An Analysis of Mahmoud Darwish’s “ a gentle rain in a strange autumn
In this poem, “A gentle rain in a distant autumn”, Mahmoud Darwish, Palestine’s national productive poet and author, expresses his nostalgia and craving for both; his homeland after his exile, and for the glorious and sparkling era when Palestine was a free country. In my opinion, his love of the country is obvious in all the verses. I find that Darwish makes this poem moving by using a wide range of figures of speech, mainly metaphors, he also emphasizes on his willingness to sacrifice for the country by repeating the verse “and reasons for a new death “. I believe that He also misses the tenderness of his mother by mentioning several times ‘the handkerchief ‘, all of that, demonstrates the strong bond between him and his country and his attachment to it. In the first stanza, Darwish starts by showing his missing for the shiny era, when everything was beautiful and sparkling, but that’s not the case anymore, it’s a distant autumn. The tone here is a mixture of nostalgia and happiness especially in the third verse “the earth is a feast”.
But suddenly, the tone becomes sad, especially in the fifth verse, “from my country which fell out of the window of a train “I believe that he used that metaphor to point out that this era is just a part of the past, and that things have changed. Then he talks about his mother’s handkerchief which I believe is used to show the sadness he is experiencing and that he is in need of the tenderness of his mother to wipe away his tears. I think that the last verse of that stanza is about Palestinians’ surrender, he wants his people to be rebellious again, there is nothing to die for now, which I believe means that he lost hope, and faith. In the second stanza, he is kind of giving a title to the stanza, by changing the adjective of the autumn, he uses the word strange to emphasize that things have changed , and it’s no longer glorious as it was in the distant era, and the most important aspect that changed is his feelings of being insignificant in the eyes of his people by comparing himself to a stolen orange that nobody would care for , but he still misses his home and mentions the white windows and the citrus grove which Palestine was famous for. In the fifth verse, he uses a nice figure of speech, the personification of his country with human characteristics, I believe that here, he’s talking about his exile, (i.e.: being forced to leave his country is as if his country was running away from him ), in the sixth verse, he points out his feelings of betrayal, I believe that he means by daggers; the ones who surrendered, and by nightingales, the ones who are still fighting for the freedom of the country, and then he repeats the 2 verses mentioned in every stanza.
In the third stanza, he expresses his sadness by saying “ sad autumn “, then he points out the problem of broken promises, he conveys this message in a beautiful way, he drew a vivid analogy, by comparing the promises to a plant without sun, which will not grow. And then he says, addressing the western people maybe, that he is not responsible for the situation of Palestine. For the sixth verse, I didn’t really understand what he means, but in the following verse, I believe he means that he will sacrifice for the coming generations, and his death, and all rebellious people’s souls will be the cost of the freedom of Palestine, the country that he cannot visit because of the exile, and at the end, he repeats the same verses again. In the last stanza, he first four verses are the same as the first stanza, and then in the fifth verse, he shows his pessimism, and then he asks two questions that will be answered in the following two verses, and here, he expresses his strong bond between him and his country, and despite the misery in his country, he loves it no matter what happens, then I don’t know who is he addressing by the kiss, maybe his mom. In the tenth verse, he mentioned that his country slaughtered him, which is a strong metaphor that I believe means his exile. This poem is unique. The use of metaphor is predominant to convey a vivid image of what he is feeling and to paint his pessimism and his sadness.