“You must know … surely, you must know it was all for you. You are too generous to trifle with me. I believe you spoke with my aunt last night, and it has taught me to hope as I’d scarcely allowed myself before. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes have not changed, but one word from you will silence me forever.”
— Poem written by an 11 year old Afghan girl
This poem was recorded in a NYT magazine article about female underground poetry groups in Afghanistan. An amazing article about the ways in which women are using a traditional two line poetry form to express their resistance to male oppression, their feelings about love (considered blasphemous), and their doubts about religion.
One of the best articles I’ve read all year. Here’s the link
so, so you think you can tell
heaven from hell?
blue skies from pain?
can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail?
a smile from a veil?
do you think you can tell?
did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?
hot ashes for trees?
hot air for a cool breeze?
cold comfort for change?
did you exchange a part in the war for a lead role in a cage?
how i wish, how i wish you were here
we’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year.
running over the same ground
what have we found?
the same old fears
i wish you were here