The L.A. Times on 10/15 printed on its “Opinion” page a poem by Libyan-American poet Khaled Mattawa on the overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi. Below, the opening lines; you can read the whole work here.
After 42 years
By Khaled Mattawa
Five years old when the dictator took over in a coup —
curfew shut our city down
Bloodless coup, they said —
The many who thought this could be good.
The dictator, a young man, a shy recluse assumed the helm, bent in piety,
the dead sun of megalomania hidden in his eyes.
Could not go to the store to buy bread or newspaper,
could not leave home, visit friends,
the radio thundering hatred, retching blood-curdling song —
Signs that went unread
Factories built and filched, houses stolen, newspapers shut down,
decades of people killed, 42 years.
But that’s all over now —
How can you say over when it took 42 years —(ctd. here)