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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 454

Words of Warning

  1. Is Dawnell Harrison’s “Cascade” really about an automobile trip with a dog? What might the poem really describe?

  2. In Allison Grayhurst’s “On My Belly”:

    1. Judging by the content, what form does the poem take?
    2. Who is “you” in the poem?
  3. In James Graham’s “Come and See the Blood in the Streets”:

    1. What is the essay about? War poetry? War in general? A particular war?
    2. The essay refers to an e-book, 100 Poets Against the War. The e-book’s title begs the question: Which war? In light of the publication date, which do you think it might be?
  4. In Don Webb’s “Go Tell the Spartans...”:

    1. Who is quoted directly or indirectly most often? To what effect?
    2. All the other quotations are identified by source. Why might the author have deliberately refrained from naming the person most frequently quoted?
  5. In Chris Castle’s “Emily and Electra”:

    1. What is the story about?
    2. Is the story fantasy or science fiction?
    3. Mr. Bryant says: “They have one of them computers, only one in town, only one for miles, far as I know, and they film all the ugliness they do.” — Is the reference to computers out of place or appropriate in its context?
  6. In Thomas F. Wylie’s “Thought Collector”:

    1. What does the poem seem to imply about memory?
    2. Do you keep such a notebook or perhaps a diary? If so, are you afraid of losing it?
    3. Bonus challenge: Write a story in which a notebook or diary is lost and yet mysteriously returned in the mail. It is marked up in red pen with commentaries by an anonymous “editor.” What might the diary say? What might the editor say? What might the diarist think? Would the result be funny? Tragic? Spooky?

  7. Responses welcome!

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