Monday, July 24, 2006

A Nation Amputated

(Initially dedicated to May Chidiac, but now--sadly--to so many more.)

Today, we all lost an arm and a leg.
Today, from a distance, I cry a nation assassinated.
Today, I conjure a tingle in ghost limbs,
A word stuck under my skin,
A moan, a whimper.
Today, I pity my nation like I couldn't pity myself,
For today I love my nation like I couldn't love myself.
Today, in still images, I saw a dark horizon;
In torn metal, a stifled smile.
Pixelated and faded, a smile now contorted.

But silence,
You shall have none of it.
Rest
Shall elude you in your sleep.
And they will haunt you
Like slighted gods,
Like echoes of a scream.

We shall be your Medusa.
We'll grow a thousand words
For every tongue you trim;
We'll sprout a million songs
For every throat you choke.
And we shall rise,
Like your worst nightmare,
As if from a dream.

(Originally posted Sep. 25, 2005)

2 comments:

Maya said...

You should send this to her... :(

Anonymous said...

Lovely.

Your very first sentence is brilliant, very poetic, very strong, very expressive. Your second sentence is one that you have overused (structurally). The three following lines add little to my faculties.

Then “Today, I pity my nation like I couldn't pity myself,
For today I love my nation like I couldn't love myself.” Comes and it is dazzling. I loved it, I loved it, I loved it. Especially “For today I love my nation like I couldn't love myself.” My Lord how true! Brilliant.

“But silence, /You shall have none of it.” Is something I hear everyday. Not interesting. The rest of that paragraph is more interesting, though.

“We shall be your Medusa” is weak. Maybe it would have not been weak were not everyone saying it (in different ways). Then again, how important is it to up with new content if the old one is what we feel a need to express? On the other hand, the remainder of the paragraph does not deviate contentwise, but is stronger than that first line, so it must have to do with the form of “We shall be your Medusa” as well. Anyway, the remainder of the paragraph is stronger and presents imagery that is at once powerful and airy (ce qui est cool). Nonetheless, the best part here –I felt- was the surprise at the end; “Like your worst nightmare,/ As if from a dream.” Very lovely. But nothing near the powerful sincerity of “For today I love my nation like I couldn't love myself.” Yay! Trop bien!

Ton frère Ahmad

Post Scriptum; I agree with Maya.