Tag Archives: reading

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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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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‘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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Poetic Researches

Is the soul our dark matter — pervasive but undetectable by any instrument we possess? If there’s a part of me that isn’t glia, neurons, and enzymes, it has found a modicum of rest in the revelation that John Ashbery’s … Continue reading

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‘Cry of Pain’

Housman’s “To an Athlete Dying Young” ruefully ironizes over a lad clever enough to “slip betimes away / From fields where glory does not stay.” Novelists, though, get more mileage out of superannuated jocks — Updike’s Rabbit Angstrom, Malamud’s Roy … Continue reading

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Virago

A correspondent said she was reading a “virago book.” I said. “Is it by, or about, one?” It turns out Virago is a distinguished publishing house. As if on cue, this informative review of Lennie Goodings’s memoir appears. Virago started … Continue reading

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