Monday, March 26, 2007


Poet: Asma
Condition: total loss of breath
Behest: 7th century prophet
Assassin’s absolution: ‘two goats will not butt their heads about her’

Smooth marble Venus
poetry of pleasure
stealer of hearts,
you lost your arms,
souvenirs to advancing hordes.
Wish, oh goddess
for these milder times.
A sharia thief would
only lose her hands.

A Jewish poet fared far worse.
She told the prophet’s tricks in verse:

....There was an old wit named Afak
....who suffered religious attack.
....He irked with his lines
....and might have been fined,
....but instead he was stabbed in the back.

The brave dark ink from off her pen
made red the prophet’s eye.
A man with a knife was promptly dispatched
to offer his curt reply.


Inconsequential said...

kinda strange..., I really like the limerick within idea, two for the price of one...

nice to see you too have suffered bloggers inability with spaces :)

enjoyable piece Ish, and quite novel to me.

ish said...

The poem is for a competition. Poet Asma bint Marwan was ordered killed by the prophet M. because she wrote in response to to his asassination of Afak, another poet who is reputed to have been over 100 years old, and whose lines M. did not like either. She was stabbed while asleep among her children. (source: Ibn Ishaq) I am rather sensitive to damage to poets ... and to freedom of speech issues.

ish said...

Right about the spaces. :-( Is there a better way?

Inconsequential said...

the spaces...haven't found one yet :) background coloured dots seems to be the common way though.

Good luck with the comp.
and thanks for the history lesson :)

The illusion of freedom...a wonderful belief, one I almost have.