The Protheth of Protetht
In Marian Brooks’ “Tree Incarnation”:
- The personification of the oak tree as “Brenda” suggests an allegory. What might the tree and its surroundings represent in human terms?
- How old is the tree?
- The boy’s baseball cap might bear any logo and the prose poem would remain intact. What might the logo’s particular signficance be? Hint: it is okay to go outside the poem itself to find the answer.
- The tree imagines being reincarnated as another tree. Does the tree imagine its future existence as ideal?
- If you knew you had to be reincarnated, as whom or what would you want to return?
In LaVerne Zocco’s “Miss Whitson’s Highest Wish”:
- Are Miss Whitson’s strange “urges” psychologically plausible? Caution: “psychologically” includes abnormal psychology.
- What, in particular, attracts Miss Whitson to the cases of Isobel Fox and the Black Dahlia rather than to “ordinary” crime stories?
- Does “Brother Demas” drop any hint early on that he might have some connection with Miss Whitson’s recurring dream?
In Yuliya Klochan’s “The Definition of Perfection”:
- Why might Maria’s “perfection” treatment fail?
- What does Maria actually do at the end of the story? Whatever she does, why is it paradoxical that she does so “silently”?
- How might the premise qualify “The Definition of Perfection” as an android story?
- What does Maria finally realize is the definition of perfection? Hint: Maria plays God with John’s personality. What can you give a supreme being who has everything?
In Thomas Lee Joseph Smith’s “Methinks He Protesteth Too Much”:
- Would pouring even a 64-ounce Slurpee into a gasoline reservoir have any real effect on the gasoline?
- Do the incidents have any particular progression?
- How does the narrator’s family feel about his “protesting”?
- Are the “protests” entirely implausible? Do they seem to express any particular need?
In Jason C. Ford’s “Eclipse at the Gates”:
- Who might be “the men renowned for hiding face”?
- What might the “book of lies” be?
- What might the “creed” be?
- What might the “gates” be?
- Does the poem refer to anyone or any group in particular or to hypocrisy — or something else —in general?
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