Links: New poet laureate, poems for the masses, etc.

1. New U.S. poet laureate: Charles Wright.

2. “The best poetry is not always accessible, and the most accessible poetry is usually not good.”

3. Flash fiction as prose poems?

4. The case for typos in the age of spellcheck

5. Where old English was clearer: the two “th” sounds, thorn and eth. Also, here’s a list of other letters that were once used in English, but not so much these days.

6. Linguistic trivia: German speakers have difficulty with “squirrel,” and Canadians having difficulty with the German equivalent

7. Hannah Arendt on irony, as against David Foster Wallace’s definition of irony.

8. Profile of poet Geoffrey Hill.

9. Recent articles on poet Patricia Lockwood, here, here, here, and here.


10. William Logan: “Poetry: Who Needs It?”

2 responses to “Links: New poet laureate, poems for the masses, etc.

  1. My Sri Lankan mother also has difficulty saying squirrel. There are so many words that I learned to say the “wrong” way when I was a kid! For example, I ten or eleven before I learned that Villanova didn’t start with a “W.” 🙂

    • I just find it linguistically & poetically interesting that some particular sounds are harder to learn than others are. I hope this “Germans saying squirrel” video isn’t seen as making fun of Germans, as English speakers also have these pronunciation troubles (as shown in the other video in the link, where English-speakers try to say the German word for “squirrel”). In speaking with exchange students I’ve taught, I have had difficulty hearing some of the German vowels, and the various tonal aspects of Chinese words. It’s almost funny — I feel like I’m saying what I’m hearing, but it’s not right to the native speakers!

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