Sunday, September 19, 2021

Poetry Break: First Writing Since (Poem on Crisis of Terror) by Suheir Hammad

It's been 20 years since the horrific events of 9/11, events that, immprofs know, profoundly changed U.S. immigration.

I recommend reading Suheir Hammad's poem First Writing Since (Poem on Crisis of Terror). It was published in In Motion Magazine on November 7, 2001, not two months after 9/11. It's a long poem, so I'll simply entice you with this excerpt:

thank you to the woman who saw me brinking my cool and blinking back
tears. she opened her arms before she asked "do you want a hug?" a
big white woman, and her embrace was the kind only people with the
warmth of flesh can offer. i wasn't about to say no to any comfort.
"my brother's in the navy," i said. "and we"re arabs". "wow, you
got double trouble." word.

5. one more person ask me if i knew the hijackers.
one more motherfucker ask me what navy my brother is in.
one more person assume no arabs or muslims were more person
assume they know me, or that i represent a people.
or that a people represent an evil. or that evil is as simple as a
flag and words on a page.

Ten years after the publication of this poem, Hammad gave a TED talk on Poems of war, peace, women, power. It's a short 5:36 if you've got the time.


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