A beautiful, powerful collection of poems. The poet was born in Istanbul to Iranian parents, and she gives us a different perspective on the war on terror, and the wars in the Middle East. With Sharif as our guide, the violence and the chaos are presented from the point of view of people and families who find themselves too close to it all.
The poem "Reaching Guantanomo" takes the form of a series of letters written to an unknown person named Salim, with many of the words and thouhgts redacted by an useen hand. Though the subsequent letters answer questions presumably asked, we see only part of one side of the conversation.
"Stateless Persons" recounts scattered conversations from far-off places, with no good news:
"Our phone would
rarely ring. I have no ear
for the mu-
sic here. They would
bury one then another, the eldest son dropping
the grave to
comfort the corpse, calling us
because we were
exiles, were vagabonds, fugitives, past Sierras,
in Texas, or waiting for
to clear of frost,
two expanding ovals where the Buick’s heat hit, our
Sharif has given us a compelling and wonderful book of poems.