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'Love and desire': how erotic poetry is helping Afghans through lockdown

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A new generation of poets in Afghanistan is exploring the physical side of love – and isolation is their inspiration

It has been weeks in lockdown for Hoda Khamosh, but the 23-year-old has managed to stick to a routine. This includes sitting down in the afternoons to write poetry, mostly with an erotic spin to it.

In the absence of touch and seeing friends and loved ones, she – along with many others – has turned to erotic poetry, convinced that, “it will help to get through these difficult days”.

Love poetry has been one of the most cherished aspects of the millennium-old Persian poetic tradition

Related: Photographing poverty's pandemic: 'Afghans have learned to live with fear'

In the last two decades, it has become more direct. People talk about their desires; their bodies

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