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Ain’t Poem

For years, teachers have warned against using the word ain’t, apparently with some success. Emily Hummell from Boston sent us a poem that may have contributed: “Don’t say ain’t / your mother will faint / your father will fall...

Nixie on Your Tintype

If you want to sound defiant, you could do worse than exclaiming,”Nixie on your tintype!” This phrase, meaning something to the effect of “spit on your face,” popped up in Marjorie Benton Cooke’s 1914 book, Bambi (not...

Robley Wilson Poem

Martha’s enthusiastic about the book Poetry 180: A Turning Back To Poetry, edited by former Poet Laureate Billy Collins. One gem in there by Robley Wilson, called “I Wish in the City of Your Heart”, provides a lovely image of that...

The Bagel

Martha shares a favorite poem, “The Bagel,” by David Ignatow. Who wouldn’t like to feel “strangely happy with myself”? This and other gems can be found in Billy Collins’ book Poetry 180. This is part of a complete...

Seagulling

What do you call it when you’re about to jump into a conversation but someone beats you to it? Mary, a caller and self-described introvert from Indianapolis, calls it getting seagulled, inspired by an episode of The Simpsons in which nerdy...

Wendell Berry’s “The Real Work”

One of Kentucky’s finest, Wendell Berry, wrote this in his poem “The Real Work”: “It may be that when we no longer know what to do / we have come to our real work.” Indeed, a smooth life is often a boring life. This is part...

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