Joydeep Chakraborty deposited Afghanistan in Post-9/11 American Poetry: A Creative Response to Orientalism in the group 2018 MLA Convention on MLA Commons 5 years, 3 months ago
On the basis of the assumption that poetic response to Edward Said’s Orientalism is
rare, this article seeks to read three post-9/11 American poems on Afghanistan – “The Weavers” and
“Burka Women” by Gerald Wheeler, and “Kabul 2002 (From Dislocations)” by Dr. Bronwyn Winter – as a
significant intellectual departure from the standpoint alleged to be held by the previous American
Orientalism. In his polemic, Said alleges that American Orientalism is devoid of literature, it is politically
motivated and has a stereotypical view of Islam, internalizing many aspects of its European counterpart.
The very fact that the poems under discussion are a part of American Orientalism, but characterized by a
different perspective and written in a socio-political situation when certain other post-9/11 American
poems confront the issue of Orientalism, potently makes the point that these poems can be taken as an
implicit creative response to Orientalism. In this way, the three poems all of which appeared in An Eye for
an Eye Makes the Whole World Blind, a major anthology of 9/11 poetry published in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, constitute a landmark in the field of American Orientalism.