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When I Was Torn by War

By Sinan Antoon

Baghdad, 1990

I took a brush
Immersed in death
And drew a window
On war’s wall
I opened it
For something
I saw another war
And a mother
Weaving a shroud
For the dead man
Still in her womb

Added: Thursday, May 22, 2014  /  From "The Baghdad Blues" (Harbor Mountain Press, 2007). Used by permission.
Sinan Antoon

Sinan Antoon – poet, novelist, and translator – was born in Iraq and moved to the US after the 1991 Gulf War. His work, including Baghdad Blues and a novel, I`jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody, has been widely published in Arabic and English. Antoon is an Assistant Professor at New York University. Antoon was featured at Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness, March 10-13, 2010, in Washington, DC. The festival presents readings, workshops, panel discussions, youth programming, film, activism – four days of creative transformation as we imagine a way forward, hone our community and activist skills, and celebrate the many ways that poetry can act as an agent for social change. Split This Rock is co-sponsored by the Institute for Policy Studies, the country’s oldest multi-issue progressive think tank.

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