Storying Sheffield

Material Stories: ‘Grapes in My Father’s Yard’

This poem was written both for the page and for live performance during ten sessions of intensive dialogue, interweaving of personal narratives, rehearsal and revision. The final poem includes six languages (Hindi, German, Kurdish, Arabic, Farsi and Romanian) in which the line ‘I want to belong’ is articulated. 

Grapes  in My Father’s Yard

I want to say please, don’t confront me about speaking
So many identical faces crushed in so less space, trying to shine.
Sorry loneliness, I disturb you all the time
And now my mother tongue is a shadow in the background.
I want to say kem che  કેમ છે
Mother tongue, marble wound
I love English,
I love my language too
And I love to see my children speak my language,
I thank my mum for my mother tongue
Mother, our tongue is like a slab of red marble
I want to say    કખગઘ    A B C D
I am lost between alphabets
I like to stay forever in the UK
Is this the dreamland?
Around me are different faces
and I am having foreign music.
English is full of music
Can I still learn its melody?
I want to say sorry life, I call you hell because I just see flames
Sorry love, I call you a dream because you can turn to a nightmare

I used to watch blooming  grapes
in my father’s yard,
I used to listen to my father’s song,
sadly I am not a soprano
and I can’t choose the right tone
And for this reason my song is silent ….
Maybe I could have expressed myself better.
Maybe I could cut across the field of grapes
and reach that place in my mind faster.
What am I doing in the dreamland?
Daydreaming in a café,
thinking of my hopeful eyes
like specks of caramel
in a dark chocolate brownie.
On the way I broke my shiny star,
it has been hurting me so far,
what am I now?
A dandelion or just a seed waiting for a drop of rain,
Maybe you can imagine the pain,
I want to say I am lost between grammars
I pretend to laugh at the jokes that I don’t understand

I feel at home when I hear my great  grandfather’s tongue
Strange voices in Gujurati give comfort.
strange voices in Kurdish give comfort.
Strange Polish voices give comfort.
Put a face to the voice
Weave my foreign threads into your fabric
I want to belong, embrace me Sheffield!
I want to belong
Laßt mich mitmachen!
بپذیر مرا
Aș dori sa mă simt bine venită
وه ‌یه پێ یوستم په من
મને ભેટી લે
که  قبول من

By: Astrid, Mihaela, Anokhee, Rangin, Anwar, Dilo, and Shirin

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