The Script of Storms by Michael Hersch

Fawzi Karim

I am very pleased that the composer Michael Hersch has set several of my versions of the poems of Iraqi poet Fawzi Karim to music in his new work THE SCRIPT OF STORMS – featuring the work of Christopher Middleton as well as that of Fawzi Karim.

Click Fawzi Karim – for more about this internationally renowned poet.


And here is Part 5 of Fawzi Karim’s PLAGUE LANDS – from the book published by Carcanet in 2011

So let us now praise exodus,

exodus en masse,

Let us now praise exodus before dawn

While checking inside the receiver

and under the car.

Let us now praise exodus

as those who are exiled already

praise those of us who are exiled after them.

Unto them let’s advertise our attractions

And publicise our qualities to disbelieving lands.

Our travel songs are shanty towns

           and the sun goes wailing through their slats.

Who dare join their voices to our own?

Let us now praise exodus

           from its first cocoon

           to its children tumbling down the vale.

And let us praise our mourning songs that race us to the sea.

Hallelujah, exodus!
No one’s cheered as loud before,

And wandering through us, the slain are on tour.

They pillow their heads on our eulogies,

And, as the light goes out of their eyes,

           we praise that dying light.

Here are roads less stony.

Here we stand, at the summit of Mount Memory.

Our wishes are wolves in the desert:

scrabbling, scrabbling, never to strike

           the sacred springs of blood,

And the sand soaks up our wishes.

Let us praise the dullness

           that drains all color out of things,

And, from the lands of the living,

           sing of the lands of the plague.

I am also pleased that my libretto Aquileia A Capella has been set to music by Robert Stuckey, and a full recording of it will be made later this year, with a live performance created in 2023.

Further details and examples of poems of mine which have been set to music by Battista Pradal as well as by Michael Nyman can be found on Readings and Performances on my website

About anthonyhowelljournal

Poet, essayist, dancer, performance artist....
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