When the BBC’s War correspondent Jonathan Charles made an appeal for Afghan civilians to send in their war poetry, little did he anticipate the flood of writing it would inspire. Here, he explores a selection of those poems and interviews the authors. The writers have many stories to tell which have inspired haunting poetry. Verse has, for some, become the best way of expressing not only the sights and sounds of the war, but the emotions. This is poetry of witness, of anger, propaganda, and it’s a catharsis. While Jonathan was interviewing one poet, the writer suddenly revealed that he had been the finance minister of Afghanistan in the 1970s and later lived under house arrest. He has turned away from politics and is now writing poetry.
Complete story and the voices of Afgan poetry, on BBC site