The current issue (v37 no6) has poems by Mahmoud Darwish (trs by Fady Joudah) and an article called 'The Architecture of Loneliness' by Kazim Ali which are worth a look.
Ali's thoughts on exile are framed by a meditation of the cathedral inside the Great Mosque of Cordoba. Or rather the mosque with the cathedal inside.
Speaking about Darwish: "…if a place is to be made into metaphor, the wanderer has a shot of keeping his home alive and in his pocket" he compares this with the experience of Cristina Peri Rossi, Mehmedinovic and Yannis Ritsos. And asks: What is important - the place or the exile from the place?
When in the Great Mosque:
...I haven't uttered prayers in years but neither have I ever decided I wasn’t a Muslim There in that space, where prayer is expressly forbidden, I – who am myself in a certain fashion forbidden – found myself in the most curious position: it wasn't that that I should pray, obligated by my faith, but in that place, vexed and altered, was perhaps the only place I could …That vexed place, the once-mosque now very stridently Not-a-mosque for me became the only possible mosque, and exile in a structure of loss and loneliness, [like] a Jew at the remaining wall, the site of my very faith an interrupted, displaced, transposed place.As he says elsewhere: Exile is a condition of the heart.
No one knows a country like those exiled from it, and no one knows god like those expelled from paradise. …the primary condition of a person excluded from history or paradise is loneliness. it is not loneliness for the country or god left behind, because the very fact of exile convinced you that it was never yours to begin with. Rather one realises a deeper loneliness, profound, that lives in the heart of the human and cannot be succoured.