Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Listen (by Shailaja Patel, Migritude)

A friend sent me this piece from 'Migritude' - by Shailaja Patel- saying its a piece from an amazing poem – the book is difficult to read without moving you to tears. And something rings so true in this ...


Listen:
my father speaks Urdu,
language of dancing peacocks,
rosewater fountains-
even its curses are beautiful.
He speaks Hindi,
suave and melodic,
earthy Punjabi,
salty-rich as saag paneer,
coastal Swahili laced with Arabic.
He speaks Gujarati,
solid ancestral pride.
Five languages,
five different worlds.
Yet English
shrinks
him
down
before white men
who think their flat, cold spiky words
make the only reality.



You can see more of her work here, it is not just poetry it is a rare combo of history, poetry and performance. http://www.shailja.com/work/migritude.html

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