Daily Video

May 8, 2008

Israeli and Palestinian Poets: Lending Poetic Justice to Opposing Views

The creation of a Jewish state in Palestine has been fraught with conflict that reverberates not only in politics but in poetry and literature.

This video report showcases the work of two celebrated poets” both Israeli citizens since 1948″” one a native Palestinian and the other a European Jewish immigrant. Both poets embrace the power of words to enlarge our understanding of the world and its beauty”” but both (reluctantly) can not ignore the deadly violence being visited by both sides on each other.


“You can’t be concentrated in love poems when your life is threatened. You have, first of all, to defend your life, your existence.” – Samih al-Qasim

“Every time that something happened, like an explosion or suicide bombers, when we watch television, somebody always says, ‘And then I heard the boom.’ So, being a poet, I must put it in a poem.” – Agi Mishol

Additional Resources

Words in Conflict: Israeli, Palestinian Poetry

In-Depth Coverage: Poetry of the Middle East

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