Read a poem, talk about it, read it again.

Episode 121 The Word - Zaffar Kunial


Connor and Jack discuss Zaffar Kunial's elegant sonnet, "The Word." They marvel at the poem's seemingly effortless meditation on being between two cultures—particularly in a postcolonial context—and how it evokes so much through one simple word: "the."

Check out Kunial's latest collection, here.

You can hear Kunial read "The Word," here.

The Word By: Zaffar Kunial

I couldn’t tell you now what possessed me to shut summer out and stay in my room. Or at least attempt to. In bed mostly. It’s my dad, standing in the door frame not entering – but pausing to shape advice that keeps coming back. “Whatever is matter,

must enjoy the life.” He pronounced this twice. And me, I heard wrongness in putting a the

before life. In two minds. Ashamed. Aware. That I knew better, though was stuck inside while the sun was out. That I’m native here. In a halfway house. Like that sticking word. That definite article, half right, half wrong, still present between enjoy and life.

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