January 2019 Poem: “I sing the body electric”

From Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, the Small, Maynard imprint of 1904 (available on Google Books). This is the first poem I’m learning this year, part of a project to learn twelve great poems in 2019. I chose it from among recommendations I received from folks because of the stark contrast between its sensual, joyful language and the often prosaic, banal language of the law. I chose this particular version (one of many available) for no particular reason. I just needed a place to start. I will not memorize the whole thing, though, as it far exceeds my 50-line target. Read More …

Twelve poems to play with in 2019

I’m obsessed with language, but so much of my attention to it in my work is on what could be called “technical communication,” “business communication,” or “expository prose.” It can be artful, but it is rarely beautiful. I want to recapture some beautiful language in my life, so my New Year’s resolution is to learn—really learn—12 poems, 12 pieces of beautiful language embodying beautiful or provocative thought. What that means is that I will learn them by heart but then also play with them, remix them, reconceive them in hopes that this playfulness will enhance my technical communication and expository Read More …