Chen-ou Liu's Translation Project: First English-Chinese Haiku and Tanka Blog

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Paper Cut Haiku

a paper cut
from Father's airmail letter
these words, a poet?


among strangers
hunting for the cheapest items
this loneliness ...


space tourism ...
in the shopping mall window
an old man's tired face

AddedThis Brave New World, LXXI

more than two thousand
instances of book banning
in thirty-two states ...
the Statue of Liberty
shadowed against overcast skies

FYI: Pen America, September 2022: "Banned in the USA: The Growing Movement to Censor Books in Schools"

And The New Yorker, March 10: "What Are We Protecting Children from by Banning Books?"

... 2,532 instances of book banning in thirty-two states between July, 2021, and June, 2022. The challenges are spread throughout the country but cluster in Texas and Florida...

...many more of the prohibitions seem to cohere around a specific political vision. According to the pen report, forty-one per cent of the banned books featured L.G.B.T.Q.+ themes, protagonists, or prominent secondary characters; the next-largest category of non grata texts has “protagonists or prominent secondary characters of color.” Other problem subjects include “race and racism,” “rights,” and “religious minorities.”...

..a glance at the list of most frequently banned books makes clear that “mature content” is a fig leaf: what parents and advocacy groups are challenging in these books is difference itself. In their vision of childhood—a green, sweet-smelling land invented by Victorians and untouched by violence, or discrimination, or death—white, straight, and cisgender characters are G-rated. All other characters, meanwhile, come with warning labels. When childhood is racialized, cisgendered, and de-queered, insisting on “age-appropriate material” becomes a way to instill doctrine and foreclose options for some readers, and to evict other readers from childhood entirely.

The recent wave of bans comes as many Republicans, in their opposition to gun control, climate science, food stamps, public education, and other social services, work assiduously to render the lives of American children as unchildlike as possible.