Darwish’s Passing

The death of Mahmud Darwish ten days ago upset me beyond words. I loved his work, both the early, nationalist poems and the later ones on more personal themes. He was an invited guest of the Casablanca Book Fair in 2007, and I had been excited at the prospect of hearing him read. Then the organizers changed the venue to a theater in Rabat at the last minute, and I couldn’t get there. I don’t think I will ever forgive myself for missing it.