‘Oh, I love this fleeting life.’
‘The Koran denounces unbelievers who
quote ‘love this fleeting life’ unquote. I do.
I’m an unbeliever.I love this life.
I don’t believe their paradise is true.
The afterlife for which that chilled corpse prayed
was a paradise of fountains and green shade
and dark-eyed houris and a garden
whose roses bloom forever and don’t fade
unlike this world of ours where things fade fast.
In a place where nothing changes and things last
the fatwa fascist lolls in paradise
and waters full of stars go flowing past.
[Superimposed quotation, Ayatollah Khomeini]
‘These are things which are impure : urine, excrement, sperm,
blood, dogs, unbelievers, wine, beer and the sweat of the
The superimposed quotation mark is a film direction, because essentially the book , The Shadow of Hiroshima and other Film Poems is a collection of Harrison’s films/poems. The Blasphemer’s Banquet is taken from the Faber edition, publ, 1995. Tony Harrison.