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Self-Portrait by Zozan Hawez : American Life in Poetry
Shared via AddThisAmerican Life in Poetry: Column 198
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE
This column has had the privilege of publishing a number of poems by young people, but this is the first we’ve published by a young person who is also a political refugee. The poet, Zozan Hawez, is from Iraq, and goes to Foster High School in Tukwila, Washington. Seattle Arts & Lectures sponsors a Writers in the Schools program, and Zozan’s poem was encouraged by that initiative.
Self-PortraitBorn in a safe familyBut a dangerous area, Iraq,I heard guns at a young age, so youngThey made a decision to raise us safeSo packed our thingsAnd went far away.Now, in the city of rain,I try to forget my past,But memories never fade.This is my life,It happened for a reason,I happened for a reason.American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2007 by Seattle Arts & Lectures. Reprinted from “We Will Carry Ourselves As Long As We Gaze Into The Sun,” Seattle Arts & Lectures, 2007, by permission of Zozan Hawez and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2009 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.