Etgar Keret Annotates a Story on Poetry Genius

By Jason Boog Comment

Israeli author Etgar Keret has annotated his short story “What Do We Have in Our Pockets?” on Poetry Genius, the literary arm of the lyric annotation site Rap Genius.

His funny notes add images, commentary and writing insight. Here’s an excerpt, explaining the moment he conceived the story:

I began writing this story during a train ride to Haifa. When I passed through the electronic security gate at the entrance to the railway station, it buzzed. And as I took out the tons of stuff I had in my pockets I couldn’t help noticing the security guy’s look which was full both of pity and contempt. I wanted to say to him something in defense of my bulging pockets but couldn’t come up with anything. By the time I’ve reached Haifa I’ve already had my first paragraph.

Earlier this year, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg annotated her writing on the site and Junot Diaz added notes about his work as well.

In an email interview with GalleyCat, Poetry Genius editor Austin Allen explained how other writers can get involved on the site:

Poets are encouraged to add their own work to the site and comment on it through our Verified Artists program, in which hundreds of amateur and professional lyricists (including rappers Nas, Common, and 50 Cent) have participated since the site’s inception. Literary scholars and critics are also invited to register as Verified experts on the authors (past or present) whose work they study … we will be featuring the writing and commentary of prominent poets and critics every month.