Poems for Benghazi, Poems for Libya

Tonight, my hopes are with Benghazi. I’ve been re-reading poems from award-winning Khaled Mattawa, who grew up in Benghazi.

You can listen to, courtesy of PBS News Hour, Mattawa reading an early poem of his, the moving “Fifty April Years,” inspired by a 1977 hanging in Benghazi:

Suheir Hammad also wrote a poem for Libya:

also libya

by Suheir Hammad

no one tells you
if anyone does you do not listen anyway
if you do still you do not understand
no one tells you how to be free
there is fire in your neck
ocean in your ear
there is always your fear
the words you cannot even
no one is here
when the world opens upside
down you reach toward dawn
your weight on the earth changes
some of us plant deeper
others ache to fly

More poetry for Libya:

From Ghazi Gheblawi’s Imtidad

From Jabal al-Lughat