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Motivations for Yesterday
Motivations for Yesterday investigates and explores the divide between time—the space that is time—and time—the clock that serves as time's arbitrator. In the sense that the collection investigates space—history and personal experience—it explores the bridge between self and body, self and home, home and homeland, body and homeland, body as homeland, homeland as self, homeland as parent, self as parent, parent as body, body as parent. Although the collection explores many facets of life—Iranian, American, and being in general—it connects the experience of the speaker throughout the poems with the lives of the different characters within each of the poems. The poems develop a single narrative that relate a story of nativity—the exploration of one's ground as one's sense of being and belonging—and of history—one's sense of time and space very much connected to that sense of nativity. Therefore, the subject of sickness that enters the poems is not just a sickness occurring within the biology of the speaker; instead, it is a sickness that affects the time and space of nativity and history, because what I hope a reader will witness throughout the collection is an exploration of how our sense of belonging and being together with our understanding of our history suffers from a sickness. This sickness affects the body, but it also affects the body's surroundings—as they are today and how they were yesterday. Motivations for Yesterday aims to capture sides without seeing them as sides; instead, the collection aims to capture sides of a circle—arcs, which are not sides. Arcs are seamless; they keep going. My aim for Motivations for Yesterday is to explore the nature of my history as it connects to my family, homeland, home, country, and body. I find myself exploring facets of politics, society, and memory. I try to avoid, as much as possible, a representation that depends on a single side to unconceal a greater truth.
Najafi Kianfar, Nima, "Motivations for Yesterday" (2014). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3610435.