Reading Poetry

I went to Cal Poly to hear Sheema Kalbasi read poetry. Iranian born Sheema Kalbasi is a human rights activist, a blogger, a poet and literary translator. She has authored two collections of poems, Echoes in Exile in English, and Sangsar (Stoning) in Persian. Her brave and courageous soul was so clear in her voice. Her words so authentic, so touching, so honest. I would like to share my favorite poem with you and you can read the complete version here.

and I tore loose the chains of captivity
only to fall once more into bondage
when I was raped by a Mongol
married a Jew
gave birth to a Muslim
watched the child convert to Buddhism
watched the child marry a Bahai
live as a Christian
die as a Hindu

I am a woman
I am the river
I am the sky
I am the clouded covered trees upon the mountain
I am the fertile earth whose song the plants drink deep
I am the long line of tribes
I am the long line of faiths

Don't try to convert me
into something I am not
for I am already all
that humanity will ever be