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The Poetry of Everyday LifeStorytelling and the Art of Awareness$
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Steve Zeitlin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501702358

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501702358.001.0001

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Intimacy in Language

Intimacy in Language

Poetry in Family Expressions

Chapter:
(p.35) 2 Intimacy in Language
Source:
The Poetry of Everyday Life
Author(s):

Steve Zeitlin

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501702358.003.0003

In this chapter, the author considers poetry in family expressions, which, along with in-jokes and associations, are packed with alliteration, rhythm, and hyperbole. The author recalls how he was drawn to folklore because, even at an early age, he was aware of the beauty and power of folklore in his own life. The author grew up as an American expat in São Paulo, Brazil. His parents, Shirley and Irv, belonged to that notable group called sojourners—those who immigrate but never fully assimilate. He shares his experience with a song called “Red River Valley,” which he says inspired his love of folk music and also played a part in his becoming a folklorist and meeting his future wife, Amanda, a fellow folklorist. Besides the song, a few other incidents contributed to the serendipity of meeting Amanda. The author remembers a time when a conversation between him and Amanda shifts from prose toward poetry, a moment that highlights the importance of intimacy in language.

Keywords:   poetry, family expressions, folklore, Brazil, folk music, serendipity, intimacy, language, family

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