[Here’s a poem I have been trying to write for a long time. I once read that the American short story writer Raymond Carver decided a story was “done” when he wanted to put back in the commas he had just taken out. I feel that way today about this. So maybe it is.]


It’s a wooden word.

Added to our language

Like a barrow.


A blade word.

Opening us up

From sharp to hollow.


A lost word.

Totally out of love

With tomorrow. 


A liquid word. 

Quick, in every tree,

In every farrow.

Author: JD Fleming

I am Professor of English Literature at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC. My work is in intellectual history of the early-modern period (1500-1700), with a special interest in epistemic issues around the emergence of modern natural science (the "Scientific Revolution"). In 2011-12, I created and organized, at SFU Vancouver, the original iteration of the conference series "Scientiae: Disciplines of Knowing in the Early Modern World." I also organized the 2019 Scientiae conference, held at Queen's University, Belfast.

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