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...

Class Pictures

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.

-Shlomit Cohen-Assif
Translated by Nely Segal

Shihab Nye, Naomi (selected the poems) The Flag of Childhood: POems from the MIddle East. (Aladdin Paperbacks, New York 1998).

Comments

Popular Posts