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Cardinal Ideograms

Rating: 2.9

A mouth. Can blow or breathe,
be a funnel, or Hello.

A grass blade or a cut.

A question seated. And a proud
bird's neck.

Shallow mitten for two-fingered hand.

Three-cornered hut
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COMMENTS OF THE POEM
lord farquard 08 May 2020

lord farquard accepts

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Fabrizio Frosini 06 December 2015

As Jane LeCroy puts it: ''Cardinal Ideograms'' by May Swenson is a poem that works like a puzzle; experimental in form and appearance, it engages the imagination by inspiring playful connections with the familiar. Poetry is so much about the play of language leading one to see things in a new way. A successful poem, like Swenson’s, creates space for new thoughts to emerge, expanding our world and our thinking.

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Fabrizio Frosini 06 December 2015

Cardinal Ideograms 0 A mouth. Can blow or breathe, be funnel, or Hello. 1 A grass blade or a cut. 2 A question seated. And a proud bird’s neck. 3 Shallow mitten for two-fingered hand. 4 Three-cornered hut on one stilt. Sometimes built so the roof gapes. 5 A policeman. Polite. Wearing visored cap. 6 O unrolling, tape of ambiguous length on which is written the mystery of everything curly. 7 A step, detached from its stair. 8 The universe in diagram: A cosmic hourglass. (Note enigmatic shape, absence of any valve of origin, how end overlaps beginning.) Unknotted like a shoelace and whipped back and forth, can serve as a model of time. 9 Lorgnette for the right eye. In England or if you are Alice the stem is on the left. 10 A grass blade or a cut companioned by a mouth. Open? Open. Shut? Shut.

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Deidre Fichte 10 January 2014

Hi there......you forgot to include the numbers to the left, which is pretty integral to this poem.

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Fabrizio Frosini 06 December 2015

right, Deidre.. so, I've posted the original..

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