Semester Mantra, Fall 2015


This semester, I am starting off one of my classes (and discussing later in my other courses) Walt Whitman’s “Vocalism,” which is my mantra. We are also reading Carolyn Hill’s “Changing Times in Composition Classes: Kairos, Resonance, and the Pythagorean Connection.” Why? To be a good reader and writer, one …

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The Protean Poetics of Spiders and Seeds | ASLE 2015

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Can’t wait for ASLE 2015!! This presentation is based on a contribution on poetics forthcoming in The Edinburgh Companion to Animal Studies.         All this work by Aaron Moe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at  

The Witchcraft of Geometry & Muhammad Ali’s “ME / WE”


Known for her angles, circumferences, and slants, it is no wonder Emily Dickinson wrote “Best Witchcraft is Geometry / To the magician’s mind” (1158). M. C. Escher would agree. But I am more interested, at the moment, in the spellbinding power of what is known as the shortest poem ever …

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The Child and the Prisoner: Wandering in Form

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E. E. Cummings understood how a form is “something to wander in”—and he suggests that children understand this more than any other demographic: There are two types of human beings: children and prisoners. Prisoners are inhabited by formulae. Children inhabit forms. A formula is something to get out of oneself, …

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Email to Students Tottering at the Edge of Brenda Hillman’s Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire

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Hi Class, For Wednesday afternoon, I am providing an alternative. You can read the essay and interview by/with David Abram (found in syllabus; and here: “The Ecology of Magic”; Interview with David Abram)…. OR you can read the attached essay “Plant Intelligence” [not attached here, of course]. I know that several of …

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“For Occupation – This -”: The Legacy of Emily Dickinson’s Ecopoetics


In This Compost, Jed Rasula explores how the trope is “poetry’s composting medium” (9). This succinct statement powerfully directs our imagination to see how a recurring image, for instance, folds all previous images back into itself, composting them, and therefore becoming a fecund site full of biological synergy, so to …

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Fall 2014 Semester Mantra: Kafka & Dwelling


There is no need for you to leave the house. Stay at your table and listen. Don’t even listen, just wait. Don’t even wait, be completely quiet and alone. The world will offer itself to you to be unmasked; it can’t do otherwise; in raptures it will writhe before you. …

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