Harryette Mullen: “Elliptical”

When polite prejudice makes for scathing satire.

You open a book and start reading a prose poem. The poem’s voice sounds insistent, but it keeps trailing off. It calls itself “we” and repeatedly passes judgment on “they,” but it never specifies who “we” and “they” are. Its tone is disapproving, supercilious, squeamish:

They just can’t seem to . . . They should try harder to . . . They ought to be more . . . We all wish they weren’t so . . . They never . . . They always . . . Sometimes they . . .


read rest of article here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/articles/154319/harryette-mullen-elliptical?utm_source=Poetry+Foundation&utm_campaign=5946142cdd-POFO-SEP-18&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ff7136981c-5946142cdd-239702361&mc_cid=5946142cdd&mc_eid=ad7d20715f

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