A moving collection of poems on the distance surrounding disability.
Blinded by a grenade in Lebanon as a teenager, poet John Asfour came to Canada armed with James Joyce's words, "For the eyes, they bring us nothing. I have a hundred worlds to create and I am only losing one of them." Blindfold investigates the ways in which disability influences our lives and is magnified in our minds. In a series of thematically linked poems, Asfour draws the metaphor of the blindfold across the eyes of sighted citizens who are impaired by estrangement, emotional complexity, and social pressures. A sense of exile and belonging dominates the poems, following the journey of a blind man whose life in his new land has been hampered by prejudice and barriers to communication. Exposing the rich and surprising possibilities of a life that has undergone a frightening transformation, Blindfold relates feelings of loss, displacement, and disorientation experienced not only by the disabled but by everyone who finds themselves separated from the norm. Silver Threads He recalls the absence of sound, the impossible silence the disappearance of light. He is only aware of the movement of his mother's hand inside her purse, looking for her handkerchief. He recalls her warning not to play with unknown objects the type that explode on impact. Later, he lies in the dark remembering how she pointed out the silver threads of the morning light just the day before and he sparkles with guilt.