Tuesday, January 10, 2012

At Church and at Strip Clubs

Three beautiful poems:


-Roxane Gay over at The Rumpus



-Roger Ebert on the new Oscar rules over at Wall Street Journal


The first person plural is an indexical pronoun, dependent on context for meaning, but the boundaries are often unclear even to the speaker. And there’s something not only ambiguous but also incoherent in the pronoun. As Franz Boas warned in 1911, “a true [first person] plural […] is impossible, because there can never be more than one self.” Poetry, though we associate it with “I,” is rather fond of “we,” and not only the intimate “we” of private I/Thou relations. But the best poets are also aware that it’s a shifty and treacherous pronoun. Surprisingly, poetry, the genre we most identify with private, subjective experiences, is far freer in its use of the first person plural than narrative prose, though there are a few bold examples in fiction, such as Kate Walbert’s Our Kind, Jeffrey Eugenides’s The Virgin Suicides and, most recently, Justin Torres’ We the Animals, works that suggest a “we” prior to or stronger than the individuating psyche. But poetry has given much freer rein to the first person plural. At the same time, the pressures and perils of the pronoun “we” are registered with particular sensitivity in the genre with the most acute linguistic self-consciousness.

-via Jacket2


My friend Noah writes and sings remarkable songs.

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