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Landays: Poetry of Afghan Women
June 3, 2013 12:53 PM   Subscribe

You sold me to an old man, father. May God destroy your home, I was your daughter.
posted by DarlingBri (16 comments total) 74 users marked this as a favorite

 
looks like the poets/translators are the same as here: The Poetry of Afghanistan's Women at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, DC and Afghanistan: Poem For Asma

also:
The blooming season of your beauty will pass;
But the scorched patches on my heart will always remain fresh.


and:
“My pains grow as my life dwindles,
I will die with a heart full of hope.”

posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:18 PM on June 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


One of the poems mentions "green tattoo," which would be a reference to sheen khaal. They are facial tattoos ranging from indigo to green, generally on women, usually Pashtun or Kuchi. It is surprisingly similar to this post, though perhaps not surprising given other parallels.

As always, transliteration makes search difficult.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:36 PM on June 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is a very interesting post. Thanks.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 2:58 PM on June 3, 2013


Fantastic. Thanks!
posted by dobbs at 3:07 PM on June 3, 2013


This is awesome - thanks for posting this.
posted by jquinby at 3:18 PM on June 3, 2013


I hate to pile on, but this is the most fascinating article I've read in ages.
posted by daveje at 3:32 PM on June 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


As a western male, when I have heard news reports on the situations of Afghan women over the years, I've always felt 'a million miles removed' and felt like maybe if I was lucky I could see one tiny slice of some overview. Such an unknown context was/is difficult to imagine (and almost certainly, for me at least, impossible outside the heavily biased view from within Western norms). I feel like this has given me one small piece of understanding or connecting that I wouldn't have ever otherwise found.

This is a beautifully written article, and the accompanying photography is stunning as well. As others have said, thank you for posting this.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 3:51 PM on June 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wonderful and also heartbreaking - we've left a mess and these women bear the brunt. I'm in awe of their subversive humor in these poems. The photography is wonderful too - great post!
posted by leslies at 5:04 PM on June 3, 2013


Thank you so much for posting this DarlingBri - it is wonderful - tragically sad, sweet, ribald, and funny - such a human mix.

Daughter, in America the river isn’t wet.
Young girls learn to fill their jugs on the internet.

posted by madamjujujive at 5:27 PM on June 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yes just to echo everyone this was an article about Afghanistan and its people that I haven't read anything like before. I was really surprised by the frankness of the poetry and the underground nature of it, and moved by the beauty and sadness and anger. And the anger directed at the US was important to read too, I think. Thanks for this post!
posted by onlyconnect at 6:02 PM on June 3, 2013


It's one thing to read the Handmaid's Tale as science fiction; it's frightening to see it in real life. Thank you for this link.
posted by wenat at 7:51 PM on June 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Afghan women were the canary in the coal mine 15 years ago.
posted by brujita at 7:55 PM on June 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


brujita: Afghan women were the canary in the coal mine 15 years ago.
"The measure of a civilization is how it treats its weakest members."
posted by IAmBroom at 11:07 AM on June 4, 2013


Amazing post, beautiful yet utterly heartbreaking. Thanks, DarlingBri.
posted by homunculus at 1:19 AM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ancient Afghan Poetry Form Adapts to Tell Story of Modern Life and Conflict
posted by homunculus at 6:52 PM on June 18, 2013


This is a brilliant find. I love art forms like this, which capture through their traditional tone, topics and aesthetic something about the underlying culture (as haiku and tanka do for Japan). And whose evolution can tell a story about the culture.

Less seriously: one of the first examples in the article begs for an English/Spanish title.

Making love to an old man
is like fucking a shriveled cornstalk blackened by mold.

...should be titled Fucking Huitlacoche!
posted by supercoiled at 11:59 AM on June 22, 2013


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