Fuck Lectures About Sonnets: On Noor Hindi

By | 1 September 2023

Reading out: volta

Bringing the poem into conversation with formal traditions, literary works, and questions of aesthetic uncovers a poetic richness, while also crystallising the contradictions at the poem’s heart. The wobble offers a way of reading these tensions contrapuntally, preserving their generative multiplicity. But this does not properly grapple with the poem’s most pressing conceit. ‘Fuck Your Lecture on Craft, my people are dying’ is not a standalone critique of craft, or its framing, or its teaching. It is because of what lies on the other side of the comma that the speaker asserts this ‘fuck you.’ People are dying, and for those Palestinians in ‘jail cells and prisons,’ liberation is not about identity, or visibility, or uncomfortable critics. It is about survival, in its most distilled and uncomplicated form.

Hindi’s poem is one of many ‘ands.’ These ands, and the tensions between them, highlight the impossibilities within the necessity of Palestinian liberation. A future for Palestine at once does not, and cannot, exist within our current political structures. And, a future for Palestine does (and must) exist. It is urgent and we must continue to strive towards it. This requires a radical and perhaps currently unthinkable restructuring of power, resources, and ways of thinking about the connections between people and place.

Hindi interrogates the part of poetry and poetic criticism in transforming the political landscape, on the difficulties and tensions within this. And, she reasserts, reminds, forces into view the fact that people – Palestinians – are dying.

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