Elliptical

By Harryette Mullen b. 1953 Harryette Mullen
They just can’t seem to . . . They should try harder to . . . They ought to be more . . . We all wish they weren’t so . . . They never . . . They always . . . Sometimes they . . . Once in a while they . . . However it is obvious that they . . . Their overall tendency has been . . . The consequences of which have been . . . They don’t appear to understand that . . . If only they would make an effort to . . . But we know how difficult it is for them to . . . Many of them remain unaware of . . . Some who should know better simply refuse to . . . Of course, their perspective has been limited by . . . On the other hand, they obviously feel entitled to . . . Certainly we can’t forget that they . . . Nor can it be denied that they . . . We know that this has had an enormous impact on their . . . Nevertheless their behavior strikes us as . . . Our interactions unfortunately have been . . .

Harryette Mullen,“Elliptical” from Sleeping with the Dictionary. Copyright 2002 by Harryette Mullen. Reprinted by permission of University of California Press.

Source: Sleeping with the Dictionary (University of California Press, 2002)

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Poet Harryette Mullen b. 1953

Subjects Living, Disappointment & Failure, Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics

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 Harryette  Mullen

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Harryette Mullen is a poet and a professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she teaches creative writing and African-American literature. Her poetry has been hailed by critics as unique, powerful, and challenging. Elisabeth A. Frost wrote in Contemporary Literature: "Crossing the lines between often isolated aesthetic camps, Harryette Mullen has pioneered her own form of bluesy, disjunctive lyric . . .

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SUBJECT Living, Disappointment & Failure, Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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