As you prepare your breakfast, think of others
(do not forget the pigeon's food).
As you conduct your wars, think of others
(do not forget those who seek peace).
As you pay your water bill, think of others
(those who are nursed by clouds).
As you return home, to your home, think of others
(do not forget the people of the camps).
As you sleep and count the stars, think of others
(those who have nowhere to sleep).
As you liberate yourself in metaphor, think of others
(those who have lost the right to speak).
As you think of others far away, think of yourself
(say: “If only I were a candle in the dark").
Mahmoud Darwish (1941-2008) was an award-winning Palestinian author and poet. His literature, particularly his poetry, created a sense of Palestinian identity and was used to resist the occupation of his homeland.
In ‘Think of Others,’ the poet’s message is self-evident. Darwish repeats the same phrases, and urging us to not only be grateful for what we have, but also to help those who are less fortunate. The poems acts as a powerful plea from Darwish to ‘be the candle in the dark’ and to help those are who in need; both near and far.
Analysis by Lydia Marouf
"Think of Others" by Mahmoud Darwish, from Almond Blossoms and Beyond. Translated from the original Arabic by Mohammed Shaheen. © Interlink Books, 2010.