ARCHIVE FOR Ben Berman

Passage Analysis

The safety gate in our front hallway had been obsolete for a while – my three-year old had figured out how to unlock it by herself, and for the past few months we’d been primarily using it as a drying rack for wet mittens.

 

When I finally got around to disassembling it last week, my daughters treated it like the fall of the Berlin Wall and celebrated with some prolonged butt-wiggling

March 8, 2017 | Ben Berman

The Writing Life

The Art of Personas

Off with your head, my five-year-old recently told me when I said no to a second piece of dessert.

 

Though after I explained to her what that phrase meant, she looked at me in a slight panic and asked: But would it grow back?

 

My daughter, of course, picked that line up from the Queen in Alice in Wonderland, but it got me thinking about Emily Dickinson, who said, If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.

February 8, 2017 | Ben Berman

The Writing Life

The Art of Overhearing

Take a sharpie away from my three-year-old and she will invoke Whitman, will begin sounding her barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.

 

But plop her on the toilet and the scene is much more reminiscent of the Romantics – as she ponders philosophical questions, her imagination wandering wildly and her intonations somewhere between speech and song.

 

January 11, 2017 | Ben Berman

Craft Advice The Writing Life

In Brief

Help, my three-year-old yells, tugging on my leg. There’s a monster under there!

 

Under where? I say.

 

And then she falls to the ground laughing, having made yet another unsuspecting adult say underwear aloud.

 

Underwear is a big deal to my three-year-old – a source of both great silliness and pride – which strikes me as fascinating, given how often I have panicked dreams of standing in front of a small audience only to realize that I’d forgotten to wear pants.

December 14, 2016 | Ben Berman

The Writing Life

A Loose Truth

It was one of those unseasonably warm evenings earlier this fall when I bit into a beet and my front tooth came loose. It was a false crown to begin with but I’d had it for so long I’d forgotten it wasn’t real.

 

My dentist replaced it with a temporary cap that turned out to be even more temporary than expected, and no matter how firmly he cemented it in place it kept coming loose.

November 9, 2016 | Ben Berman

The Writing Life