IT’S OFFICIALLY FRESH FRIDAY!!  i guess i’m the one who’s kicking this off, huh…

Angela, you were my partner, i hope you enjoy!  ♥  i know you like Red and Green quite a bit, heehee—which turned out to be appropriately in the holiday spirit, at least color scheme-wise!  

and once again, a super huge thank you to Suppi and Rachael for putting this together for the second year in a row, taking it upon themselves to organize a big endeavor like this and just being lovely friends in general, mwah~

All women speak two languages:
the language of men
and the language of silent suffering.
Some women speak a third,
the language of queens.
They are marvelous
and they are my friends.

My friends give me poetry.
If it were not for them
I’d be a seamstress out of work.
They send me their dresses
and I sew together poems,
enormous sails for ocean journeys.

My marvelous friends, these women
who are elegant and fix engines,
who teach gynecology and literacy,
and work in jails and sing and sculpt
and paint the ninety-nine names,
who keep each other’s secrets
and pass on each other’s spirits
like small packets of leavening,

it is from you I fashion poetry.
I scoop up, in handfuls, glittering
sequins that fall from your bodies
as you fall in love, marry, divorce,
get custody, get cats, enter
supreme courts of justice,
argue with God.

You rescuers on galloping steeds
of the weak and the wounded–
Creatures of beauty and passion,
powerful workers in love–
you are the poems.
I am only your stenographer.
I am the hungry transcriber
of the conjuring recipes you hoard
in the chests of your great-grandmothers.

My marvelous friends–the women
of brilliance in my life,
who levitate my daughters,
you are a coat of many colors
in silk tie-dye so gossamer
it can be crumpled in one hand.
You houris, you mermaids, swimmers
in dangerous waters, defiers of sharks–

My marvelous friends,
thirsty Hagars and laughing Sarahs,
you eloquent radio Aishas,
Marys drinking the secret
milkshakes of heaven,
slinky Zuleikas of desire,
gay Walladas, Harriets
parting the sea, Esthers in the palace,
Penelopes of patient scheming,

you are the last hope of the shrinking women.
You are the last hand to the fallen knights
You are the only epics left in the world

Come with me, come with poetry
Jump on this wild chariot, hurry–

—  Mohja Kahf: The Marvelous Women (E-mails From Scheherazad)

The Marvelous Women
by Mohja Kahf

All women speak two languages:
the language of men
and the language of silent suffering.
Some women speak a third,
the language of queens.
They are marvelous
and they are my friends.

My friends give me poetry.
If it were not for them
I’d be a seamstress out of work.
They send me their dresses
and I sew together poems,
enormous sails for ocean journeys.

My marvelous friends, these women
who are elegant and fix engines,
who teach gynecology and literacy,
and work in jails and sing and sculpt
and paint the ninety-nine names,
who keep each other’s secrets
and pass on each other’s spirits
like small packets of leavening,

it is from you I fashion poetry.
I scoop up, in handfuls, glittering
sequins that fall from your bodies
as you fall in love, marry, divorce,
get custody, get cats, enter
supreme courts of justice,
argue with God.

You rescuers on galloping steeds
of the weak and the wounded–
Creatures of beauty and passion,
powerful workers in love–
you are the poems.
I am only your stenographer.
I am the hungry transcriber
of the conjuring recipes you hoard
in the chests of your great-grandmothers.

My marvelous friends–the women
of brilliance in my life,
who levitate my daughters,
you are a coat of many colors
in silk tie-dye so gossamer
it can be crumpled in one hand.
You houris, you mermaids, swimmers
in dangerous waters, defiers of sharks–

My marvelous friends,
thirsty Hagars and laughing Sarahs,
you eloquent radio Aishas,
Marys drinking the secret
milkshakes of heaven,
slinky Zuleikas of desire
, gay Walladas, Harriets
parting the sea, Esthers in the palace,
Penelopes of patient scheming,

you are the last hope of the shrinking women.
You are the last hand to the fallen knights
You are the only epics left in the world

Come with me, come with poetry
Jump on this wild chariot, hurry–

Our own American misogyny (date rape, weak laws against domestic violence, glass ceilings, 79 cents for every man’s dollar) just looks more familiar to us, less harsh somehow, more workable. We think we can fix our own sexism with homegrown ingenuity, but we often assume that Muslim women’s problems must be solved for them from abroad, all their veils replaced with blue jeans for them to be truly liberated, all different marriage practices brought into conformity with our own. Muslim women and men have a wealth of their own cultural resources to use in the struggle for women’s human rights. Feminism is alive and well among Muslims and has been for some time, even when U.S. foreign policy interests don’t bring a spotlight on it. It is the continued struggle of Muslim feminists (both men and women), aided by friends of any background who are willing to educate themselves beyond stereotypes, which will liberate them. Not the condescending attitude that they must be “rescued” from their heritage by cheerfully ignorant proponents of American cultural imperialism or militaristic U.S. policymakers sprouting overnight feminist principles.
—  Mohja Kahf, “Muslim Women Rule and Other Little-Known Facts”
The Marvelous Woman

by Mohja Kahf

All women speak two languages:
the language of men
and the language of silent suffering.
Some women speak a third,
the language of queens.
They are marvelous
and they are my friends.

My friends give me poetry.
If it were not for them
I’d be a seamstress out of work.
They send me their dresses
and I sew together poems,
enormous sails for ocean journeys.

My marvelous friends, these women
who are elegant and fix engines,
who teach gynecology and literacy,
and work in jails and sing and sculpt
and paint the ninety-nine names,
who keep each other’s secrets
and pass on each other’s spirits
like small packets of leavening,

it is from you I fashion poetry.
I scoop up, in handfuls, glittering
sequins that fall from your bodies
as you fall in love, marry, divorce,
get custody, get cats, enter
supreme courts of justice,
argue with God.

You rescuers on galloping steeds
of the weak and the wounded–
Creatures of beauty and passion,
powerful workers in love–
you are the poems.
I am only your stenographer.
I am the hungry transcriber
of the conjuring recipes you hoard
in the chests of your great-grandmothers.

My marvelous friends–the women
of brilliance in my life,
who levitate my daughters,
you are a coat of many colors
in silk tie-dye so gossamer
it can be crumpled in one hand.
You houris, you mermaids, swimmers
in dangerous waters, defiers of sharks–

My marvelous friends,
thirsty Hagars and laughing Sarahs,
you eloquent radio Aishas,
Marys drinking the secret
milkshakes of heaven,
slinky Zuleikas of desire,
gay Walladas, Harriets
parting the sea, Esthers in the palace,
Penelopes of patient scheming,

you are the last hope of the shrinking women.
You are the last hand to the fallen knights
You are the only epics left in the world

Come with me, come with poetry
Jump on this wild chariot, hurry–

All women speak two languages:
the language of men
and the language of silent suffering.
Some women speak a third,
the language of queens.
They are marvelous
and they are my friends.

My friends give me poetry.
If it were not for them
I’d be a seamstress out of work.
They send me their dresses
and I sew together poems,
enormous sails for ocean journeys.

My marvelous friends, these women
who are elegant and fix engines,
who teach gynecology and literacy,
and work in jails and sing and sculpt
and paint the ninety-nine names,
who keep each other’s secrets
and pass on each other’s spirits
like small packets of leavening,

it is from you I fashion poetry.
I scoop up, in handfuls, glittering
sequins that fall from your bodies
as you fall in love, marry, divorce,
get custody, get cats, enter
supreme courts of justice,
argue with God.

You rescuers on galloping steeds
of the weak and the wounded–
Creatures of beauty and passion,
powerful workers in love–
you are the poems.
I am only your stenographer.
I am the hungry transcriber
of the conjuring recipes you hoard
in the chests of your great-grandmothers.

My marvelous friends–the women
of brilliance in my life,
who levitate my daughters,
you are a coat of many colors
in silk tie-dye so gossamer
it can be crumpled in one hand.
You houris, you mermaids, swimmers
in dangerous waters, defiers of sharks–

My marvelous friends,
thirsty Hagars and laughing Sarahs,
you eloquent radio Aishas,
Marys drinking the secret
milkshakes of heaven,
slinky Zuleikas of desire,
gay Walladas, Harriets
parting the sea, Esthers in the palace,
Penelopes of patient scheming,

you are the last hope of the shrinking women.
You are the last hand to the fallen knights
You are the only epics left in the world

Come with me, come with poetry
Jump on this wild chariot, hurry–

The Marvelous Women - Mohja Kahf

All women speak two languages:

the language of men

and the language of silent suffering.

Some women speak a third,

the language of queens. 

They are marvelous

and they are my friends.

My friends give me poetry.

If it were not for them

I’d be a seamstress out of work.

They send me their dresses

and I sew together poems,

enormous sails for ocean journeys.

My marvelous friends, these women

who are elegant and fix engines,

who teach gynecology and literacy,

and work in jails and sing and sculpt

and paint the ninety-nine names,

who keep each other’s secrets

and pass on each other’s spirits

like small packets of leavening,

It is from you I fashion poetry.

I scoop up, in handfuls, glittering

sequins that fall from your bodies

as you fall in love, marry, divorce,

get custody, get cats, enter

supreme courts of justice,

argue with God.

You rescuers on galloping steeds

of the weak and the wounded - 

Creatures of beauty and passion,

powerful workers in love - 

you are the poems.

I am only your stenographer.

I am the hungry transcriber

of the conjuring recipes you hoard

in the chests of your great-grandmothers.

My marvelous friends - the women

of brilliance in my life,

who levitate my daughters,

you are a coat of many colors

in silk tie-dye so gossamer

it can be crumpled in one hand.

You houris, you mermaids, swimmers

in dangerous waters, defiers of sharks - 

My marvelous friends,

thirsty Hagars and laughing Sarahs,

your eloquent radio Aishas,

Marys drinking the secret

milkshakes of heaven,

slinky Zuleikas of desire,

gay Walladas, Harriets

parting the sea, Esthers in the palace,

Penelopes of patient scheming,

you are the last hope of the shrinking women.

You are the last hand to the fallen knights

You are the only epics left in the world

Come with me, come with poetry

Jump on this wild chariot, hurry - 

Help me with these wayward, snorting horses

Together we will pull across the sky

the sun that will make the earth radiant - 

or burn in its terrible brilliance, 

and that is a good way to die

Text
Photo
Quote
Link
Chat
Audio
Video