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Letter from a London poet —- in response to a poem of mine on Revolutions 💥


I normally do not share such things, but I thought this too beautiful not to, as a reminder of the power of words to connect w/strangers.

Below, a warm letter of appreciation I received from a reader:

“Dear Yahia,

I am... a poet from London.

A friend of mine... from Canada, who is also an activist for Palestine, gifted me your poem "What is to give light" few months ago. Each time I read that poem, there is a shiver within... I catch the burning and unwavering passion for peace and justice in your poem - that makes me shiver.

I wanted to write this message to say to you that I have been deeply moved by your poem, "What is to give light", it is the only one I have, and it is one of those poems I return to from time to time, as I feel the need to re-ignite that burning passion within for justice.

Thank you for your burning passion, your poem and your commitment to peace. It remains an inspiration.”

Below, is the lucky poem of mine that elicited this generous response:

What is to give Light

What is to give light must endure
burning, a man once said
Another man became the matchstick
that set a nation aflame

But fire, and its appetite, cannot be
calculated, like freedom
Injustice and desperation make men
combustible, like dry wood

When words lose their meaning
and an entire people their voice –
so they can neither laugh nor scream –
death and life begin to taste the same

From Tunis, to Egypt, to Lebanon to Yemen
the light from a burning man proved catching
And those with nothing to lose, or offer, but bodies
fanned the embers of their hopes into a blazing dream.

Yahia Lababidi


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