Tag Archives: reading

(Not) Learning to Read

The most important thing schools can do is teach children how to read. If you can read, you can learn anything. If you can’t, almost everything in school is difficult. Word problems. Test directions. Biology homework. Everything comes back to … Continue reading

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‘The Reader Effect’

… Like a scene from Mr. Rushdie’s novel “Shalimar the Clown,” a knife-wielding man rushed onto the stage and began to stab him. Immediately audience members ran to the stage to defend him. It was a remarkable response. That rush … Continue reading

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Two Ghosts Between Covers

I converse from time to time with a bibliophile. It inspires me to recount a bookish tale. On the skids from academia I kept either of two books near me as a talisman, carrying one even to bars. They didn’t … Continue reading

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Cry the Belovèd Reader

“Mandible Wishbone Solvent” by Asiya Wadud (Poetry, March 2022). Pass 3 of 3. Previous comment: https://ethicaldative.com/2022/04/25/mandible-wishbone-solvent-pass-1-of-3/https://ethicaldative.com/2022/05/01/mandible-wishbone-solvent-pass-2-of-3/ You. Be. Here. It’s an affirming imperative to exist, or be situate, in the speaker’s space-time. It’s addressed to “tilt” — twice “tender” now … Continue reading

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‘Mandible Wishbone Solvent’ — Pass 2 of 3

Mandible Wishbone Solvent” by Asiya Wadud (Poetry, March 2022). [Previously commented text: https://ethicaldative.com/2022/04/25/mandible-wishbone-solvent-pass-1-of-3/ ] what vaunted green excess enclosed in each skimmed year then the years / vanquished any fuchsia sky / the excess leaking forward filmed aqua / filled … Continue reading

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‘Mandible Wishbone Solvent’ — Pass 1 of 3

“Mandible Wishbone Solvent,” by Asiya Wadud (Poetry, March 2022) roped in incremental ghost tens / future tens clairvoyant tens home tens // blue slips beneath the exposed wing / tilt then seam then an angle spent all inside / the … Continue reading

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‘Smidgins’: Afterthought

A “smidgin” is an imprecise, tiny amount of something, a modest dollop. As a poem title, the jocular word is self-effacing but also coyly assertive, like a humble-brag. I got dirt under my nails the other day with Rae Armantrout’s … Continue reading

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How Poetry Feels About Itself

Rae Armantrout’s poem “Smidgins” fulfills an imperative of lyric, which is “Don’t be gassy.” Also another imperative, which is “Talk in riddles.” My crumpled, wrinkled / blurt / of flesh. // “Let’s face it,” / it says. * … Ravaged … Continue reading

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On ‘Love Letter to a Dead Body’

I’m intrigued by the tension in Jake Skeet’s [sic] poem: Its title juxtaposes love with death, and its rhythms press against the nettle-like images. The first stanza’s images are scarred and rough with “burr and sage,” “bottles” and the “cirrhosis … Continue reading

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Coming Unstuck With Glück

I’ve acquiesced to much of what I can’t quite fathom in Louise Glück’s poetry. Enough reaches me to defeat surliness. I feel surprisingly addressed at times: … You are like me whether or not you admit it. / Unsatisfied. Meticulous. … Continue reading

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