East Window

East Window 2




Look by Solmaz Sharif

This may be the most powerful book of poetry I have read. Poem after poem. I think it is why poetry is so important and why we have to help others understand this.

Below is a link to an interview with Sharif.  This is the introduction from the Paris Review interview by author Zinzi Clemmons from July 2016:

In 2014, I heard Solmaz Sharif read “Look,” the title poem from her debut collectionLook inserts military terminology into intimate scenes between lovers, refashioning hollow, bureaucratic language from the U.S. Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms with a human touch. (Even the collection’s title has an alternate military meaning: per the Department of Defense, a look means “a period during which a mine circuit is receptive of influence.”) At a time when the U.S. automates acts of murder, Sharif insists that war is still personal—perhaps today more than ever. In one of its most quoted passages, she writes, “Daily I sit / with the language / they’ve made / of our language / to NEUTRALIZE / the CAPABILITY OF LOW DOLLAR VALUE ITEMS / like you.” 

The Role of the Poet: An Interview with Solmaz Sharif