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Photograph by Fred Viebahn

An Interview With Rita Dove

In Germany, I began to experience what it was like to think in another language. Also, the way Germans looked at me—with curiosity but no racial baggage—was so different than Americans. I began to understand a little bit more about my own country and how I fit in or not. 

House vs. Home

A house is not a home. It is but a pile of sticks. “‘Home is,” on the other hand, as Robert Frost famously said, “the place where, when you have to go there, / They have to take you in.’” Less well known, and more resonant, are the words that follow: “‘I should have called it / Something you somehow haven’t to deserve.’”

Solstice vs. Equinox

When it comes to the workings of the universe, Albert Einstein famously said, “God does not play dice.” Einstein said nothing about the dreidel, however, which may explain why Earth and the other planets in our solar system spin like tops, a touch wobbly but more or less self-​correcting, whirling about in space toward whatever bang or whimper the future has in store.

Words

A sinecure of fashion. That's what he was before the illness. I like that word, sinecure. Sometimes I think I've been waiting for the right moment to use it. My father used long words and difficult words when he censured us. Like the time Andy and [...]

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