“Sacred Words Bring out the God in You”


by Suheir Hammad

it is written

the act of writing is

holy words are

sacred and your breath

brings out the

god in them

i write these words

quickly repeat them

softly to myself

this talisman for you

fold this prayer

around your neck fortify

your back with these


may you walk ever

loved and in love

know the sun

for warmth the moon

for direction

may these words always

remind you your breath

is sacred words

bring out the god

in you

Suheir has been able to travel throughout the world via her poetry. She has read her poems in Ivy League Universities and on Brooklyn’s street corners. Her work has appeared in award winning anthologies, and in zines stapled together by queer youth collectives. As far as we know, Suheir was the first Palestinian starring in a Broadway show, and she continues to be the first Palestinian in many artistic spaces throughout the States.Suheir Hammad was born in Amman, Jordan to Palestinian refugee parents on October 25, 1973. Suheir’s family immigrated to Brooklyn NY when Suheir was five years old, and she was raised there until the age of sixteen. Her parents moved to Staten Island while Suheir was in high school.

~ by Step On a Crack on October 26, 2011.

11 Responses to ““Sacred Words Bring out the God in You””

  1. I believe if there is a God, then God exists in each and every person. It is our duty to nurture the God within us and to help others find and nurture the God within them.
    I can feel the God within you Jen, let God help you on your path.


  2. may these words always

    remind you your breath

    is sacred words

    Which reminds me to weigh them carefully and share them thoughtfully. I need to always keep that reminder right in front of me.


    • Debbie, I love your read of the poem. It IS too easy to say something that I regret later. There is a Buddhist saying, “Before you speak ask yourself: Is it kind? Is it helpful? Is it necessary?” I haven’t thought of this in a while. I need to.

      I would say this to my son OFTEN when he was younger. Once when I was upset with him for stalling before bed he said to me, “Mommy, is this kind, necessary or helpful?” I bust out laughing but was glad it was firmly in his mind…

      Thank you for reading the Poem with Heart!


  3. Can I just say “ditto” to Debbie’s comment? Afraid I’m not as eloquent as she and I too, need the reminder of the weight of my words. Good thoughts to carry with me today.


  4. Jennifer-

    Love that you are including poetry in so many of your posts. I have never considered myself a big poetry fan but of course I am reading what you serve up to me and maybe you’ll make a poetry lover out of me yet!


    • Woo Hoo! This makes me silly happy! I will continue to post my favorite Poets from time to time. Poetry gets a bad rap; I hope I can introduce more of my Mothers and open up the world of ‘famous Poets”


  5. A beautiful poem and i like the into. on the author. What a pioneer– a warrior woman, indeed. Melis


  6. I know … i know. It is so hard now. i don’t mean to pressure, love. You are SUCH a Warrior to be able to write such beautiful words and stories when you’re in so much pain.

    Girl, even tho my mom is alive i will never know her. I listened to her talk about herself forever. At dinner i listened to her rattle on and on about her job, or how she thought our next-door neighbors were sluts: Whatever. But it never really told me anything about her except that she was unhappy and mean.

    OK, i’m responding to the wrong post. Can you say PTSD? Fuck it! OK … to your next post. I’m trying to follow up instead of dropping anchor for a moment, and forgetting i wrote something that you would respond to.

    Love, m


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