Invasion by Choman Hardi LO: to analyse how Hardi usesvocabulary and verb tense to create an ominous sense of impending conflict
What feelings and ideas does word “invasion” prompt? 3 minutes INVASION• 1. The act of invading, especially the entrance of an armed force into a territory to conquer.2. A large-scale onset of something injurious or harmful, such as a disease.3. An intrusion or encroachment.
Choman HardiChoman Hardi (born 1974), is a contemporary Kurdish poet, translator and painter. She was born in Sulaimaniya in Iraqi Kurdistan. In 1975 her family fled to Iran after the Algiers Accord but returned to Iraq after a general amnesty in 1979. They were forced to move again in 1988 during the Anfal campaign. She arrived in United Kingdom in 1993 as a refugee and studied psychology and philosophy at Oxford and University College London. She did her PhD at University of Kent focusing on the effects of forced migration on the lives of Kurdish women from Iraq and Iran. She has published three volumes of poetry in Kurdish. Her only collection of English poems titled Life for Us was published by Bloodaxe Books in 2004.
• Kurds Total population estimated 28 to 35 million Regions with significant populations Asia• Turkey 14-19.5 million (2010) Iran 5–8 million (2010) Iraq 4.5–7 million (2010) Syria 1.4-2 million (2010) The Kurdish people, or Kurds (Kurdish: کوردKurd), are an Iranic people native to the Middle East, mostly inhabiting a region known as Kurdistan which includes adjacent parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. They speak the Kurdish language, which is a member of the Iranian branch of Indo- European languages.• Kurds are an indigenous ethnic minority in countries where the Kurdistan region is located, although they have enjoyed partial autonomy in Iraqi Kurdistan since 1991. An irredentist movement pushes for the creation of a Kurdish nation state.
“I grew up in a refugee Kurdish neighbourhood filled with stories about homeland and thehopes of return,” she recalls. “This is where I spent my first five years.”In 1979 the Iraqi government issued an amnesty and after much hesitation her father decidedto return. Choman remembers crossing back to her homeland; the journey captured in herpoem At the Border.“I was five years old and expected the other place behind the border to be much morebeautiful. This is what my family had assured me. I realised I had been deceived. That day Iprobably learnt the first important lesson in my life: that the stories immigrants tell about theirhomelands are myths and beautiful lies. Suleimanya was not better than Kerej and thelandscape was not that different.”A year later, war broke out between Iraq and Iran.“My childhood, like many of my generation, is full of the sound of sirens and planes and guns.Our days were dominated by the Iraq-Iran war and our nights by Iraq’s war against the Kurdishpeshmarga (fighters for independence).“In those years all of our textbooks started with glorious pictures of Saddam Hussein, grinning atus. A large portrait was also hung above our blackboard. Some days, after heavy breakouts ofshooting the night before, we would go to school and there would be more triumphant postersof Saddam on the walls. My father told me that they were hiding the bullet holes.”
InvasionSoon they will come. First we will hearthe sound of their boots approaching at dawnthen they’ll appear through the mist.In their death-bringing uniformsthey will march towards our homestheir guns and tanks pointing forward.They will be confronted by young menwith rusty guns and boiling blood.These are our young menwho took their short-lived freedom for granted.We will lose this war, and bloodwill cover our roads, mix with ourdrinking water, it will creep into our dreams.Keep your head down and stay in doors –we’ve lost this war before it has begun.
InvasionSoon they will come. First we will hearthe sound of their boots approaching at dawnthen they’ll appear through the mist.6. Who are “we” and “they”?7. What images are created by “dawn” and “mist”?8. What are alternative images of “dawn” and “mist”?
In their death-bringing uniformsthey will march towards our homestheir guns and tanks pointing forward.5. Identify the military words. What effect do they create?6. Why aren’t the soldiers described in more detail? Why are only boots and uniforms mentioned?
They will be confronted by young menwith rusty guns and boiling blood.These are our young menwho took their short-lived freedom for granted.6. What does “rusty guns and boiling blood” suggest about “us” in the poem?7. How is this contrasted with “their guns and tanks pointing forward” in the previous stanza?
We will lose this war, and bloodwill cover our roads, mix with ourdrinking water, it will creep into our dreams.5. Is this an optimistic or pessimistic vision of their future? Why is the poet like this?6. What is the effect of using “will” (modal verb that expresses certainty)?7. What is the effect of the repetition of “will” and “our”?
Keep your head down and stay in doors –we’ve lost this war before it has begun.4. What is the purpose of the imperative in the first line?5. What is the effect of the dash?6. How does the statement at the end of the poem contribute to the overall mood of the poem?
A few literary terms...• Tone, stanza, rhyme, verse, free verse, enjambment3. What the poet sounds like / the emotion you detect in the poet’s voice ___________4. Run-on lines/ opposite of end-stopped line __________5. When words chime _____________6. A verse that doesn’t have rhyme or specific rhythm ____________7. A paragraph in a poem _____________8. A line in a poem _____________
Identify the following in the poem1. What is the tone like? Can you provide an example to back up your ideas?2. How many stanzas are there? Are they regular or irregular? What is the effect of this?3. Is there rhyme in the poem? What is the effect of this?4. Find an example of enjambment. What is the effect?
Consolidate• Which poems can you compare this one to? Write 3 comparative points.