sábado, 26 de septiembre de 2015

FARRAH SARAFA [17.141]


Farrah Sarafa 

Estadounidense que vive en Manhattan más conocida por su trabajo como poeta.  Trabaja como traductora, escritora y profesora. 

Sarafa, ganadora de un SLS Becas Escritura verano y Grant, un segundo lugar Marjorie Premio Rappaport, ganó un premio en Chistell Concurso Anual y recibió el Premio Hopwood por su poema Palestina Olive. 


Hija de madre palestina y padre iraquí, cuya poesía es una respuesta a la guerra y la ocupación. Poetisa, profesora, editora y traductora, está asentada en Maniatan. Aunque varios de sus poemas se centran en la guerra de Iraq, en “Padre iraquí, Madre palestina” se queja de esa guerra y de la ocupación de Palestina, que le impiden ver a su abuelo iraquí y a su abuela palestina; en “Olivo” su padre saborea el aceite de sus tostadas mientras sueña con el abuelo, con los niños de su país, con los olivos plantados por sus ancestros, con las antiguas canciones, que estarán bajo la radioactividad de las bombas; en “Higo palestino” evoca el sabor de ese manjar que endulzan las penalidades de sus gentes; al inicio del poema “Sólo habla el miedo”, referido al ataque contra Iraq, surge la alusión a los israelíes en Palestina:



Siento los gritos de su madre moverse dentro de mí,
mientras quita de la encimera de granito
los jarrones de flores y los potes de mármol.
Tiemblo. Firme la voluntad 
y deseando quedarme, estoy hecha de cristal,
mientras ese pequeño está hecho de arcilla.
Los soldados americanos le han dado ese pote,
del que los israelíes pueden beber su leche de pasas
en la Palestina de mi madre.

(http://www.warpoetry.co.uk/poemsJLY_06.htm; trad. de C. Mª Thomas).




y en “Colonizando recetas” expresa que, por más que los israelíes que se apropien de las recetas de Palestina para sentir que pertenecen a algo hermoso, no podrán robarles sus señas de identidad:



“Nosotros inventamos esta comida”, dice él, cogiendo su hummus, 
su tabuleh y su berenjena asada.
“Vosotros la ocupasteis”, replica ella.
“Okey, la robamos y entonces la mejoramos, ¿qué te parece? Salam ala lekum”.
“Podéis tomar la tierra, pero no nuestra identidad”, 
canta ella suavemente, cogiendo el bolso para irse.
Y ahora un poema:
Invadiendo el cuerpo de los pensamientos de nuestro abuelo
con sus cañones hechos en América, contiene el aliento,
incapaz de librarse del azote de dolor que en él traspira
y que en sueños se convierte en lluvia de los ojos de los niños refugiados,
que tejen nuevas artimañas a cambio de dinero para comer, 
para tratar de llenar su estómagos vacíos
con el grano que ellos plantaron en Cirjordania
y con el que moldearon recetas de pasta.
Las tías pasan días preparando para la familia
deliciosos bocados para comer,
ahora reemplazados por el hambre y las súplicas
para comer una vez más de las palmas de su madre tierra,
para untar sus secos corazones 
una vez más con el aceite de oliva
de la fértil Palestina, arrancado de sus entrañas
como una alfombra árabe bordada.
Añoran abrazar los árboles que proporcionaban 
aire a los pulmones que respiraban con amor
e imaginaban los ecos mediterráneos 
del pasado y las modernas fragancias,
degustadas y deseadas por los extranjeros judíos
ansiosos de sentir que pertenecen
a un lugar hermoso. 
Lo adoptan como suyo, cambiando nombres, 
jugando a enredar, para apropiarse 
de los delicados y aromáticos sabores
de generaciones de palestinos.
Pueblos ocupados, os morís de hambre o coméis 
el alimento sembrado en el corazón de mi abuelo 
donde el aire palpita puro y verdadero.

(http://www.warpoetry.co.uk/poemsJLY_06.htm; trad. de C. Mª Thomas).




Father Iraq, Mother Palestine

Mortar attacks a bus in Baghdad, 15 die 
Civil war strife mirrors the war 
America has waged on Iraqi life 
More than two years ago. 

How can this happen 
How can this be 
That I will never see 
The land of my great grandfather? 

I strive, I feel too much zeal 
to help heal the schisms

splitting this poor country 
and that of Palestine. 




Hamas' request that they vacate the west 
and return East Jerusalem 
on which they settled, built checkpoint and a wall 
In 1949 

How can this happen 
How can this be 
That I will never see 
The Land of my dear grandmother? 

I cry, I whine, abstaining 
From bodily pleasures 
emptying myself 
of the life deprived Iraq.

Farrah Sarafa 
© Copyright 2006 





Olive 

Your father, 
his inheritance shed of him 
like the skin of a snake. 
only he cried afterward. 

Walking through barren olive fields 
he envisions their roots active with sprout, 
alive, as they once were, with the fruit of his ancestors. 

The bitter black taste of Palestinian soil 
accompanied by the toasted pita-bread and melted white cheese, 

he dreams 
of children's olive-like eyeballs 
their sparkling gaze

like onyx, 
but the dream is shot with the poke of an empty hand 
a branch, fringed-ash and embroidered by greed 

whose jugglers and smugglers in moan 
have thrown staunch families into pleas 
they sneeze 
to rid of the fumes clenching their inner lung 
constricted black and frightened tongue, 
ambitions sullied, by ancestor's songs unsung 

life squeezed out of my grandfather's love 
he blows the ash from a branch 
wind carrying it from his eyes 
open eyes, lashes curled toward the heavens 
he inhales their deeply embedded fragrance 
buried beneath layers of activity and reactivity 

from which this culture will continue to flourish.

Farrah Sarafa 
© Copyright 2006 






Munich 

Biased Metallically: 

Not gold, cherry or grain made, 
not rich, sweet or nourishing to our side they laid 
a biased film to hypnotize 
sleeping American french fries. 

His voice is soft like chick peas 
I listen to his impression as a native 
and feel nothing but sympathy 
for olive eyed communities. 

Should my aim be to temper extremity 
hard, metallic stares to sympathy? 
To dull sharp knives, to melt metal eyes 
made opaque by lies 

with the beauty of eloquence?

Farrah Sarafa 
© Copyright 2006 





Palestine Fig 

Inner worlds lined brown like the earth, 
tinted gold like divine mirth, 
the occupied race of people plead 
for an outside light to dissolve their worry 
into the Dead Sea. 

Dense bubbles, sugar grains condense 
like caramel apple heating 
under my hot tongue. I imagine 
soldiers' threats induce a similar 
effect on their poor children who have long been 
constrained to sacrifice 

their fame, knowledge and skill. Sweet fig flesh 
that grips wrinkled outer skin 
like old native man's hands made hallow 
from fear, disdain, longing to cry peace by tears 
formed from the pain of clouds 

waiting to be tasted and felt. 
Pains produced from sweet-thirsty twigs, 
resting on the earth, come together, 
tighten, roll, and shrink into small balls called seeds- 
reproduce from the hungers, contempt and needs 
of Palestinian 

souls. They swim in the memories 
of their buried ancestors, 
whose lives, disintegrated, nourish 
fig tree soils, coalesce to become seeds 
that constitute fig fruit. 

Hearts gold- earth speckled, firm flavor, 
a seeded promise that you 
will savor the Arabian air 
that you will inhale when you eat a fig 
from my ancestors.

Farrah Sarafa 
© Copyright 2006 






Untitled 

Blood splats on his car front window, 
Mother screams 
An American spits onto a bud of flame 
that burst from the ground. 

Soil dehydrated by flame 
(not by the desert) 
Iraqi ground bears the shame 
of Saddam Hussein. 

1500 aircrafts and 50 troops American deployed 
into a swarm of queen bees 
whose honey-coated hives 
have been suffocated by Bush's demonically dry 
breath, liquid sweetness dried 
into crusted fermentation in the mouth of a Conservative 
fly, 
I cry to help to re-moisten the soil, 
to nourish the boils 
one man's angers transmits as fear and martyrdom 
to a population of the desperate.

Farrah Sarafa 
© Copyright 2006







Blood, Sand and Tears of a Young Boy 

I wipe my tears while they- 
they have no tears left to cry. 
Dehydrated, like dried pineapple, 
the closest they come to resembling the concentric yellow 
and fiber-branching slices 
is the tired eye; 
swollen and puffed like a pregnant belly 
their shadow-plated arches, underneath 
reveal how much they question "why." 

"For what are you longing," 
I ask, looking into the complicated retina of the young boy. 
"What is floating in the water of your deep and narrow well my 
dear?" 
He only speaks fear. 

I feel his mother's cries moving inside of me, 
shaking off flower vases and pots of marble stone 
from granite table-tops 
I shiver; steady in will and 
willing to stay, I am made from glass 
while this little boy is made from clay. 
He is brought to pot by American soldiers 
from which the Israelis may drink their raisin-milk in warm, 
making excuses to stay 
in my mother's Palestine. 

Placing my hand on his cold, winter's chest 
I transfer my comforts as warmth, but their flag's pointing west; 
they are looking for help from a nation that is "best," 
though it is we 
that have made Iraq into a land of nuclear test. 
Missile tanks and planks 
for cannonballs make storm in a place where 
smoke bombs, tear gases and raping little girls from lower 
classes 
bring to form 
nerve knots and tissue clots 
along the green-starred spine of Iraq. 
These people need no more tears; 
they are merely 
hungry. 

"What does she hide beneath her big red striped gown" he asks, 
inquiring of her tasks. 
"Rice with cumin-spiced meats and lemon-sesame treats 
or niter, sulfur and charcoal dynamite for an endless fight 
against the rest of the world," he wonders of her vast plunders. 

Desert souls, their tears are made of blood mixed with sand 
while I, American, laugh in pain 
at Charlie Chaplin going insane on the television screen. 
CNN bulletin interrupts my bliss with news of terrors 
about red and flaming wearers 
of suicide and contempt. 
My laughs push into cries 
and form a current for the Arabian Sea 
whose crystal salts perspire and become of me. 
Her waves undulate like snake-thin layers of blood thickened with 
sand and stone 
like a serpent's plea to be let free 
and to roam 
the Garden of Eden. 
America.

Farrah Sarafa 
© Copyright 2006 





War fire 

High-wired and fuel ridden 
their toes withdraw in fear 
of dying. 

What do you hear? 
Gun shots, army trucks skidding tires 
whose squeaks were once minaret adhan 

Your grandparents are now buried beneath 
the mountains of your sacred pasts, 
the rubble of disturbed memories and 
American deeds, what can we heed? 

"Saddam, Saddam!" They cry out for the 
despot whose regime was better 
than the conditions are now. 

Iraqis are dying, hundreds by the day 
and here we stay watching films 
whose figures spit on the fires of war 
from so far away, 
I cry to help put out the flames.

Farrah Sarafa 
© Copyright 2006 






The Dead Sea 

Reality dwindles into unfulfilled fantasies 
for the hungry people in Iraq. 

Unable to ward off the pangs in their bellies 
for food, all they can do is to convert what 
they feel into something unreal, into fantasy. 

Blood thinning, Iraqi voices become cries-- 
their tendons reach out into pleas, 
and their hearts painting their hands 
send out a gigantic "please!" 

The organs of young Iraqi children condense 
as they sip burning cups of tea devoid of milk- 
the very substance their mothers used to build 
their bodies-without the sugar that could bring 
them joy. 

The skin of young Iraqis flakes off into piles of 
rubble and bricks from the many misplaced

words that abound. I stoop to pick one up 
and from it begin to construct this 
plea for sympathy.

Farrah Sarafa 
© Copyright 2006 






Colonizing Recipes 

"We invented this food," he says, handing her the hummus, tabouli 
and roasted eggplant. 
"You occupied it," she responds. 
"Okay, we stole it and then made it better, how's that? Saalaam 
Ala lekum!" 

You can take the land, but not our identities, she sings 
softly, 
taking the bag to leave, 
And now a poem: 

Invading the body of our grandfather's thoughts 
with their American-made shafts, 
he holds his breath, unable to release 

the curse of pain he perspires and dreams into rain 
from the eyes of refugee children 
knitting new crafts for money to eat, 

to try to fill their empty bellies with the grain 
they planted along the West Bank 
and moulded into dough recipes


Aunties spend days preparing for the family. 
Delectable bites, active chew 
Now replaced by hunger and pleas 

To eat one more time from the palms of their mother 
land-to lubricate their dry hearts 
once again with the olive oil 

of their fertile Palestine, stripped from their bottoms 
like an embroidered Arab rug 
They long to hug the trees that gave air 

to the lungs that breathed into love and conceived 
Mediterranean echoes 
from the past and modern fragrances 

tasted and desired by Jewish foreigners 
eager to feel that they belong 
somewhere beautiful. They adopt 

as their own, changing names-playing games to own 
the delicate and fragrant flavors 
of generations from Palestine. 

Occupied peoples, do you starve or eat the food 
planted in my grandfather's heart 
from which true, pure air palpitates.

Farrah Sarafa 
© Copyright 2006












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