At the risk of appearing utterly backwards and unappreciative of the arts in all their forms, and while I have long adored books of all genres, poetry has remained the last bastion of writing to prove elusive both in terms of writing, and reading.
Certainly, I can appreciate good poetry and gasp in all the right places, yet still not be entirely moved.
Until today that is, when I came across the following poem by the Tunisian poet, Dalila al-Zaituni, composed in 1982 and translated from French by miriam cooke.
As the sadness and emotion ooze from each word, al-Zaituni’s writing could wring tears from a statue:
My life is lack,
So why live?
My life is tears
and flames of a burning heart
The light of all candles has hid
Why a life of grief?
My life is anxiety,
ice and a winter night
and a slow death…extinction
Is there no mercy, O Time?
My life is a desert,
Where is the light, the day?
[Taken from: Opening the Gates: An Anthology of Arab Feminist Writing, by Margot Badran and miriam cooke, 2004.]