In Memory Of A Palestinian Poet Killed In Gaza: Refaat Alareer

When poets have to die
Something is amiss

Whether Mayakovski
Bulgakov Ovid
Marlowe Lorca
Jara or Neruda

When poets die
The cause becomes
Less pure

The murderers
Less brave

And the words
That now will never be born
Cry out from the grave

How just must be the reason
To smash the sacred lyre

How convinced must be the season
To blanket the world in silence

Murdered poets tend to scream

Tend to bloom inside the young
With long fiery stalks of revenge

It’s a fool who kills poets
For from their corpse
Guns and curses will spring
And not the forgiving verses of love

The poet if he is truly such
Is the voice of the God (whoever He or She may be)

Strangle it Shoot it Bomb it Split it
The poet will return
In clouds of angry divinity

The poet is the people’s tongue
Cut it out
And a nation will punch
Its mute fist into the future
In revolt against the stolen sounds
Of a tortured soul

Don’t kill poets
If you want to win

Don’t cheat and kill the best lovers
Of the world

No matter who else you kill
Apollo will never forgive you

And whatever war you wage
Will have been in vain

Dan Corjescu teaches at the University of Tübingen's "Studium Professionale" program. Read other articles by Dan.