Thursday, January 16, 2014

Suheir Hammad: "talisman"

it is written
the act of writing is
holy words are
sacred and your breath
brings out the
god in them
i write these words
quickly repeat them
softly to myself
this talisman for you
fold this prayer
around your neck fortify
your back with these
may you walk ever
loved and in love
know the sun
for warmth the moon
for direction
may these words always
remind you your breath
is sacred words
bring out the god
in you

"talisman" by Suheir Hammad. Published online by (date unknown).

Image credit: "Amulet, 11th century, Fatimid, Egypt," ink on paper (originally color). Note from source: "Centuries before block printing was introduced in Europe, the technique was used in the Islamic world to produce miniature texts consisting of prayers, incantations, and Qur’anic verses that were kept in amulet boxes. The text on this amulet is in the angular kufic script. The six-pointed star, a familiar symbol in Islamic art, is usually called `Solomon's seal.'"

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