sketch of an introduction for W.S. Merwin, who is visiting Hamilton College, in which Shahid speaks of his insistence on being the one who does the introducing and of how brilliant Merwin is; miscellaenous notes on existence
Cracked Portraits My grandfather's painted grandfather, son of Ali, a strange physician in embroidered robes, a white turban, the Koran lying open on a table beside him. I look for prayers in his eyes, for inscriptions in Arabic. I find his will: He's left us plots in the family graveyard. =2‘? Greabgrandfather? A sahib in breeches. He simply disappoints me, his hands missing in the drawing—room photo but firm as he whipped the horses or the servants. He wound the gramophone to a fu...
at first a poem about imminent death, then a statement declaring that one should "write in free verse to subvert western civilization and write in formal verse to save oneself from western civilization," then a poem describing the images of temples and mosques as they are reflected in a lake
four sections denoted by xxx, a quote by Rumi about how exactly to approach knowledge, a note about the Koran, a short poem-esque piece about a "watcher of the sky" questioning how exactly he survives, a poem about losing track of a loved one and that loved one then turning the narrator of the poem into a "perfect enemy" (The opening line is the opening line of the poem "Farewell" by Shahid, which is anthologized)