courage (13) rachida lamrabet

Author text
Rachida Lamrabet courage

In these troubled times, we asked a number of authors we admire what ‘courage’ means to them. In the coming weeks, you can read their answers here, in the form of a poem, a memory, an anecdote or a more philosophical reflection.


Despite the fear

that sometimes buries me alive in my own bed

Despite the darkness charged with

an invisible threat

that sometimes leaves me breathless

at the thought of tomorrow

I will resist

With my body that is sore and tired

I will resist

The bitterness of not wanting to forgive

The voice that whispers

‘Don’t ever forget what they did to you’

I will resist

The voice that torments me

‘You’re so naive’

I will resist

When the voice speaks

in the language of hate

When it calls me to arm myself

‘Defend your land’

I will resist and I will change

I will resist and I will change

That is what will save us

That is what stands between us and catastrophe

between us and the plague

between us and the scorched earth

My own mind

My own heart

Translated from the Dutch by Patrick Lennon

Rachida Lamrabet (1970) is a Belgian writer who was born in Morocco. She has written novels, short stories and essays. Recent titles include De handen van Fatma (Fatma's Hands), Zwijg, allochtoon (Shut up, Stranger) and the novel Vertel het iemand (Tell Someone).

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