Sparrow, teach me to fly,
I’ll teach you how to write poems.
Teach me how to build a nest,
I’ll show you how to find a publisher.
Give me your feathers,
I’ll give you my coat.
Give me your fear,
I’ll give you my cat.
Give me your branch,
I’ll give you my bedroom.
Sparrow, if you give your life,
I’ll give you my cage.
Rodaan Al Galidi is currently my favourite poet. He was onstage at George Town Lit Fest 2013 — I saw so much joy and play in his reading, it reminded me of theatre practitioners and their particular brand of Philippe Gaulier joy, le jeu.
I was happy when Rodaan read his poetry, and he remains one of my clearest memories of 2013. His poetry is quite unlike the usual styles I prefer, and I wish he had more work translated. Still, that seems greedy. Maybe I should just be happy with what I’ve found so far.