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Virgule Analysis

Author: poem of Thomas Lux Type: poem Views: 5

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What I love about this little leaning mark

is how it divides

without divisiveness.  The left

or bottom side prying that choice up or out,

the right or top side pressing down upon

its choice:  either/or,

his/her.  Sometimes called a slash (too harsh), a slant

(a little dizzy, but the Dickinson association

nice:  "Tell all the Truth but tell it slant--"), solidus (sounding

too much like a Roman legionnaire

of many campaigns),

or a separatrix (reminding one of a sexual

variant).  No, I like virgule.  I like the word

and I like the function:  "Whichever is appropriate

may be chosen to complete the sense."

There is something democratic

about that, grown-up; a long

and slender walking stick set against the house.

Virgule:  it feels good in your mouth.

Virgule:  its foot on backwards, trochaic, that's OK, American.

Virgule:  you could name your son that,

or your daughter Virgula.  I'm sorry now

I didn't think to give my daughter such a name

though I doubt that she and/or

her mother would share that thought.


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