September 26, 2008

Operation Vowel Storm

Ran into a poem by Aimee Nezhukumatathil through a post at Robert Lee Brewer's website: Poetic Asides. (Update, 2015 - Above link is broken; new link here.)
The fear of long words
On the first day of classes, I secretly beg
my students, Don't be afraid of me. I know
my last name on your semester schedule
is chopped off or probably misspelled--
or both. I can't help it. I know the panic
of too many consonants rubbed up
against each other, no room for vowels
Simple and clever ...unlike many less accessible poems I run across. The above post also has an interview with the poet, who is an associate professor of English at SUNY-Fredonia.
P.S. Reminded me of an Onion story I had seen in 1999 where President Clinton ships thousands of vowels as aid to Bosnia. That's where the title of this post comes from. :) [I had seen this in the actual paper copy while in Madison. I think that maybe the Onion archives online do not go that far back but someone's transcribed that article here.

P.P.S. Another great headline from back then which I somehow remember often is "President Clinton says US to cut off ties with Chad"...and then it has picture of a guy called Chad and reasons why Clinton's chosen to do so. Actually, I just found Onion does have archives that go back to late 90s (
U.S. Breaks Off Relations With Chad is from 1998) but somehow cannot find a link to the Bosnia-vowels story.

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