April 19 Poetry: Poems from the MIddle East
The Flag of Childhood: Poems From the Middle East- this is a great book of poetry. S gave me this book and he wrote in it, "may this poetry build bridges- new connections for us a family." They are beautiful poems, simple, profound, and very easy to read- not complicated.
Hugely emotional with complicated and very gendered lives in them. I have chosen one that speaks to all of us who have sat for a class photo! And all of us who see the person missing from photos...
IN the last week of school
There's a camera in class, and smiles
(the teacher's in the center, wearing flowers.)
Gideon is next to Yael,
They're a couple.
Ruth's eyes are closed, she's dreaming.
And I'm not in the picture.
I had the measles.
On the last day of school
There's a camera in the yard, and smiles
(the teacher's next to me, wearing flowers.)
And Gideon and Yael
are no longer a couple.
Yael closes her eyes, she's dreaming.
Ruth isn't in the picture.
She had the measles.
In the class picture,
In the yard, or in the building,
Someone is always missing.
Translated by Nely Segal
Shihab Nye, Naomi (selected the poems) The Flag of Childhood: POems from the MIddle East. (Aladdin Paperbacks, New York 1998).