Rada Akbar- Afghan WomaPhotography- Afghanistan

I’m Not Your Muse

Laila Darwishi

Believe me when I say
I am not only a muse for your ghazals.
I do not split into stanzas like your poems.
I come with new songs myself.

You write about how delicate women are.
I speak of our courage.
You write of the blush on my cheeks.
I give color to life.
You sing songs for my lips,
In these dark and narrow streets
My lips and I give voice to freedom.
You wrap my hair around your poetry.
I make my hair a rope around the neck of ignorance.

Believe me,
I am not just your muse.
I have new songs.
I am a voice from the depths of the hearts of women
Singing on mountain tops.
I have a song from somewhere far.
My feet, red like tulips, I walk on fire
And you, you boundless darkness, you will never see me weak.

Read this piece in Persian here.

Feature image courtesy of Rada Akbar.

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Daughters of Rabia is a collection of Afghan women's writings in defense of their human rights. The book was published by two Afghan activists, Noorjahan Akbar and Batul Muradi, in 2013. Following the book's success and distribution in six provinces in Afghanistan, Noorjahan Akbar created the Free Women Writers blog to continue publishing women's writings in Persian, Pashtu and Uzbeki. Since then, the blog has expanded to include hundreds of articles, poems, narratives, essays and paintings about gender equality, environmental concerns, economic inequality, democracy and other social justice issues. With a weekly readership of more than thirty thousand, the blog has reached tens of thousands of Afghans. This website is the English translation of these writings. Read the Persian book here: http://bit.ly/DaughtersofRabia