Sunday, January 11, 2009

michael rosen's poem for the children of Gaza

Michael Rosen, the prominent British Jewish writer and broadcaster and critic of Israel (he has publicly renounced his "right of return"), who was in 2007 appointed as Children's Laureate, read this poem at Speakers Corner, Hyde Park, yesterday during the rally that marked the start of the Stop the Massacre:Israel out of Gaza demonstration. Four children with him on the podium read out the names and ages of 30 of the hundreds of children killed during the Israeli onslaught on Gaza, including the five Balousha sisters.

In Gaza, children,
you learn that the sky kills
and that houses hurt.
You learn that your blanket is smoke
and breakfast is dirt.

You learn that cars do somersaults
clothes turn red,
friends become statues,
bakers don’t sell bread.

You learn that the night is a gun,
that toys burn
breath can stop,
it could be your turn.

You learn:
if they send you fire
they couldn’t guess:
not just the soldier dies -
it’s you and the rest.

Nowhere to run,
nowhere to go,
nowhere to hide
in the home you know.

You learn that death isn’t life,
the air isn’t bread.

The land is for all - you have the right to be
not dead.
The land is for all - y
ou have the right to be
not dead.
The land is for all -
you have the right to be
not dead.

The land is for all -you have the right to be
not dead.

demonstrators at Notting Hill


Mary Colorada said...

I thought this was a very good poem when I heard it at Speaker's Corner yesterday, particularly the first three verses and the fifth, which flash a grim light on how very small children might perceive the horror of war. I searched for it now in order to be able to read/hear it again. I would very much like to read it to the class of 6 and 7 year olds where I work as a teaching assistant.

El Mariachi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
El Mariachi said...

I too heard the poem on Saturday. Its a beautiful touching poem.

All in all it was a great demonstration. If only for the imbeciles who had to get violent towards the end and steal the headlines from a great effort by the organizers.

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