Last night my Arabic teacher enlightened, and delighted me.
"There's no 'to be' verb in Arabic," she explained. No wonder June Jordan loved Arab poetry so much! An illustration:
I am not
I am not
I am not loving
the state of Be-ing
the one who
it is not raining:
"Language carries the conscience of a People," June taught us. This statement created the foundation for us in Poetry for the People. We always sought to expand the possibilities of our own language, often by studying the poetry from numerous "others."
We also abolished "to be" verbs, in order to write with the urgency of insurrection. With the urgency of forbidden lovers. This new immediacy, for so many of us in P4P launched us into direct actions to realize the promise(s) of our shared nation. Direct actions to bring to fruition the constitutional declaration that power lies in Our hands. The hands of the People.
Indeed, this immediacy of language and action drove me to Palestine in 2001-2002. And reeled me back to these lands presently.