Robin Yassin-Kassab

The Syrian People

with 3 comments

picture by Zdzisław Beksiński

walls to scrawl graffitti on

slabs of stone for carving

if you crush it it sings a song

changes colour with a stamping

meat to hang upon a hook

wire conducting electricity

balls to kick around the yard

to reduce to pure simplicity

wet cloth to dessicate

sweet sounds to silence

flaps and buttons to be tugged off

obscenities to be licensed

unruly features to be trimmed and then

punished, then punished, then punished –

the guilty corpse, the damned – to be

punished, dissected, turned inside out

so all the world can see

the filth, the bowels, thirteen years old

the backwardness

which asks to be free

Written by Robin Yassin-Kassab

August 31, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Posted in Syria, writing

3 Responses

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  1. Great poem. Powerful rhythms, a touch of rhyme to add to the music, sustained yet shifting metaphors with a complex tone blending anguish, sarcasm and resistance. I like the quietness of ‘asks’, not ‘demands’ – bringing a gentle quality to the ending. Which also subtly implies that the regime itself asks to be free – that somehow it knows its inhumanity cannot last. I hope you find an open mic and read it, Robin. Poetry does need to be voiced, and heard. And this poem couldn’t fail to move an audience.

    Naomi Foyle

    August 31, 2011 at 2:06 pm

  2. thanks, Naomi. I’m going to be in Malta in a few days at a festival. I’ll perhaps read it there.

    Robin Yassin-Kassab

    August 31, 2011 at 3:50 pm

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