"THE SOUNDS OF SILENCE" BY KAZIM ALI
Poems, like the physical universe, are made of vibrations. Consonants shape and release vowels in intentional patterns. Cage explored silence in music, Ryman and Martin in painting, Ohno in dance. Viewing their motions help to see how sound and silence in move in the poetic line, for example in Broumas, Howe, Valentine and Graham. But one must experience sound not only externally traveling into the body through the bones and spaces of the ear but inside the body traveling outward, so in addition to discussing these poems, paintings, music and dances, we will also chant vowels and consonants and do some deep listening of our own.
KAZIM ALI is the author of nine books of poetry, fiction, essay and translation. His most recent book is Bright Felon: Autobiography and Cities. Sky Ward: New Poems will be published in spring 2013. Other books include Orange Alert: Essays on Poetry, Art and the Architecture of Silence and Fasting for Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice. He teaches Creative Writing and Comparative Literature at Oberlin College and in the Stonecoast MFA program.
MFA Program Manager