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Zounds!

I was out all day with friends playing basketball and eating Ethiopian food, and I also managed my fantasy baseball teams and watched My So-Called Life. And now I am in such a great mood, surrounded by my books, having done my taxes, Lynn sleeping in the other room, and I think of the limits of learning and its affects on poetic sensibility.

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Come A Little Bit Closer Now Baby: Elizabeth Bishop's "Brazil: January 1, 1502"

by Gray Jacobik

Although our lives cannot occur except in an historical context, many contemporary lyrics are written as though only personal history matters. It’s a great joy to encounter a poem grounded in history as thoroughly as Elizabeth Bishop’s “Brazil: January 1, 1502”, particularly one that begins with a cymbal crash, the seeming non sequitur or unusual plural: “Januaries” –– followed by a pace that slows for the next 23 lines until we encounter that deeply-burdened word at the end of line 24 –– “Sin”.

Come A Little Bit Closer Now Baby: Elizabeth Bishop’s “Brazil: January 1, 1502”

by Gray Jacobik

Although our lives cannot occur except in an historical context, many contemporary lyrics are written as though only personal history matters. It’s a great joy to encounter a poem grounded in history as thoroughly as Elizabeth Bishop’s “Brazil: January 1, 1502”, particularly one that begins with a cymbal crash, the seeming non sequitur or unusual plural: “Januaries” –– followed by a pace that slows for the next 23 lines until we encounter that deeply-burdened word at the end of line 24 –– “Sin”.

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Giving Chin-Kee A Chance: Gene Luen Yang's American Born Chinese

by Nania Lee

Apparently, everyone got the memo on American Born Chinese before I did. Published in 2006, Gene Luen Yang’s graphic novel is flush with accolades: a National Book Award Finalist, winner of the Michael L Printz Award, and a “top” pick of multiple publications, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Time Magazine, and Publisher’s Weekly. Where was I? What was I doing in 2006 that I missed its release? How had I overlooked this amazing graphic novel, while somehow convincing myself to read the first installment of a melodramatic teen-vampire-romance-novel-series that shall go unnamed. I hang my head in shame.

COFFEE: CHECK! ORGANIC EGGS: CHECK! NEW YORK TIMES: MEHH….

by Marshall Walker Lee

Welcome to the end of news, or at least the end of news as I know it. This week the New York Times introduced digital subscriptions for US readers of the Times online, a move which the paper has been planning for at least two years. Starting Monday, March 28, visitors to NYTimes.com, as well as users of the Time’s smartphone and tablet apps, will be limited to 20 discrete page views per month. That’s 20 slideshows, articles or videos—20 clicks!