Tag Archives: Maḥmud Darwīsh

Final Versions and Meaning Transformation: The Example of Maḥmud Darwīsh (Published)

It is usual for a poetic text to undergoe changes between the draft and the print versions. But Maḥmūd Darwīsh continued changing his poems even after they were in print, out of a desire to further refine his poetic output. I shall therefore treat a former edition of a poem as a draft of the later edition. In fact, Darwīsh not only made changes of this kind using a variety of techniques; he also made changes in the text that was recited orally before an audience. I have thus treated the recited versions as an “illegitimate final text”, since there are reasons why he made such changes. In a number of printed texts he also used the technique of exclusion, both in collections and in single poems. The question that I address in this context is the following: What are the relationships and dialectics between the various different types of modifications that Darwīsh made in his texts and the formulation of meaning as a message that the poet wishes to convey to the receiver?

Keywords: Draft, Final versions, Maḥmud Darwīsh, Meaning Transformation, Modern Arabic Poetry.