Monthly Archives: January 2022

A Confounding Clarity

Proliferation of phrases: — A turn of speech makes my point vividly — I’ll use it. But this other phrase is pungent — I’ll use it too. Yet another is incisive; and one is innovative; and one wry; this one … Continue reading

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Broken, Dejected Reader of Poems

<p. 137> “World Breaking Apart” by Louise Glück (“Poems 1962-2012,” 2012) I don’t care if this post is preposterously long. It’s a barbaric yawp anyway. My original title for a comment about “World Breaking Apart” was “Inconclusive Antecedence.” It was … Continue reading

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Wayne Thiebaud: ‘Deadpan Style of Figuration’

Wayne Thiebaud (1920-2021) is said to have painted daily to the end. He described himself as driven by “this almost neurotic fixation of trying to learn to paint.” “It has never ceased to thrill and amaze me,” he said, “the … Continue reading

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Minefield of Rabbit Holes

In my Arabic grammar I encounter the preposition fiy- illustrated in a “relationship of comparison” (rapport de comparaison). Blachere’s jouissance is matA( from root m-t-( meaning “to carry away” and, in derived forms, “to enjoy.” Its usages meander through enjoyment, … Continue reading

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Rewarded With Provocations

It helps me read contemporary poetry to conjure the mindset of an athlete in the elite sport of pole vaulting. The bar sits there at a distanced height. I summon latency, coil with icy focus, charge the standards, launch myself … Continue reading

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The Camera Has Spoken. It’s My Turn

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And out comes a tenderly belabored prospect of dilapidation. Looking at a photograph I didn’t take, I painted a quaint tranche of unleveled-up Britain from the plein air of the shed I inhabit. Painting my two-bit canvases from photos lets … Continue reading

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‘The Past Stretched Before Us’

I encountered the following expression in my Arabic reference grammar: May you be ransomed by my soul! Arabic can be sublimely terse and florid in the same breath. Blachere’s example shows optative use of the perfect tense instancing how the … Continue reading

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The Struggle to Lose Control

To All a Good New Year! Audrey Petty describes her first one-on-one conference with her poetry teacher Agha Shahid Ali at the University of Massachusetts. After she read her draft to him, he reviewed it and said, “What if you … Continue reading

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