watching you eat ice cream when we were young.” —
Elisa Griswold and photographer Seamus Murphy collected landlays, Afghan folk poems, that are used now by Afghan women as a way to escape their oppression and talk about sex, love, and war.
the poem above is a folk couplet — a landay — an oral and often anonymous scrap of song created by and for mostly illiterate people: the more than twenty million Pashtun women who span the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Traditionally, landays are sung aloud, often to the beat of a hand drum, which, along with other kinds of music, was banned by the Taliban from 1996 to 2001, and in some places, still is.
That’s not a scar you feel under my shirt, that’s
a letter of recommendation, folded up tight,
from my father:
“All the same, he’s a good boy, and full of love.” —“A Letter of Recommendation,” Yehuda Amichai
On Life on Death
Horsemen pass by” —W.B. Yeats’ epitaph
A woman full of plywood
and buckshot, like the pheasant everyone
fought for and nobody ever won