Ramadan

By Kazim Ali b. 1971 Kazim Ali
You wanted to be so hungry, you would break into branches,
and have to choose between the starving month’s

nineteenth, twenty-first, and twenty-third evenings.
The liturgy begins to echo itself and why does it matter?

If the ground-water is too scarce one can stretch nets
into the air and harvest the fog.

Hunger opens you to illiteracy,
thirst makes clear the starving pattern,

the thick night is so quiet, the spinning spider pauses,
the angel stops whispering for a moment—

The secret night could already be over,
you will have to listen very carefully—

You are never going to know which night’s mouth is sacredly reciting
and which night’s recitation is secretly mere wind—

Kazim Ali, “Ramadan” from The Fortieth Day. Copyright © 2008 by Kazim Ali. Reprinted by permission of BOA Editions, Ltd.

Source: The Fortieth Day (BOA Editions Ltd., 2008)

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Poet Kazim Ali b. 1971

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Activities, Eating & Drinking, Religion, Islam

Holidays Ramadan

Poetic Terms Couplet, Free Verse

 Kazim  Ali

Biography

Poet, editor, and prose writer Kazim Ali was born in the United Kingdom to Muslim parents of Indian descent. He received a BA and MA from the University of Albany-SUNY, and an MFA from New York University. Ali’s poetry collections include The Far Mosque (2005), which won Alice James Books’ New England/New York Award, and The Fortieth Day (2008). Ali’s poems, both lyric and musical, explore the intersection of faith and daily . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Activities, Eating & Drinking, Religion, Islam

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Couplet, Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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