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During an undergraduate English seminar, our professor got frank with us about her multiple miscarriages. It wasn’t completely out of sorts — the seminar was centered around the body and we had spent a lot of time with the concept of madness as elucidated by Elaine Showalter in The Female Malady. After more than 10 years, I don’t remember much about that course, but I do remember our instructor’s confessional moment, what felt like at the time, an incredibly intimate detail in her life. It wasn’t the first time I had come across the concept of miscarriage. At age four, I was told I was going to be a big sister and then not long after, was told I wasn’t. But I was struck by her openness and matter-of-factness. These weren’t situations we were supposed to discuss. It felt almost indecent and out of line at the time. More… Lost Time”

Melinda Lewis has a PhD in American Culture Studies. She knows more celebrity gossip than basic math and watches too much television.

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I keep losing my keys!  I mindlessly carry them around with me after I get home and put them in the most unlikely places. Can poetry do anything to ameliorate my problem? — Claire C.

 

I think so. Let me tell you about something I did once. When I moved into my apartment, the previous residents left some dining room chairs out by the dumpster, and since I had been using lawn chairs around my kitchen table, I eagerly snatched them up. They looked OK — a natural wood-finished seat supported by white metal legs and backs — but not nice enough for me to resist the temptation to decorate them. I cut out lots of poems that I have received as hand outs and using a craft product called Modge Podge (basically white glue that saturates the… More…