this is what I found: from the Latin, vertere,
to turn, from the Lithuanian, versti, to overturn,
from the Sanskrit, vartate, he turns. Vers, fers:
turning, turning and bending, having planted
a length of beans or corn, having reached a furrow’s
end. Like a plowman, versing, this breaking up
of sod, this fashioning into tidy rows, helping the singers
recall their lines. When the need to memorize
disappeared, verse remained like the typewriter keys
spelling QWERTY, slowing the typist down. . . .
Martha Silano is the author of What the Truth Tastes Like (Two Sylvias Press, 2015), Reckless Lovely (Saturnalia Books, 2014), The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception (Saturnalia Books, 2011), Blue Positive (Steel Toe Books, 2006), and, with Kelli Russell Agodon, The Daily Poet: Day-by-Day Prompts for Your Writing Practice (Two Sylvias Press, 2013). Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Paris Review, American Poetry Review, AGNI, and Best American Poetry, among others. She edits the Seattle-based journal Crab Creek Review and teaches at Bellevue College.