Thursday, March 15, 2007


“Sadat” is the shortest thing I’ve ever written…6 lines. And I cannot explain why I became as fixated on counting syllables as a Haiku poet, but I couldn’t pull away from that. I also can’t explain why I consider someone as being cool who—before becoming gracious—had been a warrior…a throw-down guy, cooler than someone who became peaceful and gracious purely for philosophical reasons. He was the first Muslim head-of-state to extend the hand of friendship to Israel. I know someone who—upon hearing of Sadat’s assassination—thought it was the end of the only hope for peace in the Middle East. But, I’ve never heard of any figure in history who had more balls than Sadat, who—I suspect—knew he faced certain assassination. Studying just the implications of biblical philosophy, the sacrificing Christ of his convictions means that his convictions weren’t just a philosophical/political stance, but that—like Jesus—he would allow himself to be crucified to make his statement. He probably suspected that the Islamic fundamentalists from within the ranks of his own military (“legions”) would be the “lions” he would finally face unflinchingly. As is common in many of my poems, I liberally use assonance and alliteration. The “I” sounds combined with the “K” sounds in the 5th line, and the "F" sounds combined with the "L" sounds in the 6th line.

The sacrificing Christ of his convictions,
unflinching, faced the lions of his legions.