The article presents the poem "Amulet" by Tarfia Faizullah. First Line: The day an autumn orphan, and we yank roots; Last Line: Hold it steady, like each bone I wish you would forgive yourself for breaking.
Presents the poem "from Interview with a Birangona," by Tarfia Faizullah. First Line: Do you remember what you were doing when they came for you? Last Line: gave in for tea, an overripe mango, for a chance to hear the river's gray lull.
The article discusses the author's conversation with five contemporary American poets about poetic sequence (PS) and the creative process. Matthea Harvey, winner of the 2009 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, talked about her struggle in choosing the words for the first lines of her poems. Matthew Zapruder explained how he uses internal logic systems to shape a PS. Tarfia Faizullah spoke about the guiding influence of poet Claudia Emerson in her thinking about sequences.
The poems in this captivating collection weave beauty with violence, the personal with the historic as they recount the harrowing experiences of the two hundred thousand female victims of rape and torture at the hands of the Pakistani army during the 1971 Liberation War. As the child of Bangladeshi immigrants, the poet in turn explores her own losses, as well as the complexities of bearing witness to the atrocities these war heroines endured. Throughout the volume, the narrator endeavors to bridge generational and cultural gaps even as the victims recount the horror of grief and personal loss. As we read, we discover the profound yet fragile seam that unites the fields, rivers, and prisons of the 1971 war with the poetOCOs modern-day hotel, or the tragic death of a loved one with the holocaust of a nation. Moving from West Texas to Dubai, from Virginia to remote villages in Bangladesh and back again, the narrator calls on the legacies of Willa Cather, C(r)sar Vallejo, Tomas TranstrAmer, and Paul Celan to give voice to the voiceless. Fierce yet loving, devastating and magical at once, "Seam" is a testament to the lingering potency of memory and the bravery of a nationOCOs victims."