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These are lullabies I have written over the years, as poems. Some of my poems have been set to music and thus have become actual songs and lullabies.

For a Ukrainian Child, with Butterflies
by Michael R. Burch

Where does the butterfly go ...
when lightning rails ...
when thunder howls ...
when hailstones scream ...
when winter scowls ...
when nights compound dark frosts with snow ...
where does the butterfly go?

Where does the rose hide its bloom
when night descends oblique and chill,
beyond the capacity of moonlight to fill?
When the only relief’s a banked fire’s glow,
where does the butterfly go?

And where shall the spirit flee
when life is harsh, too harsh to face,
and hope is lost without a trace?
Oh, when the light of life runs low,
where does the butterfly go?



Midnight Lullaby
by Michael R. Burch

I.
A measureless rhythm rules the night—
few have heard it,
but I have shared it,
and its secret is mine.

To put it into words
is as to extract the sweetness from honey
and must be done as gently
as a butterfly cleans its wings.

But when it is captured, it is gone again;
its usefulness is only
that it lulls to sleep.

II.
So sleep, my love, to the cadence of night,
to the moans of the moonlit hills’
bass chorus of frogs, while the deep valleys fill
with the nightjar’s shrill, cryptic trills.

But I will not sleep this night, nor any;
how can I—when my dreams
are always of your perfect face
ringed by soft whorls of fretted lace,
framed by your perfect pillowcase?



Final Lullaby
by Michael R. Burch

for my mother, Christine Ena Burch

Sleep peacefully—for now your suffering’s over.

Sleep peacefully—immune to all distress,
like pebbles unaware of raging waves.

Sleep peacefully—like fields of fragrant clover
unmoved by any motion of the wind.

Sleep peacefully—like clouds untouched by earthquakes.

Sleep peacefully—like stars that never blink
and have no thoughts at all, nor need to think.

Sleep peacefully—in your eternal vault,
immaculate, past perfect, without fault.

Amen

Originally published by Borderless Journal



Sappho’s Lullaby
by Michael R. Burch

for Jeremy

Hushed yet melodic, the hills and the valleys
sleep unaware of the nightingale's call
while the pale calla lilies lie
listening,
glistening ...
this is their night, the first night of fall.  

Son, tonight, a woman awaits you;
she is more vibrant, more lovely than spring.
She'll meet you in moonlight,
soft and warm,
all alone ...
then you'll know why the nightingale sings.

Just yesterday the stars were afire;
then how desire flashed through my veins!
But now I am older;
night has come,
I’m alone ...
for you I will sing as the nightingale sings.

The calla lily symbolizes beauty, purity, innocence, faithfulness and true devotion. According to Greek mythology, when the Milky Way was formed by the goddess Hera’s breast milk, the drops that fell to earth became calla lilies.



Lullaby
by Michael R. Burch

for Jeremy

Cherubic laugh; sly, impish grin;
Angelic face; wild chimp within.

It does not matter; sleep awhile
As soft mirth tickles forth a smile.

Gray moths will hum a lullaby
Of feathery wings, then you and I

Will wake together, by and by.

                      **

Life’s not long; those days are best
Spent snuggled to a loving breast.

The earth will wait; a sun-filled sky
Will bronze lean muscle, by and by.

Soon you will sing, and I will sigh,
But sleep here, now, for you and I

Know nothing but this lullaby.



Peace Prayer
by Michael R. Burch

for Jim Dunlap

Be calm.
Be still.
Be silent, content.

Be one with the buffalo cropping the grass to a safer height.

Seek the composure of the great depths, barely moved by exterior storms.

Lift your face to the dawning light; feel how it warms.

And be calm.
Be still.
Be silent, content.



The Singer
by Michael R. Burch

for Leslie Mellichamp

The sun that swoons at dusk
and seems a vanished grace
breaks over distant shores
as a child’s uplifted face
takes up a song like yours.
We listen, and embrace
its warmth with dawning trust.

“O singer, sing to me—
I know the world’s awry—
I know how piteously
the hungry children cry.”

We hear you even now—
your voice is with us yet.
Your song did not desert us,
nor can our hearts forget.

“But I bleed warm and near,
And come another dawn
The world will still be here
When home and hearth are gone.”

Although the world seems colder,
your words will warm it yet.
Lie untroubled, still its compass
and guiding instrument.



Oh, let me sing you a lullaby
by Michael R. Burch

for Jeremy (written from his mother’s perspective)

Oh, let me sing you a lullaby
of a love that shall come to you by and by.

Oh, let me sing you a lullaby
of a love that shall come to you by and by.

Oh, my dear son, how you’re growing up!
You’re taller than me, now I’m looking up!
You’re a long tall drink and I’m half a cup!
So let me sing you this lullaby.

Oh, my sweet son, as I watch you grow,
there are so many things that I want you to know.
Most importantly this: that I love you so.
And so let me sing you this lullaby.

Soon a tender bud will ****** forth and grow
after the winter’s long ****** snow;
and because there are things that you have to know ...
Oh, let me sing you this lullaby.

Soon, in a green garden a new rose will bloom
and fill all the world with its wild perfume.
And though it’s hard for me, I must give it room.
And so let me sing you this lullaby.



All the More Human, for Eve Pandora
by Michael R. Burch

a lullaby for the first human Clone

God provide the soul, and let her sleep
be natural as ours, unplagued by dreams
of being someone else, lost in the deep
wild swells of grieving all that human means . . .

and do not let her come to doubt herself—
that she is as we are, so much alike
in frailty, in the books that line the shelf
that tell us who we are—a rickety ****

against the flood of doubt—that we are more
than cells and chance, that love, perhaps, exists
because of someone else who would endure
such pain because some part of her persists

in us, and calls us blesséd by her bed,
become a saint at last, in whose frail arms
we see ourselves—the gray won out of red,
the ash of blonde—till love is safe from harm

and all that human means is that we live
in doubt, and die in doubt, and only love
the more because together we must strive
against an end we loathe and fear. What of?—

we cannot say, imagining the Night
as some weird darkened structure caving in
to cold enormous pressure. Lacking sight,
we lie unbreathing, thinking breath a sin . . .

and that is to be human. You are us—
true mortal, child of doubt, hopeful and curious.



Nightingale
by Michael R. Burch

Write me some gorgeous rhythm
about the gently falling night
in words with similar cadences
and a moon as occultly bright,
and if your lullaby pleases
and if your charms persist,
then I will gladly add you
to my bookmarked favorites list.

But as for pay or hire
and as for fortune and fame —
they seem unlikely, minstrel,
and while that might seem a shame,
are nightingales “rewarded”
for their sweetly pensive songs?
Your poems are too **** expensive —
add that to your warbled wrongs!

*


The Aery Faery Princess
by Michael R. Burch

for Keira

There once was a princess lighter than fluff
made of such gossamer stuff—
the down of a thistle, butterflies’ wings,
the faintest high note the hummingbird sings,
moonbeams on garlands, strands of bright hair ...
I think she’s just you when you’re floating on air.

Keywords/Tags: lullaby, lullabies, poems, poetry, song, songs, music, lyric, lyrics, bed, bedtime, sleep, dream, dreams
lullaby, lullabies, poems, poetry, song, songs, music, lyric, lyrics, bed, bedtime, sleep, dream, dreams
The Shijing or **** Jing or Shih-Ching (“Book of Songs” or “Book of Odes”) is the oldest Chinese poetry collection, with the poems included believed to date from around 1200 BC to 600 BC. According to tradition the poems were selected and edited by Confucius himself. Since most ancient poetry did not rhyme, these may be the world’s oldest extant rhyming poems.

Shijing Ode #4: “JIU MU”
ancient Chinese rhyming poem circa (1200 BC - 600 BC)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

In the South, beneath trees with drooping branches
thick with vines that make them shady,
we find our lovely princely lady:
May she repose in happiness!

In the South, beneath trees with drooping branches
whose clinging vines make hot days shady,
we wish love’s embrace for our lovely lady:
May she repose in happiness!

In the South, beneath trees with drooping branches
whose vines, entwining, make them shady,
we wish true love for our lovely lady:
May she repose in happiness!


Shijing Ode #6: “TAO YAO”
ancient Chinese rhyming poem circa (1200 BC - 600 BC)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The peach tree is elegant and tender;
its flowers are fragrant, and bright.
A young lady now enters her future home
and will manage it well, day and night.

The peach tree is elegant and tender;
its fruits are abundant, and sweet.
A young lady now enters her future home
and will make it welcome to everyone she greets.

The peach tree is elegant and tender;
it shelters with bough, leaf and flower.
A young lady now enters her future home
and will make it her family’s bower.


Shijing Ode #9: “HAN GUANG”
ancient Chinese rhyming poem circa (1200 BC - 600 BC)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

In the South tall trees without branches
offer men no shelter.
By the Han the girls loiter,
but it’s vain to entice them.
For the breadth of the Han
cannot be swum
and the length of the Jiang
requires more than a raft.

When cords of firewood are needed,
I would cut down tall thorns to bring them more.
Those girls on their way to their future homes?
I would feed their horses.
But the breadth of the Han
cannot be swum
and the length of the Jiang
requires more than a raft.

When cords of firewood are needed,
I would cut down tall trees to bring them more.
Those girls on their way to their future homes?
I would feed their colts.
But the breadth of the Han
cannot be swum
and the length of the Jiang
requires more than a raft.


Shijing Ode #10: “RU FEN”
ancient Chinese rhyming poem circa (1200 BC - 600 BC)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

By raised banks of the Ru,
I cut down branches in the brake.
Not seeing my lord
caused me heartache.

By raised banks of the Ru,
I cut down branches by the tide.
When I saw my lord at last,
he did not cast me aside.

The bream flashes its red tail;
the royal court’s a blazing fire.
Though it blazes afar,
still his loved ones are near ...

It was apparently believed that the bream’s tail turned red when it was in danger. Here the term “lord” does not necessarily mean the man in question was a royal himself. Chinese women of that era often called their husbands “lord.” Take, for instance, Ezra Pound’s famous loose translation “The River Merchant’s Wife.” Speaking of Pound, I borrowed the word “brake” from his translation of this poem, although I worked primarily from more accurate translations. In the final line, it may be that the wife or lover is suggesting that no matter what happens, the man in question will have a place to go, or perhaps she is urging him to return regardless. The original poem had “mother and father” rather than “family” or “loved ones,” but in those days young married couples often lived with the husband’s parents. So a suggestion to return to his parents could be a suggestion to return to his wife as well.


Shijing Ode #12: “QUE CHAO”
ancient Chinese rhyming poem circa (1200 BC - 600 BC)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The nest is the magpie's
but the dove occupies it.
A young lady’s soon heading to her future home;
a hundred carriages will attend her.

The nest is the magpie's
but the dove takes it over.
A young lady’s soon heading to her future home;
a hundred carriages will escort her.

The nest is the magpie's
but the dove possesses it.
A young lady’s soon heading to her future home;
a hundred carriages complete her procession.


Shijing Ode #26: “BO ZHOU” from “The Odes of Bei”
ancient Chinese rhyming poem circa (1200 BC - 600 BC)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

This cypress-wood boat floats about,
meandering with the current.
Meanwhile, I am distraught and sleepless,
as if inflicted with a painful wound.
Not because I have no wine,
and can’t wander aimlessly about!

But my mind is not a mirror
able to echo all impressions.
Yes, I have brothers,
but they are undependable.
I meet their anger with silence.

My mind is not a stone
to be easily cast aside.
My mind is not a mat
to be conveniently rolled up.
My conduct so far has been exemplary,
with nothing to criticize.

Yet my anxious heart hesitates
because I’m hated by the herd,
inflicted with many distresses,
heaped with insults, not a few.
Silently I consider my case,
until, startled, as if from sleep, I clutch my breast.

Consider the sun and the moon:
how did the latter exceed the former?
Now sorrow clings to my heart
like an unwashed dress.
Silently I consider my options,
but lack the wings to fly away.



Chixiao (“The Owl”)
by Duke Zhou (c. 1100-1000 BC)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Owl!
You've stolen my offspring,
Don't shatter my nest!
When with labors of love
I nurtured my fledglings.

Before the skies darkened
And the dark rains fell,
I gathered mulberry twigs
To thatch my nest,
Yet scoundrels now dare
Impugn my enterprise.

With fingers chafed rough
By the reeds I plucked
And the straw I threshed,
I now write these words,
Too hoarse to speak:
I am homeless!

My wings are withered,
My tail torn away,
My home toppled
And tossed into the rain,
My cry a distressed peep.

The Duke of Zhou (circa 1100-1000 BC), a member of the Zhou Dynasty also known as Ji Dan, played a major role in Chinese history and culture. He has been called “probably the first real person to step over the threshold of myth into Chinese history” and he may be the first Chinese poet we know by name today, and the spiritual ancestor of Confucius as well. The Duke was a capable and loyal regent for his young nephew King Cheng and successfully suppressed a number of rebellions. He has also been credited with writing the I Ching and the Book of Songs, also called the Book of Odes, and with creating yayue (“elegant music”) which became Chinese classical music. His poem “The Owl” was apparently written while he was away fighting on his nephew’s behalf, after court dissenters accused him of plotting to usurp the throne. Apparently the poem worked, as King Cheng welcomed his uncle back, and the Duke remained faithful till the end. Keywords/Tags: China, Chinese, translation, ode, odes, kingdom, king, duke, homeless, homelessness, homesick, homesickness

Keywords/Tags: Shijing, ****-Jing, Shih-Ching, translation, book, songs, odes, Confucius, Chinese, ancient, rhyme, rhyming, love, nature
Almost
by Michael R. Burch

We had—almost—an affair.
You almost ran your fingers through my hair.
I almost kissed the almonds of your toes.
We almost loved,
                            that’s always how love goes.

You almost contemplated using Nair
and adding henna highlights to your hair,
while I considered plucking you a Rose.
We almost loved,
                            that’s always how love goes.

I almost found the words to say, “I care.”
We almost kissed, and yet you didn’t dare.
I heard coarse stubble grate against your hose.
We almost loved,
                            that’s always how love goes.

You almost called me suave and debonair
(perhaps because my chest is pale and bare?).
I almost bought you edible underclothes.
We almost loved,
                            that’s always how love goes.

I almost asked you where you kept your lair
and if by chance I might ****** you there.
You almost tweezed the redwoods from my nose.
We almost loved,
                            that’s always how love goes.

We almost danced like Rogers and Astaire
on gliding feet; we almost waltzed on air ...
until I mashed your plain, unpolished toes.
We almost loved,
                            that’s always how love goes.

I almost was strange Sonny to your Cher.
We almost sat in love’s electric chair
to be enlightninged, till our hearts unfroze.
We almost loved,
                            that’s always how love goes.

Keywords/Tags: Almost, love, lost love, loss, lost, relationship, relationships, hesitation, procrastination, hesitancy, vacillation, near, near miss, nearly, close call, miss you, missing you, missing, loneliness, lonely
All the More Human, for Eve Pandora
by Michael R. Burch

a lullaby for the first human Clone

God provide the soul, and let her sleep
be natural as ours, unplagued by dreams
of being someone else, lost in the deep
wild swells of losing all that "human" means ...

and do not let her come to doubt herself—
that she is as we are, so much alike
in frailty, in the books that line the shelf
that tell us who we are—a rickety ****

against the flood of doubt—that we are more
than cells and chance, that love, perhaps, exists
because of someone else who would endure
such pain because some part of her persists

in us, and calls us blesséd by her bed,
become a saint at last, in whose frail arms
we see ourselves—the gray won out of red,
the ash of blonde—till love is safe from harm

and all that "human" means is that we live
in doubt, and die in doubt, and only love
the more because we only know to strive
against an end we loathe and fear. What of?—

we cannot say, imagining the Night
as some weird darkened structure caving in
to cold enormous pressure. Lacking sight,
we lie unbreathing, thinking breath a sin ...

and that is to be human. You are us—
true mortal, child of doubt, hopeful and curious.

Keywords/Tags: Eve, Pandora, human, clone, humanity, human being, human condition, evolution, birth, death, life and death, soul, soulmate, saint, youth
This is my modern English translation of Paul Valéry's poem “Le cimetière marin” (“The graveyard by the sea”). Valéry was buried in the seaside cemetery evoked in his best-known poem. From the vantage of the cemetery, the tombs seemed to “support” a sea-ceiling dotted with white sails. Valéry begins and ends his poem with this image ...

Excerpts from “Le cimetière marin” (“The graveyard by the sea”)
from Charmes ou poèmes (1922)
by Paul Valéry
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Do not, O my soul, aspire to immortal life, but exhaust what is possible.
—Pindar, Pythian Ode 3

1.
This tranquil ceiling, where white doves are sailing,
stands propped between tall pines and foundational tombs,
as the noonday sun composes, with its flames,
sea-waves forever forming and reforming ...
O, what a boon, when some lapsed thought expires,
to reflect on the placid face of Eternity!

5.
As a pear dissolves in the act of being eaten,
transformed, through sudden absence, to delight
relinquishing its shape within our mouths,
even so, I breathe in vapors I’ll become,
as the sea rejoices and its shores enlarge,
fed by lost souls devoured; more are rumored.

6.
Beautiful sky, my true-blue sky, ’tis I
who alters! Pride and indolence possessed me,
yet, somehow, I possessed real potency ...
But now I yield to your ephemeral vapors
as my shadow steals through stations of the dead;
its delicate silhouette crook-*******, “Forward!”

8.
... My soul still awaits reports of its nothingness ...

9.
... What corpse compels me forward, to no end?
What empty skull commends these strange bone-heaps?
A star broods over everything I lost ...

10.
... Here where so much antique marble
shudders over so many shadows,
the faithful sea slumbers ...

11.
... Watchful dog ...
Keep far from these peaceful tombs
the prudent doves, all impossible dreams,
the angels’ curious eyes ...

12.
... The brittle insect scratches out existence ...
... Life is enlarged by its lust for absence ...
... The bitterness of death is sweet and the mind clarified.

13.
... The dead do well here, secured here in this earth ...
... I am what mutates secretly in you ...

14.
I alone can express your apprehensions!
My penitence, my doubts, my limitations,
are fatal flaws in your exquisite diamond ...
But here in their marble-encumbered infinite night
a formless people sleeping at the roots of trees
have slowly adopted your cause ...

15.
... Where, now, are the kindly words of the loving dead? ...
... Now grubs consume, where tears were once composed ...

16.
... Everything dies, returns to earth, gets recycled ...

17.
And what of you, great Soul, do you still dream
there’s something truer than these deceitful colors:
each flash of golden surf on eyes of flesh?
Will you still sing, when you’re as light as air?
Everything perishes and has no presence!
I am not immune; Divine Impatience dies!

18.
Emaciate consolation, Immortality,
grotesquely clothed in your black and gold habit,
transfiguring death into some Madonna’s breast,
your pious ruse and cultivated lie:
who does not know and who does not reject
your empty skull and pandemonic laughter?

24.
The wind is rising! ... We must yet strive to live!
The immense sky opens and closes my book!
Waves surge through shell-shocked rocks, reeking spray!
O, fly, fly away, my sun-bedazzled pages!
Break, breakers! Break joyfully as you threaten to shatter
this tranquil ceiling where white doves are sailing!

*

“Le vent se lève! . . . il faut tenter de vivre!
L'air immense ouvre et referme mon livre,
La vague en poudre ose jaillir des rocs!
Envolez-vous, pages tout éblouies!
Rompez, vagues! Rompez d'eaux réjouies
Ce toit tranquille où picoraient des focs!”

Keywords/Tags: Paul Valery, French poem, English translation, sea, seaside, cemetery, grave, graves, graveyard, death, sail, sails, doves, ceiling, soul, souls
Michael R Burch Dec 2021
These are my modern English translations of sonnets by the French poet Stephane Mallarme.

The Tomb of Edgar Poe
by Stéphane Mallarmé
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Transformed into himself by Death, at last,
the Bard unsheathed his Art’s recondite blade
to duel with dullards, blind & undismayed,
who’d never heard his ardent Voice, aghast!

Like dark Medusan demons of the past
who’d failed to heed such high, angelic words,
men called him bendered, his ideas absurd,
discounting all the warlock’s spells he’d cast.

The wars of heaven and hell? Earth’s senseless grief?
Can sculptors carve from myths a bas-relief
to illuminate the sepulcher of Poe?

No, let us set in granite, here below,
a limit and a block on this disaster:
this Blasphemy, to not acknowledge a Master!

The original French poem appears after the translations

"Le Cygne" ("The Swan")
by Stéphane Mallarmé
this untitled poem is also called Mallarmé's "White Sonnet"
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The virginal, the vivid, the vivacious day:
can its brilliance be broken by a wild wing-blow
delivered to this glacial lake
whose frozen ice-falls impede flight? No.

In past reflections on its thoughts today
the Swan remembers freedom, but can’t make
a song from its surroundings, only take
on the winter's ghostly hue of snow.

In the Swan's white agony its bared neck lies
within a guillotine its sense denies.
Slowly being frozen to its inner being,
the body ignores the phantom spirit fleeing...

Cold contempt for its captor
is of no use to the raptor.



Le tombeau d’Edgar Poe
by Stéphane Mallarmé

Tel qu’en Lui-même enfin l’éternité le change,
Le Poète suscite avec un glaive nu
Son siècle épouvanté de n’avoir pas connu
Que la mort triomphait dans cette voix étrange!
Eux, comme un vil sursaut d’hydre oyant jadis l’ange
Donner un sens plus pur aux mots de la tribu,
Proclamèrent très haut le sortilège bu
Dans le flot sans honneur de quelque noir mélange.
Du sol et de la nue hostiles, ô grief!
Si notre idée avec ne sculpte un bas-relief
Dont la tombe de Poe éblouissante s’orne
Calme bloc ici-bas chu d’un désastre obscur
Que ce granit du moins montre à jamais sa borne
Aux noirs vols du Blasphème épars dans le futur.



Le Cygne
by Stéphane Mallarmé

Le vierge, le vivace et le bel aujourd'hui
Va-t-il nous déchirer avec un coup d'aile ivre
Ce lac dur oublié que hante sous le givre
Le transparent glacier des vols qui n'ont pas fui !
Un cygne d'autrefois se souvient que c'est lui
Magnifique mais qui sans espoir se délivre
Pour n'avoir pas chanté la région où vivre
Quand du stérile hiver a resplendi l'ennui.
Tout son col secouera cette blanche agonie
Par l'espace infligée à l'oiseau qui le nie,
Mais non l'horreur du sol où le plumage est pris.
Fantôme qu'à ce lieu son pur éclat assigne,
Il s'immobilise au songe froid de mépris
Que vêt parmi l'exil inutile le Cygne.

Stephane Mallarme was a major French poet and one of the leading French symbolist poets.

Keywords/Tags: Stephane Mallarme, France, French poet, symbolism, symbolist, symbolic, poetry, Edgar Allan Poe, grave, tomb, sepulcher, memorial, elegy, eulogy, epitaph, sonnet
Michael R Burch Dec 2021
The Story
by Kamal Nasser
translation by Michael R. Burch

I will tell you a story ...
a story that lived in the dreams of my people,
a story that comes from the world of tents.
It is a story inspired by hunger and embellished by dark nights of terror.
It is the story of my country, a handful of refugees.
Every twenty of them have a pound of flour between them
and a few promises of relief ... gifts and parcels.
It is the story of the suffering ones
who stood waiting in line ten years,
in hunger,
in tears and agony,
in hardship and yearning.
It is a story of a people who were misled,
who were thrown into the mazes of the years.
And yet they stood defiant,
disrobed yet united
as they trudged from the light to their tents:
the revolution of return
into the world of darkness.

Kamal Nasser was a much-admired Palestinian poet and Palestinian Christian, who due to his renowned integrity was known as "The Conscience." He was a member of Jordan's parliament in 1956. He was murdered in 1973 by an Israeli death squad whose most notorious member was future Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Barak (born Ehud Brog) later ruled as Israel’s tenth Prime Minister from 1999 to 2001. His adopted Hebrew name Barak means "lightning." As a younger man, Brog/Barak was a member of a secret assassination unit that liquidated Palestinians in Lebanon and the occupied territories. In the 1973 covert mission Operation Spring of Youth in Beirut, which was part of the larger Operation Wrath of God, he disguised himself as a woman in order to assassinate Palestinians. The raid resulted in the deaths of two women, one of them an elderly Italian. Two Lebanese policemen were also killed, along with the poet Kamal Nasser.

Nasser was the PLO's most prominent Christian and he enjoyed "great appeal" in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq "both as a distinguished poet and likeable personality." He was the “conscience of the Palestinian revolution,” according to Nazih Abul-Nidal, who worked with him on the magazine Filastin al-Thawra. Nasser “had the most democratic outlook of all Palestinian leaders at the time,” he recalls. He respected opposing views, admired the commitment of young people, and was a major recruitment asset for the Palestinian revolution. “That is why he was put high on the hit-list.” The previous year, the Israelis had murdered another renowned Palestinian writer and activist in Beirut, Ghassan Kanafani, by *****-trapping his car. Nasser’s successor, Majed Abu Sharar, was also assassinated by Israelis, in Rome in 1981 while attending a conference in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Keywords/Tags: Kamal Nasser, Palestinian, Palestine, PLO, Conscience, Ramallah, Christian, religion, poet, Arab, Arabic, Arab Spring, betrayal, conflict, courage, devotion
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