In the workshop we revelled in this poem’s irony and earnestness. How much it felt felt, yet how funny it was. The general and particular scales of accusation that it employs.
We decided to use an exclamation mark in the title to convey the imperative used in the Arabic, whereas in the body of the poem we used a less emphatic approach to punctuation (following the Arabic more directly) which seemed to let the sense remain mysteriously unresolved. Throughout, the poem takes clear-sighted aim at the shortcomings of society (“This family which hangs a picture of capitalism in the living room as if it were its ancestor”) and colonial ideology (“From the scars of colonies that turned to cold signatures as their authors died”), lampooning what is demonstrably corrupt while never quite succumbing to the traceable, fixed position of a prose opinion piece.
Edward Doegar, Commissioning Editor