“Persistence of Vision: Gwendolyn Brooks”

A Poem by Solmaz Sharif

March 17, 2022  By Solmaz Sharif

In the rearview, fog extinguishes the hills of new
money—mansions on acres away from road or sight.
Their architected privacy, windows to look out at
a land that won’t look back. The fog’s secure drapery.
It’s space to dance through they buy and what one
might call “dappled light” moving across their acres, light
through their oaks moving over their mares, brushed to a sheen.

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Palms of sugar cubes. Soft snorting, I bet. Here, Muybridge
proved their horses Ry a moment. In their homes, they can’t
hear each other call from foyer to pool house. I am
jealous of this loneliness most of all—loneliness
delimited by colonnade and cold-pressed juices.
They make excellent corpses, among the expensive
flowers………… I imagine hills and hills dappled like this.


solmaz sharif customs

Excerpted from Customs: Poems by Solmaz Sharif, available via Graywolf Press.

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Solmaz Sharif
Solmaz Sharif
Born in Istanbul to Iranian parents, Solmaz Sharif is the author of Look, finalist for the National Book Award. She holds degrees from U.C. Berkeley, where she studied and taught with June Jordan’s Poetry for the People, and New York University. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, The Paris Review, Poetry, The Kenyon Review, the New York Times, and others. Her work has been recognized with a “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize, Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, and Holmes National Poetry Prize from Princeton University. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Lannan Foundation, and Stanford University. She is currently an Assistant Professor in Creative Writing at Arizona State University where she is inaugurating a Poetry for the People program.

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