Category Archives: Anthology

My collected writings and those of family members.

Pronoun Rebellion (2)

(Continued from https://ethicaldative.com/2022/01/22/pronoun-rebellion-1/) Wallace Stevens said of his poem “On an Old Horn” that, if he had succeeded in saying what he had to say, the reader would get it. “He may not get it at once, but, if he … Continue reading

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Pronoun Rebellion (1)

It’s apparent that contributors to Poetry magazine compose their own biographical snapshots, which allows for a gamut of voicings and modes of self-assertion. A grammar nerd notices how these established and establishing technicians of the word mold language to their … Continue reading

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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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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 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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The Moons of Poesis

When reading poetry I try to think like astronomers. They are a doughty lot, trucking with the unexpected, stalking questions that defy asking. “What I really hope for is something we don’t expect” [John Mather, Goddard Space Flight Center, on … Continue reading

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Never Send to Know for Whom the Tale’s Told

(Continued from https://ethicaldative.com/2021/12/09/last-call-for-fomalhaut/) Did the ancient Texans practice cannibalism? The jury’s out on the matter. It’s possible they gorged on animals rather than human flesh. Data fracking in the Huntsville Shale encountered coprolites of an extinct bovine species — possibly … Continue reading

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Mean or Not, It’s a Feat

Can a poem hurt the reader into glimpsing its cargo? The poem discussed is ‘From “Banana [ ],”’ Poetry, December 2021, by Paul Hlava Ceballos. I encounter poetry I perceive to be all kinds of icky: cryptic, elliptic, hierophantic, delphic, … Continue reading

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