“literal, visceral descriptions”

Mohja Kahf, an award-winning Syrian-American writer and associate professor of comparative literature at the University of Arkansas, wrote an article in 2001 titled “The Silence of Contemporary Syrian Literature”, in which she argued that fear, government censorship, and repression were the defining characteristics of Syrian writing.

“That has all changed now,” Kahf says, thanks in part to the Internet and social media platforms. “A new Syrian identity and literary tradition are being formed around the events of the last few years.”

Poetry is “playing a huge role in Syria right now because the lyrics are part of demonstrations,” says Jundi.  “People are singing these verses together in the streets.”

Peaceful demonstrations have reduced in number and size as the violence has intensified, but they have not stopped altogether.

Facebook is one of the main channels that Atrash uses to connect with her partners in Syria. She says she discovered two poets from the city of Sweida – Youssef Bou Yihea and Najat Abdul Samad, whose work is quoted above – through the social networking site.

Read More | “A ‘new poetry’ emerges from Syria’s civil war” | Leigh Cuen | Al Jazeera