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Gitmo poetry contest

By Michelle Malkin  •  June 20, 2007 04:31 PM

Jules Crittenden points to this blood-boiler in the WSJ about the coming publication of a poetry anthology by detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Not. A. Joke:

An 84-page anthology titled “Poems From Guantanamo: The Detainees Speak” will be published in August by the University of Iowa Press, giving readers an unusual glimpse into the emotional lives of the largely nameless and faceless prisoners there.

“When I heard pigeons cooing in the trees/Hot tears covered my face,” Sami al Haj wrote in one poem. The al-Jazeera cameraman has been held at Guantanamo Bay since 2002 on suspicion of aiding Islamic militants. “When the lark chirped, my thoughts composed/A message for my son,” he went on.

The collection, translated from Arabic, was compiled by Marc Falkoff, a defense lawyer with a literary bent. Mr. Falkoff, who got a Ph.D. in English before he went to law school, represents 17 Yemeni prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, and he dedicated the book to his clients, describing them in the inscription as “my friends inside the wire.”

The approximately 380 prisoners at Guantanamo are being held indefinitely; just two have been charged with crimes. Military officials are dismissive of the inmates’ poetry, which they say is aimed at garnering public sympathy.

How about a poetry anthology from the families of the victims of many of those Gitmo jihadists?


Crittenden is soliciting entries for his own Gitmo poetry contest. Here’s his own contribution:

Rose are Red
Violets are Blue
In the Hated Crusader Gulag at Guantanamo
It must suck to be you

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