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Maya Angelou would pronounce ‘poetry’

with each syllable given equal, gentle

weight, and the first two clear as a call, a soft

sonorousness as if water spoke.




There are few words in the English lexicon

with so many, diverse, Attic meanings

as ‘poet’: maker, inventor, composer,

speech writer, legislator, author:

images of workshops, and lecterns;

chambers with high ceilings and long windows;

the law’s austere and tempered modalities;

stanzas memorised then taught by rote;