Tuesday Poem: A Syrian Poet in Homs - Tal al-Mallouhi

You will remain an example

I will walk with all walking people
And no
I will not stand still
Just to watch the passers by
This is my Homeland
In which
I have
A palm tree
A drop in a cloud
And a grave to protect me.

This is more beautiful
Than all cities of fog
And cities which
Do not recognise me
My master:
I would like to have power
Even for one day
To build the “republic of feelings.”

Tal al-Mallouhi
(Translated by Ghias al-Jundi)

Tal al-Mallouhi is a young Syrian poet and blogger, born in Homs, arrested aged 19 accused of spying for foreign countries and sentenced to 5 years in prison in 2009.   This is her brief biography from the internet:

“al Dosr al-Mallohi (al-Mallouhi) (Arabic: طل الملوحي ) born in Homs January 4, 1991. She is considered the World's youngest prisoner of conscience. On 27 December 2009, Tal was taken from her home by officers of one of the security offices in Syria because she has written poems about Palestine and social commentaries on her blog.  Since then, her parents don't know which security office has detained her nor where they can visit their daughter. Tal al-Mallouhi has been accused by the Syrian government of being a spy for the United States of America, and sentenced on February 15, 2011 to five years in prison.”

For more about her situation please look up English Pen who are trying to publicise her plight by sharing her poetry with as many people as possible.

For more Tuesday Poems please visit the Tuesday Poem website at http://www.tuesdaypoem.blogspot.com
where thirty poets from around the world post a poem every Tuesday.

And today the wonderful Michelle McGrane has featured my new collection 'Not Saying Goodbye at Gate 21' on the brilliant poetry site 'Peony Moon'.  Thanks Michelle!


  1. A great poem for international women's day. Let's hope she and her homeland find their way to peace and freedom.

  2. A very thoughtful choice. It's great to hear that English Pen are helping out, too! The clarity of her poetry is beautiful. I particularly liked her spare listing 'I have...'. Also, congrats on the Peony Moon feature - it's such a great site!

  3. Thanks Elizabeth and Alicia. She's very young, but who knows whether she'll be allowed to live long enough to develop into a major poet? It makes me feel so sad.


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