Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Foyle Young Poets

I'm happy to tell you guys that I was one of 85 commended (out of 6000 entrants) for the Foyle Young Poets competition for the following poem:

We shun symbols of oppression

To celebrate our freedom

We place children on English billboards

To advertise our nation,

To encourage people to ignore

The prejudice, which haunts us in airports

And at dinner parties

When people ask if we are forced

To wear one of those scarves

When we are at home.

No. I am not, you try to explain.

My country is secular

Perhaps you should watch the news.

Or not. Lies stream from TV sets

And filter into the minds of foreigners

Making them hate what they do not understand.

Well—not lies. The wrongdoings of a scant few

Aggravated by fear.

People will forget that their nations

Have committed similar crimes in the name of

Power, wealth, religion,

That have merely been buried under layers

Of superiority and ignorance.

Thus we are judged on unequal footing,

Somehow retaining the hope that they will come to realize

The love that we have for our vibrant homeland

And embrace the differences.

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