under my burqa, world is small as my hand,
but with my pen, hidden under the folds, i dream of the sky.
why can't i choose my love,
i am not made of stone nor dry straw dusting the ground.
kill me with your hands,
but my words will live, setting my henna-inked sisters free.
Written for Real Toads: 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.
Also shared with: Flash Fiction Friday - 55 words for the G-man ~
An interesting Article: Why Afghan Women Risk Death to Write Poetry
Picture credit: Afghan Women's Writing Project
I LOVE these - especially that she dreams of the sky.....so beautiful.ReplyDelete
Brilliant, Grace. My favorites are the first and third. Women WILL find a way!ReplyDelete
these are awesome...each carrying a bit of rebellion in them...the hidden pen, the desire to change tradition and the sought freedom for others in the last....really great pieces....ReplyDelete
Marvelous set of landai. That third one is really powerful!ReplyDelete
Well written ... love it !!!ReplyDelete
very powerful...they would love to sing this...ReplyDelete
With that over her, and all she can see is through the grill, she may as well be in jail.ReplyDelete
These are all very powerful Grace and many women risk their lives to think so freely let alone write it down.
We went shopping in an English countryside village where the entire well-heeled world concregates because everything from Bond Street is 30 percent off [as if they needed the money]. Burka-clad women, shopping with a man for ....fancy underwear it seemed. Bizarre. Didn't hear much English spoken whilst we walked around. It seemed like a parallel universe or something in a nightmare. Oppression in the midst of our freedom hurts even more.ReplyDelete
Awesome lines Grace....Words are everlasting...Lovely!ReplyDelete
A brave write, graceReplyDelete
And the times, they are a changing thanks to truth expressed.
They all were wonderful, but the last one for me sung!
Yes, their spirits are beautiful and they are brave!
I can't imagine, this life. It is haunting~
A desire hidden behind the mask, if only there changing was allowed to be an easy task.ReplyDelete
These are brilliant, Grace. There is so much thought behind each one, which really gets to the heart of the challenge.ReplyDelete
Wow, what powerful words, a beautiful poem--straight to the heart. Thank you :-)ReplyDelete
Very powerful landai, Grace. A strong voice in support of these women.ReplyDelete
Why can I choose my love??ReplyDelete
Amazing Grace just beautiful!
First time I'm learning about Landai poems. This is wonderful. And inspiring.ReplyDelete
I dream of the sky... that's brilliant. Loved the last one the most. Am glad I found out about Landal poems from you.ReplyDelete
Wow Great! thanks-ReplyDelete
From what I read in the news, I know the truth you capture here. The women I have met in High School classes and in The National Writing Project that wear burqa tell a different story, one of freedom and free choice. I believe both. And I like that both of your couplets sing.ReplyDelete
I love these, Grace. I think my favorite is "why can't I choose my love..."ReplyDelete
thank you so much for introducing me to this form. i've read a number of works about or by afghan women but have not encountered this type of poetry before. the first one truly hits deep. beautifully done. so meaningful.ReplyDelete
Thses little sentences, pieced together, added to, memorized are their thread of hope, their support. I wish their was a book of them.ReplyDelete
i like how you wove the hope in...that they can't kill their words...heard about this and they're so brave...brave write as well graceReplyDelete
Beautiful Grace...I especially love the first one.ReplyDelete
I just LOVE being educatedReplyDelete
Thanks for the introduction to this form
Thanks for being so brilliant about it
Loved your poetic 55 Grace
Thanks for playing, and have a Kick Ass Week-End
Interesting story behind your 55, Grace. Oppression sucks.ReplyDelete
And here I am, feeling sorry for myself because I have an awful head cold and watery eyes. How dare I? When I think of the women writing poetry in Afghanistan, I am ashamed of my trivial complaints.ReplyDelete
Bravo, Grace, and bravo to those wonderful women whose lives are so different from ours.
I hadn't heard of this form before, Grace. It's chilling to realize that women aren't allowed to write, so their words must be memorized. Hard to believe in this day and age that there is still such oppression against women... Thank you for sharing this...very important to be reminded.ReplyDelete
Very interesting form , very nicely done. Lovely 55!Mine is hereReplyDelete
Have you an AWESOME ROCKING WEEKEND!
These are beautiful .. why, oh why indeed are they not free to choose the men they love?ReplyDelete
yes, it's an extremely religious country, not many freedoms there :(ReplyDelete
Great image. Great format. I learned a lot here and I felt her longing.ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing this interesting poetry form and the Aphgan culture. Your lines are very powerful and inspiring. It's so sad that these women live under such oppression. But their spirit is not crushed, as you so nicely illustrated with your words. Change can take place when we stand up and voice our feelings. Well done, Grace :)ReplyDelete
and poetry shall set them free, thanks for this poemReplyDelete
Amazing job on this. That last one is just chilling.ReplyDelete