May 13, 2016
I've always had an unusual attachment to the rain, my last name is the Arabic word for rain! but that's not it, I've always found rain magical, a reoccurring miracle, "there is water falling from the sky!" I feel like shouting whenever it starts raining, then: "why isn't anyone completely bewildered or in awe?". But I never do shout these things, as I know I'm probably the only person that passionate about rain. I find rain soothing when others might find it a nuisance, I find it inspiring when others might find it depressing or dreary. The sky too, her unpredictable mood swings, her ability to shift from utter unreasonable wrath and anger to the most gentle most forgiving most beautiful temperament without being a bit apologetic about it!
'Being Born a Woman' is my angry feminist poem, not a new poem, I wrote it a while back but never recorded it. As a feminist I find myself feeling frustrated, offended and angry by so many social practices that have unfortunately become the norm; everywhere I turn I see an add for a facial cream that promises to make me look 10 years younger, because as a woman of course I'm not allowed to age! There are breast enhancing bras available for 12 and 13 year old girls in all the major stores now. If a woman is ambitious, driven and chooses to work and pursue a career, to try to break the 'glass ceiling' she's labelled a man eater, a control freak, a bossy bitch, mean, cold, ruthless, emasculating. But when she decides she's content staying at home and taking care of her family she's criticised for not having ambition for not wanting more from life! Women are the only creatures who can be criticised for being 'too loving'! although I'm not sure how a human being can be 'too loving'?! We are criticised for being too trusting but we're also criticised for being too insecure to be able to trust.. etc..
WARNING! I get VERY emotional and angry when reading this poem, not for the faint-hearted.
'Home' is a very personal emotional poem of mine, although, I never wrote a poem that wasn't personal or emotional! 'Home' isn't a new poem, I wrote it a while back, but I feel I didn't give it enough attention, it speaks of the illusive, illusionary concept of 'home', that belonging somewhere or to someone is nothing but a man made concept, a patriarchal trap to keep a woman under control. 'Home' also touches on abuse towards women and the trail of ruin it leaves in an abused woman's life.
I strongly believe that when you are facing an enemy you may yell or scream to get your point across, when you are amongst friends you speak, in the early stages of love you whisper. But lovers, true lovers, don't say anything, between them words are no longer needed.
If I meet a man I'm attracted to, but find that I have to speak more than I feel necessary, explain, and reiterate, I immediately know there's no love there.
Recorded poem "I hide my heart in plain sight" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BeuS7fRiz7U
For me, Indian poetess Kamala Das (1934 - 2009) has always been a huge inspiration, her poetry is direct, profound, passionate and honest. Ever since I was introduced to this amazing lady by a friend I was hooked, her poetry haunts me, it stays with me and I return to it again and again. In an attempt to keep her a live, I've recorded 'The Sunshine Cat' in my voice, my favourite Kamala Das poem https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsK-Dr7pgqc
Forough Farrokhzad (1935 - 1967) is an Iranian poet I have always admired, her poetry is powerful, direct, honest and often confessional. I read her work translated in English, 'Another Birth' is a beautiful and passionate poem, I have recorded it in my voice https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5s6WE1MTH_I
I believe in keeping inspirational poetesses alive, as sadly, it seems Farrokhzad is gradually fading away, although I hope I'm wrong. This magnificent lady died young (early thirties), she lived a harsh life; disowned by her family, brutally fought in court by her ex-husband, deprived from her only child, rejected by society, dismissed by publishers and the literary seen flourishing in Iran during that period due to patriarchy and conservatism. To me Farrokhzad is a heroine and an inspiration, if you'd like to read more about her, see my post http://fatimaalmatar.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/wind-up-doll-forugh-farrokhzad-pushing.html