“As the women gathered their things to leave, I asked if any of them liked poetry. As soon as the question was translated, a wisp of a woman leapt to her feet and began what looked like freestyle rapping in Pashto. She shook her bony shoulders to four-beat lines that ended in a rhyme of ‘ma’ or ‘na.’ Gulmakai was 22 but looked 45. She made up poems all the time, she explained, as she cooked and cleaned the house. She said, 

Making love to an old man is like
Making love to a limp cornstalk blackened by fungus.’ 

The women roared with surprised laughter, which I, hearing the poem in translation, took a minute to understand (the first, sanitized version offered to me was something like ‘Being married is like corn’). ‘I know this is true,’ she announced. ‘My father married me to an old man when I was 15.’ She tried to say something else, but the workshop leader, a man, silenced her. Time was up. The participants needed to go home, or their families would worry.”

- Why Afghan Women Risk Death to Write Poetry by Eliza Griswold