Friday, November 13, 2009

Split This Rock Poem-of-the-Week: Fady Joudah

Anonymous Song

When the shooting began
Everyone ran to the trucks
Grabbed whatever their backs needed
And made for the trucks
Except K

And they begged him to get on
The ones who ran to the trucks
But he refused them all

Later they found him
On the road running
And howling and still
He refused them all
Since he knew
His legend would grow

Then sightings began
He was clothed or naked
Cooking or sleeping
Eating or drinking what
The others gave him

And their begging remained the same
The trucks going loaded
Then coming back empty the same
Until it was forgotten
When K had first lost his mind

Before the shooting started
Or much worse after

One thing for sure
K is real
Safe and sweet especially
Holding a baby to sleep
Or asking for a sip of your Fanta
Or calling out your name from where

You cannot see him

- Fady Joudah

Excerpt from The Earth in the Attic by Fady Joudah, Yale University Press, 2008. Used by permission.


If you are in the DC-area, please join us on Thursday November 19th, as Joudah's work will be the topic of a discussion led by translator and poet Yvette Neisser Moreno - the first in a series of book discussions brought to you by Split This Rock and The Writer's Center.

7 pm
The Writer's Center
4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD

(5 blocks south of Bethesda Metro)

Fady Joudah's The Earth in the Attic won the Yale Series for Younger Poets in 2007. Contest judge Louise Glück describes the poet in her foreword as, “that strange animal, the lyric poet in whom circumstance and profession ... have compelled obsession with large social contexts and grave national dilemmas.” He is the winner of the 2008 Saif Ghobash – Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation for his translation of poetry by Mahmoud Darwish collected in The Butterfly’s Burden, published in a bilingual edition by Bloodaxe Books in the UK and by Copper Canyon Press in the US. The US edition was short-listed for PEN America’s poetry in translation award in 2009. His most recent translation is of If I Were Another: Poems by Mahmoud Darwish, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009). He was a field member of Doctors Without Borders in 2002 and 2005.
Joudah will be featured at Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation and Witness,
March 10-13, 2010
, in Washington, DC. The festival will present readings, workshops, panel discussions, youth programming, film, activism - four days of creative transformation as we imagine a way forward, hone our community and activist skills, and celebrate the many ways that poetry can act as an agent for social change. For more information:

Please feel free to forward Split This Rock Poem-of-the-Week widely. We just ask you to include all of the information in this email, including this request. Thanks!

Split This Rock

1 comment:

V.D. said...

I love this piece. I'm so glad I caught this post before the event at the Writer's Center. I plan to be there!


-Victoria D.