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An Excerpt from Love and Corn and Whatnot


  We strolled around the empty campus in a dry August heat, holding hands, stopping to kiss against a tree now and then. I loved it when she leaned her head on my shoulder and I could turn and kiss her soft hair. I loved being able to say “I love you” in my habitat, on the sidewalk in front of the library, in the theater lobby, in the classroom where I discovered the genius of Walt Whitman. She sat in one of the old wooden chair-desks in the front row and said “Teach me something. I want to defy whoever it is that says women aren’t allowed to learn anything here.” I stood behind the lectern and spoke in a clipped British accent: “What we find in Whitman is a pre-existential construct with Dionysian elements of Brockian expressive conceptualism, filtered of course through the prevailing sang-froid of the time. It goes without saying that the city-country dichotomy prominent in Whitman’s work is symbolic of post-Elizabethan dualism, except in those poems employing an iambic motif. Question, Ms Christopher?”

  “Professor, isn’t it enough for poetry to touch the reader’s soul without being over-analyzed and over-extrapolated by literary critics?”

  “I’ve never heard of such an absurd notion.”

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