Poetry Heals connected with students in Gaza City through the technical machinations of Share Studios. Two members of the Gaza Poets Society stepped inside the portal space in Gaza City as I stepped into the big, gold shipping container parked on the campus of the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. We started chatting and I asked them what was on their hearts. Turns out “on your heart” is not an idiomatic phrase in Arabic. So I explained…. And that was the beginning of the translations.
The poem that resulted is what I could write down as they talked, trying to explain their poetic world.
The Gaza Poets Society
We are 35 poets! With hopes and dreams.
We have a mix of emotions on our hearts —
Our hearts sometimes feel empty of emotions.
We are very young, and we have lots of dreams.
We have dreams, but we can do nothing.
You can learn about our hopes and dreams.
How different we are; we are the same.
We are a place for the young aspiring poets.
We write in Arabic and English.
We publish our poems.
Poetry for Palestine is our Facebook page
We want the whole world to hear our voices,
That is why we write.
The portal is our Celebration of life;
It is how we connect with the world.
If we can connect with students all over the world, it will be great!
I was joined by the folks in the photo above: an artist who brought a sculpture and a painting, a spoken word performer how shared a poem and a writer who also shared a poem. We heard poems from our new friends in Gaza written in English and in Arabic. Our conversation ranged from the meaning of the word “lullaby” to how poems are experienced when you perform them.
As they said in their poem, “How different we are; we are the same.”