"Questions of Literature "

Leila Hojat



Comments on Leila Hojat’s version of “Questions of Literature”

Thea Letteri: I really enjoyed walking the poem, even though I am not a big fan of the style of poetry that Rubinstein writers, I think the presentation was great and really liked the words you emphasized. I really think that the strongest “draw-ins” were the ones directly outside of the stairwell doors. I think you took something boring and made it interesting—well done!

Tony Mihalich: The broadsides turned out brilliantly. You nailed a voice in each of the lines/stanzas with the style of the posters, letters and sizes. Way to bring the poems off the page.

Laura Pinter: I liked how your installation came full-circle—it gave a sense of closure even when the poem was something unexpected.

Joe Zucker: Since I was familiar with the work, the work was probably better for me. It was good to see all the lines broken up into cards like the original. It made the poem slower and thus I absorbed more. The most interesting part was that I felt like I could start anywhere around the wall and it could be meaningful. I like that it was done in a circle.

Anne Heller: reading Rubinstein’s work in this way made me understand it more. Its disconnection….I like the way the pages and writing were not uniform, and in a way I like you don’t label the starting point. I was pretty lost at some parts but I think I always get lost in Lev’s poems. I liked how you made the exclaiming questions bigger on pure white paper and the rest was smaller on off-white. I thought about this project as someone who was just randomly passing by would have no clue what was going on, but then I thought that would be really interesting…

Laurel: I was confused but I was also impressed by the different people and situations that the poem came up with…maybe [the questions] represents how we can’t answer all questions and know what’s going on or taking place all the time. …maybe the message is that so many things happen at once in the world and we may not be aware of them, like while we were in the light (however the poet wrote it), and other things are happening in the “shade.”

Alyssa Piunno: we are always asking questions, constantly wondering why things happen. The poem describes the thoughts, feelings, questions. But they are never answered. The poem ends and begins relatively the same way. It was just random, juxtapositioned, but in a way that somehow all the thoughts intertwined. I felt as though this person was in a dreamlike state—perhaps slipping in and out of consciousness into the subconscious. It was rather delusional and referred to all the bodily senses—the onises, the tastes, the sights, the touching of objects, the smells—all very surreal. The poem provoked many questions.

Stephanie Bianchi: It’s interesting to have so many seemingly random questions posed. It made me think about how much we don’t understand.

Rob Pitingolo: I found it challenging to keep focus during the walls between the people in the hallway and the classes taking place. It was easy to be distracted.

Erin Brady: one thing I thought was interesting how that I got lost in the English department. I was disoriented in a place I am very familiar with. The way you have to walk in a circle to read it adds to the naturally disorienting nature of the poem.

Katie Mathews: well aside from teachers getting annoyed at us standing outside their classroom. …I don’t know if it was all one poem, but I hope it wasn’t. I hope there were dozens of poems which she took specific lines from and that on the back of each paper is a name, the author of even the title of the poem to keep track of each.

Dominic Marchionda: I enjoyed reading everything and trying to figure out what it all meant… until the sheet that said, “why is everything the way it is and not some other way.” Or something along those lines. This made me feel like I shouldn’t be trying to link everything together.

Maggie Henderson: I enjoyed the exacting language…like “woman planting a juicy kiss on a priest,” and the controversy in pieces like “Mommy, I took Daddy’s watch.” However, the vague “what is all this for?” questions seemed too vague and trite, but at the same time tied the piece together. I wondered if the thoughts were from one poem or many. Also, I wished there was a title, but of course, that is never necessary. Overall, the “shriveling penis in the elevator” controversial type lines, which I knew would make people blush, were most enjoyable to read.