Look
Look
Poems
Solmaz Sharif



Starting with the title itself, Sharif's goal is lterally to pull apart the sterile language and phrasing taken directly from military strategy, analysis, and description, and reveal the complications of life affected by war. This is an astonishing book. —Recommended by Chris, City Lights Publishers

Finalist for the National Book Award

Solmaz Sharif's astonishing first book, Look, asks us to see the ongoing costs of war as the unbearable loss of human lives and also the insidious abuses against our everyday speech. In this virtuosic array of poems, lists, shards, and sequences, Sharif assembles her family's and her own fragmented narratives in the aftermath of warfare. Those repercussions echo into the present day, in the grief for those killed in America's invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and in the discrimination endured at the checkpoints of daily encounter.

At the same time, these poems point to the ways violence is conducted against our language. Throughout this collection are words and phrases lifted from the Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms; in their seamless inclusion, Sharif exposes the devastating euphemisms deployed to sterilize the language, control its effects, and sway our collective resolve. But Sharif refuses to accept this terminology as given, and instead turns it back on its perpetrators. "Let it matter what we call a thing," she writes. "Let me look at you."

Daily I sit
with the language
they've made

of our language

to NEUTRALIZE
the CAPABILITY of LOW DOLLAR VALUE ITEMs
like you.

You are what is referred to as
a "CASUALTY."

--from "Personal Effects"

Title Look
Subtitle Poems
Author Solmaz Sharif
Publisher Graywolf Press
Title First Published 05 July 2016
Format Paperback
Nb of pages 112 p.
ISBN-10 1555977448
ISBN-13 9781555977443
Publication Date 05 July 2016
Main content page count 112
Weight 16 oz.
 


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