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Poetry and Poetics

The Lyric Workshop, Session 1: Theme From Shaft

February 24, 2010
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PROFESSOR: Mary Ann, would you mind reading your poem aloud so that we can hear it in your own voice?

MARY ANN: Absolutely. Ahem.

Who’s the black private dick
That’s a sex machine to all the chicks?
SHAFT!
Ya damn right!

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Google Uses Wittgenstein

February 23, 2010
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Canada, it’s spring-break time. We’ve already got trees budding. Actually, many schools have gotten the whole Winter Olympics off for two or three weeks of extended spring break drunkenness. I’ve been glued to CTV for the last week or so, watching my new favorite sport: curling. No joke, this game is intense.

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A Cuban Sandwich and Levinas

February 23, 2010
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Suppose you are reading Levinas, having a nice Cuban sandwich, minding your business, thinking about the self, the other, the other self, the otherness of self, the selfishness of other, etc, etc, and the sun slants across the legs of a woman you pretend to have a deep rapport with—striping them apricot. What do you do?

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Emily Dickinson 260

February 22, 2010
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Keats Revisited: “It’s Not a Well-Wrought Urn, it’s a Well of Ashes and Wine”

February 21, 2010
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That urn is cold. I find it strange that several poets and scholars speak of the beauty-truth equation as the last lines of the poem. That equation has called forth so much fuss – its bald assertiveness is immensely persuasive at first hearing, then almost instantly the mind rebels against the symmetry of identity.

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Spam Folder Amateur Gemology

February 21, 2010
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Says that the Russians once anchored here and hunted sea-otter before the first Yankee trader rounded the Horn, or the first Rocky Mountain trapper thirsted across the “Great American Desert” and trickled down the snowy Sierras to the sun-kissed land. No; we are not resting our horses here on Humboldt Bay.

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Some Books on My Mind, or {Potential} Purchases of Imperishables

February 21, 2010
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Hands up, anyone who has read the whole of Herodotus and the whole of Thucydides! And Saint-Simon? And Cardinal de Retz? But even the great nineteenth-century cycles of novels are more often talked about than read.

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a brief and not recent internet roundup

February 20, 2010

so i was talking with adam and decided that i would start doing this. sooner or later these will consist of new work published in online journals i like, but i figured right now i would just put the links to a bunch of pieces up and say a few words about them

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Celebrating Sylvia

February 18, 2010
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I feel that this development of recording poems, of speaking poems at readings, of having records of poets, I think this is a wonderful thing. I’m very excited by it. In a sense, there’s a return, isn’t there, to the old role of the poet, which was to speak to a group of people, to come across.

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“The Sweetness of Herbert” by Stuart Krimko

February 18, 2010

[Book Review: 2/18/10]

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The Super Happy Fun Poem Challenge of the Day in Three Steps

February 17, 2010
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1) Read the following poem by James Wright: Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio In the Shreve High football stadium, I think of Polacks nursing long beers in Tiltonsville, And gray faces of Negroes in the blast furnace at Benwood, And the ruptured night watchman of Wheeling Steel, Dreaming of heroes. All the proud fathers […]

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Tangent

February 17, 2010

On fourth of July, alone in my kitchen and the sound of distant fireworks. I drink cheap Merlot, watch the dark break and enter through the windows. I am all over the Internet, but would rather be all over someone else: a tangent. A tanager. Today, by the river I saw a scarlet tanager. Had […]

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Blogging through Grossman, Part 2: Grossman demolishes otherness?

February 16, 2010
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I probably should state right off the bat that I am not a philosopher by trade. If I mess up philosophical terms and definitions, feel free to correct me. I tend to have a more intuitive approach to philosophy, rather than a systematic one. Thus, I tend to explain things by analogy. I recognize the […]

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The Melody Ascends Stepwise

February 15, 2010

A missing Pleiades in the viewable cluster of stars cannot deny us motion though we cannot master its name: there is something you are not telling me standing at the standing stone detained neither by chicken wire nor the upright megalith we imagine pulsing and in so thinking feel the earth beneath us breathe: [...]

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Briefly remembering

February 15, 2010
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Lucille Clifton said many things outside of poems that felt like poems, and many of us who were blessed to sit in front of her and hear her speak remembers these words.

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Holiday Special

February 14, 2010

Wandering the shadowless aisles of the supermarket a couple of days ago, I passed a colorful phalanx of plastic-shielded, heart-shaped cakes.  Realizing that Valentine’s Day was nigh, that other people would be putting forkfuls of these hearts into their mouths in the hours that followed, and that a good many of these displayed hearts would […]

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