Integrating Perspective

Soraya Peerbaye
Poems for the Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names

From the suite of poems that give the collection its title: botany meets linguistics.

In a museum farther north is the only recording of the Yaghan tongue. Ferns of language pressed into the soft wax cylinders of an Edison phonograph, recored a century ago. Their grammar integrated perspective. Your name would be different if I called to you from a canoe, or from the shore; your name would be different if earth or water lay between us.

And what lays between us and the poem: words on the page or words in the air. Reminding us that our names are not ourselves.

And so for day 2813

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