"All humans are members of the same body Created from one essence"

"Human beings are members of a whole in creation of one essence and soul. If one member is afflicted with pain, other members uneasy will remain."

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Suheir Hammad

I have been a huge admirer of Hammad's work since I first read her book of poems called Born Palestinian Born Black. Suheir Hammad has given us a collection of poems that have their roots in a land near the edge of the sea.

 Here is the voice of a woman who has not forgotten the plight of her people! Born Palestinian Born Black is about culture, conflict, and culture.

The author preface's says, "I was born a black woman / and now / I am become a Palestinian / against the relentless laughter of evil / there is less and less living room / and where are my loved ones? / It is time to make our way home."

Poet Suhair Hammad was born in Amman, Jordan, to refugee Palestinian parents. She immigrated with her family to Brooklyn, New York, when she was just five years old inspired by poet-performers such as Nikki Giovanni.

Barbara Jane Reyes wrote

"I have been a huge admirer of Hammad’s work since I first read her poem, “Of Woman Torn,” in the anthology The poetry of Arab Women, edited by Nathalie Handal. 

Hammad’s “Of Woman Torn” addresses the so-called “honor killing” of an eloped young woman by her father in Cairo in 1997"

palestine’s daughter
love making can be as dangerous
as curfews broken
guerillas hidden

you join now those who won’t leave
the earth haunt my
sleep who watch my
back whenever i lay
the forced suicides the
dowry deaths and

decapitated by
her father on her forbidden
honeymoon he paraded
her head through
cairo to prove his
manhood this is 1997

and i can only hope
you had a special song a
poem memorized a secret
that made you smile
this is a love
poem cause i love
you now woman
who lived tried to
love in this world of
machetes and sin

i smell your ashes
of zaatar and almonds
under my skin
i carry your bones

According to Jane Reye, Hammad's syntax is broken, her lines are clipped, and her poems are bombardments of images and words, demonstrations of brokennes and piecing togetherof selves, of languages, histories, and geographies.

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