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From the Palestinian Institute For National Guidance
Prison in Palestinian Poetry (1967 – 2001) for Fayez Abu Shammaleh

A new book titled “Prison in Palestinian Poetry (1967 – 2001)” for the researcher Fayez Abu Shammaleh was recently published by the Palestinian Institute for National Guidance in Ramallah. The book is concurrent with the advancement of the issue of the detainees now held inside the Israeli occupation cells and behind its bars as well as the publication of the “Detainees Magazines”, which addresses the issues of the detainees movement.

In the introduction, the researcher states: “Poetry behind bars was not venting about a moment’s suffocation or the depiction of heroism. Poetry in sadness’ fold is a delicate human sense with a transparency that transcends the consciousness with all that the words store of evocative illustrations that dispel a worshiping loyalty and a lover’s tenderness, and reflects motherhood’s glow and a child’s chuckle. These poems that were produced by an emotional human experience constitute the study’s backbone and its base, especially that I lived with it and it blossomed in front of my eyes.”

The book included an introduction, a preface, five chapters, and a conclusion. In the first chapter, the researcher addressed the prison’s objective dimensions in so far as the constricted space, the absolute silence, the chains and interrogation’s dark cellars, the isolation rooms, desolate walls, and the jailer’s duties in employing what was mentioned earlier in addition to their reflection on man’s being and feelings.

In the second chapter, he addressed what rankles in the detainee’s being in so far as the interactions and interplays between hope and despair, material deprivation and spiritual fulfillment, as well as between spatial alienation on the one hand and pride in one’s self, challenge and the determination for communication on the other; in addition to the effect of the Palestinian society and the Intifada on spreading the spirit of optimism inside the prison.

In the third chapter, Mr. Abu Shammaleh addressed time from the detainee’s perspective as well as how poets were able to illustrate the waiting time and the busy time and how to differentiate between them. He also illustrates how the family exposes the white thread from the black one in the intertwining of night and day as well as to what extent the future remained fixed and shining despite prison’s gloom.
The writer chose to address the issue of women in the fourth chapter as well as the extent of her effect on the lives of the poet detainees, whether they were mothers, beloveds, daughters, or sisters. Emotions have gathered in the heart only to come out as love for the woman, which is mixed in the soul with the land. For women were partners in men’s actions as well as the source of hope in a renewed life outside bars.

Finally, the fifth and last chapter addressed the detainees’ poems from an artistic point of view, after the researcher divided them into three parts: The Poetic Dictionary for Detainees, Artistic Illustration in Their Poems, as well as The Rhythm and The Significance.

The book was published in 512 large-size papers and it is the eighth book in the Palestinian Institute for National Guidance’s various series. We point here that the Institute will also publish two new books in July and they are: “Normalization – Between the Concept and Practice” for the researcher Said Yaqin as well as the biography novel “Three Very Palestinian Nights” for the critic Subhi Shahrur.