Date of Paper/Work

Spring 2018

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English (M.A.)

Type of Paper/Work



Dr. Kanishka Chowdhury, Dr. Leslie Miller, Dr. Chris Santiago


This paper explores the dialectical relationship between Solmaz Sharif's lyric form in Look, specifically her use of lyric voice; her identity as an exile; and the politics of subject visibility and the creation of grievable lives. Her poems break new poetic ground, using erasure tactics, a complex lyric I and the reappropriation of Department of Defense terminology to adapt the lyric genre. Sharif's work strains against categorization through voicing multiple perspectives. These lyrical voicings are both beneficial and problematic; as an immigrant and intellectual exile, Sharif's voicing of the other is both useful to create grievable lives as well as problematic as Sharif speaks to the other. Ultimately Sharif's brutal depictions of violence, grief, and loss require her western reader to look, to engage with the other, to recognize all life in its grievable state, to recognize new possibilities, and to transform.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.