from America, America

By Saadi Youssef Saadi Youssef
God save America,
               My home, sweet home!

We are not hostages, America,
and your soldiers are not God's soldiers...
We are the poor ones, ours is the earth of the drowned gods,
the gods of bulls,
the gods of fires,
the gods of sorrows that intertwine clay and blood in a song...
We are the poor, ours is the god of the poor,
who emerges out of farmers' ribs,
hungry
and bright,
and raises heads up high...

America, we are the dead.
Let your soldiers come.
Whoever kills a man, let him resurrect him.
We are the drowned ones, dear lady.
We are the drowned.
Let the water come.

       Damascus, 20/8/1995

"America, America" © 2002 Saadi Youssef. Reprinted from Without an Alphabet, Without a Face, with permission of Graywolf Press, Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Source: Without an Alphabet Without a Face (Graywolf Press, 2002)

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Poet Saadi Youssef

POET’S REGION Middle East

Subjects Class, History & Politics, Social Commentaries

 Saadi  Youssef

Biography

Saadi Youssef was born in 1934 in Iraq and is considered one of the most important contemporary poets in the Arab world. Following his experience as a political prisoner in Iraq, he has spent most of his life in exile, working as a journalist throughout North Africa and the Middle East. He now lives in London, where he is also a leading translator of English literature into Arabic.

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Poems by Saadi Youssef

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Class, History & Politics, Social Commentaries

POET’S REGION Middle East

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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