Tag Archives: syntax

Lone Star Statecraft in Action

The scaffolding that supports the letter of the edifice of the law erected for the citizenry by the solons of the state of the land of the brave in which we live is the prepositional phrase. In May, 2022, Texans … 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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A Modest Proposal Regarding Neutral Reference

They is owning he and she. Example: An athlete knows that they must train rigorously to qualify for the Olympics. It even happens when the antecedent is named and sexed. Example: Jacob has a Master of Fine Arts from Iowa. … Continue reading

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Nosegay of ‘Droit de Seigneur’

Consulting an Arabic dictionary involves looking up a word’s “root,” usually comprising three consonants. Words formed from the root are listed, with their translations, along with idioms in which the word occurs. What the root is may not be apparent … Continue reading

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What ‘Self’ Goes With Royal ‘We’ and Singular ‘They’?

I take it on report that an English monarch is entitled to declare self-referentially, We are not amused. I amuse myself speculating whether the Queen would say We amuse ourself or We amuse ourselves at whist. In a different context, … Continue reading

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