Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Two-line poems -- Landays -- from Afghanistan

Celebrate Activist Poetry -- At Nov. 1 Event

BE THERE on November 1, 2013 at the Goethe-Intitut in Washington DC when poet and journalist Eliza Griswold is  honored with the Split this Rock Freedom Plow Award (register here for this important event) for Poetry and Activism for her work collecting and introducing the folk poems of Afghan women to America.  The June issue of Poetry Magazine is entirely dedicated to landays -- two-line poems by Afghan women that capture dark, funny, and revealing moments that few outsiders ever witness.  (Edited and introduced by Griswold, the poems are magnificently supplemented by photographs by Seamus Murphy.)

Here are three landays from Griswold's Poetry collection, each selected for inclusion here because it includes at least one number: 

I call. You’re stone.
One day you’ll look and find I’m gone.

 In battle, there should be two brothers:
one to be martyred, one to wind the shroud of the other.

Today I spilled the spinach on the floor.
Now the old goat stands in the corner swinging a two-by-four.

November 1, 6-9 PM  Goethe Intitut     Tickets $25
 Reception * Awards Ceremony * Reading
With special performances by the DC Youth Slam Team
 The Freedom Plow Award for Poetry & Activism, sponsored by the CrossCurrents Foundation, 
recognizes and honors a poet who is doing innovative and transformative work 
at the intersection of poetry and social change.

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