‘Rigour’: A Poem Digs Beneath ‘Third World’ Tropes in the Media

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Poetry http://www.truthdig.com/arts_culture/item/audio_rigour_a_poem_digs_beneath_third_world_tropes_in_the_media_20150715

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AUDIO: ‘Rigour’: A Poem Digs Beneath ‘Third World’ Tropes in the Media

Posted on Jul 15, 2015

Khairani Barokka

Khairani Barokka’s poignant poem highlights how Western reports of casualties in the developing world, even when the dead in question are children, are often recorded with indifference toward the human lives lost. Listen to Barokka read her poem “Rigour,” and follow along below.

Photo of the poet
Khairani Barokka reads “Rigour”

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Rigour

Khairani Barokka

This is what they will say about my daughter
And her eyes: that the way they haunt your
Memories are vestiges of trauma, of how a
Child was caught between battling tribes,
Her reddened feet, chapped and just visible
Beneath one ragged hemline, laid waste to
Near-bleeding. Girl, aged eight, page 11.

It was her birthday. She was smiling again,
Moments after the man left our village,
Having been unsure of…

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