Scrabble Day: Tense, Tenuous, and Tender

On April 13, 1899, Alfred Butts was born. He was an American architect, and the inventor of the board game Scrabble.

On April 13, 1947, Rae Armantrout was born. She is an American poet, the winner of the 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award, and of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for her collection Versed.

Aside from sharing a birthday, you might think these two had little in common. But here’s a poem by Rae Armantrout which could help your Scrabble game:


by Rae Armantrout


Tense and tenuous
grow from the same root

as does tender
in its several guises:

the sour grass flower;
the yellow moth.


I would not confuse
the bogus
with the spurious.

The bogus
is a sore thumb

while the spurious
pours forth

as fish and circuses.

“And” from Partly: New and Selected Poems, 2001-2015, © 2016 by Rae Armantrout –
Wesleyan University Press

About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for over 50 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband.
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