If you're like me this April, your e-mail swelled beyond the capacity to read on a daily basis. Much of it is due to the influx of poems and poem related material during National Poetry Month. One such e-mail was from PBS Online News Hour with Jim Leher. They do a periodic feature piece on a poet and they are always top notch video feeds with bibliographical information and usually a poem or two. The email was to promote their latest, a visit poet Bob Hicok. I'm familiar with Hicok and I will get around to listening to their piece, but in taking the link to the PBS site, I saw a previous piece I had missed on another poet who I stopped to check out. The poet, pictured above, was Nathalie Handal.
I've missed anything about Ms.Handal up to this point on my poetry radar (which may need servicing) and this was an astonishing discovery. She is well traveled, having I've lived in Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, the United States, and the Arab world. And while her roots are Palestinian, she is clearly a poet of the world.
I have found some of her poems and posted a few of their links here:
And here us the PBS Video:
Another Video of Nathalie Handal reading - you might need to turn the volume up a bit. This poem captures a portion of the beauty that she compresses within the language of her work. A soft but mighty voice.
In many respects she reminds me of the late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.