Thursday, April 21, 2011

A poor woman learns to write

Puisi ini mengingatkan saya kepada hakikat, bahawa dua pertiga daripada 796 juta penduduk dunia yang buta huruf, adalah kaum wanita.

A poor woman learns to write

She squats, bare feet
splayed out, not
graceful; skirt tucked around ankles.
Her face is lined and cracked.
She looks old,
older than anything.
She’s probably thirty.
Her hands also are lined and cracked
and awkward. Her hair concealed.
She prints with a stick, laboriously
in the wet grey dirt,
frowning with anxiety.
Great big letters.
There. It’s finished. 
Her first word so far.
She never thought she could do this,
Not her. 
This was for others,
She looks up, smiles 
as if apologizing,
but she’s not. Not this time. She did it right.
What does the mud say?
Her name. We can’t read it.
But we can guess. Look at her face:
Joyful Flower? A Radiant One? Sun On Water?

Margaret Atwood, author.

Source: UNESCO's Alphabet of Hope, 2007.


ninotaziz said...

Wow, Dr Bubbles. I have had the pleasure of being introduced to margaret Atwood's work about twenty years ago while in Canada.

But this poem is new to me.

And so close to my7 heart.

Thank you for everything.

Do you accept books for donation to your libraries?

DR Bubbles said...

Madam ninotaziz,

My pleasure. Although I encourage people to give money instead to buy new books for the kids, I do accept personal request to give books. The books I am looking for are suitable for children from age 4 to 18 years old. Perhaps, mostly in B.Melayu Tinggi. I do accept English books suitable for young readers with lots of illustrations. Let me know, what sort of books you want to contribute so that I can advise you whether it is suitable for them or not. Thanks maam.