If, like me, you like poetry, are interested in the plight of women around the world, and like to learn about different cultures, then you will find this post interesting.
Two years ago, the publication of a volume of Taliban poetry caused considerable outrage. Colonel Richard Kemp, a former British commander in Afghanistan, denounced The Poetry of the Taliban as ‘self-justifying propaganda’ giving ‘oxygen of publicity to an extremist group which is the enemy of this country.’
A new volume of Afghan poetry has just been published with far less fanfare.I Am a Beggar of the World is both more significant as a poetry collection, and more revealing of Afghan life, than The Poetry of the Taliban. ‘The significance of the anthology’, I suggested in reviewing The Poetry of the Taliban, ‘is not that it helps humanize the Taliban… but that it reveals the complexity of human cultures’. It is a complexity revealed far more movingly, indeed hauntingly, in I Am a Beggar of the World.
Afghanistan is a nation with a fine poetical tradition…
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