The queens talk diction, the political history of language, and naked octogenarians.
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Aaron's STOP LYING is available from the Pitt Poetry Series.
James's ROMANTIC COMEDY is available from Four Way Books.
Words that we identify as "forbidden" (in case you want to try to write poem/s with them!): verboten; beautiful; the body; dick; cicada; bougainvillea; filament; "Z was all X"; Dear Reader"; dead deer; soul; panties.
You can hear Plath read her poem “Lady Lazarus” here.
You can read James's poem "Portrait of My Mother as Rosemary Woodhouse" here.
Read CP Cavafy’s poem “Ithaka” (translated by Edmund Keeley) here.
Aaron references an article he's read about why the word "panties" is objectionably sexist. And while it may not be this one from The Atlantic, it's still an awesome read. The author, Sarah Fentem, writes: "I've heard several people refer to the word as "infantilizing." The addition of the suffix "-ies" (or in the singular form, "-y") converts the word into a diminutive. Literally: "little pants." .... In fact, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first known use of "panties" is from a 1908 set of instructions for making doll clothes." Read the rest of the article here.