness. It also clarifies the similarity of the horrible aspects of the Occupation or Colonization in every place and in every time. It points to the deprivation of the occupied or colonized people of their own human rights. It also shows that resistance is a legally protected right to the occupied or colonized people.

In addition to the above objectives, the Dissertation also aims to prove that the poet may be like the political ambassador and the pen, on the other hand, may become like a weapon. Its purpose also is to challenge the assumptions and the stereotypes about women in both literature and society. The Dissertation brings out the close relationship between poetry, politics and history showing how they are interwoven together. It aims to condemn all kinds of Occupation, Colonization and Imperialism. It calls for peace, equality and brotherhood. It invites the readers to help all the needy and the tortured everywhere.
The Dissertation aims to differentiate between resistance and terrorism. Resistance, as already observed, is a legally protected right of the occupied or colonized people. Violent and/or non –violent resistance is a reaction to the Occupier’s/Colonizer’s terrorism. The latter is the illegal creation of Occupation/Colonization and hence its condemnation.
The Dissertation is, also, concerned with sending a message to the Human Rights Organizations and the human conscience everywhere that: "there are racism, torture, wrongness, oppression, suppression, suffering, violence and Occupation in many parts of the world" in spite of their presence.
To achieve the above objectives, the main body of the Dissertation is divided into five chapters, an Introduction and a Conclusion. The ‘Introduction’ paves the way for the study as a whole, showing the importance of its topic, justifying its choice and introducing its methodology.
Chapter One: "The Palestinian Dilemma: A Historical Literary Background", furnishes briefly the necessary historical and political background of the Palestinian issue. It also introduces the two Palestinian poets giving some biographical notes about them.
Chapter Two: "Fadwa Tuqan and Zeinab Habash: Inevitable Impulse of Resistance", examines the poems of Tuqan and Habash as mirrors to the around painful circumstances revealing the Israeli hypocrisy. Israel commits the most hideous crimes then calls for peace, appears as innocent defender for itself and weeps beside the Wailing Wall.
Chapter Three: "The Irish Problem: A Politico Literary Overview", provides a survey of the historical and political reasons of the Irish problem It also presents the two chosen Irish poets.
Chapter Four: "Eavan Boland and Paula Meehan: Painful Feelings of Rejection", tackles the selected poems as reflecting their country’s problem. The chapter, further, shows how the English Colonizer has made the island of Ireland appear on the map as a beheaded bird without its North.
Chapter Five: "The Palestinian and Irish Women Resistant Poets: A Comparative Assessment", weaves the previous four chapters together into a trans-cultural comparison showing the similarities and the dissimilarities between them.
The "Conclusion", then, recapitulates the main arguments and findings. It, also, summarizes the answers suggested to the inquiries raised in the previous chapters.
Woman resistance poetry is the natural consequence of the poets’ life-experiences, both as women and as occupied persons, though it may be thought to glow with suffering and pain.

It is hoped that such a study has added something fresh to the already received opinion about women writing, in general, and resistance poetry in particular. This may contribute considerably to an interesting area of human knowledge. Genuineness and originality, thus, have hopefully been realized in such a modest research, regardless of the great pains taken in its accomplishment.

 

                                   INTRODUCTION

Poetry was heard for thousands of years before anyone thought of writing it down. It has been known as a source of delight, nurture and illumination. William Wordsworth defines it as “the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge”, and “the impassioned expression, which is in the countenance of all science” (Myszor 170). Poetry had acquired a political and a social value long time ago. Plato, in his book, The Republic, had stated: “if poetry is to earn respect, it must demonstrate that it is not only ‘pleasant’ but also ‘useful’ to states and to human life” (40).
Many of the poems surviving from the ancient world are “a form of recorded cultural information” about the people of the past. Such poems are “prayers or stories about religious subject matter, histories about their politics and wars and the important organizing myths of their societies” (http://en.wikipedia,org). Poetry has, thus, interacted with politics by affecting people, influencing the way they see the world, the way they live and the way they tolerate the different types of lifestyles in the world. Here comes the social and political function of poetry.

The relationship between (literature in general and poetry in particular) and politics has grown steadily all over the world with the spread of Colonialism. With Colonialism many political problems have appeared, leaving their impact on poetry. Colonial writing comes in many shapes and forms; it covers a large time frame, from about the 16th century to the 21st century. Colonial literature, including poetry, should be clearly distinguished from post-colonial literature. The latter kind is “the writing which reflects in a great variety of ways, the effects of Colonialism”. But colonial literature is “the writing produced by authors who belong to the colonizing power… and written before independence in the relevant region” (O’Reilly 7). Colonial writing can act as a backdrop, highlighting the particular concerns of post-colonial authors who have, in various ways, responded to it. The term ‘post-colonial’ is resonant with all the ambiguity and complexity of the many different cultural experiences it implicates.
In a literal sense, the term ‘post-colonial’ is defined, in the second College Edition of The American Heritage Dictionary, as something “of, relating to, or being the time following the establishment of independence in a colony” (811). In practice, however, the term is used much more loosely. While the denotative definition suggests otherwise, it is “not only the period after the departure of the imperial powers that concerns those in the field, but that before independence as well”. Even more generally, it is “used to signify a position against Imperialism and Eurocentrism” (http://www.english.emory.edu. Further more, post-colonial theory, generally as the essence of post-colonial writings, involves
Discussion about experience of various kinds: migration, slavery, suppression, resistance, representation, difference, race, gender, place and responses to the influential master discourses of Imperial Europe such as history, philosophy and linguistics, and the fundamental experiences of speaking and writing by which all these come into being.
(Ashcroft 3)
The word ‘resistance’, which is included in colonial and post-colonial studies, can be defined simply as “an underground organization engaged in a struggle for national liberation in a country under military or totalitarian Occupation” or “a political unit organized to promote revolution” (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/resistance). Consequently, resistance poetry is an anti-occupational or anti-colonial poetry. It is written to oppose any foreign conquest or hegemony.
A difference should be made in this context between such terms as “Colonialism, Imperialism and Occupation” that are used frequently in the Dissertation. Colonialism means “an alleged policy of exploitation of backward or weak peoples by a large power” or “to make or establish a colony” (http://www.postcolonialweb.org). Colonialism, also, is “the extension of a nation’s sovereignty over territory beyond its borders by the establishment of either settler colonies or administrative dependencies in which indigenous populations are directly ruled or displaced”. Colonizers dominate “the resources, labor and markets of the colonial territory and may also impose socio-cultural, religious and linguistic structures on the conquered population” (http://encyclopedia. thefreedictionary.com/colonialism ).
But, the contemporary use of the term ‘Colonialism’ and the related ones, such as ‘colonize and colonialist’ has far different basic meanings, political implications and emotional resonances: ‘Colonialism’ and ‘colonize’ have become “codewords for any relation involving exploitation” (Landow 1). Hence, the relationship between Britain and Ireland is a colonial one. So, Northern Ireland is considered one of the British colonies according to all the above definitions.
Imperialism, on the other hand, is “a policy of extending control or authority over foreign entities as a means of acquisition and/or maintenance of empires”. This is through direct territorial, conquest or settlement, or through indirect methods of exerting control on the politics and/or economy”. The term ‘Imperialism’ is used to describe “the policy of a nation’s dominance over distant lands, regardless of whether the nation considers itself part of the empire”. The ‘Age of Imperialism’ usually refers to “the old Imperialism period starting from 1860, when major European states such as Britain and France started colonizing the other continents such as Africa” (http://encyclopedia. Thefreedictionary.com/imperialism).
The term ‘Imperialism’ is used in a more broad way than the term ‘Colonialism ’. But Colonialism is older than Imperialism, because it began nearly in the 15th century, although Britain colonized Ireland before that time. Colonialism, thus, began with the “Age of Discovery’, led by the Portuguese and Spanish exploration of the Americas, the coasts of Africa, the Middle East, India and East Asia. Therefore, Imperialism, as broader than Colonialism, refers to formal and informal control. Imperialism has been frequently employed for economic exploitation in which the Imperialist power makes use of other countries as sources of raw materials and cheap labor, shaping their economies to suit its own interests and keeping their people in poverty. In recent years, there has also been a trend to view Imperialism not at an economic or political level only, but at a cultural level also, particularly in regard to “the widespread global influence of American culture ‘cultural Imperialism’” (http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com /imperialism).
Occupation can be defined as “the holding and control of an area by a foreign military force” (Webster 804). It is “an invasion, conquest and control of a nation or territory by foreign armed forces” (http://www.thefreedictionary). Occupation differs from Colonialism and Imperialism in that both Imperialism and Colonialism are set by powerful countries upon weak ones extending their hegemony and control. But Occupation may set by armed forces of any country, which may have relations with a powerful country to support it. Some armed forces may have no country at all, as they occupy a land in order to make it their country like Israel. The members of Israel came from all over the world as waves of Zionist emigrants in order to occupy Palestine and to make their Jewish state.
There is, still, a difference between Zionism and Judaism. Zionism is “a national feeling”. It “did not permit a compromise with the Arabs” (Thompson 61). The first Zionist organization was founded in 1897 by Theoder Hertzl as a result of obvious general feelings of anti-Semitism. Naturally, all Zionists are Jews, but not all the Jews, in Palestine or outside it, are Zionists. Zionism is a “nationalist creed, and like all violent nationalist, must employ violence to gain its ends” (Thompson 96). Zionism has been “an ugly creed, one cannot write about Palestine without referring to this ugliness”. It has “revealed itself as possessing evil characteristics (Thompson 96).
The word ‘Zionism’ was probably first used by Nathan Birnbaum in an article published in 1886, as Ritchie Ovendale argues in his book The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Wars. Zionism has come to be understood as meaning “a movement for the re-establishment of a Jewish nation in Palestine, or as one writer insists ‘Erez-Israel’” (Ovendale 3). Hertzl is commonly regarded as the father of political Zionism. But several writers before him had argued in terms of a separate Jewish state. When he wrote Der Judenstaat, translated as The State of the Jews, Hertzl’s diaries show that in formulating his ideas he was influenced by “the activities of Cecil Jhon Rhodes, the great Imperialist who bestowed his name on a country ‘Rhodesia’ in May 1890” (Ovendale 4). Out of the first Zionist meeting in Basel in August 1897, emerged “the world Zionist organization, a national flag and a national anthem” (Ovendale 5). But, Ovendale sees that “the Jews were not a nation, and a national home would make them aliens in the countries in which they lived” (31).
Zionism produced the State of Israel, occupying the land of Palestine. Violent and non-violent resistance to the Israeli Occupation is a legally right to the Palestinian people. The Palestinian people have used non-violent resistance methods side by side with the armed struggle in their attempts to achieve their goals against Zionism. In the occupied territories, school and commercial strikes, petitions, protest telegrams, advertisements and condemnations in the daily papers and the attempts to boycott the Israeli goods are manifestations of non-violent struggle. This struggle utilizes the largest possible amount of the potential and resources of the Palestinians presently on the inside. It offers all sectors of the Palestinian society an opportunity to engage actively in the struggle. It can also neutralize an important sector of the Israeli society. Such a strategy can focus the public international attention to the Palestinian cause by revealing the racist and expansionist features of Israel. It can also remove the Israeli myth of “the Arab violence’ or ‘the Palestinian terrorism’.
The Palestinian and the Irish resistance are always defined by Israel and Britain as ‘terrorism’. Terrorism can be defined as “the systematic use of murder and destruction and the threat of murder and destruction in order to terrorize individuals, groups, communities or governments into conceding to the terrorist political demands”. Terrorism, the taking of innocent lives by terrorist guns and bombs, is “a crime against humanity” (Gilmour 131). But, the armed struggle or resistance against the Occupation or colonization is “perfectly legitimate because the rule of the invader has no legitimacy” (Gilmour 132).
Israel’s aim, like that of Britain, is to reinforce the notion that it is “The Palestinian people who are the terrorists”, while Israel is “the patient victim-acting in self-defense under only the most extreme cases” (Kanazi 2 in http://www.politicalaffairs.net). Israel “murders many innocent civilians”, the international community “hears nothing, sees nothing and does nothing… in anger and desperation, a Palestinian blows himself up in an Israeli crowed… the Western world is utterly overcome with a wave of condemnations of Palestinian terrorism” (Kanazi 2 in http://www.politicalaffairs.net). When
A policy of starvation, assassination and systematic killing is imposed, when people are brutalized in the streets, when schools are raided by Apache helicopters, when a whole nation is collectively abused and violated with almost no protection…. for those victims blowing oneself up might actually seen like a rational way out of a despairing situation.
                   (Kanazi 2 in http://www.politicalaffairs.net)
An example of the Israeli false pretensions of the ‘Palestinian terrorism is the book of Benjamin Netanyahu, Terrorism: How the West can Win. He assures that “terrorism is an anti-Western phenomenon”. The battle against it is “a part of the struggle between the forces of civilization and the forces of barbarism”. The two main antagonists of democracy in post-war world, as Netanyahu sees, are “communist totalitarianism and Islamic radicalism … and between them they have inspired virtually all of contemporary terrorism”. He continues; “The West must line up behind Israel and against the Palestinians” (133). He believes that the Palestinian resistance to the Israeli Occupation and its violence is terrorism. Here, there can be a question whose answer refutes Netanyahu’s pretensions that is: Is the IRA in Northern Ireland totalitarian communist or radical Muslim?
 Britain, too, has a “counter-insurgency” policy in Ireland. The British constitution “does not recognize insurgency”. Britain has had “no legal third way between peace and war”. Hence, the British tendency has treated “insurgency as a temporary aberration and not as the result of a breakdown in normality demanding special legal measures”. This has led to “repression” (Gilmour 130). The British policy in Ireland has been “terrorism” not the Irish resistance to it. An accident can be taken as an example. In nineteenth-century Ireland, the sense of general resistance to British law often coalesced into a sort of rival government, which defended security of tenure by violence and intimidation. A tenant who took over a farm from which the previous tenant had been evicted was violently punished. The groups who carried out the violence would now be called ‘terrorists’, but these enforcers of the unwritten law were representatives of the community. So, it was the imposition of the British law in Ireland, which actually provoked disorder. The colonizer is who creates violence and terrorism not the resistant. Sorrowfully, a report entitled, The Sociology And Psychology of Terrorism, written by Rex A. Hudson and published, by the library of Congress in September 1999, categorizes the Palestinian, the Irish and the other resistance organizations in all over the world as “terrorist” groups.
Like resistance, ‘gender’ is an important branch in colonial and post-colonial studies. Women have had experiences very different from those of men under Occupation or colonization. The growing awareness of women’s writings and of their importance has been an integral part of the development of post-colonial literature. The women writers in general, and women poets in particular, have challenged stereotypes and marginalization in their societies. In Palestine and Ireland, as two occupied and colonized countries, women poetry has mirrored not only the women experiences but also the whole people’s experiences. The women poets have supported the people, giving them enthusiasm. They have faced the occupier / colonizer revealing his crimes. Woman resistance poetry has sprung. The contemporary woman resistance poetry, in both Palestine and Ireland, like their politics, contains strong voices that may seem irreconcilable. The growing number of women poets, in both countries, reflect “an increasingly confident generation of women writers, several of whom… incorporate into their work a strategic and imaginative awareness” of their surroundings (Armitage xxviii).
In terms of the cultural and political impediments to their creativity, the struggle of the Palestinian and Irish women poets has been a particularity difficult one. This struggle makes their recent rise in popularity and influence is more remarkable. They become enjoying an unprecedented public prominence and good levels of publicity. The increase of publishing and reading opportunities has helped them so much. Some of these women poets are now mobilizing institutions to their own ends and enjoy public endorsement and popularity. The great increase in the published writings of Palestinian and Irish women poets in the last decades redefines their position in relation to their literary tradition and encodes their own lived experiences in new and varied forms. Their works have expressed definitely and sensitively the psycho-political traumas of their occupied / colonized countries and the traumatic psycho-cultural imprisonment of the women in their countries, which are equal. Therefore, their works should be examined and reappraised.
This Dissertation examines and reappraises some selected poems of four famous Palestinian and Irish women poets. It tackles seven poems of the Palestinian women poets, Fadwa Tuqan (1917-2003) and Zeinab Habash (b. 1943). Then, it studies seven poems of the Irish women poets, Eavan Boland (b. 1944) and Paula Meehan (b. 1955). The seven chosen poems of each side are categorized into three phases according to the development of the poetic voices of the women poets. In the first phase, their voices began low and shocked. Then, their voices became loud and conscious in the second phase. The third or the contemporary phase shows the loudest voices of these poets. This development has many causes such as the escalation of the occupation’s or colonization’s violence, the availability of the means of publication more than before and the insistence of the poets to defy gender segregation and marginalization. The selected poems of each country are, then, compared to each other in a trans-cultural comparison.
The trans-cultural comparison has many values in this Dissertation. It enlarges the scope of this study. It proves the similarity of the human feelings towards wrongness regardless place and time limits. It also internationalizes the studied experiences. It clarifies more and more the importance of the women poets’ roles in their societies. It moves from regionality to universality. Hence, it supports the objectives of the Dissertation powerfully.
This Dissertation has many objectives. It aims to show the disastrous effects of the Occupation or colonization on the whole people generally and women particularly. It also tends to prove the importance of the roles of women poets. It sheds light on the value and the quality of woman resistance poetry and the societies’ urgent need to it. It illuminates the devastating psychological effects of oppression and wrongness. It also clarifys the similarity of the horrible characteristics of the Occupation or colonization in every place and in every time. It points to the deprivation of the occupied or colonized people from their own human rights. It also shows that resistance is a legally protected right to the occupied or colonized people.

In addition to the above objectives, the Dissertation also aims to prove that the poet may be like the political ambassador and the pen, on the other hand, may become like the weapon. Its purpose also is to challenge the assumptions and the stereotypes about women in both literature and society. The Dissertation brings out the close relationship between poetry, politics and history showing how they are interwoven gether. It aims to condemn all kinds of Occupation, Colonization and Imperialism. It calls for peace, equality and brotherhood. It invites the readers to help all the needy and the tortured everywhere.
In serving the above objectives, the main body of the Dissertation is divided into five chapters. Then it is concluded by an essay in which the main arguments and findings are recapitulated. It also sums up the resolutions of the inquiries raised in the chapters and raises new aspects of investigation attributed to the main issues of the study. The Dissertation has also a Bibliography that contains the primary and the secondary sources.
Chapter One is entitled The Palestinian Dilemma: A Historical Literary Background. Therefore, it furnishes briefly the necessary historical and political background of the Palestinian issue discussing the roots of its current problem. It also introduces the two chosen Palestinian poets, Tuqan and Habash, in addition to some biographical notes about them.
Chapter Two is entitled, Fadwa Tuqan and Zeinab Habash: Inevitable Impulse of Resistance. It studies how the poetry of Tuqan and Habash mirrors the around circumstances. Hence, it makes an analysis of three resistance poems for Tuqan and four for Habash. The number of Habash’s poems is more than that of Tuqan’s, in spite of the latter’s great position in the literary world. The cause of this is that the contemporary poet, Habash, presents in her poems personal experiences like dispossion, imprisonment and others that Tuqan hasn’t. She also presents current events that happen nowadays. The third reason is that her poems express clearly the development of the women’s poetic voice. The seven chosen poems are studied through three phases according to the development of the poets’ poetic voices. The first phase presents the low shocked voices of the Palestinian women poets. These voices became louder than before and more conscious in the second phase. Then, the third phase presents their current loudest voices. The reasons of this development are mentioned in the chapter.
A standard version of translated poems is used in Chapter Two. The translated poems of Tuqan are drawn from some authentic: web sites. But the chosen poems of Habash are translated by the poet herself in her book Palestinian Dreams (that was sent as a gift).

Translation has a vital role in trans-cultural comparative studies. It has a pivotal importance to the political poetry, because it may attract a large foreign audience to the problem. But there are many factors to consider when the impact of translation is discussed. Does translating a poem change the meaning of its original work? How can the translator know exactly what the poet meant or how he felt? Does the translator at some point, become the actual poet? Generally, translation has been thought “to have an impact on interpretation and meaning in a variety of ways, as well as brings two cultures together” (Welch 7). Some of the original meanings may be lost because of the difference in the English language. Not every word has an exact translation; therefore translator must approximate words or ideas.
The translator may also have an impact on the poem. Some of the significant points and feelings are lost. Lastly, the structure of the poem may be different. Some poems may be broken down into stanzas, while others are not. Spacing and punctuation may also vary therefore impacting the way the poem is read and interpreted. So, the translated version of the poem may have a different flavor or message than the original. Translating a poem
Into English does not turn it into an English poem; the more faithful the translation is … the closer will it be to the parent culture. It will still be, for all intents and purposes, an Arabic poem comparatively related to the tradition of English verse as assimilated by the translator.
(Enani 11)
 Chapter Three, The Irish Problem: A Politico-Literary Overview, supplies the main historical and political background for the Irish problem. It also presents the two chosen Irish women poets, Boland and Meehan, providing some biographical information about them.
Chapter Four, Eavan Boland and Paula Meehan: Painful Feelings of Rejection, discusses this problem as reflected in seven selected resistance poems of Boland and Meehan. It traces the development of the poetic voices of the Irish women poets through three phases. The first phase studies their poetic voices as low and shocked. In the second phase, these voices became louder than before and more conscious. The third phase presents these voices in their current loudest position. The causes of this development are discussed in this chapter.
Chapter Five, The Palestinian and Irish Women Resistant Poets: A Comparative Assessment, weaves the previous four chapters together. Therefore, it compares between the two intricate problems of Palestine and Northern Ireland. It also compares between the chosen samples of the women resistance poems of both countries showing the similarities and the differences between them.
Comparative literature involves “the study of texts across cultures”. It is “interdisciplinary” and “concerned” with patterns of connection in literatures across both time and space” (Bassnett 1).. The term ‘Comparative Literature’ had originally acquired its name firstly from a series of French anthologies used for the teaching of literature published early in 1816. In the 1820s and the 1830s, the term was used largely. The earliest English usage is attributed to Matthew Arnold in 1848. Then, it had appeared in Germany in a book by Moriz Carriere in 1854. After that it began to prevail. But
What becomes apparent when we look at the origins of comparative literature is that the term predated the subject. People used the phrase ‘Comparative Literature’ without having clear ideas about what it was.
(Bassnett 21)
The trans-cultural comparison of the Palestinian and Irish woman resistance poetry needs the Dissertation to be thematic, though technique is never ignored. Content and form, as is taken for granted, are inseparable. While discussing motifs, reference is made to such technical features as imagery or the poetic style, as they accompany the development of the poetic voices of the poets. One of the difficulties of the topic of the Dissertation is the lack of relevant sources, especially those concerned with the political analysis of the chosen Palestinian and Irish poems. It could be regarded as a shortcoming in the Dissertation. It could be justified, as the subject is unprecedented. The detailed discussion of the political problems of the two countries may be regarded as another shortcoming in the Dissertation because it is mainly poetic. But the nature of the subject as it studies resistance poetry dictates a good knowledge about the political and the historical roots of the problems, which have produced such resistance poetry.

                      The Palestinian Dilemma: A Historical

                                             Literary Background

Palestine is at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. It is bounded to the North by Lebanon, to the Northeast by Syria, to the East and Southeast by Jordan, to the Southwest by Egypt and to the West by the Mediterranean Sea. The space of Palestine is about 27,009 thousand square KM. The name Palestine has two poignant meanings, firstly as something delicious or beautiful and secondly as the land protected by God (http://english.aljazeera.net).

The history of the bridge that joins wing Asian Arab world to his African Western, Palestine, is fraught with interest and written in suffering and blood. Palestine has been subjected to many conquests and has been ruled by many nations such as Egyptians, Jews, Assyrian, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Turks, English and Zionists. The history of Palestine had begun 600,000 years ago. Paleolithic and Mesolithic period was from 600,000 to 10,000 B.C. The earliest human remains were found in the south of the lake of Tabariyya, at El-Ubeidiya (http://www.palestine-net.com 1). The old Palestinian man built one of the first towns in the history, Jericho ‘Ariha’ (7000 B.C.). In it, there were settled agricultural communities. Evidence of such settlements were found at Tell es-Sultan, Jericho and include mud-brick rounded and square dwellings, pottery shards and fragments of woven fabrics (http://en.wikipedia.org). The continuous Arab immigrations that came from the south of Arab Peninsula and the Arab Gulf formed the Canaanites (3000 B.C.). They made ‘the Canaanite Country’ (2500 B.C.), building number of cities such as Akka, Gaza, Ashdod and Asqelon (http://en.falastiny.net).  The Canaanite city-states held trade and diplomatic relations with Egypt and Syria (http://en.wikpedia.org).
Palestine’s location made it the meeting-place for religious and cultural influences from Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia and Asia Minor. It was also the battleground for the great powers of the region and subjected to domination by adjacent empires beginning with Egypt in the 3rd Millennium B.C. Palestine faced under the Egyptian rule such invaders as the Amorites, Hittites and Hurrians. These invaders were defeated by the Egyptians and absorbed by the Canaanites. New invaders appeared in 1400 B.C., the Hebrews, the Philistines (after whom the country was later named) and an Aegean people of Indo-European stock. In 1230 B.C., Joshua (the divinely commissioned successor of Moses and military leader of the Israelites during the conquest of Canaan) conquered parts of Palestine. In 1125 B.C., the Israelites, a confederation of Hebrew tribes, defeated the Canaanites but not the Philistines who established an independent state on the Southern coast of Palestine. They comprised a confederation of five city-states: Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod on the coast and Ekron and Gath inland, and controlled the Canaanite town of Jerusalem. The Philistines are, also, credited with introducing iron weapons and chariots to the local population. But Israel’s king, David, defeated them in 1000 B.C. Jerusalem was made the capital of King David’s kingdom and it is believed that the First Temple was constructed in this period by King Soloman (http://en.wikipedia.org). Then, Palestine was conquered by Assyrio in 721 B.C., Babylonia who smashed Israel in 586 B.C. and destroyed the Royal palace taking the Jews marching in chains into exile to Babylon, Persia in 539 B.C., Greece in 333 B.C. and Rome in 63 B.C. (http://www.palestinehistory 2).
In 63 B.C. Palestine became a Roman province. Jewish revolts against the Romans were violently put down. After Christ, in 70 A.D., the Romans sacked Jerusalem. The temple of the Jews, their last place of resistance, was burnt to the ground. In 135 A.D. Jerusalem was completely destroyed. The Jews were put to death or carried off to slavery in other countries or fled to various parts of the world. Then, their relation with Palestine finished. Christianity spread. Eastern Roman (Byzantine) rule was interrupted by a brief Persian Occupation in 614-628 A.D., and ended altogether by the Arab conquest to Palestine in 638 A.D., Muslims entered Jerusalem under the leadership of Omar ibn Al-Khattab with no bloodshed. They rebuilt it. It has become the third holiest city of Islam. Palestine enjoyed a golden age of glory like the rest of the Muslim empire (http://www.Palestinehistory). Jews were permitted to return to Palestine for the first time after 500 years. Christians and Jews were granted the official title of “Peoples of the Book”. Abbasid rule lasted from 750 to 969. The Fatimids, from Tunisia, conquered Palestine by way of Egypt in 969. They remained till 1099 (http://en.wikipedia.org).
From 1099-1187, the Crusaders kept arriving and establishing the ‘Latin kingdom of Jerusalem’. A notable urban remnant of the Crusader architecture of this era is found in Acre’s old city (http://en.wikipedia.org). Salah Al-Diin Al-Ayyoubi (from Kurdistan) defeated them in the battle of Hittin in 1187. He freed Jerusalem. Palestine was administered from Cairo, even when the Mamluks succeeded the Ayyubis in 1260. Their leaders Qutuz and Al-Zaher Beibars defeated the Mongols (Tatars) in Ain Jaloot battle near ‘An-Naasira’ (Nazareth) in Palestine on 3 September 1260. In 1517, the Ottoman Turks of Asia Minor defeated the Mamluks. Palestine remained under their control for four centuries (http://www.palestine-net.com 2-3).
In 1878, the first Zionist settlement (Petach Tiqva) was established in Palestine under the guise of agricultural community. From 1882 to 1903, the first wave of Zionists (about 25000) entered Palestine as illegal immigrants from Eastern Europe. In 1896, Theodor Hertzl, a journalist from an Austro-Hungarian origin published Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State) advocating the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine or elsewhere (such as Argentina) (Ovendale 5). According to the forged Hebrew tradition, “the land of Canaan is part of the land given to the descendants of Abraham, which extends from the Nile to the Euphrates River”. This land is said; also, to include an area called “Aram Naharaim, which includes Ur Kasdim in modern Turkey, where Abraham’s father was born” (http://en.wikipedia.org).
In the period between 1900 and 1901, Sultan Abd Al-Hameed the Second issued a statement forbidding the Jewish travelers from settling in Palestine for more than three months. In 1902, the Jews proposed a tempting offer to Sultan Abd Al-Hameed in which the rich Jews would promise to pay all the debts of the Ottoman state, to build a squadron to defend it, and to offer a loan of 35 million gold dinars for the Ottoman’s run-down public treasury. However, Sultan Abd Al-Hameed refused all offers. His courageous reply to the offer, which came via a memorandum sent to Theodor Hertzl, was:
Advise Doctor Hertzl not to take serious steps in this matter because I cannot give up one foot of the land for it is not my personal property; it is the property of my people. My people fought for the sake of this land and their blood was shed. Let the Jews save their millions. If my empire is torn apart one day, the Jews can separate Palestine without any cost. However, as long as I am alive, dissecting my body with a knife is easier for me than to see Palestine separated away from the Islamic State. And this will not be. I cannot agree with dissecting our bodies as long as we are living.
                        (http://www.palestine-info.co.uk)

When the Jews became certain of the failure of all possible attempts, they began working on the declination of the Ottoman Empire. From 1904 to 1914, the second wave of Zionist illegal immigrants (about 40,000) arrived in Palestine and increased the Jewish percentage to 6% of the total population. The Jews increased their activities in Palestine. During the World War I, in May 1916, Britain and France divided the Arab countries between them in the Sykes-Picot agreement. The advantages of colonization in taking Palestine away from the Arab world met with those of the Jews in establishing a national homeland. Actually, it was the European rulers who offered a national home on Palestinian land for the Jews long before the Jews themselves suggested it. In particular, the offer came from France and Britain in an attempt to get rid of the Jewish problem in Europe and to achieve colonial gains from the Jewish State (http://www.palestine-info.co.uk).
The colonialist competition between Britain and France was obvious. The aims of both were to defend their benefits in the area. Britain found Palestine a suitable place to spread her authority on the Middle East because of its geographical location. Therefore, it is better to separate the Asian part from the African part of the Arab Region and to create situations that do not allow the two to establish a union in the future. A report by a committee formed by the British Prime Minister, Henry Campbell-Banzman, in 1907 dictated:

Working for the sake of keeping the Arab region divided and undeveloped and for fighting against the union of the Arab people and any kind of intellectual, spiritual and historical relationships among them. This would be done by working on separating the African part of this area from its Asian part by establishing a strong, strange-human barrier on the land bridge that connects Asia and Africa. This, in turn, will form, near the Swiss Canal, a friendly force for us and an enemy for the inhabitants of the area.

                    (http://www.palestine-info.co.uk 2)
On 2 November 1917, the British government issued the Balfour Declaration, in the form of a letter to a British Zionist leader from the foreign secretary Arthur J. Balfour promising him to establish a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine (http://www.palestinehistory.com 4). The British troops, commanded by Edmund Allemby, captured Jerusalem on 9 December 1917. Then, they occupied the whole land after the defeat of the Turkish forces in Palestine at the Battle of Megiddo in September 1918 and the capitulation of Turkey on 31 October 1918 (http://en.wikipedia.org).
In April 1920, Peace Conference Higher Council in San Rimo placed Palestine under British mandate. During the 1920s, more than 100,000 Jewish immigrants entered Palestine. They increased rapidly. Extensive Zionist agricultural and industrial enterprises began. Zionists attacked violently the Palestinians and took their lands. The Jews formed the Haganah (an underground terrorist organization) in March 1921. On 3 June 1922, Winston Churchill declared that Palestine would not be turned into a Jewish National Home but that a National Home would be established there. On 7 July 1937, the report of the Peel Commission recommended the partition of Palestine. On 17 May 1939, the British government published a White Paper restricting Zionist immigrations into Palestine to 75000 persons over five years and establishing an Arab-Jewish State in Palestine within ten years. Restricting the immigrations was rejected by the Zionists who organized terrorist groups and launched bloody campaigns against the British and the Palestinians. On 28 November 1947, the General Assembly adopted a plan for the partition of Palestine, which was accepted by the Jews but rejected by the Arabs (Rondot 201-205).
Imperialist Britain terminated its mandate on Palestine on 15 May 1948. The United Nations (UN) decided to divide Palestine into two states on the date of British withdrawal (the Palestinian Nakbeh ‘Catastrophe’). The Jewish provisional government declared the formation of the State of Israel. The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon joined Palestinian and other Arab guerrillas in a war in which they failed. The small Gaza Strip was left under Egyptian control and the West Bank under Jordan by the United Nations (http://www.palestinehistory 5-6). Dr. Fayez A. Sayegh, from the Research Center of the Palestine Liberation Organization, comments on this period in his book, Zionist Colonialism in Palestine saying that:
It was at that stage in the tragic history of Palestine that Palestinian Arabs-debilitated by thirty years of British suppression-proved incapable of withstanding the assault of the Zionist community, organized and trained and armed as it was, and supported by the European-American international community of the day. The Arab people of Palestine lost not only the battle for the political control of its own country-it lost its country as well.       
              (Sayegh 10)

From that time up till now, Palestinians have been forcibly expelled from the homeland which has ruthlessly, been emptied of its rightful inhabitants and opened “for a well-organized and liberally-financed new wave of colonization” (Sayegh 10).

On the 5th of June 1967, Israel attacked Egypt, Jordan and Syria simultaneously. The war ended in six days with an Israeli victory. Israel occupied Gaza Strip, Sinai Peninsula, Arab East Jerusalem, West Bank and Golan Heights. But, on 6 October 1973, Egypt and Syria gained a lot of advanced positions in Sinai Peninsula and Golan Heights defeating Israel. In 1975, the United Nations General Assembly resolution 3379 considered Zionism as a form of racism. An Israeli-Egyptian Peace Treaty took place in 1979. In 1988, the Palestinian National Charter (PNC) meeting in Algiers declared the State of Palestine as outlined in UN partition plan 181. After secret negotiations, PM Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat signed an historic peace agreement in 1993. Israel agreed to allow for Palestinian self-rule, first in Gaza Strip and the West Bank town of Jericho, and later in other areas of the West Bank. The final version of the Declaration of Principles was signed in Cairo in May 1994. In November 1995, Israeli PM Rabin was assassinated in Tel-Aviv by a right wing extremist. In December 1996, Israel planned to expand the Jewish settlements in Arab east Jerusalem. In 1998, Wye River memorandum urged the legitimate rights for the Palestinians. In November of the same year, Palestinian President Yasser Arafat inaugurated Gaza International Airport. In March 2000, Pope John Paul II visited Palestine. Since 2000 up till now there are more failed talks over land, Jerusalem and refugees (http://www.palestinehistory 6-8). The Palestinian problem has become more complicated, and the Palestinian conditions have become worse. 

Zionists’ ambitions in Palestine have girded their lions and fed on the Palestinian blood. The Zionists have committed hideous massacres against the helpless Palestinians. Racial discrimination and addiction to violence and terrorism have been the main characteristics of Israel. Palestine has become a land of persistent and tireless Arab resistance. Rebellions, here and there, in 1918-1919, were put down by the Anglo-Zionist forces. The Palestinians expressed their opposition to the Balfour Declaration in the first National Conference in 1919. In March 1920, armed hostilities broke out between Arab villagers and Zionists in the North. In April 1920, Arab Zionist fighting took place in Jerusalem. On 1 May 1921, bloody disturbances in Yaffa happened between the Jews and the Palestinians who protested against the Zionist waves of immigration. On 5 August 1922, PNC approved economic boycott of the Zionists. In August 1929, clashes over the Western Wall ‘Alburaq’ of Al-Aqsa Mosque (it is sacred to Muslims, but the Jews claimed it to be the remaining wall of the Jewish Temple, all studies have shown that it is from the Islamic ages and part of Al Aqsa Mosque), those clashes led to 116 martyrs and 232 wounded among Palestinians and 133 killed and 339 wounded among the Jews (http://www.palestine-net 4-5).

The Jews continued to make bloody attacks on the Palestinians, especially the Zionist terrorist organizations such as Haganah and Irgon, which were formed by Zionist extremists in 1931. In November 1935, Sheikh Izz Eddin Al-Qassam led the first Palestinian unit resisting Anglo-Jewish policies and died in a battle with British forces near Jenin. A countrywide rebellion (The Great Uprising) lasted from 1936 to 1939. Britain formed court martials to face that uprising, called for reinforcements replacing governors by army generals and attacked violently with the Irgon the Palestinian villages. In October 1939, the separatists from Irgon formed a third terrorist organization called ‘Stern Gang’. In May 1946, Palestinians stroke in protest against the American help and recommendation of 100,000 more Jewish immigrants. In July 1946, Irgon blew up the king David Hotel in Jerusalem killing 91 people (http://www.palestinehistory.com 5).

From December 1947 till the proclamation of Israel in May 1948, the Palestinians were engaged in a life - and - death battle. On 2 December 1947, Palestinians declared a 3-day strike protesting partition. Disturbances resulted in killing 6 Palestinians and 8 Jews. From 21 December to March 1948, Irgon and Haganah made coastal ethnic cleansing of Palestinian villages. In January 1948, Arab Higher Committee formed local committees to defend Palestinian villages and towns against Jewish cleansing. Volunteers arrived Palestine in order to join the Arab Salvation Army (ASA) in January 1948. On 16 February, ASA lost near Bisan, Syria. From January to March, Jewish National Fund encouraged the expulsion of Arabs from Haifa. The Haganah and the Palmach (another Zionist armed group) attacked Palestinians near Al-Hula Lake (north of Tabariyya) and in An-Naqab. From 30 March to 15 May 1948, the second coastal cleansing operation by the Haganah against the Palestinians happened between Haifa and Yafa. Villages and towns of Jerusalem fell to Haganah in another operation called “Nachshon” from 6 to 15 April 1948 (http://www.palestine-net.com 10-11).

On 9 April 1948, Irgon and Stern terrorists committed Deir Yassin massacre. They killed 254 civilians in this Palestinian village in Jerusalem district. The destruction of the villages of Jerusalem continued till 15 May. From 15 April to 25 May, psychological and military wars were being used to capture Safad and then Tabariyya. Haganah launched offensively on Haifa whose defenders lost on 22 April. On 25, Irgon attacked Yaffa. The Irgon and Haganah operations in Yaffa led to the expulsion of 50,000 Palestinians. The number of the Palestinian refugees from different areas reached on 3 May from 175,000 to 200,000 because of the Zionist attacks. In May and June, Haganah captured Ramallah and the villages around it as well as Akka and the coastal areas. On 13 May, ASA and the local fighters attacked Gush Etsion and captured it in return of the Jewish attack on the Hebron road. Yaffa surrendered to the Haganah. In May and June, ASA took some areas of Jerusalem from Haganah. Iraqi units took positions in Jenin. Egyptian units reached Ishdod (coastal town). Jordanian units reached Bethlehem. Syrian and Lebanese units restored some Northern villages (http://www.palestine-net.com 11-13).

The 1948 war ended with the defeat of the Arabs and the Israeli Occupation of all Palestine committing more and more massacres such as: Ain Ezzaitoun, Baldat al-Shaikh (60 martyrs), Mansurat al-Khyat, Sa’Sa’a, Qisarya, Wadi’ Ara, Abu Kabeer village, Nasir ad Din, Hawsha, Al Wa’ra Al-Sawda, Haifa, Husayniyya, Bayt Daras, Burayr, Khubbayza, Abu Shusha (50 martyrs), Al-Tantoura, Qazaza, Lydda , El-Led (426 martyrs), Al-Tira, Ijzim, Beer Sheba, Isdud, Al Dawayima, Jish, Majd al Kurum, Safsaf, Sa’sa, Saliha, Arab al Samniyya, Aylabon village, Al-Ba’na / Dair Al-Asad and Al Khisas. The real number of the martyrs is unknown. More than 300,000 Palestinians were excluded from their homeland (http://www.palestinehistory.com/massacre 2-3). In this year, 1948, the Palestinians’ unyielding resistance and sacrifices for decades “failed to overt the national catastrophe”. But those sacrifices “were not in vain”. For they “underscored the legitimacy of the Arabs’ claim to their national heritage. Rights undefended are rights surrendered” (Sayegh 23).

The Jewish writer, Daniel Bar-Tal writes about the Israeli massacres in his article entitled,  “No more Violence”, saying:
We, the Israeli Jews, are proud of the violent activities of the underground organizations in the pre-state period. We revere the wars and other military operations performed by the Israeli Army after the establishment of the State of Israel. We de-legitimize all the violent activities carried out by the Palestinians and repress memories of violence by our side considered excessive or atrocious.
                    (2)

In spite of the continuation of the Israeli violence, the Palestinian resistance has lasted. The Jewish forces committed other massacres such as: Iqrith (December 1951), Al-Tirah (July 1953), Abu Ghosh (September 1953), Qibya (14 October 1953, 67 martyrs), Gaza (1955), Qalqalya village (10 October 1956, 70 martyrs), Kafr Qasim (29 October 1956, 49 martyrs), Khan Younes (3 November 1956, 275 martyrs) and Acre (June 1965) (http://www.palestinehistory. com/massacre 3). As a result, some Palestinian organizations were founded such as Fateh (1959), Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) (1964), Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) (1968), Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine DFLP (1969), Palestinian National Salvation Front (1973), Abu Nidal Organization (ANO), Revolutionary Council (RC) and Hamas (1988). All these organizations have the same aim to end the Israeli Occupation and to set Palestine free. Their resistance and military operations have retaliated the enemy (http://www.palestine-net.com 14-15). But Israel considers them terrorist organizations and must be annihilated. 

The Israeli forces have insisted on the expulsion of the Palestinians. They committed another massacre in As-Sammu’ village in 1966. After the 1967 war, several guerrilla organizations within PLO carried out attacks on Israeli military targets, with the stated objective of “redeeming Palestine”. In 1974, UN recognized PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinians. Israel killed 3500 Palestinians in Sabra and Shatila massacre on 16 September 1982. From 9 December 1987 to 1993, a series of uprisings (First Intifada) included demonstrations, strikes and rock-throwing attacks on Israeli targets. During this Intifada, Israel was committing hideous crimes. In February 1988, for example, Israeli soldiers buried alive four men from the village of Salem near Nablus. They also shot rubber bullets at the eyes of three- four years-girls intentionally in cold blood (Farag 88-89). Israel also committed, at that period, massacres such as those of Oyon Qara (20 May 1990, 7 martyrs), Al-Aqsa Mosque (8 October 1990, 23 martyrs) and Hebron (1994). In 1990, Yasser Arafat demanded UN emergency force to provide international protection for the Palestinians because of the Israeli crimes. In 1993, Israel deported 415 active members of Hamas to a buffer zone in south of Lebanon (http://www.palestinehistory.com 7).

Israel killed 53 Palestinians in another massacre in Ebrahime Mosque on 25 Febrauary 1994. In January, April, July and August 1995, Palestinian martyr bombing killed about 30 in Israel. Israeli Army killed 109 Palestinians on 18 April 1996, in Qana massacre. The Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) was formed in the same year. The visit of Ariel Sharon, who committed Sabra and Shatela massacre and became PM, on Thursday 28 September 2000, to Haram al-Sharif of AL-Aqsa Mosque caused a lot of anger to the Palestinian worshippers. They threw stones on him and on his secretaries. A great number of the protested Palestinians were injured at that day. Al-Aqsa Intifada has begun and lasted up till now (http://www.palestinehistory.com).

Israeli soldiers show contempt and coldness when they kill the Palestinian civilians mercilessly. A General in the Israeli Army, Eitan Ezra, comments: “We don’t regret anything that we’ve done. We’re ready to do anything for the safety of our soldiers and our people. Our soldiers have been given the order to fire on the Palestinians. We must drive fear into their hearts by firing at their chests and heads”(http://www.palestiniantragedy.com/intifada). Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, one of the right-wing Shas Party members and a partner in Sharon’s national unity coalition, declared another important announcement. He said: “It is forbidden to be merciful to them [Palestinians], you must give them missiles, with relish-annihilate them. Evil ones, damnable ones” (http://www. palestiniantragedy. com /intifada).

Ever since the first day of Al-Aqsa Intifada, Israeli soldiers have answered the rock-throwing Palestinians with helicopter gunship, tanks and advanced weapons. So far, more than 4,000 civilians have lost their lives (among them more than 750 children), and almost 44,500 have been wounded. Many of them have become disables.  Since the intifada is still in full swing, these figures continue to rise (http://www.Phrmg.org/aqsa/fatalities). The Palestinian economy has suffered huge losses (more than us $ 3,000,000,000). The Israeli tanks and dozers plowed up about 7,647 hectares of Palestinian agricultural land. The Occupation also confiscated about 21,412 hectares for building the Separating Racial Wall, and the people have become 60% poorer. Meanwhile, they have been restricted even more by the cement blocks, new settlements and highways built for these settlements (http://www.pnic.gov.ps).
 A total of 4,000 buildings sustained heavy damage, while more than 69,884 homes were destroyed (http://www.Sabiroon.org/index.phtml). The Israeli soldiers have committed the ugliest inhuman crimes in the history of mankind. The Palestinian people resisted. The martyr bombings of the members of the Palestinian organizations have killed more than 900 Jews, and about 1,743 have been injured, according to the Israeli reports (http://www. Palestiniantragedy.com/Intifada). The above statistics is an overview of the Palestinian agonies, as the Israeli propaganda claims that the Palestinians are terrorists and the Israelis, who are occupiers, are victims, and the Western media in general supports this direction since decades. This increases the despair and makes the Palestinians, in special and the Arabs, in general, hopeless of the American and the Western policies.

By their tireless rejection of the Zionist colonialism, and by their endless sacrifices in defense of their homeland over years, Palestinians of all walks of life eloquently testified, by word as well as by deed, in ink as well as in blood, to their devotion to their national rights and their resistance to Israel. Palestinian literature in general, and poetry in particular, has witnessed the development of the Palestinian issue from the very beginning up till now. The most practiced literary form is poetry, because the poem is the quickest way to express the poet’s self and to respond to events. Palestinian people
are always in a hurry because you never know when they [the Israeli soldiers] will impose a curfew, when you will be able to travel, when the shooting will start again; therefore people do not have the time and concentration to read long pieces. ( Abd Al Rahman)
 
The Palestinian poetry has been more expressive and more committed to the people’s struggle than the documents and manifestos of the Palestinian political groupings and parties. In the beginning, the poets have been clear and direct in warning against the coming Zionist dangers through Jewish emigrations. Then, they have played a great role in expressing the Palestinian dilemma and the people’s suffering encouraging them and imparting them zeal and persistence. The Palestinian poetry has been a major factor behind strengthening the national feelings of the Palestinian people. The poet Mohammed Isa’af EL-Nashashibi (1882-1948), for example, foretold, as many poets, the Palestinian disaster early before its happening. He published a poem in 1910 opening with:
Palestine got lost
Nothing remained except blood .
                                                                     (trans.in http://www.en.falastiny)
               
The Palestinian poetry, before and after the “Nakbeh” in 1948, has centered on the need to commit to the homeland, to foil the conspiracies of the Zionist movement and to resist the Occupation. This kind of poetry has been known as resistance poetry. It could be divided into four phases according to the circumstances to which it appeared as a reaction. The first phase was the poetry before 1948. The poets of this period protested against the British mandate, Jewish emigrations and Balfour Declaration. The most famous poets of this period were Ibrahim Tuqan, Abu Salma and Mohammed Ali Saleh. The second phase was after the “Nakbeh” in 1948. The poetry of this period sprang from ‘the diaspora’ when the poets were extracted from their homeland. The most famous poets were Tufiq Zyada, Hana Abu Hana, Essam Abas. The third phase began in the fifties. The poems condemned the Occupation’s massacres and expressed the painful situation of the Palestinians. The poetry of such poets as Mahmoud Shafiq El- Hoot, Salim Gubran, Samih El- Qasim, Haron Hashim Rashid, Fadwa Tuqan and others was a masterpiece. The fourth phase started with the First Intifada in 1987. Many great poets such as Mahmoud Darwish, Zeinab Habash and others represented the Palestinian sacrifices. The Intifada, as “a period of acceleration and condensation has inspired and influenced” the Palestinian poetry (Ashrawi 77). The poets are still in the battlefield of the Palestinian question up till now.

The Palestinian women poets have a prominent role in the Palestinian dilemma. They have fought fiercely in order to achieve fame. They have succeeded to bring to light the Palestinian issue from a feminine perspective. Most Palestinian women poets see that it is their duty to their people to write about the national struggle, to describe, explain and to work towards liberation. Other poets stress more that their role is as spokes persons for the Palestinian people. However, it is crucial for the poet, in fulfilling her role, on any account, that she is actively committed to her homeland’s issue. The famous Palestinian poet, Mahmoud Darwish (13-3-1942) refers to the importance of the Palestinian women poets’ role as that of men poets, saying to Fadwa Tuqan in his poem, “Diary of a Palestinian Wound: Quatrains for Fadwa Tuqan” (1987):
Sister, these twenty years
Our work was not to write poems
But to be fighting
 ( Darwish)

 

However, the status of the women poets is further influenced by the economics and politics of the Palestinian literary scene, which has to survive under very difficult and discouraging circumstances. Their role is in general, hindered by factors outside their control such as: Israeli censorship and Israeli measures that curtail the distribution of books, magazines and newspapers. Publication is restricted. All local magazines and newspapers have to go through the Israeli censorship bureau before distribution. Books are, in general, censored after publication, which means they can be confiscated and/or placed on the banned books list, making possession of these books illegal. These restrictions and others have severely crippled the Palestinian publishing industry. Also, the often poorly equipped libraries are more often closed than open as a result of the curfews, strikes and military closure orders. “All women writers’ productivity has been certainly influenced”. But, they insist on facing “these difficulties” and “struggle fiercely against all these hinders”
(Der Velden 24). Fadwa Tuqan (1917-2003) and Zeinab Habash (b. 1943) are two outstanding modern poets, fighting against all difficulties faced the Palestinian women poets. 

Fadwa Tuqan was born in Nablus, Palestine, On 1 March 1917, to one of the influential families in her city. She knew Palestine under the British rule, the creation of Israel, the Occupation and the uprisings. She was introduced to poetry by her brother, the renowned poet, playwright and Radio Palestine director, Ibrahim Tuqan, who died in 1941 and whose poems became “rallying cries during the anti-British revolt of 1933-39” (http://www.salaam. co.uk/knowledge). Their relationship left a distinctive mark on her life. He was the only one who taught and supported her. His martyrdom, along with the 1948 ‘Nakbah’ led to Fadwa’s involvement in political life in the 1950s. Her father’s imprisonment in Akka prison in the 1936 Uprising, then his exile to Egypt and his death there in 1948, were also among the main reasons of Fadwa’s turning to write about the political issue of her country. Later, with the annexation of the West Bank in 1967, she became one of the mediators in the talks between the then Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Dayan and former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel-Nasser (http://english.aljazeera.net).
Although Fadwa Tuqan grew up in an environment favorable to artistic ferment, she suffered in her ultra-traditional family as an unwanted child, with a despotic father, a submissive mother and not allowed to go to school. The power of her vocation as a poet and the help of her brother enabled her to find personal freedom and ultimately express her solidarity with her torn people (http://www.islam-online.net). She later attended Oxford University (1962-64), where she studied literature (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/fadwa-tuqan). It was however her personal struggle “to give my life a higher meaning and value than seems to have been planned for” that was the main force in her life (Tuqan: 1990, 12). She was able to fulfill this dream “through sheer perseverance, self-confidence and quiet rejection of the efforts of others, mostly men, to diminish my capabilities and curtail my efforts towards self-realization” (204).
The most productive of all Arab women poets, Fadwa Tuqan is called “the poet of love and pain” because her poetry deals with themes of personal and national love and loss. She started her career writing about nature, love, loneliness and sadness before turning to national themes. Her second volume of poetry entitled I Found It (1956) is considered as her actual mature voice where she is more forward, more adventurous and more courageous (http://www.jmcc.org). Tuqan captured her nation’s sense of loss and defiance. Her works tell of the struggle of her people stripped of their land and liberty, describing the cruelty of the Occupation. She has been nicknamed as “Poetess of Palestine” (http://groups.msn.com). Tuqan received many prizes. She won the International Poetry Award in Palermo, Italy. She was awarded the Jerusalem Award for Culture and Arts in 1990 and the United Arab Emirates Award in the same year. She also received the Honorary Palestine prize for poetry in 1996. She has been the subject of a documentary film “Fadwa ... The Story of a Poet from Palestine”, directed by the novelist Liana Bader in 1999. It is a sensitive portrait of her life and accomplishments (http://jerusalemites.org). She served on the board of trustees for An-Najah University in Nablus (http://www.salaam.co.uk).
At the age of 86, Fadwa Tuqan died on 12 December 2003, leaving behind about 14 collections of poems and a number of academic researches focusing on the Palestinian women’s role in resisting the Israeli Occupation. Among her collections are: Alone with the Days (1952), I Found It (1956), Give Us Love (1960), In Front of the Closed Door (1967), The Night and the Horsemen (1969), Alone on the Summit of the World (1973), The Nightmare of Day and Night (1973), The Collected Poems (1978), Political Poems (1980), and The Last Melody (1999). She wrote a two-parts autobiography entitled A Mountainous Journey (1985) and The Most Difficult Journey (1993). Her work has been represented in English translation in several major anthologies including Modern Arabic Poetry, An Anthology (1987). So, she gained an international audience. She deserves greatly to be “the grand dame of Palestinian poetry”. She will be remembered for her undying love for the land and people of Palestine  (http://www.bethlehemmedia.net).
The Palestinian poet Zeinab Habash was born in Beit Dajan-yaffa, Palestine, on 15 April 1943. She was the seventh child in her family. She and her family were violently dispossessed by the Israeli forces from their land and immigrated to the West Bank in 1948. This event has had a great effect on the works of the poet. She studied in the UNRWA School and in EL A’eshiaa School in Nablus. She had a B.A. in English language and literature from Damascus University, Syria in 1965, and M.A. in Education from Birzeit University, Palestine in 1982. She now works a General Secretary of the Educational Committee in the Ministry of Education. She plays a vital role in her society. Her poetry side by side with her social activities plays a great role in healing the people’s pains and catching the attention to the Palestinian problem. She is a member in: The Palestinian Writer’s Union, League of Palestinian Artists in Ramallah, Patients’ Friends’ Society, Palestinian Diaspora and Refugee Center (Shaml), In’ash Al Usra and others. She is the head of a committee for improving general and higher education in Palestine. She has shared in many conferences and workshops inside and outside Palestine such as in Jerusalem, Jericho, Ramallah, USA, Beirut, Paris, Nigeria, Cairo and others (http://hotmail.msn.com/msg). “MS. Habash is a beacon of real hope in the frustratingly glacial progress of the peace process in the Middle East”. She is also “an illustration of something that is often missed in the news” (http://www.saferplanet).
The events of 1967 have had a great effect on the poetic production of Zeinab Habash. She has turned from writing romantic poetry to national poetry in which she has depicted the Palestinian struggle and her refusal to the Zionist Occupation and its massacres. Her family encouraged her to write poetry. In 1968, Habash was imprisoned because of her resistance to the Occupation. She also was deprived from the publication of her poetry till “Oslo Agreement”. The martyrdom of her younger brother (Ahmed) in 1971 and her nephew (Bassam) in 1982 from one hand, and the two Uprisings and the daily inhuman crimes of Israel from another have given Habash the raw material of her resistance poetry (http://www.Zeinab-Habash.ws). In an introduction of an International Conference, the following words were said about her:
[Habash] represents the Palestinian people. She is a life-long educator and author, and has served her country as a teacher, a school principal, and now is an executive of Palestine’s government. From her current position as General Secretary of Education for the Palestinian National Authority, she is responsible for setting the curriculum for more than 600,000 students. Yet, her influence and her desire to help others reach even further than that. She has become renowned in the Middle East as an icon for passion and dedication to building a better future for the youth of her region.
     (http://www.thewaytohappiness.org)
The first poems of Habash, or her juvenilia poems, were broadcasted in 1957, in ‘With Our New Literature’ program. Then, she published some apolitical poems in some magazines such as The New Horizon (Al Ofq El Gadid) (1962) and The Jordan Broadcast Newspaper (Garidat El Ezaa El Ordinia). When she turned completely to political poetry, the Israeli Occupation prevented its publication, till ‘Oslo Agreement’.

Habash has five poetic collections: Tell Sand (1993), Palestinian Wound and Blood Blossoms (1994), Don’t Say He Died, Mom (1996), They Carved My Memories into My Body (1997) and Because It Is My Country (1999). She has four books of verses: Ode to Beloved Country (1995), Love Letters Tattooed on The Moon’s Forehead (1996), What has the Sea Said and Five Tulips and a Rose (2006). She published books in Education, short stories and short plays (http:// hotmail.msn.com/msg).

Beside their social roles and activities, Tuqan and Habash have written resistance poetry. It has been inspired by the Israeli crimes and the Palestinian people’s suffering. Their poetic voices have begun low and shocked because of the surprise of the Israeli Occupation, the declaration of the State of Israel and the atrocity of the Israeli forces. With the escalation of the Israeli violence and massacres, their poetic voices have become louder and louder. 

                        Fadwa Tuqan and Zeinab Habash

                        Inevitable Impulse of Resistance

There are specialty and unlimited peculiarities regarding Palestinian literature, especially poetry. They are the occupied homeland itself. They are the Zionist prison and the cancerous Israeli settlement policy. They are the mixture between reality and memory. They are the Palestinian pain and suffering which the Zionist Occupation continues to root everywhere in Palestine. Despite the brutal exercises pursued by Israel to dismiss the Palestinians from their own lands, the national feelings, strengthened by the Palestinian poetry, have helped the Palestinians to adhere to their homeland, to deepen their roots and to resist the Occupation.
The Palestinian resistance has been characterized by the participation of women in general and women poets in particular in demonstrations and in direct confrontations with the Israeli army. The role of the Palestinian women poets in resistance has developed into a more dynamic one. They have become active in areas previously closed to them, such as participating in the political activities. They have “transformed their family tasks to a responsibility for all of the community, restructuring these as a crucial element of resistance” (Abdel Jawwad 61).
Generally, woman resistance poetry in Palestine has developed according to the political changes and events. It has sprung apparently with the declaration of Israel and the Israeli massacres in 1948. But, the women poets’ voices began low and shocked. They were low because of the gender segregation and the social constraints imposed on women at that time, and because of lack of the means of publication. They were shocked because of the Israeli Occupation and crimes. Consequently, the woman poetry was characterized by using figures of speech and imagery. It appealed to the reader’s imagination, re-creating and communicating the deep feelings of sadness, which the poet experienced. The imaginative and figurative language was the only refuge for the woman poets from the painful reality. They took care of technical devices mainly. Yet, they had an inevitable impulse of resistance.

Fadwa Tuqan as an outstanding Palestinian woman poet presented in her poetry the above imaginative and figurative characteristics of the first phase of the Palestinian woman resistance poetry in the period of the “Catastrophe” and after (till the late of the 1960s). Tuqan’s voice “was not a fighting one” but “bereaved, deprived, gentle and insistent, and visceral at times” (Beydoun 7). It was a voice “searching for love” only to find “fate”, searching for “a song and a flower to find instead a grave and the tank”. She found around her “only mourning and violence”. So, she was shocked. Her poetry is “ a small song of loss, a small elegy for a dead family and a small love for a fallen city” (Beydoun 7). Her poem “My City Is Sad” sums up symbolically the devastating effects of the Israeli Occupation to Palestine as follows:
The day in which we knew death and treason,
the tide was made back,
the windows of the sky were closed,
and the city contained its breaths.
The day of the crease of the waves; the day
in which the abominable passion opened the face,
the hope was reduced to ashes,
and my sad city was asphyxiated
while swallowing the pain.
If echoes and without signs,
the children, the songs, loose themselves.
while they undress, covered with blood feet,
the sadness crawls in my city,
a planted silence as it mounts,
dark like night
a terrible silence that transports
the weight of the death and the defeat.
Ay, my sad silent city!
The fruits and the grain can thus be burned,
in time of harvest?
Painful end of the route!
                      (Tuqan: 1993, 370-371 trans. In http://groups.msn.com)

As early as the 1948 war, Ben-Gurion’s advisors counseled him, at a meeting on January 1, 1948 to “wage a total war”, and “to strike the whole of the Palestinian transport and commerce, to strike ruthlessly and over a vast territory, without any other considerations”. In those days, Ben-Gurion wrote in his diary: “During the assault we must be ready to strike a decisive blow; that is, either to destroy the town or expel its inhabitants so our people can replace them” (Kapeliouk 17). However, most of the files relating to the Israeli atrocities, from that time till now, have remained “under lock and key, on the pretext that their opening could harm the national interests” (Kapeliouk 17).
Fadwa Tuqan’s spontaneity and faithfulness in the depiction of the Israeli crimes at that period are remarkable. Her vocation as a poet and her responsibility as a Palestinian citizen make her:
Shouldering the pain of the family, which we can easily call Palestine. Poetry came to her in the image of the Palestinian fate, ultimately her choice to write poetry was not as important as her real mission, which fell somewhere between that of Joan of Arc and Al-Khansa’.
             (Beydoun 7)

Tuqan’s volumes of poetry are considered as a witness of her double role as a poet and a Palestinian citizen and her real feelings towards her country’s dilemma, so that her poetry has achieved its real authenticity. The pioneering quality of her work appears in her poem “My City Is Sad”. Its theme has an individuality of treatment and a delicate lyricism overlained by elaborate description.
The title of Tuqan’s poem “My City Is Sad” is a humanizing metaphor by which the poet describes the condition of her city after the Israeli Occupation. Here, her city symbolizes the whole of the country, Palestine. The poet attributes one of the human characteristics “sadness” to an inhuman. Other humanizing metaphors are used and extended throughout the poem such as: “knew the death and treason”, “tide was made”, “the city contained its breaths”, “the abominable passion opened the face”, “my sad city was asphyxiated”, “swallowing the pain”, “the songs loose”, “they undress” and “ the sadness crawls”. There are also some concretive and animistic metaphors such as: “the windows of the sky” (concretive), “the hope was reduced to ashes” (concretive), “a planted silence” (animistic), “mounts dark” (animistic), “silence that transports” (animistic), “the weight of the death and the defeat” (concretive) and “painful end of the route” (concretive). All these metaphors cluster together in order to draw the picture of the Palestinian people’s condition after the Occupation.
In her poem, “My City Is Sad”, Tuqan presents the tortured Palestinian people with words such as: my, we, my city, children, fruits and grain, while she presents the torturing Israeli Occupation through its crimes. The indirect appearance of the oppressor and the opposition between its crimes and the oppressed people deepen the impact of the poem on the reader showing the shocked voice of the poet. The poem is written in blank verse. It has two stanzas; the first  consists of nine lines and the second twelve lines. There is no rhyme scheme. There is a variation in line-length. All these things match with the poet’s sense of loss and sadness and the Occupation’s irresponsible crimes that make disorder everywhere.
Throughout the poem, “My City Is Sad”, Tuqan depicts how the Palestinians suffer so much because of the Israeli Occupation. Death becomes everywhere. Pain “suffocates” the people. The adjective “sad” is used many times in order to emphasize the feelings of the poet and her people from the beginning of the Occupation. The second stanza completes the picture of the first. It shows how the city becomes empty and silent. Both the children and the songs (the two motives of happiness) disappear. Nothing remains in Palestine except sadness, defeat, silence, blood and the Occupation. Run-on-line technique hastens the tempo of the poem and helps the poet to tell quickly her narrative-descriptive recitation.

The use of the pronouns “My” and “we” in Fadwa Tuqan’s poem “My City Is Sad” refers to the unification of the poet with her people and her country’s catastrophe. The simile in the sixth line of the second stanza “dark like night” images explicitly fear, horror and ambiguity around the poet and her people because of the Occupation. Darkness envelops the whole country and makes the Palestinian people live an eternal night. There is no way out. Some environmental elements appear in the poem such as: “the tide”, “the waves”, “the fruits and the grain” and “the time of harvest”. The poet is affected greatly with her country. The vocabularies throughout the poem are employed in an impressive spontaneity and cleverness in order to express the idea of the condition of the occupied people.
The poem “My City Is Sad” ends with a phrase of lamentation because of the loss of Palestine transferring the feelings of pain, suffering and bitterness to the reader. The poet’s bitter tone leaves the reader with two colors in his mind: black (the color of darkness, mourning and death) and red (the color of blood). Nothing remains in Palestine except these two colors. Tuqan takes refuge in using imagery throughout the poem in showing the devastating effects of the Occupation on her country. Her low shocked voice turns magically her last phrase of lamentation “painful end of the route!” to a hidden call for the reader to resist the criminal.
After the Arabic defeat in the 1967 war, about which the European and the foreign media spoke rejoicingly as if it were the end of the Arabic nation, Fadwa Tuqan used symbols and imagery in her poem, “The Deluge and the Tree”, in order to express the events. Tuqan writes:
When the hurricane swirled and spread its deluge
of dark evil
onto the good green land
 “they” gloated. The western skies
reverberated with joyous accounts:
“The Tree has fallen!
The great trunk is smashed! The hurricane leaves no life in the Tree!”
Had the Tree really fallen?
Never! Not with our red streams flowing forever,
not while the wine of our thorn limbs
fed the thirsty roots,
Arab roots alive
tunneling deep, deep, into the land!
When the Tree rises up, the branches
shall flourish green and fresh in the sun
the laughter of the tree shall leaf
beneath the sun
and birds shall return
Undoubtedly, the birds shall return.
The birds shall return.
        (Tuqan: 1993, 375-76 trans. In http://www.jerusalemites.org)

The symbolic title of Tuqan’s poem, “The Deluge and the Tree” outlines the Palestinian dilemma. “The Tree” symbolizes the Arabic Nations especially Palestine. This symbol attributes the good qualities of the tree to them, such as: power, loftiness, fertility and safety. “The Deluge” symbolizes Zionism, which has overflown the land of Palestine with numerous waves of foreign Jews from all over the world. “The Tree” has drowned. The word “hurricane” adds to the symbols of the poem. It stands for Europe and America, which have supported and helped the Zionist movement and have sent the Jews (the Deluge) to Palestine (the Tree): “When the hurricane swirled and spread its deluge/ of dark evil/ onto the good green land”. “The good green land” symbolizes the land of Palestine. “The great trunk” symbolizes Palestine with its importance in the Arabic world. When “the great trunk is smashed”, “the Tree has fallen” and there remains “no life in the Tree”.

Fadwa Tuqan completes her symbolic usage in the second stanza of her poem, “The Deluge and the Tree”. The phrases “our red streams” and “the wine of our thorn limbs” symbolizes blood and sacrifice for their homeland. The two lines “Arab roots alive/ tunneling deep, deep, into the land!” symbolize that Palestine is Arabic not Jewish. Its Arabic roots are very powerful and deep. No one can deny this fact or put an end to it. The first two lines of the third stanza: “when the Tree rises up, the branches/shall flourish green and fresh in the sun” symbolize that when Palestine can get rid of the Israeli Occupation, all the Arabic countries will become powerful. It refers to the negative and the devastating effect of the existence of Israel in the Middle East Area. Another symbol in the series of the symbols of the poem is the word “birds” which is repeated in the last three lines. It symbolizes the Palestinian refugees and exiles outside their homeland. When the Occupation leaves and “the Tree rises up”, these “birds shall return”. Throughout the poem, the poet tackles the Palestinian dilemma through a symbolic usage.

Palestinian refugees are the creation of the twentieth-century State of Israel. The word ‘refugee’ has become “a political one”, as defined by Edward Said in his article, “Reflections on Exile”, suggesting: “large herds of innocent and bewildered people requiring urgent international assistance” (181). Israel’s spokesmen have always insisted that Israel bears no responsibility for the creation or existence of this problem. However, a twenty-four pages report of the Israeli Haganah dated 30 June 1948, affirms that: “the refugees had abandoned their home…because of hostile acts committed by the Haganah, Irgun and Stern groups” (Kapeliouk 21). The Palestinian refugees are now more than five millions around the world in 1999 (http://en.falastiny.net). The fate of the Palestinian refugees did not evoke feelings of guilt or remorse among the Israelis. On the contrary, Israel considers these exoduses “a magnificent phenomenon”, because it “solves the most difficult problem” faced by Israel, “the demographic problem” (Kapeliouk 21).  
Tuqan’s poem, “The Deluge and the Tree”  consists of three stanzas with no rhyme scheme and a variation of line-length and line-number. This matches with the anarchy and the disorder that have happened when “the hurricane swirled and spread its deluge/ of dark evil/onto the good green land”. It also suits the shock of the poet because of the political events at that time.

There is an alliteration between some words in Tuqan’s poem, “The Deluge and the Tree”, such as: “swirled” and “spread”, “good” and “green”, “never”, and “not”, “flowing” and “forever”, “while” and “wine” and “flourish” and “fresh”. This alliteration attenuates the tension and the sadness of the poem by giving it an internal music. The poem is full of monosyllabic words, which give spontaneity in the depiction. The run-on-line technique also increases this spontaneity and quickens the tempo of the poem. There are a lot of the verbs of movement in the poem such as: “swirled”, “spread”, “has fallen”, “is smashed”, “leaves”, “flowing”, “fed”, “tunneling”, “rises up”, “flourish” and “return”. These verbs animate the picture. Some colors add to this animation such as: “dark”, “green” and “red”. The caesuras inside the lines attract the attention of the readers to what is before and after it: “they gloated. The western skies”, “the great trunk is smashed! The hurricane leaves no life in the Tree!” and “Undoubtedly, the birds shall return”.

In Tuqan’s poem, “The Deluge and the Tree”, the use of the present and the present perfect tenses, as in: “The Tree has fallen” and “the great trunk is smashed! The hurricane leaves no life in the Tree”, shows that this event is a current one, or at least reflects a contemporary vision, and it still has its own effect on Palestine. The use of the past simple and past perfect tenses confirms such a link between the event and the memory and the reality of this event. The use of the near future as in: “shall flourish”, “shall leaf”, and “shall return”, gives enthusiasm and determination upon resistance.

  In Tuqan’s poem, “The Deluge and the Tree” the recurrence of the sound/s/as in: “swirled”, “spread”, “its”, “Western”, “skies”, “joyous”, “accounts”, “smashed”, “streams”, “limbs”, “thirsty”, “roots”, “rises”, “branches”, “sun” and “birds”, fuses the atmosphere of silence because of the defeat and the Occupation with the feelings of sorrow and sadness. “The western skies” in the fourth line is a metonymy. It presents Europe and America. The second and the third lines of the second stanza: “our red streams” and “The wine of our thorn limbs” are two metonymies expressing the unlimited sacrifices of the Palestinian people. The phrase “fed the thirsty roots” is a humanizing metaphor attributing characteristics of human beings to an inhuman thing. “The Tree rises up” is another humanizing metaphor, which is extended in the following lines: “the laughter of the Tree”. The repetition of the last three lines emphasizes the idea of supporting the tortured people and gives a hidden call for resistance springing from the poet’s inevitable impulse of resistance. Everyone should sacrifice in order to make “the Tree rises up” and “the birds” return. Thus, the poem is written to be imaginatively viewed, so it is full of symbols, colors, movements and images.

 

Tuqan’s poem “The Deluge and the Tree” appears as a document speaking briefly about some historical and political events such as: the Jewish immigrations, the Arabic defeat in the 1967 war, the loss of Palestine, the European and the American support to Israel, the case of the Palestinian refugees and exiles and the Palestinian determination upon resistance. It is true that poetry can be highly documentary, but must also “make the imagination manifest itself as fully as possible in language, it loves language”. It carries “its own authority, subtler and more sly” than politics, it “weaves, dips and submerges at least as often as it stands up to be counted” (Armitage xxx). Fadwa Tuqan has used a poetic language full of symbols and imagination in order to depict the events of her documentary poem.
It is true that the Palestinians have lost. There is no way out. But, they have a great determination on resistance till they can achieve victory or martyrdom. “We must understand the struggle between Palestinians and Zionism as a struggle between a presence and an interpretation, the former constantly appearing to be overpowered and eradicated by the latter” (Said: 1992,8).
The inhuman terrorist crimes of the Israeli Occupation increased more and more. The woman poets’ voices became louder and more realistic as a reaction. A second phase of the Palestinian woman poetry began from about the late of the 1960s to the beginnings of the 1980s. The picture of the ugly face of the Occupation began to appear in the poems instead of his crimes only or using symbols and imagery. The imaginative and the figurative language were used less than before. The tone of the poem became more and more bitter. The atmosphere of silence was turned to desperate expressions and depictions of the Occupation. The shocked and astonished poets recovered their consciousness and decided to speak about the Occupation and its oppression and to strengthen their people’s feelings to resist the Israeli tyranny. The poets’ inevitable impulse of resistance became more powerful. They strived more and more to publish their works.
Tuqan’s poem, “Hamzah” is a good example of the poetic changes that have accompanied the political changes in Palestine and the escalation of the Israeli crimes. “Hamzah” is a long poem expressing the painful tragedy of all the Palestinian people. ‘Hamzah’ is the cousin of the poet and the main character in the poem. He is a representative of the whole Palestinian people. His life-story is that of all his people. The poem begins with a pavement introducing “Hamzah”. He is a good Palestinian farmer working in his land assiduously. Although he is sixty-five years old, he is determined to protect his own land and sacrifice his own life for its sake. When he meets his cousin, Fadwa, he supports her national feelings and talks highly of his homeland singing its praises. But the poet has expected that there will be an unmerciful surprise as it is the destiny of the Palestinians. Suddenly, after a period, there has been an Israeli order to destroy Hamzah’s house and to arrest his son. Tuqan recites:
When the town’s governer issued his order:
“Blow up the house and tie up
Its son in the torture room!”
The town’s governor issued his order
Then got up
Praising the meaning of love and security
And peace!
The soldiers surrounded the house’s corners
And the serpent twisted
And skillfully completed
The full circle
And commanding banging on the door resounded:
“Leave the house!” and they generously granted
 An hour or a part of an hour
Hamzah opened the balconies’ doors
To the sun under the soldier’s eyes and shouted “God is greatest”
Then he called;
“O Palestine, be assured
I and the house and my children are the sacrifice of your redemption
 We for your sake live and die”.

An hour and then up they went and then down came

The rooms of the martyr house …
         (Tuqan: 1993, 417-420 trans. In http://www.edume.org)
Fadwa Tuqan was an original poet in her own right, writing from her own experiences. The Israeli General, Moshe Dayan “likened reading one of Tuqan’s poems to facing 20 enemy commandos” (http://www.guardian.co.uk). The true power of her words was derived from their affirmation of the Palestinian identity. They trace the evolution of the Palestinian political consciousness from shock, despair and victimhood to steadfastness, resistance and renewed pride.
Tuqan’s poem, “Hamzah”, shows one of the Israeli crimes towards the Palestinian people, that is houses demolition. Hamzah’s house, which is destroyed by the Occupation, has not been for habitation only. Rather, it is the “warm” castle containing the “dreams and the happy memories” of the inhabitants’ life. Blowing up Palestinian houses represents one form of the Israeli oppression against the Palestinian people’s struggle.
Fadwa Tuqan’s dramatic poem, “Hamzah” has two parts. They are divided into eight sections. Each one adds to the previous in a building way attracting the suspension of the reader and suiting the rising tone of the poem with the escalation of the events. The events reach their climax when the Israeli soldiers come in order to destroy Hamzah’s house and to arrest and torture his son on the charge of resisting Occupation. Tuqan depicts this event skillfully.

Tuqan’s tone in her poem, “Hamzah”, is full of sadness and bitterness, while Hamzah’s full of courage, sacrifice and resistance. His reaction to the order of the destruction of his house: “O Palestine, be assured/I and the house and my children are the sacrifice of your redemption/ we for your sake live and die”, is a cry of lamentation for Palestine not for his house and his son. Hamzah’s reaction is not of fright in light of the cost he and all the Palestinian people have to pay for resistance, but it was rather of more determination and more solidarity to face the threat. Hamzah sets an example of Palestinian persistence and sacrifice for his homeland. There appear three voices in the poem upon which the struggle between the Israeli Occupation and the Palestinian people is based. They are: Hamzah’s voice that represents all the Palestinian people, the Israeli Occupation’s voice that commits brutal crimes and then “sings for love, security and peace” and the poet’s voice that witnesses and recites the events making poetry an authentic record of the Palestinian suffering.
The use of the figurative and imaginative language in the above quoted section of Tuqan’s poem, “Hamzah” is less than before and less than the other sections of the same poem, in a suitable way for the tragic horrible action of destruction. The phrase “the serpent twisted” is a metaphor attributing the dangerous and hateful characteristics of the serpent to the Israeli soldiers. This metaphor is extended in the following lines: “And skillfully completed the full circle…”. This metaphor reminds the reader with the way by which the serpent eats its victim. Hamzah’s call: “O Palestine, be assured/…./….” is a humanizing metaphor depicting his homeland as a human being to whom he speaks. In the last line “the martyr house” is another humanizing metaphor. The sixth and the seventh lines: “praising the meaning of love and security/ And peace” show the hypocrisy of Israel, it commits the ugliest crimes in the history of mankind then calls for peace and love and weeps beside the Wailing Wall.
Tuqan’s poem, “Hamzah”, ends symbolically with the sight of Hamzah walking on the road with certainty, determination and pride. The readers make out that it is the road of resistance on which all the Palestinians walk.
What about the generations of the women poets after Fadwa Tuqan? As a result of the Israeli massacres and the political and the socio-economic changes, the women poets, unlike Fadwa Tuqan, “are no longer belong only to the more privileged classes”. Women “from all classes from towns, villages and refugee camps send their poems to the newspapers and magazines” (Der Velden 21). Zeinab Habash is a promising Palestinian woman poet following the steps of Fadwa Tuqan in writing resistance poetry. But her voice comes louder and her language is more realistic as she has suffered so much since her childhood from the Israeli Occupation. She faces courageously the Occupation in her poems and in reality. So that she painfully has paid the cost of her courage. She was imprisoned and prevented from publication.
The opposition between the oppressed Palestinian people and the oppressing Israel springs violently in one of the poems of Zeinab Habash, that is: “You’ll Never Resist the Sunshine”. This poem shows some of the Israeli crimes towards children. Habash’s enthusiasm to the Palestinian dilemma and her delicate feminine perspective are directed in this poem to the makers of the future, the children, who suffer so much because of the Israeli Occupation in Palestine.

The Palestinian children are deprived, because of the Israeli Occupation, of their human rights as their right to live safely, to nurture, to educate, to receive medical care…etc. Israel always destroys houses, fields, schools, hospitals and any Palestinian institutions. Israel always kills the fathers and mothers and turns the children into orphans. Israel always tortures the children in the concentration camps and jails. However, the Jews “are very addicted to self-pity. They expect everyone to be full of sympathy for their old suffering in Europe” (Thompson 75). This is a theme, which they never hesitate to play. They regard their old suffering as the complete justification for their inhuman crimes in Palestine. Indeed, this suffering, as they call, does not give them any right in Palestine or any right to commit their hideous crimes towards the Palestinian people especially children. The Israeli methods in Palestine are worse than those used by the fascists or Nazis. The continual reports of the Israeli terrorist activities increase rapidly, Palestinian children are on the head of the list of the victims. Zeinab Habash writes:
My heart leaves me and lives with you,
My countr y’s children, boys and girls.

Who are captured in the enemy’s jails

Shouting and resisting,
In the rooms of torture:

You!

Ugly wolves
You’ll never frighten us
Of torture.
You’ll never frighten us
Of death.
A part of the brown generous soil,
We are.
A part of the wild flowers on our proud mountains,
We are.
A rich fountain of love and songs,
We are.
So, continue your ugly affliction.
Yet,
You can never pull off sand from our country.
You can never steal fragrance from flowers.
You can never prevent the charming songs of a breeze.
You can never deport mountains.
You can never arrest beauty.
You can never hang fountains.
And you’ll never resist the sunshine.
You’ll never resist the sunshine.
(Habash: 2004, 10-11)
The above poem “You’ll Never Resist the Sunshine” affirms that the true poet is gifted with extraordinary perception and apperception. The true poet is “the conscience of the human race. Vision, humanity and an honest pen may go where the politicians fear to tread” (Johnson 128). Zeinab Habash in this poem presents in a brave way what any politician may not be able to do. The tortured Palestinian children oppose and resist the torturing Israeli Occupation. This poem has been inspired by the poet’s own experience when she was arrested with her friends by the Israeli soldiers. She has been a witness to the Israeli crimes against children. So, the poem “presents generally all Palestinian children and youths, who are tortured in the Israeli jails” (http://hotmail.msn.com). Israel “has incarcerated about 100 women and 300 under -18s children” between the “9000 Palestinian prisoners, it is holding in its jails” (http://news.bbc.co.uk).

The title of Habash’s poem, “You’ll Never Resist the Sunshine”, presents the Palestinian people as “the Sunshine” and the Israeli Occupation as the inferior “You”. The metonymy “Sunshine” expresses the Palestinian greatness, strength and self-assertion. It also warns indirectly the Occupation from the danger of burning in case of opposing the Palestinian resistance. The negative form of the title “Never” assures this idea. The future tense denotes the impossibility of annihilating the Palestinian people by the Occupation. On the contrary, the inferior “You” is who will never “Resist” the “Sunshine”.

Zeinab Habash’s poem “You’ll Never Resist the Sunshine”  consists of three stanzas with various line-length and line-number. This technique is suitable for the powerful feelings of the poet and the disorder and the irresponsible deeds of the Occupation. It has no rhyme scheme. This matches with the spontaneity of the poet’s feelings, and increases the tension of the poem gradually. There is no harmonious atmosphere because of the Occupation. The subjective possessive pronoun “My” at the very beginning of the poem carries many emotional associations. It affirms the obligatory relation between the poet and her people and the poet’s performance to her role as a citizen.

The humanizing metaphor in the first line of Habash’s poem, “You’ll Never Resist the Sunshine”, attributes the characteristics of humanity “leaves me and lives with you” to the poet’s “heart”. It expresses her own sympathy and unification with the tortured Palestinian children. The pronoun “you” here presents the children not the Occupation as in the title. The second line illuminates the first. The opposition between the Palestinians and the Occupation increases rapidly and sharply after these two beginning lines throughout the poem. The oppressed Palestinian people is presented in the poem through phrases such as: “My country’s children”, “boys and girls”, “who are captured”...etc and through the collective pronouns “us”, “we” and “our”. The poet presents the Occupation in a more courageous way than her precedents. She addresses it with the second person pronoun “you” and repeats it more and more especially in the last eight lines. The Occupation’s oppression appears in words and phrases such as: “the enemy’s jails”, “rooms of torture”, “ugly wolves”, “torture”, “death” and “your ugly affliction”.
The last three lines of the first stanza of Zeinab Habash’s poem, “You’ll Never Resist the Sunshine”,: “Who are captured in the enemy’s jails/shouting and resisting,/in the rooms of torture) indicate one of the Israeli inhuman crimes towards the Palestinian children. No one can deny that Palestine is the touchstone case for human rights. Yet, the cases of imprisoning, torturing and killing children are cases of particularly inflamed and compelling human rights abuses by Israel. A question springs about the re-action of the human rights organizations, but there is no answer. What appears that there are policies against the Palestinian people. Yet, on the other side, the immense financial, political and discursive subsidies from the Western countries and America pour in regardless to the Israeli crimes, as if to excuse Israel for what it does in Palestine, because of the past history of the Holocaust. Edward Said asks in his book, The Politics of Dispossession (1995):
 How long can the history of anti-Semitism and the holocaust in particular be used as a fence to exempt Israel from arguments and sanctions against it for its behavior toward the Palestinians?
(Said: 1995, 171)

The first line of the second stanza of Habash’s poem, “You’ll Never Resist the Sunshine”, is a sharp exclamation “you!”. It shows protest, contempt and condemnation. The depiction in the following metonymy in the second line “ugly wolves” utters the Occupation’s characteristics. The poet, then, becomes one of the collective pronouns “we/ us” that opposes with self-dignity and challenge courageously the Occupation: “never frighten us/ of torture/…/ of death”. The repetition of the pronoun “We” opposing “You” and the descriptive sentences in the following stanzas assures determination upon resistance and the Palestinians’ own right in their homeland. This idea is supported by the images in the last eight lines, which impart self-dignity and self-elevation. The repetition of the last two lines emphasizes the theme of the poem that is resistance will continue and the Israeli terrorism will not stop it. This repetition relates the poem’s end with its title giving coherence and illuminating the clearness of the Palestinian rights and the Palestinian issue.
With the escalation of the Israeli tyranny and the two uprisings, woman resistance poetry in Palestine enters a new and a third phase. In this current phase, the poet tries to get rid of any poetic constraints speaking with a very loud and courageous voice facing the Occupation and clarifying to the world its hypocrisy and brutality. The poems become nearly devoid of figurative and imaginative language. They become clear and more condensed. Their tone becomes sharper. The Palestinian pain and suffering are depicted plainly.
Zeinab Habash’s poem, “Drinks of Victory”, is a good example of this third phase. The poem tackles the Israeli intentional killing to the Palestinian children which increases more and more especially after the two uprisings. The children are the representatives of the future. So Israel kills them in order to darken the Palestinian future. She writes:

Neruda!

Shout with me.
Shout with me.
You!
Poet of freedom.
Blood is flowing
In ancient streets.
Blood is filling
Cups of wine.
Blood is being drunk by the oppressors,
Who have achieved victory,
Against children.
   (Habash: 2004, 5)

Habash’s above poem, “Drinks of Victory”, depicts condensely the ferocity of the Israeli Occupation. The startling image “the oppressors” drink the children’s “blood” embodies the abnormality and the inhuman crimes of the Occupation. This image explains the title of the poem. The drinks of victory of the Occupation are the Palestinian children’s blood. It is the only image in the poem.
In Habash’s poem, “Drinks of Victory”, a condensed one-twelve-lined stanza is chosen in order to match with the horror of the idea of the poem. The line-length is variable. In speaking about the weak victims, the lines are short. There are two long lines that refer to the oppressors and their offensive crimes.

 The poem “Drinks of Victory” begins with a shout. The poet shouts and calls ‘Neruda’ in order to shout with her from the Israeli crimes and for the sake of freedom and humanity. So, the poem presents the very loud voices of the women poets of the third phase. Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) is “a great poet from Schili. He is one of the best poets who resist the American violence towards other countries”. He is “a real freedom fighter. That’s why I call him to shout with me against the violence of the Occupation against my people” (http://hotmail.msn.com).
The repetition of the second and the third lines “Shout with me./Shout with me” emphasizes the poet’s urgent need for help. It also attracts the attention of the reader to the unmerciful crimes that follow. The poet’s shout and its repetition sharpen the reader’s senses in order to resist the children’s killers. The poet speaks on behalf of her oppressed people. The pronoun “me” shows her involvement in her country’s pain and suffering. She decodes the title in the last three lines explaining that the oppressors’ drinks of victory are not wine (or any other drinks), they are the “blood” of innocent children. The word “blood” is repeated three times in the poem. It expresses the bloody nature of the Israeli occupation and the poet’s obsession because of the numerousness of the occupation’s crimes.
The Israeli Occupation has attempted to destroy the Palestinian future by killing children or torturing them mercilessly, so that if they lived, they would suffer from psychological and physical disturbances. The future becomes dim. The Occupation has also made the Palestinian present an eternal suffering. One aspect of this is to destroy any stable family. A woman may lose her father, brother, husband, son ...etc. the Occupation imprisons the man or the woman, exiles or kills one or both of them. It prevents the Palestinians of one of their human rights, of living safely in an established stable family. This subject is expressed in Zeinab Habash’s poem, “Between You and Me”. She writes from a delicate feminine perspective as follows:
Between you and me,
Ah! My darling
Is it war?
Is it loss?
Is it a new catastrophe?
But
We might die before war dies!
And before loss and catastrophe disappear!
Between you and me,
Ah! My beloved
There are piles of occupation agony and military orders,
 Against both of us:
A home arrest for me,
And an eternal exile for you.
(Habash: 2004, 14)
The poet’s sense of loss reflected in her poem, “Between You and Me”, is viewed as a result of her confrontation with the escalation of the social injustice and racism in the occupied Palestine. Her forcing motive as a woman poet is to express the oppressive disappointing facts of living under Occupation to any woman. She presents her personal experience as emblematic of the whole social and political circumstances in Palestine. Her poem invades and illuminates the Palestinian wounds. It can be considered a dark love poem full of depression, despair, sadness and loss. The Palestinian people is expressed by pronouns: “me”, “you”, “we” and “us”, the Occupation by phrases as: “piles of occupation agony” and “military orders” which outline the tragedy of the Palestinian people. This tragedy is assured by the last two lines: “A home arrest for me, / And an eternal exile for you”.
Habash’s poem, “Between You and Me”, consists of one fourteen-lined stanza, which suits the courageous speaking about the social and political catastrophes in Palestine that needs no interrupt. There is no rhyme scheme matching with the disorder of the circumstances. The line-length varies according to the tension of the poet’s feelings. Monosyllabic words give spontaneity and hasten the cadence. Phrases of moan: “Ah! My darling” and “Ah! My beloved” increase the tone of sadness and bitterness and refer to the poet’s courage in dealing with the social problems and injustice. The woman poet, now, can speak clearly about her love and the political constraints that hinder this love because of the Occupation. Her inevitable impulse of resistance strengthens her courage and her enthusiasm.
The three affirmative questions raised in Habash’s poem, “Between You and Me”, “Is it war? / Is it loss? / Is it a new catastrophe?” that have three negative answers, hammer home the idea that the Occupation is more horrible than these three things. It makes the Palestinian people live in continuous and eternal torture of imprisonment or exile. The adjective “new” in “Is it a new catastrophe” indicates that there was an old one. But any new catastrophe would not have the same bad results as the old one. The rising tone of the questions corresponds with the loudness of the poet’s voice in this third phase. The punctuation helps in depicting the poet’s feelings and gives the poem the form of an address to the conscience of the whole world. The poem symbolizes many dark stories of the Palestinian youth with a realistic language.
Palestinians have been turned into exiles by the proverbial people of exile, the Jews. Perhaps this is the most extraordinary of exiles’ fates: to have been exiled by exiles- to relive the actual process of uprooting at the hands of exiles. Exile is produced by human beings for other human beings. It is like “death” but without “death’s ultimate mercy”. Exile has torn millions of the Palestinian people from the nourishment of tradition, family and geography. It is irremediable and terrible to experience. Edward Said defines exile in his article “Reflections on Exile” (2000) that:
It is the unhealable rift forced between a human being and a native place, between the self and its true home: its essential badness can never be surmounted… The achievements of exile are permanently undermined by the loss of something left behind forever.
             (Said: 2000, 173)

Nationalism “fends off” exile and fights to “prevent its ravages” (Said: 2000, 176). Because nationalism is an assertion of belonging in and to a place, a people, a heritage. It affirms: “the home created by a community of language, culture and customs” (176).

Israel has tried to eliminate the Palestinian nationalism by mutilating history, culture and national identity. The names of many Palestinian streets, cities and villages have been turned from Arabic to Hebrew. Many cities and villages “have evacuated from their original Palestinian inhabitants and replaced by Israeli colonies”. Many mosques and churches “have been destroyed” (Kana’ina 9). It has been an old Zionist plan. A conference of Zionist leaders in 1919 demanded: immediate control of water rights, carrying with it control of land, Jewish nationalization of all public land and of the surplus land of all private estates exceeding a certain size, complete control of all public works, Jewish supervision of all educational institutions and use of Hebrew as the main language in all schools (Ovendale 45). There has been a persistent Israeli assiduity in order to achieve these aims.
A considerable modern campaign on behalf of Zionism has either downplayed or tried to eliminate the very notion of the Palestinian national identity. The irony is that the liberal tradition in the West has always been eager to deconstruct the Palestinian nationalism in the process of constructing the Israeli one. Also, an enormous amount of ink, aiming at eliminating the Palestinian culture and history, has been spilled to prove at least, that Palestine was empty before the Zionists came, or that the Palestinians who left in 1948 did so because their leaders commanded them to do, not because the Israeli massacres as argued, for example, by Cynthia Ozick in The New York Times on 19 February 1992. She writes: “to speak of Palestinian-occupied territories is cynically programmatic-an international mendacity justified neither by history nor by a normal understanding of language and law” (Ozick I). Shmuel Katz, also, writes:
When the practical possibility of the return to Zion appeared on the horizon, Palestine was a denuded, derelict and depopulated country. The writings of travelers who visited Palestine in the late eighteenth and throughout the nineteenth century are filled with descriptions of its emptiness, its desolation. In 1738, Thomas Shaw wrote of the absence of people to fill Palestine’s fertile soil. In 1785, Constantine Francois Volney described the ‘rained’ and ‘desolate’ country. He had not seen the worst. Pilgrims and travelers continued to report in heartrending terms on its condition.
(113)

Alphonse de Lamartine wrote in his book, Recollections of the East (1835) that “outside the gates of Jerusalem we saw indeed no living sound, we found the same void, the same silence” (268). Mark Twain wrote an account of his visit to Palestine in 1867 in the chapters 46, 49, 52 and 56 of his book Innocents Abroad that Palestine was “desolate” there was “hardly a tree” or “a human being” anywhere.
Another example is the book of the British writer Richard Williams-Thompson, The Palestine Problem (1956). It begins in its introduction with the sentence: “Palestine is a British mandate and its fate lies in the hands of the British Government” (Thompson 11). He continues supporting the Israeli lies neglecting many historical and religious (Christian and Islamic) facts. In page 43, Thompson sees the Arab as “lazy, dirty, backward, idle and not too honest… with antiquated ways of living and complicated religious rules”. This “backward race is in actual opposition to “a race of highly cultural and intelligent people-the Jews”. In Egypt “Western civilization was kind enough to descend on a backward Eastern World”, but “Palestine has avoided this disaster” (43). He continues his assault against the Palestinians along his book. 
“Dehumanizing the Palestinians” has become a core element in the Israeli culture. Children’s literature, for example, as Edward Said argues in his book The Question of Palestine (1992), is made up of “valiant Jews” who always end up by killing “low, treacherous Arabs” (Said: 1992, 91). In his book: Terrorism: How the West Can Win (1986), Benjamin Netanyahu (then Israeli ambassador to the United Nations) considers terrorism as “Uniquely pervasive in the Middle East” because of “Islamic fundamentalism and Arab nationalism”… in short, “the West must line up behind Israel and against the Palestinians”. He thinks that: “the Israeli activities… everyday in Palestine… is merely an accident of war” (Netanyahu 133). In Palestine, “the central Muslim rule was a yoke” only in “the Jewish mind did Palestine continue to occupy a central position” as Moshe Gil writes in his book A History of Palestine (1-2). Zionism has begun “to transform religious hopes and a yearning for individual freedom into a political program of nationalist utopia” (Lilienthal 13). Misrepresentation of the Palestinians in Israeli culture is used as a means to further segregation and racism between “Jews” and “non-Jews”. In Israel “normality” is defined by “Jewishness”, whereas “abnormality” as “the normal condition of the no-Jew” as Said asserts in his article “An Ideology of Difference” (1985). Zionist propaganda emphasizes persistently that Palestine was “either previously uninhabited” or merely “tenanted by an inferior people without nationhood or national aspirations”, so that “those people would not count and should not be accounted for”. (Said: 1985, 43).
 A logical question springs: “Why so many legions of propagandists, polemicists, publicists and commentators working hard to prove something that were it true would have required hardly any effort at all? Hardly anything can mitigate the shattering historical truth that the creation of Israel has meant the destruction of Palestine. The elevation of the Jews to sovereignty in the Holy Land by the European and American help has meant the subjugation, dispossession and oppression of the Palestinians who have nothing to do except resistance.

From a feminine point of view, the Palestinian woman poet Zeinab Habash sees in her poem, “Palestinian Mother”, that the only one who can keep history and culture from elimination and/or mutilation is the Palestinian mother who can also form the future by upbringing the new generations. Habash sees the Israeli military and political brutality and escalation from one side and the Israeli historical, national and cultural forgery from the other, so she shouts:
Who but you,
Great Palestinian mother,
Is able to make the history,
Of this sacred land?
(Habash: 2004, 3)

Palestinian women have borne the brunt of the Israeli escalation and decades of Occupation. Sweeping restrictions have led to unprecedented levels of poverty, unemployment and health problems for the entire Palestinian population. Mobility, restrictions, refusal or delay of passage at Israeli Army checkpoints, blockades and curfews have caused multiple complications for women in need for medical care and in some cases have even resulted in the death of patients (http://www.amin.org). In his article, “The Role of the Palestinian Women in Local Government”, Abdul Nasser Makky writes that: “one consequence of Israel’s Occupation policies was the proletarianization of the Palestinians”. Many of them work “as poorly paid manual labors”. Women from all sectors of society began to enter the higher education system in order to improve their chances of finding gainful employees. Women often take up jobs in the service sector, in teaching, nursing and the like. They also receive training in vocational skills, which they can use to supplement their families’ incomes (Makky in http://www.amin.org). United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, says in a report on 15 February 2005: “Palestinian Women are suffering massively from malnutrition, especially when they are pregnant and nursing, and have high rates of poverty as widowed heads of household” (http://www.amin.org). The hardships of daily life in Palestine are felt most by women. They carry the burden of responsibility within the household because of the death, imprisonment or unemployment of men because of Israel.

Habash’s above poem, “Palestinian Mother”, is dedicated by the poet to her mother “who resembles all Palestinian mothers” in “encouraging” their own children “to defend their country by being both fighters and peace makers”. The poet’s mother and most of the Palestinian mothers “used to participate in peace activities in order to resist the Occupation, and to protect youth from the Israeli soldiers” (http://hotmail.msn.com).
Habash’s poem, “Palestinian Mother”,  consists of one four-lined stanza. This form is one of the most crucial devices, which draws the readers’ attention to the main theme of the poem. It has unity and condensation suitable for the around military, political, social and literary circumstances.

The poem, “Palestinian Mother”, takes the form of a question urging the Palestinian mother to take her vital role in the Palestinian problem persistently and assuring that she is the only one who can do it. The word: “but” means “only” confining this role to the mother. Monosyllabic words help to quicken the tempo of the verses. The present simple tense shows the mother’s permanent role. The falling tone of the question states finality and assurance. The intended aim of the question form is affirmation encouraging every Palestinian mother and giving her self-assertion and self-confidence.
In Habash’s poem, “Palestinian Mother”, the specification of “mother” and “this sacred land” and the negligence of the Occupation impart the feelings of self-dignity and self-elevation. The adjectives “great” and “sacred” support these feelings. The run-on-line technique quickens the rhythm of the verses reflecting the poet’s enthusiasm and tension. The phrase “able to make the history” is a concretive metaphor. It attributes concreteness or physical existence to an abstract, which is “the history”. The phrase “this sacred land” is a metonymy. It is substituted for Palestine because of its religious quality. The pronoun, “who” in the very beginning of the poem, gives a specification and confinement of the vital role of making history to the Palestinian mother.
It is noticeable, now, that the characteristics of the Palestinian women poetry differ and develop according to the around circumstances. The low shocked voices have become louder and louder with the escalation of the Israeli crimes. The form of the poems has become shorter and more condensed. The use of the figurative and imaginative language in the first phase has become lesser and lesser. The poets have turned to the use of the realistic language in order to match with the painful reality. The daring diction and vocabulary of the third phase have not appeared in the first one. The poems have begun to tackle courageously the crimes of the Occupation selectively, making one crime its own subject, not the collective effect of the Occupation as in the first phase.
When readers look squarely at the Palestinian dilemma today, they see fairly what beggars one’s powers adequately to represent it. One sees a nation of more than ten million people scattered throughout various jurisdictions, without official nationality, without sovereignty, without self-determination or political freedom, suffering all kinds of torture. Yet their torturer, Israel, is still interpreted as having the right to keep it that way and, from the reigning power of the day, to garner the largest amount of foreign aids in the most extensive aids programs in history. From under the yoke of this ferocious Occupation, women poets have produced their own poetry of resistance expressing, with inevitable impulse of resistance, the unspeakable Palestinian suffering and searching for a way out.

                                                                                             CHAPTER FIVE

              The Palestinian and Irish Women Resistant Poets

                              A Comparative Assessment 

The problems of both Palestine and Northern Ireland are very complicated. The fact that Palestine is occupied by the Jews that have reached to it as waves of immigrants from all over the world especially Europe, makes the solution impossible. The Jews can’t return to their ancestors’ countries. They have a belief that having a Jewish state makes them “safe” and “equal” to all the world peoples. Early in September 1945, The World Zionist Conference declared that:
What happened to our people in Europe did not and could not happen to any people in the world, which has a country and a state of its own. The vast majority of the Jewish people throughout the world feel that they have no chance of freedom from fear unless the status of the Jews, as individuals and as a nation, has been made equal to that of all normal peoples and the Jewish State of Palestine has been established.
(Thompson 95)
There are two questions spring: Is there an alternative to Palestine for the Jews? Would the Jews be welcomed elsewhere? The answer of the first question may be “yes”. But the Zionists will answer “no”. The negative answer of the second question refutes the first one. Simply because there is no country would welcome the entry of a large number of the Jews. They know this very well. So, they would use any means to force any decision in their favor. They would do anything in order to keep their forged Israeli State. The American and the European help to Israel makes the matter more and more complicated. There is no way out.
The case of Northern Ireland is also complicated. The British existence on the Irish land predated the British Imperialism, which began only in the late 19th century. Ireland has continued under the British rule and flag for centuries. The fact that Ireland has been dominated economically, politically, culturally and militarily by Britain is unavoidable. The fact also that Britain has eliminated any Irish culture, language, history and identity is unquestionable. So, the British Government does not claim Northern Ireland as part of its Empire (which doesn’t exist any longer). It claims it as an integral part of the United Kingdom. The British Government insists on that it will not withdraw from Northern Ireland because no state can withdraw from itself. But, the British Government announced that it could let Northern Ireland unite with the Republic of Ireland if a majority wants this. This is an official recognition that Northern Ireland is a special place within the United Kingdom framework. Yet, the majority of the people of Northern Ireland (the Unionists) will not agree. They are the descendants of the British colonizers. They still have colonial attitudes like their ancestors. These things make the Northern Irish problem more and more complicated. There is no way out.
Poetry in Palestine and Ireland expresses the history and the politics of the dilemmas of both countries. It is the most suitable form of literature for such occupied / colonized people. Through the study of the Palestinian and Irish poetry, it becomes evident that they share major characteristics in themes and mechanisms of writing despite their geographical remoteness. Within the thematic limitation, there is a rich material for literature in the dilemmas of the two countries. Among the shared themes are: The endless uprooting, death of innocent victims, the degradation of the natives at home and in Diaspora … etc.
In addition to the above themes, a large portion of the two nations resistance poetry focuses on the documentation of important events. Another part describes the people’s struggle to cope with and live under the country’s tragic political and social circumstances. It also stresses the people’s deep-rooted nationalism to keep its cultural identity. In both countries, poetry of resistance is like “a history book in keeping the cause in the memory of the nation except it excels history books in the way it combines facts and creativity” (Farag 86). From the very beginning, the poets “steeped themselves in their nation’s history, guided by their strong national consciousness” (Farag 86). Hardly any tragic situation was left without being recorded in a poetic work, in both countries. These are some of the similarities between the Palestinian resistance poetry and the Irish one.
An inevitable impulse of resistance and painful feelings of rejection have sprung inside the Palestinian and Irish women poets as the only outcome of the Occupation/Colonization. This last and his crimes, which are the most sorrowful embodiment of wrongness, oppression, racism and violence, have fuelled the women poets’ creativity. The two nations’ dilemmas have occupied the center of the works of the women poets. The two issues have never been relegated to a corner. Consequently, the women poets are always engaged in their people’s life-to-death battle in order to regain their legal rights.
In Palestine and Ireland, although women poets were previously banished from the world of literature, they have gained considerable voices and famous positions in the modern age. To achieve their fame, they have suffered from many hardships. The voices of the Palestinian and Irish women poets began, approximately, in the same period, after the Second World War, in the mid-1940s. These voices have developed similarly through three phases.
In the first phase of the Palestinian and Irish woman resistance poetry, the voices of the poets began, similarly, shocked and low. The British withdrawal from Palestine, the UN’s Declaration of the division of Palestine, the Palestinian Catastrophe “Nakbeh” and the Israeli Occupation and massacres were the main reasons of the shock of the Palestinian poets. The nature of the male-dominated society, the gender segregation, the socio-economic hardships and the difficulty and/or unavailability of publication made the voices of the women poets low at that period in Palestine.
In Ireland, the voices of the women poets started, also, shocked and low. The division of Ireland by the Anglo-Irish Treaty, the painful realization of the impossibility of freeing the North or even uniting Ireland and the recurrence of violence and counter-violence are considered the principal causes of the shock of the poets. The doubly oppression imposed on women by the nature of the patriarchal society from one side and by the British Colonization from another and the refusal of the houses of publication to risk by publishing the women’s works made the poets’ voices low.
In the first phase, the Palestinian and the Irish women poets tackled same themes. They tried to depict the colonizer and his devastating effects on their countries. Another themes were the emigration of their people, the national defeats and losses and determination upon resistance. The poets, in handling these themes in their poetry, drew images, used symbols and refuged to a poetic language. Their shock made them find a shelter in an imaginative world full of sadness, silence and suffering. Fadwa Tuqan’s poems “My City Is Sad” and “The Deluge and the Tree” are but examples. On the other hand, the poems of Eavan Boland, “My Country in Darkness” and “The Pilgrim”, had the same themes, diction and depiction as those of Tuqan. This proved that the human feelings towards wrongness were the same everywhere. Man is man regardless place and geographical remoteness.
Tuqan and Boland, in their poems of the first phase, depict, similarly, the Occupation/Colonization as “darkness” that envelopes their countries, the emigrants as “birds” and their homelands as “good green land”, “a tree” and “a nest”. Some environmental details appear in the poems proving the poets’ love for their countries. The two colors of blood and mourning, red and black, prevail in the poems. The tones are bitter. There is no rhyme scheme reflecting the heaviness of reciting the events. But, alliteration, here and there, attenuates the tension. Verbs of motion animate the pictures. The intended aim of all the poems is the same.
In spite of the above similarities between Tuqan’s poems and those of Boland, there are dissimilarities in handling the subjects. In Tuqan’s poem, “My City Is Sad”, she presents her city’s destruction as emblematic of the whole country’s. But, Boland uses, in her poem, “My Country in Darkness”, the end of the bardic poetry as a symbol of the destruction of her homeland and its glory, culture, history, language and identity. Tuqan uses more figures of speech and her poem is full of lamentation and mourning than Boland’s. Tuqan unites herself with her people and her country from the beginning of the poem till its end. But, Boland detaches herself deliberately, in the middle of her poem, from her people in order to convince the reader logically and to have a fair point of view without the effect of her own internal feelings. The cause of this may be that Boland lives in a European society, which is apt to depend on logic more than feelings. Another cause may be Boland’s academic career.
The symbolic title of Tuqan’s another poem, “The Deluge and the Tree”, presents the two sides of the conflict, the Occupation and her country. Yet, the title of Boland’s another poem, “The Pilgrim”, symbolizes only her tortured people. Thus, Tuqan gives a more comprehensive view to the Palestinian dilemma, clarifying the nature of the two conflicting sides. Through the poem, Boland uses richer and more powerful images than those used by Tuqan. Boland’s poem ends in a more depressive and pessimistic way than that of Tuqan’s poem. The cause of this may be the long centuries of the British Colonization to the island of Ireland. Another cause of this pessimism and depression may be the sorrowful and complete elimination of the Irish language, culture, history and identity. But, Tuqan states powerfully in her poem that: “Arab roots alive/tunneling deep, deep into the land”. The Arabic identity of Palestine protects it. In Boland’s poem, there is some sort of submission to the destiny of Ireland, stating that the “hamartia” or fault of the Irish people (like that of Oedipus) is his fate. This sort of submission can’t be found in Tuqan’s poem.
A second phase of both the Palestinian and Irish woman resistance poetry began, approximately, in the period of late 1960s, 70s and the beginnings of 1980s. The escalation of violence in both countries was reflected in the poetry of that period. The crimes of the Occupation / Colonization made the poets’ voices loud. The shock of the poets disappeared. They recovered their consciousness. They used a more realistic language than before. Figures of speech were used, to some extent, less than before. Houses of publication began to accept the women’s works.
In the second phase, the Palestinian and Irish women poets tackled, similarly, the around political events more courageously than before. Some hideous crimes of the Occupation/Colonization were presented selectively in the poems, such as houses demolition and torture of the children in the Israeli prisons, as in Tuqan’s poem, “Hamzah” and Habash’s poem, “You’ll Never Resist the Sunshine”, successively, from the Palestinian side. From the Irish side, Boland’s poems, “The War Horse” and “Child of Our Time” handled the destruction of her homeland because of the British Colonization and the murder of the children. The Palestinian and Irish women poets shared one aim that is to condemn the crimes of the Occupation/Colonization clarifying its hideous real face.
The Palestinian and Irish woman resistance poetry, in the second phase, had some similarities, in the poems’ technique, the poets, similarly, appeared as detached narrators in order to convince the reader logically and objectively. The poems presented real experiences bringing the sympathy of the reader. They appeared as timeless pieces of poetry. Their subjects were suitable for any time and any place under Occupation/Colonization. The poets called courageously for sacrificing for the sake of their homelands. The poets depicted the Occupation/Colonization as harmful animals such as: “a serpent”, “a war horse” and “ugly wolves” and as inferior creatures: “you”, “your ugly affliction” and “our time”.
Although there were similarities between the Palestinian and Irish poetry, in that period in the second phase, there were some dissimilarities between the poems. Tuqan’s poem, “Hamzah”, for example, had three voices: “Hamzah’s” (the representative of the whole Palestinian people), “the Israeli soldiers’ voice” (the representative of the Occupation) and “the poet’s voice” (the narrator). But, Boland’s poem, “The War Horse”, differently, had one voice only that was the poet’s (the narrator). Thus, Tuqan handled the subject more profoundly than Boland. Tuqan’s poem appeared more emotional than that of Boland. The cause might be that the poem presented an experience in which the poet was involved, because the destroyed house was her cousin’s. But, Boland presented an experience of only a witness.
The events of Tuqan’s poem, “Hamzah”, cover a period of time. They deal with his story before, at and after the destruction of his house and the arrest of his son. It can be considered a dramatic poem that tells the life-story of a person (or, in fact, a whole people). But, the events of Boland’s poem, “The War Horse”, happen at one night only. Surprisingly, the main emblematic event in Tuqan’s poem happens at daylight under the sun. This illuminates the Israeli atrocity and “hypocrisy” that are apparent clearly before the whole world. They make all the horrible crimes, then call for peace and love and weep beside the Wailing Wall. On the other hand, the symbolic darkness of the night, in which the main event of Boland’s poem happens, depicts again the British Colonization.
Among the victims in both Palestine and Ireland are, sorrowfully, the children. About their victimhood (whether their torture or their   murder) the poems of Habash, “You’ll Never Resist the Sunshine”, and of Boland, “Child of Our Time”, are written. The intended aim of both poems is the same, although the way of presenting it is different. This is due to the different nature of the two countries. The poets, here, deal with subjects concerning to children with delicate feminine emotions. These subjects and others are one of the privileges of woman poetry. This last has, in fact, produced a lot of subjects that have not been interesting to men poets, such as: domestic, familial, feminine and motherly subjects.
Habash presents in her poem, “You’ll Never Resist the Sunshine”, the children’s suffering and torture in the Israeli prisons. She is a witness of this experience, so that her rage can be made out in the poem. Boland tackles the murder of children in her poem, “Child of Our Time”. They are innocent victims of violence and counter-violence, in Northern Ireland because of the British Colonization, so the poem is full of sadness. She has read about those victims in the newspapers, so she has decided to write about them. The clear recurrence of the pronouns “I”, “We”, “My” and “Us”, in both poems, affirms the poets’ involvement in the problems of their countries and their courageous trials of self-affirmation.
The titles of the two poems of Habash and Boland, “You’ll Never Resist the Sunshine” and “Child of Our Time”, have both the oppressed and the oppressor, as the titles of Tuqan’s “The Deluge and the Tree” and Boland’s “My Country in Darkness”. The occupied/colonized oppressed “Self” opposes and resists the occuping/colonizing oppressing “Other”, according to Edward Said’s words. In his book Orientalism: Western Conception of the Orient (1994), Said traces the representation of the “Self” by the “Other” and vice-versa, through the Orient-Occident relationship. He focuses on how the concept of Orientalism divides human reality into different cultures, histories, traditions, societies and even races. Such a division, Said conceives as “I/We” and “You/They” (45).
The world is still divided into “betters” and “lessers”. Thus to be one of the occupied/colonized is to be “different” or “inferior”, as Edward Said argues in his article entitled, “Representing the Colonized: Anthropology’s Interlocutors”. The status of colonized people has been fixed in zones of dependency and “peripherality”, stigmatized in “the designation of underdeveloped, less – developed, developing states”, ruled by “a superior, developed or metropolitan colonizer” (Said: 2000, 294).
Through the Palestinian - Israeli and Irish-British relationships the colonial heritage generates such “concepts” of “the Self” and “the Other” ruled by criteria of hegemony, power and resistance. These complex imperial relationships affect the whole literary course. The Palestinian and Irish poets (the Self) attempt to get rid of the Israeli and the British’s dominance (the Other) by sticking to their own cultures and identities. The real significance of the “concepts” of “the Self” and “the Other” lies in the extent to which they can help the reader to analyze and understand the texts and the extent to which they provide a vocabulary with which the reader can discuss relevant ideas.
The relationships now are not the relationships between the Eastern (the Orient) and the Western (the Occident) in Said’s words. They are the relationships between the Palestinian/Irish “Self” and the Israeli/British “Other”, seen through the light of Occupation/Colonization. What have never been in doubt are the actual identities of “the Self” and “the Other” in Palestine. But, in case of Ireland, the concept of “the Self” belongs to one of Britain’s oldest colonies. So, Orientalism, in Said’s words, is seen, in relation to Irish-British problem, through the opposition between two areas linked together with colonial chains. The Orient-Occident relation and the Irish-British relation have the same political facts. Therefore, politically the word “Irish” presents the inferior oppressed “Self” and the word “British” the superior oppressing “Other”. As Imperialism has increased in scope and in depth gradually over the years, it supports the culture of the British colonizer giving it the license of superiority to the colonized’s own culture and forces it to violate the Self’s own nationalism, attempting the process of radical dispossession. The oppressing colonizing British “Other” has dispossessed the oppressed colonized Irish “Self” of its own specific culture, nationality, history and even its Gaelic language. Northern Ireland as a still colonized “Self” has suffered from the sense of oppression and victimization as has Palestine.
Culture is “the site on which the struggle for hegemonic power is conducted” (Childs and Williams 1). Culture of the occupied / colonized “Self” becomes a source of identity and self-assertion to the resistant poets. Yet, the occupier/colonizer “Other” always attempts to uproot any kind of contact between the occupied/colonized and his own culture and to impose on him his own culture. Consequently, everyone tries to defend his own culture. So, it becomes a battle of cultures, a battle of hegemony and dominance. In such a battle Britain has succeeded but Israel hasn’t, although it tries persistently. However, there is a continual process of resisting the removal of the cultural identity of the occupied/colonized by the poets in both Palestine and Ireland (Irish Revivalism).
With the outbreak of the two “Uprisings” in Palestine and with the continuation of “The Troubles” and escalation of violence and counter-violence in Northern Ireland, approximately from late 1980s, 90s up till now, woman resistance poetry has entered a third phase. A new generation of the poets witnessing all the political events has appeared. Their voices have become very loud. They have called (or even shouted) for resistance. Diction full of courage has been used. The tones have been sharp and full of anger and bitterness. The poets have used a more realistic language devoid, nearly, from figures of speech and imagination. The form of the poems has become more condensed than before. Publishing the poets’ works has become more accessible than before.
Both the Palestinian and Irish women poets still complete and fulfill, in this third (and last) phase, the duties of their real mission in their suffering societies. Although they still condemn the Occupation’s/ Colonization’s crimes, support their people and try to gain “large audience for their countries’ issues, their poems have acquired new deep arguments. Habash’s poems, “Drinks of Victory”, “Between You and Me” and “The Palestinian Mother” and Meehan’s poems, “Song of the Grave”, “Reading the Sky” and “The Standing Army”, are instances. These poems discuss the Palestinian and Irish problems on socio-economic, historical and cultural levels. The loud voices of the poets and their rising tones in these poems can be heard declaring the development of the women poets’ voices and their vital roles in their societies.
The two subjects of Habash’s poem, “Drinks of Victory” and Meehan’s, “Song of the Grave” are the same. Both of them are about murder of the children by the Occupation/Colonization. Although the women poets handled this subject before, the atrocious recurrence of this crime fueled the anger of the new generation of the women poets. Habash’s poem clarifies that the Israeli forces kill the Palestinian children intentionally. Yet, in Meehan’s poem, the killed children are among the victims of violence. The forms of the two poems are, similarly, condensed. No rhyme schemes are used in both poems. The present tenses of the two poems give eternity to the two horrible experiences. The dreadful depiction startles the reader. Both poems present two terrorizing surreal pictures. In Habash’s poem, the occupier drinks the blood of the Palestinian children. In Meehan’s poem, the grave sings and waits the victim children on whom it is closed “like a fist”.
The two poets shout for help and for resisting the criminal. The run-on-line technique quickens the tempo of the verses so that they may be read continuously in one breath. The poets’ tones are bitter, sharp and full of rage and agitation. The two poems prove that “the Western narratives of enlightenment and emancipation are revealed as so much windy hypocrisy” (Said: 2000, 314).
On another social level, Habash’s poem, “Between You and Me”, and Meehan’s “Reading the Sky”, tackle the devastating effect of the Occupation/Colonization on the youth and on the family, in two dark love pictures. In her poem, Meehan relates the Irish history with the painful socio-economic reality giving the cause and the result. She begins her poem with the cause of the present Irish conditions. Then, she moves logically towards the end or the expectant result that is the separation of her and her lover, because of these historical, political and socio-economic conditions of her homeland. Habash’s poem begins here, at this point, with the result that is the separation of her and her lover. Then, she gives the reasons briefly: “piles of Occupation agony and military orders”. Thus, the arguments of both poems are the same, although the ways of handling them are different, to some extent. The two poems present the same themes, such as: the national defeat, Occupation/Colonization and its social effect, separation, emigration, imprisonment, fugitiveness, exile (even at home), alienation and the inevitable impulse of resistance. Habash is more direct and realistic in tackling her experience than Meehan. But, Meehan supports her argument by using some images and a symbolic light technique. The two poems end depressively.
From their delicate feminine opinions, the Palestinian and Irish women poets see that the only one who can resist the Occupation’s/Colonization’s trials to eliminate or mutilate their history, culture, language and identity is the mother. By their pivotal roles in their societies, mothers can bring up young resistant generations. The importance of the roles of the mothers is as equal as the importance of the role of the country’s army or underground resistant organizations. It is through the poetic creation and the motherly identification, Habash’s poem, “The Palestinian Mother” and Meehan’s “The Standing Army”, send this message of the mothers’ role in their societies.
Clarifying the importance of women’s roles (especially mothers) is one of the vital responsibilities of the women poets. In the past, women were marginalized. But today, they aren’t. Edward Said in his book After The Last Sky (1993) discusses the status of the Palestinian women. Said incorporates himself within the group of “men” whose perception of the woman’s position he does not approve of, he writes:
I can see the women everywhere in Palestinian life, and I see how they exist between the syrupy sentimentalism of roles we ascribe to them … and the annoyance, even dislike, that their unassimilated strength provokes in our warily politicized, automatic manhood.                                             
(77)
Said is critical to the society’s relegation to the women’s roles in the Palestinian strife. Everyone should confess the great importance and vitality of their own roles. From the very beginning of the struggle, women have been in the foreground as resisters either by writing literature or by participating in armed struggle in addition to their domestic responsibilities. No one can deny that the reproductive role of the Palestinian women makes Israel face a difficult problem, that is the demographic problem.
On the other hand, in the Irish side, to a question by Margaret Ward: “Who are the people who make history?”… The argument of “the historians rarely seems to touch upon the human content of the narrative of the poems” (Ward 62), Eavan Boland answers that:
If you constantly simplify women by making them national icons in poetry or drama you silence a great deal of the actual women in the past, whose sufferings and complexities are part of that past, who intimately depend on us, as writers, not to simplify them in this present.
(Wilson & Arjat 87)
Boland, then, sees that it is one of the most important duties of women writers, in general, and women poets, in particular, to represent the women’s suffering especially in the past in which women were silenced. But the silent submissiveness that was imposed on women in the past, was turned, by the women poets, to very loud resistant voices.
The title of Habash’s poem, “The Palestinian Mother”, connotes intimate feelings between the poet and her people. The poem appears as if it was written by a social activist. But, the title of Meehan’s poem, “The Standing Army”, connotes the poet’s painful feelings of enmity towards the British Colonization. The poem appears as if it was written by a warrior who is ready to fight. Yet, the aims of the two poems are the same.
Habash’s poem, “The Palestinian Mother” comes more direct and more condensed than that of Meehan. But, Meehan adds to the importance of the mother’s role, the vitality of the reunification of the people and the necessity of reviving the past glory. The very loud voices of the two poets are full of courage, self-affirmation and enthusiasm. Every poem is consisted of one unified stanza giving unity and concentration to the intended meaning. The vocabularies of both poems, similarly, prove the strong emotional associations between the two poets and their societies. The samness of the two subjects proves the similarity of the two poet’s visions and feelings. Figures of speech are few. Both poems end directly with a very clear loud call for resistance. They both leave the reader full of enthusiasm and determination on resistance.
Hence, it can be said that Palestine and Ireland, as two countries have many historical, political, socio-economic, geographical (tempting locations and small spaces) and literary similarities. Yet, on any account, there are cultural, linguistic, religious and other dissimilarities. Poetry, in both Palestine and Ireland, has mirrored the around circumstances. Woman resistance poetry, in both countries, has appeared, nearly, at the same time. It can be divided, similarly, into three phases. Each phase has specific characteristics. These characteristics have developed and altered according to the around political changes. Generally, with a scrutinized trans-cultural comparison, woman resistance poetry, in both Palestine and Ireland, has many similarities. The wrongness and oppression of the Israeli Occupation and the British Colonization have created inevitable impulse of resistance inside the women poets of both countries. Some sample poems have been examined as illustrations. There are dissimilarities in the technique of the poems and in handling the ideas. But, the sameness of ideas, themes, forms, depiction and the use of diction in their poems prove the poets’ corresponding internal painful feelings of rejection.
Finally, any occupied people don’t ask themselves as a researcher might: Are all these sacrifices worth the struggle? Or can we really hope to win out over such a powerful enemy? For these people, the problem is not academic. Its answer will not be found in the United Nations’ resolutions. Any Palestinian or Irish would answer that his people have lost everything, the only way is to resist. Any one of them thinks that he should sacrifice not for himself, but for his children or even his grandchildren. For these destitute people, their homelands (Palestine / Ireland) have mystical effects igniting in them past memories and future dreams. For older generations, homeland is a memory of a dear, departed loved one. For younger generations it is an idol worshipped with a supra-human passion, a martyred goddess temporarily beyond their grasp whom only human sacrifice can redeem.
But, to be one of an occupied people is to be one of the sufferers on the earth. Living on an occupied land means living where the human conscience is absent and the wrongness is directed to human beings by the very hand of their brothers in humanity. To speak about the pains of an occupied people, is to finger un-healable scars. May be, suffering makes great poets, but it also destroys the human beings. The sorrowful but tantalizing quality of the canon of woman resistance poetry lies here.

 

Women poets are no longer marginalized in the modern age. Their writings have transcended an impressive array of political, cultural, social and psychological obstacles to attain a positive and influential position in the world of literature. But, the struggle of their recent rise has been difficult, particularly those who have lived under Occupation/Colonization. The present Dissertation examined the politics of both Palestine and Ireland, as two occupied/colonized countries, through the poetics of four women poets. The readers could estimate their resistance poetry and its vital role in their occupied societies. The four chosen poets were Fadwa Tuqan (1917-2003) and Zeinab Habash (b.1943) from Palestine and Eavan Boland (b. 1944) and Paula Meehan (b. 1955) from Ireland. A number of resistance poems of the four chosen poets were brought under examination in order to be compared with each other and to show the serious value of this kind of poetry.
The four previous poets were chosen from two different cultures in order to enlarge the scope of the research and enhance the value of the experience. By bringing their work under the microscope of the study, the Dissertation moved from regionality to universality. This enriched the topic, emphasizing the disastrous and the devastating effects of the Occupation/Colonization on the whole people, in general, and on women in particular, regardless of time and place limits. The comparative study of such resistance poetic pieces proved also that what has been sought now by these poets has been a reaching, through a painful history and repressive traditions, to another innovative space.
The trans-cultural study of the resistance poetry proved that the feelings of all human beings were but the same towards Occupation, oppression and wrongness. It, thus, erased time and place limits generalizing and internationalizing the presented experiences. It also proved that the women poets played an important role in their occupied countries. Palestine and Northern Ireland have been but examples, other nations everywhere still suffer from Occupation. The current sorrowful conditions in both Palestine and Ireland have made public opinion everywhere and refuted all the claims of the new world system of human rights and the right of the peoples of self-determination. Their dilemmas have no solution. Hence, one of the purposes of the Dissertation was to condemn all kinds of Occupation, violence and wrongness. It also called for peace, equality and brotherhood. It invited the readers to help the needy and the tortured everywhere.
The Dissertation argued that the Palestinian and Irish women poets portrayed true to life subjects or dressing long standing ideas new garments according to their delicate feminine perspective. Their role in their societies was not only descriptive but also prescriptive. This illuminated the poets’ involvements in their countries’ problems. Their poetry expressed the people’s extreme suffering and inspired by the contemporary circumstances. It had the same effect as weapons. It also healed the psycho-injuries deeply rooted in their occupied people, encouraged them to face their enemy and fueled their enthusiasm. It tended to represent, embody and articulate a message, a view, an attitude, philosophy or opinion to, as well as for, the reader. It sometimes, played the role of a political ambassador. Yet, it could go where politicians could not.
The Dissertation aimed to show that resistance and terrorism were completely different. Resistance was a legally protected right to the occupied / colonized people. Violent and/or non-violent resistance was a reaction to the occupier’s/colonizer’s terrorism. This last was the illegal creation of Occupation / Colonization and it was condemned.

 

The Dissertation intended, also, to send a message to the human rights organizations and the human conscience everywhere that: “there had been racism, torture, wrongness, oppression, suppression, suffering, violence and Occupation/Colonization in many parts of the world in spite of your presence”.
The Dissertation brought to light the close relationship between poetry, history and politics. Each one assimilated by the other. Hence, poetry mirrored the around political, historical, cultural, social and economic circumstances. One could scrutinize any nation by reading its poetry.
Studying women resistance poetry needed pieces of information about the history and the political problems that had stimulated it. So, the first and the third chapters of this Dissertation highlighted these historical and political problems. They also introduced the concerned poets along with a hint about each one. Chapters Two and Four examined forms of resistance poetry of the poets. A trans-cultural comparison provided by Chapter Five, clustered the four preceding chapters. It compared between the two problems of Palestine and Ireland and between the selected poems of the Palestinian poets and the two Irish ones. The development of the poets’ poetic voices was traced. Their voices began, in the first phase low and shocked. Then they became loud in the second phase. With the escalation of violence, they became louder than before, in the third and the last phase.
It is hoped that the above-extended study of woman resistance poetry has added something fresh to the already received opinion about women writing in general and resistance poetry in particular. This should give the study weight as it contributed considerably to an interesting area of human knowledge. Genuineness and originality, thus, have hopefully been realized in such a modest research, regardless of the great effort exerted in its accomplishment.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
   

 

تم تصميم هذا الموقع سنة 2002 

تم تجديد الموقع سنة 2012 

حقوق الطبع لجميع صفحات هذا الموقع محفوظة لزينب حبش 2012