The Baraka poems are sensuous and lyrical, but they also depict real life, especially for women, in worlds where the religious-minded look to a patriarchal past for inspiration and so, naturally, these poems are about men, too, their pride, their privileges. The explicit local is Pakistan, above all, the sprawling port city of Karachi and its neighboring provinces. Sharpe asks us to confront zoom-by murders and honor killings while also bringing us the consolations offered at Sufi shrines: relief, hope, even joy. We visit the mountains, picnic on the beach and journey to Baluchistan where unseen women produce sumptuous feasts for their domineering menfolk. Sensuous but keen-eyed, these poems create a world that's all too real and relevant to all in our interconnected world.
Baraka: The Indus Valley Poesms could have been written by a Pakistani....who loved this lande and grieved for it. In these poems Karachi comes alive
-Fahmida Riaz, Four Walls and a Black Veil
Sharpe slips behind the veils, the screens, the walls, the gates that keep much of Pakistani life out of view and mysterious. She refuses to ignore the sorrows, but her kaleidoscope is rich and beautiful. Baraka lures us in, and then gives us a harsh slap of reality.
-Michael Hamilton Morgan, Lost History: The Enduring Legacy of Muslim Scientists, Thinkers and Artists
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