Mining the Synergy of Opposites

Contrast. Nothing tells a story quite like it. Consider the juxtaposition of junk car parked next to new Porsche, of grandmother in her wheelchair posing with her 5-year-old granddaughter for pictures, of homeless man sleeping under cardboard against the smooth base of a financial-district skyscraper. In poetry, contrast can work its magic, too. Past and …

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I Give Up

It's well-known that poets are blind when it comes to their own poetry. They can't tell good from bad because they're married to it. But what about major-league poets' poetry? When you can't tell good from bad there, you're in trouble. Or maybe that's the nature of poetry. For Exhibit A, we go to the …

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An Abundance of Moments, an Embarrassment of Neglect

Pinch yourself. You're alive. But how do you know, and what is it you're hardly noticing as days roll in and out with numbing regularity? Answer: a lot. Solution: the five senses. Even more so the four neglected senses. You know how partial we are to our eyes. To sight. The favored child among our …

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No! Don’t Do It! (Never Mind)

Sometimes watching a college basketball coach's reactions reminds me of the Guardians of Poetry -- those priests and priestesses who guard the keep and issue pronouncements about poetry. You know, the "Thou Shalts" and the "Thou Shalt Nots." Consider the coach when he sees his shooting guard launch a 3-point shot from well beyond the …

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