Category Archives: Thoughts on Language

in verse #45 : The Power of the Editor

The text of his letter from Liberty Jail was published in Joseph Smith’s lifetime, in Times and Seasons in May and July of 1840, of which Joseph was nominally editor (this was the last transcription Joseph could have overseen). It … Continue reading

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in verse #43 : hero’s journey

When Leonard Cohen said “Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash,”[i] he probably didn’t have Joseph Smith in mind. Joseph Smith burned brightly in a world lit only by … Continue reading

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In Tents #37, Some Additional Views on Figures and Speech

I have had a few additional views in relation to this matter. (D&C 128:2) We have to drop everyone twice, but we try to drop them gently. If they survive they get to go home and we want as many … Continue reading

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In Tents #35 And the Cruse of Oil Failed Not to Trouble the Waters

  Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.  (John 5.7) Last month I ended with a contrast between metaphors and puns, … Continue reading

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In Tents #34 How Long Can Still Waters Keep Running Deep?

Explain this saying: “Still waters run deep.” The saying means that we shouldn’t put down people who are quiet. Their stillness doesn’t mean they lack depth. It compares such people to a river. When a river is shallow it runs … Continue reading

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In Tents 32 Scripture Study Tools part IV: Figurative Interpretations

Greetings from Missoula, Montana. We traveled here today from my wife’s hometown not far from the Stanley, Idaho wildfire, and Monday morning we will be going over Lolo Pass, more wildfire country. In all the little towns on the way … Continue reading

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in verse # 23 : mighty line versus ordered speech

It was Kit Marlowe who awakened in Will Shakespeare a hunger for a dramatic speech more nearly reflecting ordinary English speech.  It was Will Shakespeare who made it possible for Kris Kristofferson to write and sing the following lyrics as … Continue reading

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Children’s Lit Corner

Three years ago this coming Friday, my best friend died suddenly after suffering a deep thromboembolism. That death, especially the unexpected nature of it, shook me to the core. Of course I had lost friends and loved ones before, but … Continue reading

Posted in Children's Lit corner, In Verse, Personal Narratives, Thoughts on Language, YA corner | 2 Comments

AML Presidential Address 2012

From my early childhood, I remember people with dark skin and black hair in my home.  I understood that they were working with my father on projects in different languages.  Most were Mayan Indians, from various places in Guatemala.  The … Continue reading

Posted in International Scene, Literary Views of Scripture, Thoughts on Language | 4 Comments

Teaching Mormon Literature to Non-Mormon Students

As I type I am sitting in the Salt Lake Airport waiting for a flight that will take me first to Denver and then to Dayton, where my decade-old Honda is waiting to take me home. It’s Sunday, but there … Continue reading

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