Calling a Wolf a Wolf - Pages 23 - 32 Summary & Analysis

Kaveh Akbar
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Summary

In “Desunt Nonnulla” the speaker describes the experience of learning new English words and names for things as a child and the joy they derived from this experience. “I polished them like trophies,” they say, referring to the names they collected (23). They go on to liken this desire for new words and names for things to their generally insatiable disposition. “Supposedly people hymned before names their mouths/were zeroes little pleasure portals for taking in grape/leaves cloudberries the fingers of lovers,” they say, comparing names to sustenance in different forms (23). In the final lines of the poem, however, the speaker recontextualizes naming as a means of preservation in the face of an impermanent world, saying “if you teach me something/beautiful I will name it quickly before it floats away” (23).

“Learning to Pray” describes the speaker’s experience trying to learn and...

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This section contains 2,015 words
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