Suheir Hammad – magnificent poetry

Sometimes I use this blog to remind myself later of people who add to the weft and weave to transform for a moment my wretched, mundane existence into a dance of possibilities and wishes. Suheir is possessed by the muse – when she performs it is the whole woman, the laughing medusa of Helene Cixous, the frightening yet irresistible gypsy who leads us to prophecy with a toss of the head – it is up to us if we wish to grasp the destiny she offers.

Hammad’s poem ‘The Refugees’ has poignancy at present in Australia, where the inglorious prime monstress Julie Gillard is esconsced to wage a battle royale in the August election. Gillard is dog-whistling – calling the noxious Australian xenophobes who need so little encouragement. Both parties are craven in this regard, yet there’s something particularly obscene about a party which is supposed to have at least some respect for human rights pandering to racist human refuse.