‘You Will Remain An Example’ by Tal al-Mallouhi

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You will remain an example

I will walk with all walking people
And no
I will not stand still
Just to watch the passers by
This is my Homeland
In which
I have
A palm tree
A drop in a cloud
And a grave to protect me

This is more beautiful
Than all cities of fog
And cities which
Do not recognise me
My master:
I would like to have power
Even for one day
To build the “republic of feelings.”

(Translated by Ghias al-Jundi)


Tal al-Mallouhi is a young poet who was only 19 years old when she was arrested in her home city of Homs more than two years ago, in December 2009. She was sentenced to five years in prison in February 2011, convicted of spying for a foreign country. She is still in prison, with little access to her family – a situation aggravated by the recent conflict. For more on her case read this PEN alert. http://www.englishpen.org/syria-blogger-and-poet-sentenced/

Take Action

To mark International Women’s Day, on Thursday 8 March, we are encouraging our members to set aside a few minutes to take action on behalf of women writers around the world.

Share Tal’s poem: To raise and maintain awareness of Tal’s case, please help us to get her poem, ‘You Will Remain An Example’ , published as widely as possible – in newspapers, on notice boards, on websites, blogs and social networks. (Please do  let us know the details of any publications in the comments box below.)

Send Tal a poem: If you would like to send a message of support and a poem to Tal please email cat@englishpen.org for more details and the address of the prison where she is detained.

For more details of suggested Women’s Day actions on behalf of writers in Turkey and Mexico, please see http://www.englishpen.org/international-womens-day-take-action-for-women-writers-around-the-world/

7 Comments on ‘You Will Remain An Example’ by Tal al-Mallouhi

    1. Dee Grimes

      International women’s day reminds me of strong women like you, incarcerated unjustly in my opinion, who are cleaver and talented. May you be free very soon.


    2. Marilyn Hacker

      I believe Tal was seventeen, not nineteen, when she was arrested, and she has now passed her 20th birthday in prison. Ironically, the revolution that began in Syria after her imprisonment has led to her being somewhat forgotten in the rush of events — and further imprisonment of dissidents.  I am glad to see her case remembered here, and hope that our words can somehow reach her.


    3. Sisters in Verse | My CMS

      […] me. She was arrested in 2009 and has been in prison ever since. You can read more about her from English PEN, and I’m re-posting one of her poems here in the hope that you will take some form of action, […]


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