Everything in life that one works for can be taken away in a matter of seconds. However, one thing that people hold onto no matter what is their name. A name is something that cost nothing and can always be called one’s own. Unfortunately this is not true for the speaker of the poem “Identity Card. ” Losing individuality and suffering can be avoided more often than not; however, that is not the case in Mahout Dervish’s “Identity Card” where a Palestinian man suffers due to Israeli forces taking what is rightfully his.
Identity Card” moves from a tone of controlled frustration/chaos and pride through a defensive tone followed by an accusatory tone finishing with a rather provoking tone, and finally to an understanding as the speaker expresses his experience. The speaker begins with, “l am an Arab,” and then continuously uses the same phrase to display strong feelings Of pride towards his own nationality. The speaker is not ashamed of where he is from and foreshadows the later details of the Israelis judging him. The tone then transitions to defensive as stated, “On my head the ‘axial cords over a kefir/
Scratching him who touches it. ” The traditional header is symbolic of the speaker’s life because he declares that if one were to touch the header they would get scratched; similarly if one were to mess with his life, he will lash out at them. Additionally the diction of “scratch” is symbolic of the Arabic population being an annoyance to the Israelis. The tone then shifts to accusatory in the third to last stanza that creates the main argument of the poem. The speaker of the poem utilizes repetition and diction to develop his tone as he habits the word “you. Through this diction and repetition, the beaker makes it blatantly clear what he is going through is the fault of others, and not his own doing. Finally the poem comes to a provoking tone established through details as the speaker says, “And yet, if were to become hungry/l shall eat the flesh of my usurper. ” The details are implemented in order to describe how the speaker is not a violent man; however, if others provoke him, they better expect retaliation. Throughout the poem there are many lines that help develop the meaning of the poem as a whole.
The true turning point of the poem is found when the speaker says, You stole my refresher’ Vienna reds And land I used to till, I and all my children, And you left us and all my grandchildren Nothing but these rocks. This section of the poem can be found in the third to last stanza of the poem because it is where the tone shifts from prideful and defensive to very accusatory and almost desperate. The lines as a whole argue the point that the Israelis have taken everything from the speaker including his land and a future for his family, in addition to taking his identity and labeling him as a number on an identity card.
The Palestinian speaker makes it clear that the season he is miserable is due to Israeli control, by repeatedly using the word “you. ” The speaker also emphasizes that the Israelis are not only affecting him with their actions but his entire family, including past and future generations. He illustrates how the Israelis took his “forefathers’ vineyards” and land [the speaker] used to till” in addition to mentioning his children and grandchildren. Three lines from the stanza that captures the two major themes of the overall poem are, “And you left us and all my grandchildren/ Nothing but these rocks.
Will your government be taking them too. ” The two lines depict how the Israelis have literally taken everything from the Palestinians including his own individuality, leaving him with nothing, causing him to suffer. These lines are the turning point of the poem where the speaker changes from being loyal to himself and his country, to making it clear to the Israelis that his hardships are their fault and that they better watch their back. The poem was written in order to depict the hardships that the Palestinian people were going through due to Israeli dictatorship.
Mahout Darkish utilizes a Palestinian speaker in order to address the Israeli audience in hopes to receive some relief from the belittling of the Palestinian race. In a larger picture however, Darkish intended to capture the world as his audience and open their eyes to the hardships that the Palestinians were going through because of the Israeli control of Palestine.