Poetry and beauty are always making peace. When you read something beautiful you find coexistence; it breaks walls down.
Sometimes I feel as if I am read before I write. When I write a poem about my mother, Palestinians think my mother is a symbol for Palestine. But I write as a poet, and my mother is my mother. She’s not a symbol.
Don’t ask who’s influenced me. A lion is made up of the lambs he’s digested, and I’ve been reading all my life.
History laughs at both the victim and the aggressor.
When I passed the age of 50, I learned how to control my emotions.
The importance of poetry is not measured, finally, by what the poet says but by how he says it.
Every religion implies that it treats the problem of being and nonbeing, life and death. Their languages are different, but they speak about the same things.
Whether religion is man-made is a question for philosophers or theologians. But the forms are man-made. They are a human response to something. As a historian of religions, I am interested in those expressions.
Some people ask, ‘How do you attract the young and so many different people when your poetry is complicated and different?’ I say, ‘My accomplishment is that my readers trust me and accept my suggestions for change.’
When a writer declares that his first book is his best, that is bad. I progress successively from book to book.