By Naomi Shihab Nye
Honey. Beeswax. Pollinate. Hive. Colony. paintings. Dance. speak. Industrious. Buzz. Sting. Cooperate.
Where may we be with no them? the place could we be with no each other?
In eighty-two poems and paragraphs, Naomi Shihab Nye alights at the necessities of our time—our household, our dense air, our wars, our stories, our planet—and leaves us feeling apparently sweeter and profoundly soothed.
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Bakhtin seems to ﬁnd especially odd (if not superﬁcial) those who remain content to be heard within their immediate context alone, who feel no apparent need to appeal to an ultimate listener of any kind. But another sense of answerability is at stake here, too—one that resurrects Bakhtin’s early concern with responsible action. The positing of a superaddressee, of course, cannot help but to imply a certain ethical orientation toward the ultimate values embodied in the very superaddressee one chooses.
2 He had enrolled in my Advanced Composition class and during the ﬁrst week of the semester, Devlyn made an unforgettable impression both upon his classmates and upon me. Devlyn seemed to me then, as now, to be extremely bright, charming, energetic, funny, chiding, socially conservative, and unrelentingly argumentative. Among his classmates, I had the impression that Devlyn was, more than anything else, indulged. I sensed that many of the other students were uncomfortable with Devlyn’s intensity in our class discussions and the sheer earnestness with which he spoke.
A E S O P I A N I S M I N T H E RU S S I A N T R A D I T I O N Aesopianism is a term that has emerged fairly recently in much of the secondary literature about Bakhtin and his circle. Michael Gardiner, in his Dialogics of Critique, attributes the origin of the term to the Soviet scholar Boris Kagarlitsky, who describes a Aesopian the general condition of the Russian intelligentsia roughly from the period of 1917-1940, a time characterized by enormous social upheaval followed by state-enforced repression and terror.