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The Devil's Dictionary: Piano

by Ambrose Bierce PHYSIOGNOMYPICKANINNYPIANO -n. A parlor utensil for subduing the impenitent visitor. It is operated by pressing the keys of the machine and the spirits of the audience. …

Brewer's: Widow's Piano

Inferior instruments sold as bargains; so called from the ordinary advertisement announcing that a widow lady is compelled to sell her piano, for which …

The Tango Lesson

Director/Writer: Sally PotterDirector of Photography:Robby MüllerEditor:Herve SchneidProduction Designer:Carlos ContiProducer:Christopher SheppardSony Pictures Classics; PG; 101 minutesRe…

Literary Lessons

Literary LessonsFortune suddenly smiled upon Jo, and dropped a good luck penny in her path. Not a golden penny, exactly, but I doubt if half a million would have given more real happiness the…

Poem: The First Lesson

Poem 95 Poem 97 The First Lesson Not in this world to see his face Sounds long, until I read the place Where this is said to be But just the primer to a life Unopened, rare, upon the shelf…

Walt Whitman: Stronger Lessons

Stronger LessonsHave you learn'd lessons only of those who admired you, and were tender with you, and stood aside for you? Have you not learn'd great lessons from those who reject you, and…

Lesson Four: Style and Tone

  Introduction Over the years, our editors have seen some amazing stories become dreadfully boring and some ridiculously dry topics transform into an exciting read. The culprit (o…

Lesson Six: Editing and Revising

  Introduction "If one thing could be perfect, it should be the essay." -- Admissions Officer Writing is not a one-time act. Writing is a process. Memorable writing c…

Lesson Five: Introductions and Conclusions

  Introduction Surprised to see introductions as the topic of our second-to-last lesson? Most writers find that it is nearly impossible to craft an essay by beginning with the int…

Walt Whitman: A Persian Lesson

A Persian LessonFor his o'erarching and last lesson the greybeard sufi, In the fresh scent of the morning in the open air, On the slope of a teeming Persian rose-garden, Under an ancient chest…