Faleeha Hassan




Faleeha Hassan is an award-winning Iraqi poet, writer, editor and educator and a leading figure in the feminist movement in the holy city of Najaf. She is the first Iraqi woman to write poetry for the children of Iraq. Faleeha was born in Najaf, Iraq, in 1967. She has a master’s degree in Arabic literature. She is a member of several literary and social groups. She has published sixteen poetry collections in Arabic. Her poems and short stories have been published in numerous American magazines and journals. She has received a number of awards from Iraqi, Arab, and European literary associations. Faleeha is currently living in the United States.



When the first war ended
Men proceeded to search and during
the exhumation from under moldy stacks
They found him
They said: We will return the spirit to his skeleton
But the whistle screamed
To announce the next war!
The pages of History are shaking
And because speed is required
They sewed his face to the back of his head
From that moment
My Dad walks backwards


I’m crying

I’m crying
Not because you squeezed my heart and threw it like a sponge in the desert,
Yes, I’m crying
not because you did not smile at me
but because your teeth look whiter than white when you see a woman’s shadow pass by
Yes, I’m crying
but not because you are completely healed
and no longer need my whisper to sleep,
Not because you dedicated all the poems you wrote for me
To another woman
and she stupidly believed you,
I’m crying
not because I threw my pillow and I will be watchful all my life without you,
Yes, I’m crying deeply
because the Ice cream has melted before I got home
and I didn’t enjoy eating it.


Listen to me

Hurry up,
Go to him,
Slip your name into his artery,
Do that!
You will find yourself foolishly sitting like an old couch next to an empty chair against a
curtain draped over a silent window
It has no connection with life.



The small black doll which I bought from the flea market
my children cut of hear hands and threw it on the side of old bed,
you also cut my heart and threw it to obliterate
me and it so quiet
we are crying a dry tears
the darkness is our mirror
we see through it our broken dreams,
the frivolous you and my kids and the remnant of our souls
I will sew her hands
And return her to the seller,
With what you sew my broken heart?


Even my husband does not know I’m a woman!

Every time I speak with him about the river
His mouth waters at the smell of fish
He starts to count the clothespins and watch the weather forecast when I smile to the cloud
But he loves me if I’m
Limited as a booklet
Thin as the remnants of pencils
Amazing as a clean white shirt in coal mine
Faithful as glasses of blind man
And beautiful as a broken wall clock


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