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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Immigrant

Rating: 4.7
I can't imagine dying in this land.
The neighbours here have doors graffiti-red
‘Why are you brown? ' another pupil asked
‘I think because my folks are brown, ' I said

Out on our landing, someone's dumped a bed
I dream in Hindi. I don't understand
The baby words in English in my school book
At games, or dancing, no one takes my hand

I miss the smells of curry, frangipani,
The steaming chai at Delhi's teeming stalls
The cooking fires. I even miss the sewers
The thieving monkeys with their chattering calls

I miss the temple incense, the bright saris
In this new country, ma wears layers of coats
I miss the beggars, hawkers, the snake charmers
The rickshaws and the tattered rupee notes

You won't have seen a cripple on a skateboard
Or a blind boy, with both his eyes gouged out
That's what it feels to leave behind your country
A picture with the best bits scissored out
Sheena Blackhall
Topic(s) of this poem: travel
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COMMENTS
Sarah Shahzad 23 December 2019
this is amazing & great write..
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Adeeb Alfateh 14 October 2019
You won't have seen a cripple on a skateboard Or a blind boy, with both his eyes gouged out really a great writing great 10++
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Catherine Habbie 02 May 2018
Wow Sheena! You have captured the essence of diaspora.
2 1 Reply
Beautiful lines. Wonderful poem. An Indian in mind.
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Paul Reed 12 February 2018
The thieving monkeys with their chattering calls...great line.
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Richard Wlodarski 15 January 2018
Through the eyes of an immigrant, you have profoundly expressed the isolation and loneliness of being in a new country. And the prejudice that exists. And your longing for your homeland. You have brilliantly illustrated through vivid imagery, your wonderful memories of a country so close to your heart. And your last stanza...sheer genius! You've been crippled! The memories are still there. But like the blind boy, your eyes no longer see all the best bits of your beloved homeland.
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Grace Kusta Nasralla 29 November 2017
Words well chosen. I am an immigrant and I know how it feels especially the first year in a new country. Nice Poem!
3 0 Reply
Yes, particularly when you are made to transcend, you may feel it harder. I experienced this when I was transferred from the village school to the college in the town, I cried over every thing I missed including the mat I used to lie on at home to sleep, over the comforts in a spring bed with the mattress and all that. Only poets can become genuine and truthful in expressing hearty feelings like this. Thanks Sheena for sharing a humane thought.
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Ravi A 13 July 2017
Wonderful feelings inscribed in fine verses. Yes, migration has such difficulties of losing the familiar charms of one's own country. More than charms I would like to use the word 'scenes' with which we get accustomed over the years. They become part of our routine life, something inseparable from our very breath. Being an Indian I can easily access to your feelings. Glad that this poem gets the honor in this remarkable way.
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Seamus O Brian 13 July 2017
The jarring, disconcerting sensation of human transplantation. The cultural cocoon with all of its comforting details hacked away by dislocation. Graphically rendered here, good poet. I wonder, though, about those last four lines. That odd juxtaposition of the cripple and the blind boy with the thought of the best bits scissored out. I have read this several times, and yet I struggle with this; perhaps I am missing something? Are these not sights one expects to encounter in India? Yes, it's true, I the reader won't have seen such things except in places where such things are not uncommon, yet I cannot justify the conjunction to of such things to *the best bits* of any place. I am open to and desirous of suggestions...
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