The earwig,
which fell out
of the clean
T-shirt when

I went to
fold it, pinched
me when I
went fast to

flatten it.


“Frightened” (above) is a short-lined syllabics poem that I wrote today. I don’t deliberately kill insects or other wee critters very often – so I’ve been thinking about the earwig.

Many long years ago in the distant past of the 1970s, I remember being scared out of my wits by a TV show about earwigs.

I am presently enjoying the Modern  and Contemporary American Poetry Coursera course on-line. Coursera is a new and amazing resource. I’d recommend you have a snoop around their catalogue of FREE courses.

In the poetry course this week. the tutors discussed this poem: it’s not in syllabics but Lorine’s condensery-ness inspires me) –

Lorine Niedecker, “Grandfather advised me” (also known as “Poet’s Work”)

This screenshot is made available from the Electronic Poetry Center’s selected poems of Lorine Niedecker, edited by Jenny Penberthy, courtesy of the University of California Press.


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