"Defeeted" by poem
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"Defeeted" by poem

A poem by Robert Bly in the current Atlantic begins with these puzzling words: “The ant moves on his tiny Sephardic feet….”

Of course, in the words of Archibald MacLeish, “A poem should not mean/But be.” Still, is it too much to ask that the words in it convey a little meaning? Why Sephardic feet? Are Sephardic feet any different from Ashkenazic feet (except for being one syllable shorter)?

Is this a Spanish/Portuguese/Moroccan/Turkish ant? Does it eat rice during Pesach?

Actually, the line reminds me of Carl Sandburg’s contention that the fog comes in on “little cat feet” – clearly, Sandburg never had a kitten.

RKB

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