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Month: April 2020

Literary Science

I heard a new word on the radio the other day. – idiolect. The subject matter was a news item regarding finding the author of an anonymous book/op-ed piece. According to Merriam Webster, ideolect is “the language or speech pattern of one individual at a particular period of life.”

I had to take a linguistics correspondence course in college, because it would not be offered before I graduated. I took the final thinking that I don’t know what I had just learned and thought my graduation was in peril. I don’t know how I managed to make a C, but I was very grateful for it.

Forensic science can track down the author of a piece using the linguistic (scientific study of language) fingerprint. In simpler terms, every writer has a style of writing that is uniquely their own – a writer’s DNA.

I am sure that linguistics can help some writers, but regardless we all have our own styles, or what some prefer to say voice. When I started this blog, I knew I needed to be me. And that is not easy right now, and can be quite revolutionary.


Byte Me

Deplatforming the social Truth,
Our necks smothered by your jack boots byte me.

Algorithms echo the plan,
Pinging between our ears en route byte me.

Manufactured zeros and ones –
Methods dispatched to prostitute byte me

Daemons intercept a five code.
Towers stand still null and deaf-mute byte me.

Nano teeth chew the circuit fruit.
Each dot swallowed, Packman, you brute, byte me.

Trained by the hot alphabet soup
Tied us to the straitjacket suit bytes me.

Stealth soldiers post the rock hard Truth.
Train in word warfare the recruits, byte me!

God utters without wires and air.
My poetry, my dance compute bytes me.

My poems

Poet Laureate’s Duties and History

I have always wondered what exactly a poet laureate’s duties are.

As for the United States, they are given much latitude. They give a reading to open the Library of Congress’s annual literary series, and close with a lecture. They are appointed from September of one year to May of the next. Poet laureates write occasional poetry. This position was started in 1936 as an endowment for “maintenance of a chair of Poetry of the English language in the Library of Congress.”

Beyond that they are given free reign to make it their own. Joseph Brodsky (he had an interesting life, (exiled from his native Russia), was the first to make a program that reached a national scale.

The current United States poet laureate is Joy Harjo, the first Native American to fill this role.

Other nations and localities have their own poet laureates. The Oregon poet laureate, appointed by Gov. Kate Brown, is Kim Stafford. His occasional poetry centers on the corona virus.

The term laurel was a wreath of honor given to ancient Greek poets or heroes. I would love to see poetry take on more importance and include more conservative voices.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ones of my favorite poets, was the celebrity of his time. “A Psalm of Life” speaks to me when I need encouragement to carry on.



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