Caged in this corner

tyNadia Anjuman (1980 – 2005) was a Persian poet and journalist from Herat, Afghanistan. The Taliban captured Herat and shut the schools for girls when Anjuman was in tenth grade. She studied in underground schools until the Taliban was ousted and she began studying Dari literature and languages at Herat University. In 2005, while still a student at Herat University, she had her first book of poetry published, Gul-e-dodi (“Dark Red Flower”) which proved popular in Afghanistan, Pakistan and even nearby Iran. Soon after the book’s publication, however, Anjuman was beaten to death. Many believe that Anjuman was killed by her own husband and his family for the transgression of writing.

 

77725415Caged in this corner

I am caged in this corner

full of melancholy and sorrow …

my wings are closed and I cannot fly …

I am an Afghan woman and so must wail.

A Voiceless Cry

They’re coming in from the road, now

Thirsty souls and dusty skirts brought from the desert

Their breath burning, mirage-mingled

Mouths dry and caked with dust

They’re coming in from the road, now

Tormented-bodied, girls brought up on pain

Joy departed from their faces

Hearts old and lined with cracks