Monday, November 27th, 2017...4:59 pmtarwatel


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(Poem using dance vocabulary)

I always preferred to be upstage

To move not up, but farther away from the things around me

I try to be modern

That is, highly individualized, without a plan

But instead I lunge toward comfort and isolation

Contracting into nothing

Choreographing my every move.


The point is- I will try to fix my attitude

Developpe myself

Jump and assemble

And eventually gain balance and rhythm.


I will lunge forward, to the audience,

Move downstage,

Hyperextend until my bones hurt,

And stagger until my life is grand.



Question for Solmaz Sharif: How did your fascination with military vocabulary begin? Almost every student in this class wasn’t aware a military vocabulary even existed, and it came as a shock that there was so much government control over the formation of language.  How did you discover it, and what inspired you to study it to in depth? Since the completion of this collection, do you ever revisit the dictionary?



  •   Rachel Lockwood
    November 28th, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Lily, I LOVED this. I liked that this was slightly more personal yet so simple. It was satisfying to see a coming of age narrative explained using dance vocabulary. I feel as though a lot of what dance is to people is an outlet to express themselves when they haven’t yet figured out how to express themselves in more conventional ways. This effectively highlighted what it means to simply dance, but also what it means to have dance as a tool for the larger aspects of life.

  •   Professor Seiler
    November 29th, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Lily and Rachel: dancers unite!

    Lily, your poem is terrific, and moving in its wrestling with both yourself and–especially at the line “The point is…”–the expectations that get layered onto young people growing up and into themselves.

    Good question for Sharif. Remember it’s also ok to get super specific w/reference to particular poems, etc.

  • Lily, great poem! I really like that, in a similar way to Sharif, you use words that are both everyday language and words specific to dance. You also use words that I can recognize as a common word, but not necessarily as a dance term (isolation, contracting). It makes it all the more interesting.

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