Susan Abulhawa Reviews: I Remember My Name – Poetry by Samah Sabawi, Ramzy Baroud and Jehan Bseiso
Ramzy Baroud’s style is one of controlled passion and intellectual refinement that searches the world through the eyes of others, notable historic figures in particular. In a moving tribute “To Afzal Guru,” Baroud climbs into the spirit of this Kashmiri martyr on the day of his hanging, as he ruminates on his silly dreams of heaven above this playground below where unruly children refused to learn the etiquette of captivity…where they pumped petrol into his anus to break him.
In the beautiful juxtaposition of “Nakba,” Baroud places Jesus After the Romans caught him at a checkpoint Hiding a recipe for revolution, and a love poem next to the image of a Palestinian Pleading at every checkpoint…Searching for a home between Haifa and Eternity.
Baroud is masterful in this poetic layering of intersections of history. He takes us to Chile where Neruda wrote his Song of Despair and where Allende, refugee from Gaza was killed here for our sins. And this, Pinochet’s moustache was made by the CIA…Dogs barked as dogs here did, as dogs in Hebron do. He winds into the layers and intersections of history, oppression and geography, through A million sad memories between Gaza and Santiago.
In Baroud’s glances at the historic and political, one also feels a deep sense of the personal, of Baroud’s own loss. He speaks more openly of his heartbreak in “Breathing,” lamenting I am destined to dream shadows on grey walls.
– Read more: I Remember My Name – Palestinian Poetry – by Samah Sabawi, Ramzy Baroud and Jehan Bseiso.