Posts Tagged ‘A.E. Stallings’

A.E. Stallings on Aeschylus’s “The Persians” in the TLS: “The ghost scene alone must have seemed a dangerous necromancy.”

Sunday, September 27th, 2020
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Alicia Stallings’s fashion statement at the Greek theater in Epidaurus. (Photo: John Psaropoulus)

We wrote about Athens-based poet A.E. Stallings’s off-the-cuff remarks when she attended the National Theatre of Greece’s production of Aeschylus‘s The Persians in the ancient Greek theater of Epidaurus on July 25.

The play is Aeschylus’s The Persians, circa 472 B.C., about the Persian-Greek war. The playwright himself had participated in the crucial battle it describes, so he knew what he was talking about. It is not only the oldest surviving Greek play, but Aeschylus’s most powerful antiwar statement, praising the freedom of the individual and the wisdom of democratic norms.

Now she’s written at length about the experience in the current Times Literary Supplementand, for the time being, it seems to be out from behind they paywall, here

You can start with our excerpt below, where the poet describes what the production meant to Greeks:

Taking a snooze in the sun (Photo: John Psaropoulus)

Aeschylus had fought in the battle: some of the messenger speech is arguably an eyewitness account. When I think about what that first production must have been like – Aeschylus conjuring up on stage not only Xerxes, the man who had recently razed the city, but the ghost of his father, Darius, in front of an audience for whom this was a raw and recent memory (many would have been veterans), and just below the Persian-destroyed temple on the Acropolis, I get goose-bumps. The ghost scene alone must have seemed a dangerous necromancy. …

We recognized acquaintances from Athens sitting at the café, despite their masks. “Of course the play could not be more topical”, one asserted, indicating recent provocations of the Turkish president, Erdoğan, in the Eastern Mediterranean. On the night we were at the play, in late July, the Greek military was on high alert. The presence of the prime minister and his entourage (one lady in a sequined “evening” mask) added to the nationalist energy in the air.

The tragedy plays differently to Greek and non-Greek audiences. Reviews of the live-streamed production in the Guardian (subtitled “a triumph of empathy for a time of Covid-19”) and the New York Times praised the production for its timely lessons on hubris and its message of empathy. But for the overwhelmingly Greek audience present, thrilled to be out of doors at a production at all after a long lockdown, and potentially on the brink of war, the play was rousingly patriotic. The image of Greece as a scrappy little country punching above its weight, taking no orders from kings and exerting its naval prowess to push back against a larger threatening power, was as appealing as ever.

When Queen Atossa (widow of King Darius and mother of Xerxes) interrogated the chorus about the battle and the nature of the victorious Greeks, the exchange felt like a kind of catechism of Athenian democracy. “What Monarch do they have; who leads the army?”, she demanded to know of the Greeks. When the Chorus responded, “No one, they are not slaves; no one gives them orders”, the crowd erupted in applause, as perhaps the first audience did.

Later, in the messenger speech, he describes how, as the Greeks bore down, they burst into the chant: “Go, sons of the Greeks, and liberate the fatherland!” This was another moment the audience was waiting to applaud enthusiastically. The play, produced in a modern Greek translation by Theodoros Stephanopoulos, translates this line by alluding to poet Rhigas’s “War Song”, popular from the time of the Greek war of independence, a poem which Byron translates as “Sons of the Greeks, Arise!” The war song is sometimes called the Greek Marseillaise, and if it sounds strikingly close (both can be sung to the same tune), that may be because the Marseillaise is also consciously imitating the Greek of Aeschylus. Sitting there, I imagined Aeschylus being pleased that his anthem to liberty was still sung lustily millennia after his death.

Read more here.

Aeschylus’s “The Persians” flipped expectations – but not everyone found it an eye-opening show.

Monday, July 27th, 2020
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As Athens-based poet A.E. Stallings noted, last weekend’s production of Aeschylus‘s The Persians at Epidaurus flipped ancient expectations: the cast did not wear masks, but the audience did. We wrote about the production here, and it should be available online soon. Highly recommended, But please note: not everyone found it an eye-opening performance. See above.

Below, Alicia Stallings’s looking fashionable with mask. Both photos by her husband, the eminent Greek journalist John Psaropoulos.

“We are the world’s rubbish, the scum of the earth”: A.E. Stallings’s “Letter from the Corinthians”

Wednesday, February 12th, 2020
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We’ve written about Athens-based poet A.E. Stallings and her community’s work with refugees here and here and here. She had been working with the squats in the Greek capital, until the refugees were transported en masse to a makeshift army camp in Corinth, about an hour outside Athens. “Isn’t a camp better than a squat? The government must have thought, out of sight, out of mind. Maybe there was, in the dismay of the eviction, a feeling even within myself that some part of my life was now over, that a responsibility had been lifted.” Time passed, however, and “the news from the families in Corinth was grim, about flimsy tents and inedible food. Families were supposed to be there only a few days before being sent to one of the properly organized camps, but days turned into weeks, and weeks would turn into months. There is a saying in Greek, ‘nothing is more permanent than the temporary.'”

She made the trip to Corinth, and reports back in “Letter from the Corinthians” in  The Times Literary Supplement:

I was surprised to see one Syrian family with several children (and now a new baby) that had long ago made it to Sweden. Deported back to their country of arrival, it turned out. I recognized one of the little boys, Malak, who has Down’s syndrome. I remembered his name because the father had once made a point of explaining his name to me: “Malak is Arabic for Angel”.

The children witness.

The place is at once devastatingly familiar in its squalor (bringing back memories of the tent city that sprang up in Piraeus in 2016), its impoverishment, the almost tangible miasma of waiting (like the invisible toxic chemicals in Elefsina), children in no shoes or ill-fitting ones, playing such games as can be contrived out of gravel and sticks – hopscotch is universal; we also witnessed a lively game of Afghan rock paper scissors – washing hung to dry on the wire fence, an oilcan being used as a stove in the corner. A quotation from Paul hovers at the edge of my consciousness: “Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling-place … we are the world’s rubbish, the scum of the earth”.

On our way out, some of the families accompanied us, one teenaged girl on the point of tears (being a teenaged girl in such a place must indeed be terrifying), squeezing my hand. She pointed out the food delivery, as a Greek army jeep jolted up to the back entrance, and meals of rice and tomato sauce were delivered in black plastic. It did not look or smell appetizing: the same meal over and over again, and this the sixth week. There was also a piece of feta cheese and an apple. With nothing else to present to us, the families sent us off with the apples. Faith, hope and love abide. The greatest might be love, but hope is startlingly resilient.

Read the whole thing here. 

“Some died of fear, some of cold”: refugee massacres on the high seas

Thursday, April 11th, 2019
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At the forefront of inhumanity

John Psaropoulos is an Athens-based journalist (he blogs here). Like his wife, the poet A.E. Stallings, he is on the forefront of the refugee crisis. I wrote about her work with the refugees for the Poetry Foundation here; illustrations by refugee children below are courtesy A.E. Stallings and the “True Colors” Facebook page.)

Psaropoulos, formerly an international reporter for CNN, has a disturbing essay in the current Sewanee Magazine (paywall alert). “How Refugees Die” opens with the story of Doa Shukrizan, a Syrian fleeing war with her fiancé on a fishing trawler bound for Italy, and then surviving a massacre on the high seas. “During the hour that we spoke, three coastguard officers sat at their desks not doing any work, transfixed by what she said.”

A few excerpts:

“On the fourth day after we set sail, between noon and two o’clock, we were met by another fishing vessel,” Doa said. “The people on it asked us to stop. They threw pieces of metal and wood at us and swore at our captain. Our boat refused to stop and they rammed us. They waited until we had sunk and they left.”

A child depicts a Turkish vessel firing a water cannon to try to sink a dinghy

Doa said the boat was submerged in ten minutes. She remembered hearing the screaming of women and children below decks. She survived along with about a hundred people because she had been on deck, but her fiancé did not. Over the next three days and two nights, all but five of those initial survivors would die of exhaustion and dehydration as they treaded water in the open sea. Doa and the other four were spotted by a Greek merchant ship south of Crete; a Greek coast guard helicopter airlifted them to Chania.

Only later, when I reviewed the video recording of our interview, did I realize that Doa wept quietly to herself during the breaks between answers …

***

[Hamad Raad, a Palestinian barber who had survived the same mass murder] explained how the breakdown of social bonds isolated each person and made them more vulnerable to the elements: “In the beginning people were in groups but each day the groups grew thinner. On the third day people lost their senses. Two people came up to me and told me I had taken their life vest and that it belonged to them, and tried to drown me. Many of us were afraid after that.”

An Afghan girl recalls drownings.

Hamad, dangerously disoriented, very nearly drowned himself. “I hallucinated that I had gone to a hotel and was asking for a room and food and drink,” he said. “I imagined that I was arguing with the hotelier, and I took off my life jacket and began to sink . . . the sinking brought me back to my senses.”

“Some people died of stress, others willed it to happen,” said Doa. “One man took off his own life vest and sank. Some died of fear, some of cold.”

“Those who had God beside them had strength, and those who didn’t began to end their own lives,” says Hamad.

***

In my article, “Crossing Borders,” for the Poetry Foundation, I include Stalling’s epigram, “From an autopsy report of an unknown drowning victim, Ikaria”:

Female. Nine years old. Found wearing a blouse,
And a pair of sweatpants patched with Minnie Mouse.

Here’s the story behind the poem:

A girl named Aqdas recalls those lost at sea.

My friend John Tripoulas, a general surgeon then at the Ikaria hospital, had to pronounce death on the body of a girl, perhaps six or seven years old, found bobbing off the north shore. She had spent so long underwater that her flesh had suffered what doctors call saponification — it had acquired a soap-like consistency. “It was a combination of sorrow and horror to see this young girl in an advance state of decay,” Tripoulas told me, his voice quiet and trembling. “I’ll never forget what she was wearing — pink sweatpants with a Mickey Mouse patch, white boots and a pink overcoat. Her facial features were not visible — they had been lost to the sea.”

The loss of facial features was a common observation. Kalliope Katte, a doctor at the Evdilos Health Centre on Ikaria’s north coast, described the body of an adult woman found washed up. “She was completely naked. It was an awful sight because although she had her arms and legs, her face was missing. There was no skin or flesh. It was just a skull.” When I asked about the missing faces, she said, “The bodies have been eaten by fish, they’re not just decomposing.”

John Psaropoulos concludes: “The combined population of the developed world – more than a billion people – could, in theory, absorb all the world’s refugees today – a manageable ratio of one refugee per fifty people.” He concludes, “With electorates divided on both sides of the Atlantic, Europe and the US are likely to continue to follow an incoherent and uncoordinated series of policies, aiming to salvage their self-definition as caring and open societies, while doing everything possible to keep the world’s unfortunates at bay.”

Why is light verse in disfavor? The crusade to save it.

Friday, March 29th, 2019
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The man behind “Anecdotal Evidence”

One of our favorite fellow bloggers, Patrick Kurp of the highly (and justly) respected Anecdotal Evidence, has a article on light verse in the Los Angeles Review of Books. It makes a thoughtful, rewarding read, recognizing in particular Light, the biannual journal founded by a retired Chicago postal worker, John Mella.

One of his goals, Patrick writes, was “to salvage verse from what he called the ‘cheerless, obscure, and finally forgettable muck’ of poetry written by and for academics.” The journal was launched in 1992 and has become a modest literary industry of its own, continuing after his death in 2012. It’s all online now, here.

There has long been a prejudice against light verse in such magazines as The New Yorker, that used to champion the wit and wisdom of Dorothy Parker, the sparkle of Ogden Nash. “It’s a shame the sophisticated humor in its cartoons can no longer be found in its poetry, which is fairly dreary and has been for years,” according to R.S. Gwynn (we’ve written about him here and here). “Maybe the magazine is too high-minded to think that poetry can entertain.”

Joe Kennedy, éminence grise

It’s a commonplace attitude, writes Kurp, that light verse “kids’ stuff, doggerel, greeting-card fodder, unhappy echoes of Richard Armour, whose whimsical riffs appeared in Sunday newspaper supplements starting in the Great Depression. Definitions of light verse are notoriously slippery.”

We’ve written about X.J. Kennedy here and here. Kurp calls him “the éminence grise of American light verse.” His poem “The Purpose of Time Is to Prevent Everything from Happening at Once” is one of my all-time favorites of the genre, and I tend to repost it everywhere on his birthday. (He just turned 89 on August 21.)

According to A.M. Juster (we’ve written about him here and here), who is quoted in the article: ““Light verse has to deal with the timeless issues the way that Martial, Horace, Swift, Byron, Dorothy Parker at her best, and Wendy Cope do, to have any longevity at all. Just wordplay and/or inside jokes on the issues of the day doesn’t last. Dialect poems, which were also popular in the first half of the 20th century, went almost immediately from funny to the elite to offensive to everyone.”

“Light verse requires polish.”

Athens-based A.E. Stallings, a MacArthur Fellow and translator of Hesiod and Lucretius, recalls her early publication in Light, and her interactions with Mella, “I was often less successful in placing poems I truly considered ‘light’ verse with Light,” she says. “Rather, [Mella] seemed to like darker things with music to them. It was often a place where I would send in things that were quite polished, but perhaps didn’t have the scope or gravitas for a ‘serious’ magazine. But light verse requires a great deal of polish. It can be harder to turn out a perfect squib than a publishable page-and-a-halfer, the typical form around the millennium.” It seems to have paid off: read the moving short poems on the refugee crisis, which seem to draw their conciseness from some of her work in a lighter genre.

Discussing a poem by Barbara Loots, Patrick writes:”Deflation — reducing human vanity to its ridiculous or distasteful essentials — is a frequent strategy of light verse. Loots’s poem starts as the 10-thousandth Robert Burns parody and quickly turns Swiftian and more substantial. Critics risk killing the patient when dissecting light verse (or dissecting any kind of humor), but one can’t imagine Loots’s poem written as free verse.”  Here’s her matchless “Colonoscopy: A Love Poem”:

My love is like a red, red rose.
I know because I’ve seen
the photographs inside of him
projected on a screen:

the petal-like appearance of
his proximal transverse,
his mid-ascending colon
like a rose’s opening purse,

appendiceal orifice,
a bud not yet unfurled —
Oh, what a pleasing garden is
my true love’s inner world!

How very like a red, red rose
his clean and healthy gut.
I love my laddie all the more
since looking up his butt.

Theophrastus. Never heard of him? He could be a solution to your holiday gift-giving.

Tuesday, December 11th, 2018
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Poet and classicist

Stuck for a gift-giving idea for the holidays? Worry no more! Theophrastus is your answer. Never heard of him? You’re not alone. But according to MacArthur “genius” awarded poet A.E. Stallings (we’ve written on her work with the Greek refugee effort here), Pamela Mensch’s translation of the philosopher’s Characters: An Ancient Take on Bad Behavior is “a perfect gift for the person in your life who mentions Plato’s cave or Zeno’s paradox, or wears a bow tie, or uses a fountain pen, or enjoys a bit of harmless armchair misanthropy.”

In the Wall Street Journal, she writes:

Among the lesser-known writers from classical Athens is a pupil of Aristotle (later his successor as head of the Peripatetic school of philosophy), whom he dubbed Theophrastus (“he who speaks like a god”). Theophrastus had been born Tyrtamus on the island of Lesbos around 370 B.C. and had moved to Athens to study philosophy. An immensely popular speaker, he attracted audiences of 2,000 strong at his public lectures. His life coincided with many of the historical vicissitudes of fourth-century Athens, including the rise of the kingdom of Macedon to the north under Philip II and the eventual domination of all of Greece by Alexander the Great —another pupil of Aristotle’s—including Athens, already diminished by its defeat in the Peloponnesian War.

Although Theophrastus wrote on a wide variety of subjects, he is known for his surviving work on plants (he is considered the father of botany) and an elegant, witty little study of human nature known as “Characters,” in which he depicts 30 different men, or types, representative of particular vices or foibles. It was humorous and sharply observed, with details of quotidian life that might belong in a novelist’s notebook, and there had been nothing quite like it before.

An example? Try this:

Man of the hour

Some types and characters are specific to Athenian free-born men and don’t necessarily translate easily to modern generalities. The Coward is afraid to sail (the ancient equivalent of having a fear of flying), seeing pirates and shipwreck at every turn. But most of his entry is given over to his avoiding the front-line of battle and hiding in sick bay—all free-born Athenian men had mandatory military service and were likely to have seen action. The entry for the Superstitious Man is entertaining less because we see in him a modern type (though his excessive hand washing might be OCD) than because we see superstitions that we share or learn about ancient Athenian ones we don’t. Thus a weasel (the Greek equivalent of a cat) crossing the road unnerves him. But we also find that he must shout “Mighty Athena!” if he hears the hoot of an owl. The Social Climber enjoys conspicuous consumption, even concerning his pets: He buys his jackdaw a tiny shield and ladder so that it will look like a hoplite scaling a wall, and when his imported Maltese lapdog dies, he erects a tombstone to this scion of Malta.

But there is also a Newshound who spreads some “fake news,” and a man so obnoxious that he flashes his genitals at free-born women (obnoxious indeed!). The Vulgar Man gives Too Much Information about his herbal colonic at the dinner table. There are cheapskates galore, dissemblers, busybodies, dullards and charlatans. The worst of the lot seems to be the Friend of Scoundrels, who does sound strangely contemporary, mocking good men, calling rogues “independent thinkers” and declaring: “We won’t have anyone willing to take trouble on behalf of the public good if we reject such men.”

A.E. Stallings remembers a Turkish violinist, drowned at sea

Sunday, September 30th, 2018
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We wrote some months ago about the American poet A.E. Stallings who is based in Athens, at the forefront of the refugee crisis – you can read about that here. She has been chauffeuring refugees, teaching traumatized children, leading poetry classes for the adults, gathering supplies for the impoverished, and even showing kids how to play baseball.

But she is doing most of all what a poet does best: writing poems. 

Here is the latest, which has been making the rounds in the social media. From the most recent issue of The New York Review of Books:

Best American Poetry: the movie and a launch on Thursday, Sept. 20!

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018
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We’re on the road (in New York City, in fact), but wanted to let you know about the “Best American Poetry Reading 2018” on Thursday, September 20, at 7 p.m.

The event will take place at the New School’s auditorium (Room A106), the Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall. Series editor David Lehman and Dana Gioia,  guest editor for the Best American Poetry 2018 volume, will headline an all-star cast of poets to launch the volume. I’m told this is an annual rite of fall in New York.

Dana is also former chairman of the National Endowment of the Arts and now California’s poet laureate (and always, always a cherished friend). In the video below, he calls his guest editorship  “a privilege and a challenge.”

The book includes poets we’ve written about before – A.E. Stallings, Kay Ryan, Dick Davis, David Mason, Tracy K. Smith, Robin Coste Lewis and more.

We’ve run an excerpt from his introduction, “A Poet Today is more Likely to be a Barista than a Professor,”  here.

Below a sampler of the Thursday event. It was filmed by Dana’s son, Michael Gioia.

A poetry prize for Dana Gioia, and a reading in an “otherworldly setting”

Saturday, May 19th, 2018
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Dana Gioia has won so many honors, awards, positions, distinctions, that it’s hard to keep track of them, but we can begin with his current appointment as poet laureate of California, and his earlier appointment as National Endowment of the Arts chair. As of yesterday, he has a new one: he was awarded this year’s Poets’ Prize for 99 Poems: New & Selected (Graywolf). The ceremony took place in New York City’s Nicholas Roerich Museum.

The winning book

“Dana has won many honors, but he has never won one of the ‘major’ poetry prizes,” said R.S. Gwynn, thinking of the Pulitzer, the National Book Award, the Bollingen Prize. “His well known role as an advocate for the arts has perhaps overshadowed his excellence as a poet. Our award is not, however, for lifetime achievement or extra-literary work; it is an award, pure and simple, for what the members of the committee consider the best poetry collection of the year.” (Sam Gwynn is stepping down after ten years as chair of the event. He will be replaced by poet Robert Archambeau, with Marc Vincenz, editor of Plume and MadHat Press, stepping in as the new co-chair. have stepped forward to keep the prize alive.”

A committee of 20 poets selects the winner of the $3,000 prize, which is administered by Lake Forest College. The award is offered annually for the best book of verse published by a living American poet two years prior to the award year. The $3,000 annual prize is donated by a committee of about 20 American poets, who each nominate two books and who also serve as judges. Previous winners include A.E. Stallings, X.J. Kennedy, Marilyn Nelson, and Adrienne Rich. In fact, Dana shared the award with Rich way back in 1992.

I cannot find my own copy of 99 Poems to search for a poem – however, I do have a broadsheet of this one, which is included in the volume. It’s among my personal favorites, and somehow fits the Roerich Museum:

The Stars Now Rearrange Themselves

The stars now rearrange themselves above you
but to no effect. Tonight,
only for tonight, their powers lapse,
and you must look toward earth. There will be
no comets now, no pointing star
to lead you where you know you must go.

Look for smaller signs instead, the fine
disturbances of ordered things when suddenly
the rhythms of your expectation break
and in a moment’s pause another world
reveals itself behind the ordinary.

And one small detail out of place will be
enough to let you know: a missing ring,
a breath, a footfall or a sudden breeze,
a crack of light beneath a darkened door.

The verdict from one of the poets attending the event, Susan de Sola Rodstein: “Wonderful event in an otherworldly setting, with touching tributes to Colette Inez and Dick Allen, and memorable readings by prize-winner Dana Gioia and finalists” – the finalists were James May and John Foy. Susan also took the photos above and below.

Sam Gwynn, Dana Gioia, and Robert Archambeau

Poet A.E. Stallings in Athens: the children recall school bombings, massacres, and drownings at sea

Monday, November 20th, 2017
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A girl named Aqdas recalls those lost at sea.

Migrants have arrived in Greece since Hesiod’s time. Certainly, tales of treacherous Aegean crossings fill the pages of Homer. The poet A.E. Stallings has been a student of the classics since her Oxford days, but Homer and Hesiod didn’t prepare her for the hands-on experience of volunteering with refugees during the disaster that has engulfed Europe.

An Afghan girl recalls drownings

My article on her heroic work with migrants, “Crossing Borders” is currently the lead story at the Poetry Foundation website. I met the Athens-based Alicia Stallings, a MacArthur “Genius” fellow, at last spring’s West Chester Poetry Conference, where we discussed her experience being at ground zero of the immigration crisis.

An excerpt:

She would meet refugees at the disembarking areas and, with her friends, pass out shoes and serve food. Facebook groups spread the news that 2,500 people had arrived at Piraeus, survivors of the dinghies that washed ashore at the Greek islands of Lesbos, Chios, and Samos, and were moving on to Athens. Or that 20 families had arrived in the port and needed sleeping bags, clean clothes, food.

“It was quite unreal. Two thousand people walking out of a war zone, with muddy feet, poorly dressed,” Stallings said. “Some with wounds, others in fur coats or rags. If you had anything you would wear it. Some people would be coming out with wheelchairs; some were carried out. Others came with a dog or cat. Some had a taxi waiting to take them to a hotel. Others would be walking to Hungary.”

These were the lucky ones. As Stallings wrote in an epigram with a title almost as long as the poem itself: “From an autopsy report of an unknown drowning victim, Ikaria”:

Female. Nine years old. Found wearing a blouse,
And a pair of sweatpants patched with Minnie Mouse.

Epigrams were often the form she chose to express the horror and humanity of what was happening around her. “I wanted them to be sharp,” she explains. “Something that had distance, irony. The reality was too overwhelming for a sonnet. These are real people. The situation is bad enough that you don’t have to poetify,” she said, stressing the last word with a little self-mockery.

On land, the adults were bored and anxious, and the children more so. “The worst part is being in limbo and waiting. The uncertainty is really unbearable for people,” said Stallings. “This is their life. Instead of finishing their law degrees, they’re wearing ill-fitting shoes.” She remembered, in particular, a Syrian graduate student who felt his youth was being frittered away. From “The City”:

“I want to go to another land. I want to cross the border,”
The young man out of Syria said. “I’m tired of being stuck.
Sure, Greece is nice enough if you can get a job: good luck.”

“The saddest cases are men in their twenties. They don’t want to fight for Assad or ISIS. Their youth is being eaten—and they don’t know what will happen.”

Stallings and her friends brought supplies—crayons, Play-Doh, markers, bubbles, and pipe cleaners—to keep the restless kids busy as they waited day after day to learn their fate. “We’re the artists, we’re the painters, we’re the poets. We can do this,” she said. “I’m a mother; I can yell at kids in four languages.”

The Play-Doh, markers, and crayons ushered in a new era for the children. They may not have been eloquent in their native tongue, but were eloquent on paper. One drew a massacre he had witnessed and more than one drew those who have drowned at sea. Others illustrated bombings, one with the word “Assad” written on the aircraft. They made a case for immigration more heart-rending than any politician’s speeches.

Read the whole article here. Images courtesy A.E. Stallings and the “True Colors” Facebook page.

Children and adults are afraid of the sea now.

A Syrian boy recalls a school bombing.

The same Syrian boy recalls the maiming of a teacher at his school.

A child depicts a Turkish vessel firing a water cannon to try to sink a dinghy