Monday, 24 September 2012

Forbidden



my joys are simple:  sun on my face and writing by the window. 
      after 50 beatings, i change them to goat's milk and sweet pumpkin.         

~0~0~

forbidden from my eyes and henna dyed hands,  

      i dream of your lips, dripping with words sweeter than honey. 
    
~0~0~

your scent clings to my face, soft as rain,
     why can't i choose my love ? 
      
~0~0~


i hide the pressed blooms and stained book under my pillow - 
      your last gifts to me.  
      

~0~0~

night wind carries your voice above the sad fields,  

     my fingers pluck the sheep-boned strings - as softly as i could -    

~0~0~   

under my burqa, world is small as my hand.
     but with my pen, hidden under the folds, i dream of the sky.  
     

Note:  I had originally posted my landai poems in my other blog.  Because of the positive comments, I added more to share with my friends in OpenLinkNight - Real Toads (Monday) and D'verse Poets Pub (Tuesday).

Landai poems are mostly voices of Afghan women.  They are two-line folk poems that can often be humorous, sexy, raging, tragic and  also deal with love, grief,  war, exile and Afghan independence. The success of the poetry form is attributed to it being easy to memorize, which is really important in a culture where women are poorly schooled and forbidden to write or read (including to sing) poetry.  

An interesting Article:  Why Afghan Women Risk Death to Write Poetry

Picture credit: here

43 comments:

  1. I love your words, the intimacy your shared and the ending! :D

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    1. Thank you for the compliments and visit Ella ~

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  2. This is such an evocative piece--thank you for explaining about landai poems---and thank you for this portrait of a woman--so artfully wrought

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    1. Thank you Audrey for the lovely words and visit ~

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  3. nice...really like the one with the scent on the face...yet unable to choose your love....interesting contrast in that one for me...and the music of the next to last one too....cool grace

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    1. Thank you for the support and encouragement Brian ~

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  4. Each one of these landai is incredibly beautiful. I especially love that under her burqa she dreams of the sky. So uplifting.

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  5. Such beauty in these...the first one really stirs my heart.

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  6. When I first began reading this it had a distinctly Asian feel to it and by that I mean the way women have no freedom. But yes, I see how the same forms result in a different culture given the same circumstances. (I'm thinking of the Secret Languages of the Fan here). Thank you for including them here as they have real importance to women and are potent.

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  7. So glad you posted them here. They're beautiful. And thanks for teaching me something. I'm off to read the article. This is so interesting, sad too.

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  8. I finally followed you on your other blog. I don't know why I waited so long. That article was heartbreaking and you told their story so well here. Thank you, Heaven.

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  9. I can feel what you are writing about ... very clearly ... hope you can too ... this is heavy duty, but very universal stuff ... stoning of innocent women is still practiced in my culture ... heavy heart ... but thanks for writing down your thoughts at all ... Love, cat.

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  10. These are beautiful, Heaven. Each has so much feeling. No way would I be able to choose a favorite!!

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  11. This was really exceptional Grace.
    I think you expressed well what many have hidden in their heart
    ~rick

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  12. Beautiful sets of landai, Heaven! One could feel the pleadings of the oppressed, Nicely!

    Hank

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  13. Sucks what they have to go through, and once more real brought out the emotions behind it.

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  14. I knew immediately that the poem sounded familiar to me, and then I read that I already read it over at your other blog :)
    I know a number of Muslim ladies who actually wear burkas by their own choice even though their mothers and fathers don't make them wear them.

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  15. I have lived in Afghanistan and have seen the pathetic status of afghan women. These verses have a raw beauty...this is news to me. Thanks for sharing

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  16. These are so moving, Heaven, and the set together creates an overwhelming sense of injustice.

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  17. I have had the privilege of reading some these Landai poems in Bengali translation.remarkably powerful stuff.your poems recalled them.sharp and poignant creations.wonderfully done.

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  18. We women in the west do not realise and mostly take for granted how free we are. I feel for these women who just want to live.
    Deep emotions here Heaven.

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  19. Haunting, spare and beautiful--the life of the mind reduced to basic components, yet spun into wonderful creations.

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  20. really beautiful and almost haunting. xo

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  21. Lovely and so full of feeling and images, Heaven! Just beautiful...
    -Eva

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  22. I really like the one that starts ... under my burqa. Gonna check out why they risk their lives to write poetry.

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  23. This is an education for me...how sad these women are forbidden to express themselves freely. Thank you for bringing these poignant beauties to us!

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  24. Wow... you really have the form down. This is amazing!

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  25. lovely insights Grace - eye opener - xx lib

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  26. I have been schooled...these are wonderful! Compelling form which means I'm now off to read the article...sorry poets!

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  27. Lovely, Grace. I enjoyed them :)

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  28. wow, these are beautiful little gems, the story behind them making them all the more precious.

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  29. hi heaven

    after 50 beatings, i change them to goat's milk and sweet pumpkin.

    love that line!

    a superb selection :D

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  30. the world gets wide with a pen in hand...no matter how restricted we are..still i wish they had more freedom..

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  31. Loved it before and love it now--great idea to share here too :-)

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  32. Powerful poems, stark as any haiku and with the metaphor under them to resonate like harp strings - sending the message out into the universe. Wonderful!

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  33. under my burqa, world is small as my hand.
    but with my pen, hidden under the folds, i dream of the sky.

    We all do covered under some form of it! Hugs xoxo

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  34. I've never heard of these types of poems. Yours paints an awesome picture. Thanks for teaching me something new!

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  35. from first to last...each one is absolutely beautiful.

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  36. Wonderful poem Heaven.
    Says so much , wonderful verse.
    Under my burqua - as a feminist sometimes it makes me cry and scream about this suppression in the name of religion. Love these.

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  37. Heaven, these are heaven, you know? You did it, you channeled them, you heard them, their hearts, their cries, their struggles and you spoke for them so beautifully and really... absolutely perfectly. Just think. If even one of those beautiful women who died in order for others like them to be set free to speak their own thoughts and hearts and souls could read your words...

    I offer you a standing ovation.

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  38. Heaven, the poems were beautiful. They and the photo made me immediately think of Coptic Cairo which is of course Christian. I thought of it as I have been there, long ago. Thank you for the very interesting information about there "landau poems."

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  39. These poems are beautiful, what a wonderful and rebellious tradition. I loved the article thankyou for posting it. It was incredible, there is so much pain and heartbreak and yet life, strength and hope. It's so overwhelming there is so much we don't know... thank you again.

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