This week, Asymptote featured two poems by the multi-award-winning young Palestinian poet and short-story writer Ameer Hamad, translated by Katharine Halls:
Asymptote editors write:
These two poems translated by Katharine Halls are small enough to carry in one’s palm; they utilise a mode of poetic witness attuned to distillation, frankness, and the startling force of an ending. Even as the recent ceasefire has struck a note of fragile peace, we read Ameer Hamad’s unflinching poems as a reminder that a people’s freedom can only come at the end of dispossession.
The poems are “Prayer” and “The Mediterranean Sea,” and they both weave the fantastic and the grimly real, plunging between high and low linguistic registers, from bombs that “have shattered the glass out of our air” to God’s scales of justice; from a befinned father to a father who avoids the narrator’s eyes, hiding “the octopus of his disappointment.”