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« Losing Farther, Losing Faster: Reading Elizabeth Bishop's "One Art" While Trying to Save My Native Language [by Natalie Diaz] | Main | In All Ways An American Poet: David Lehman's "New and Selected Poems" at The New School [by Nora Brooks] »

March 25, 2014


I am wordless, so can only say: thank you, thank you, thank you. You have helped me fall in love with words all over again. I will carry a memory of this piece in my heart now.

Wow. Beautiful and sad

Thank you.

i absolutely love this. thank you.

What a beautiful essay from a wonderful poet! I hope more people will now realize how important it is to preserve our native languages.

Thank you for writing this. In Canada the same thing has happened to aboriginal children. They are taken from their parents, put into boarding schools, punished for speaking their native language. Since the boarding schools provide inadequate education these students are limited in their future lives and have no heritage to fall back on. ~ Dennis

I enjoy and love every letter, is incredible how deeper can just a poem can go through your feelings. I would fall in love with a person who came to me and talk like that.

Hummingbirds are territorial. You are crossing his territory. He is inspecting you. I have a hummingbird that has claimed my backyard, so when I go out there, we meet the same way.
I talk to him gently. Tone of voice being the expression I want to get across. I am not a threat. Your mileage may vary.

Language is not just a tool for communication; it's a repository of history, culture, and identity. The richness and specificity of the Mojave language, with words like "wakavar" and "nyen nyen," highlight the depth of human expression that can be lost when a language is suppressed.

This article serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of preserving and revitalizing endangered languages, not only for the communities they belong to but also for the broader human experience. It's a call to appreciate the diversity of languages.

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That Ship Has Sailed
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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