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  4. Persistence of Vision with Gwendolyn Brooks by Solmaz Sharif
Persistence of Vision with Gwendolyn Brooks

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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.

Palms of sugar cubes. Soft snorting, I bet. Here, Muybridge
proved their horses fly 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, "Persistence of Vision with Gwendolyn Brooks." Copyright © 2015 by Solmaz Sharif. Used by permission of the author for PoetryNow, a partnership between the Poetry Foundation and the WFMT Radio Network.
Source: PoetryNow (PoetryNow, 2015)
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Persistence of Vision with Gwendolyn Brooks

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  • Born in Istanbul, Turkey, to Iranian parents, Solmaz Sharif holds degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, where she studied and taught with June Jordan’s Poetry for the People; and New York University. She is the author of the poetry collection Look (Graywolf Press, 2016), a finalist for the National Book Award. Her first published poem, included in A World Between: Poems, Short Stories, and Essays by Iranian-Americans (George Braziller, 1999), was written at the age of 13. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry, the Kenyon Review, jubilat, Gulf Coast, Boston ReviewWitness and other publications. The former managing director of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Sharif has had her work recognized with a “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize, scholarships from NYU and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and a fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Mass. Most recently, she was awarded an NEA fellowship and a Stegner Fellowship.

    In 2014, Sharif was awarded a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry fellowship...

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