Suheir Hammad | Daddy’s Song

As a 24 year old male, this is probably going to make me sound like a big wimp, but I don’t care, because Suheir Hammad’s poems seem to be the only thing that have the ability to draw a tear from my eye these days. Of course, I will immediately pretend something is caught in my eye and begin to rub it furiously, lest I be castrated from the larger testosterone-based community.. But hey, if this poem doesn’t make you want to sit in a dark room and listen to “A Change is Gonna Come”, then you are a robot; a big rusty robot, and I really don’t know what I can do for you.

+ about this poem


  • Suheir is amazing every time I listen to any of her poems it sends shivers down my spine. Her recitation makes her poems all the more amazing.

    I love this song.

  • I second 7aki. I love Suheir Hammad’s performance.. she displays such an assertive character while reciting her poems that adds strength to her already strong words.. I admire her A LOT!

  • I actually bought her poetry book titled ‘Za’atar Diva’ (za3tar Diva).

    her words are very liberating and just beautiful. Her show on HBO is probably one of the best poetry shows on western TV.

    if you buy her book, she even sends u a cd and also a small bag full of za3tar. very thoughtful.

  • sorry … didnt find this intresting … it’s more of hip-hop than poetry … i think people are failing to see the difference anymore … and belive me man … i’m no robot … check the Adab label in my blog to see why … peace

  • Isam: with all due respect, dissecting what people say into various categories based on your own definitions of what is and what isn’t poetry, goes against everything the art of poetry is about.

  • Respect to you too for you civilized reply … but allow me to say that what you have said is the definition of Literary Criticism … Le Critique … and the value of that is obvious through the long history of the art of writing … sure anyone can write what s/he wants … but with taking the responsibility he must also take on the burden of the critics … who may or may not know what they are talking about … and who judge the piece of art depending on a lot of factors … some related to them … and some related to the art itself … what you wrote in your post was a critique … a positive one … and mine is the negative … and the same comment you wrote to me could have been easily pointed to you …

    OMG … you made me use my brains for the 1st time in some time … I miss having these discussions with people … and that’s the main reason I hate KSA … no intellectual elite on sight…

    and am always going to wonder about the 4 spaces you have in your comment box by default 🙂

  • Isam: lol, ok good. but a critique is fairly different. in your original comment you more or less discarded this as non-poetry or not belonging to poetry in the first place. that’s an admonishment as opposed to a critique; the latter of which identifies what is heard or read as poetry before judging it as “positive” or “negative”.

    And THAT being said, I don’t entirely believe that there is something called “negative” or “bad” poetry. It’s an art form, and art is based entirely on perception. What one perceives to be crap another will perceive to be beautiful.

  • I said “its more hip-hop than poetry” as in reference to classic poetry … and no there is no such thing as negative art for sure … but there is art which attracts alot of negative reviews … and that cant be good most of the time …

  • Isam: ah, whether its considered classical or contemporary or spoken word or what have you, that is another matter. but at the end of the day, it’s all poetry; all art.

    i disagree with the last statement.

  • Suhair is da shizzle.

    She is a pioneer in the hip-hop/poetry arena.

    I salute everyone who delivers our message in a new medium.

    She has opened a window and presented the Palestinian/Arab-American/minority cause in such a beautiful way and in a place that is foreign to most of us.


  • and she was raised in Amman. then moved to the US with her family.

    Palforce, you are right, her HBO show is called deaf poetry and its indeed for the hip/hop poets.

    this poem is in her latest book.

Your Two Piasters: