I Have No Power Poem by Nizar Qabbani

I Have No Power

Rating: 2.6

'I have no power to change you
or explain your ways
Never believe a man can change a woman
Those men are pretenders
who think
that they created woman
from one of their ribs
Woman does not emerge from a man's rib's, not ever,
it's he who emerges from her womb
like a fish rising from depths of water
and like streams that branch away from a river
It's he who circles the sun of her eyes
and imagines he is fixed in place

I have no power to tame you
or domesticate you
or mitigate your first instincts
This task is impossible
I've tested my intelligence on you
also my dumbness
Nothing worked with you, neither guidance
nor temptation
Stay primitive as you are

I have no power to break your habits
for thirty years you have been like this
for three hundred years
a storm trapping in a bottle
a body by nature sensing the scent of a man
assaults it by nature
triumphs over it by nature

Never believe what a man says about himself
that he is the one who makes the poems
and makes the children
It is the woman who writes the poems
and the man who signs his name to them
It is the woman who bears the children
and the man who signs at the maternity hospital
that he is the father

I have no power to change your nature
my books are of no use to you
and my convictions do not convince you
nor does my fatherly council do you any good
you are the queen of anarchy, of madness, of belonging
to no one
Stay that way
You are the tree of femininity that grows in the dark
needs no sun or water
you the sea princess who has loved all men
and loved no one
slept with all men… and slept with no one
you are the Bedouin woman who went with all the tribes
and returned a virgin
Stay that way.'

Umrah Syed 13 October 2015

This is definitely one of my favourite poems, actually no this IS my favourite poem. Its unique and different from others i have read, this poem is inspiring me to spread the word on the cause it discuses, i have never really enjoyed poems, but this one was a jaw drop. In fact I, as a public speaker read it several times and each time i spoke it to myself it got better and better, i actually wish that one day i have the opportunity to recite this poem to an audience exemplifying its significance. Most definitely poet Nizar Qabbani has done an amzing job :) I love it.

5 0 Reply
Anne-Marie O'Connor 21 March 2021

This is an astounding poem. One of my favorites of any poet.

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Nizar Qabbani

Nizar Qabbani

Damascus / Syria
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