Reviews

All My Little Words

KELSEA O'CONNOR

Stephin Merritt’s 11 Two-Letter Words (W.W. Norton) is a collection of illustrated poems based on all the legal two-letter words playable in Scrabble. Merritt originally began writing the poems as mnemonic devices during downtime while on tour with his band, the Magnetic Fields. Each four-line rhyming poem is accompanied by a humorous illustration by the New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast; running themes include sloths, songwriting, Scotland and vampire dogs. Perhaps my favourite was OH, which proposes new curses (“oh, cheesemongers! oh folk art!”) or RE, which is a take on different pronunciations of the word (“Re: about, in memos / Rays: how microwaves make pork”). Merritt’s poetry is like Edward Gorey’s The Gashlycrumb Tinies for Scrabble lovers: a witty, charming, slightly macabre ode to language. (“All My Little Words” is the title of a song written by Merritt for the Magnetic Fields; it appears on the album 69 Love Songs.)

Tags
No items found.

KELSEA O'CONNOR

Kelsea O’Connor is contributing editor to Geist. She lives in New Westminster.


SUGGESTIONS FOR YOU

Columns
Stephen Henighan

In Search of a Phrase

Phrase books are tools of cultural globalization—but they are also among its casualties.

Reviews
Anson Ching

Further Years of Solitude

Review of "Black Sugar" by Miguel Bonnefoy.

Dispatches
CB Campbell

Joe and Me

Playing against the fastest chess player in the world.