“Poets are supposed to avoid clichés—bits of language so hackneyed as to seem drained of meaning—but I’m fascinated by what hyper-familiar turns of phrase can reveal and conceal,” writes Hannah Aizenman about her poem “As a Father of Daughters,” published in the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series. The poem uses the phrase in the title as a jumping-off point for a seemingly associative list that hinges on the levity of rhyme and continues to reveal more about the original phrase. “As a failure of rathers / As a faithful support / As we gather together / As a fear of disorder,” writes Aizenman. Write a poem inspired by a common phrase or idiom that challenges its meaning. What will be revealed or concealed?
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