Poetry as a Lifeline: Fady Joudah



The 2012 Aldeburgh Poetry Festival runs for the 2nd-4th November, and for the next week, Ink Sweat & Tears will be featuring poems on the theme ‘Poetry as a Lifeline’ which is the subject of the IS&T-supported Discussions and Short Takes this year.  Today’s poem is from Fady Joudah who is appearing at the Festival.  Find out more about the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival here






To break with the past

Or break it with the past

The enormous car-packed

Parking lot flashes like a frozen body

Of water a paparazzi sea

After take off


And because the pigeons laid eggs and could fly

Because the kittens could survive

Under the rubble wrapped

In shirts of the dead


And the half-empty school benches

Where each boy sits next

To his absence and holds him

In the space between two palms

Pressed to a face

This world this hospice



Fady Joudah is a Palestinian-American physician whose first collection The Earth in the Attic (2008) won the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition.  He translates Zaqtan Ghassan, who appears on this site on 3rd November.

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