Saturday, December 10, 2016

Another birthday remembrance …

… Beyond 221B Baker Street Redux: Emily Dickinson's Birthday.

Happy birthday …

… The inventions of Emily Dickinson | OxfordWords blog.

… Somewhere in an attic: the Emily Dickinson publishing dilemma.

(Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

RIP …

… AA Gill: Sunday Times critic dies after cancer diagnosis - BBC News. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Honor conferred …

… A Transcendent Patti Smith Accepts Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize - The New Yorker. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Together at last

… Frost and Stevens | The Era of Casual Fridays. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Oh, wonderful …

… Catholic Church: New Priests Will be Expected to Preach Global Warming | Watts Up With That?


I am afraid God will have to resolve this problem.

Interior sky …

… Astronomer by Rachel Richardson : American Life in Poetry. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Suite …

… Four Poems by Jericho Brown | Enkare Review. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

The way things were …

… The Borscht Belt. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Proto-modernist …

… The Poem That Made Picasso Possible - WSJ. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Indeed …

… I am Born of Nobility - g emil reutter.

Posthumous prophecy …

… The University Bookman: Passos and Century’s End. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Dos Passos is that rare writer who understands the temptation of conflating the allure of ideology with reality, and how succumbing leads to certain tragedy. Nowhere is this truer, the author suggests throughout Century’s Ebb, than the arrogance of dead-end ideas and their corresponding pernicious values. Ideas, he tells us, have consequences; baneful ideas have calamitous effects. We can convey this in today’s popular lingo by suggesting that, without the hardware, there is only the illusion of progress.

Perhaps …

… We’re all snobs — however much we deny it. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



From this review, I'm actually not quite sure what is being talked about. But Dave also sends along this:

Who’s he?

Head of state …

… Zealotry of Guerin: The Narmer Palette (3,000 B.C.), Sonnet #327.

Something to think on …

It is not in the nature of politics that the best men should be elected. The best men do not want to govern their fellowmen.
— George MacDonald, born on this date in 1824

A true wordsmith …

… 11 Terrific Words Coined By John Milton | The Huffington Post.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

The importance of context …

… Beyond 221B Baker Street Redux: Mary, Queen of Scots, and William Shakespeare.

Blogging note …

Every year, around this time, I am taken out of mothballs and put to work on the holiday book roundup for The Inquirer. So I must be off again to my former place of employment to work on just that. My blogging, in the meantime, will continue to be spotty.

Honesty …

… George Orwell's 'Homage to Catalonia' Revisited - Mail Online - Peter Hitchens blog.(Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Waugh and Orwell are, I now think, the two great voices of their era. All their many differences are as nothing to their joint love of truth at all costs, and their parallel searches for a moral principle hard enough to withstand real life. Anyone who has read both of them has a privileged view of our time.

Masterwork …

Bohuslav Martinu was born on this date in 1890.  This is an extraordinary work.

Hmm …

 Virtual Colloquium: Luis Oliveira, “Skeptical Theism and the Paradox of Evil”. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

I confess that, the older I get, the less God seems to me to be the terminus ad quem of a reasoning process.

Centenarian-to-be …

… 5 Movies to Watch For Kirk Douglas’ 100th Birthday — According to Kirk Douglas - The Assimilator – Forward.com. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Lonely Are the Brave is a very good movie, and I loved 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Change of vision …

… Cli-Fi: Ian Woollen's new cli-fi novel puts a tragicomic spin on the life of John Muir in "Muir Woods or Bust" [to be published in July 2017].

RIP …

… Nancy Mairs, Who Wrote About Her Mental Illness and Multiple Sclerosis, Dies at 73 - The New York Times. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

“To view your life as blessed does not require you to deny your pain,” she wrote in the introduction to “Carnal Acts.” “It simply demands a more complicated vision, one in which a condition or event is not either good or bad but is, rather, both good and bad, not sequentially but simultaneously. In my experience, the more such ambivalences you can hold in your head, the better off you are, intellectually and emotionally.”

Choice reading …

… Favorite Books Of 2016 | Books and Culture.

Something to think on …

Mix a little foolishness with your serious plans. It is lovely to be silly at the right moment.
— Horace, born on this date in 65 B.C.

Fiercely intelligent...

In case you wondered...

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Poetry — what exactly is it?

 Beyond 221B Baker Street Redux: My Life had stood -- a Loaded Gun.


Change of direction …

… Just Folks: From police to poetry. (Hat tip, G. E. Reutter.)

I don't think it's great a change. Police work certainly puts you in touch with life. Poetry is supposed to.

Suite of poems …

 Poetry by Diane Sahms-Guarnieri (Eleventh Transmission).

Adaptation …

… “Descent of Man”, a New Poem by Timothy Steele | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The road less credentialed …

… Hammer Is the Prayer by Christian Wiman, reviewed. (Hat tip, G. E. Reutter.)



The sense of impermanence, the speaker’s inability to communicate an emotion, the inscrutability of the natural world—these themes wouldn’t be out of place in the sort of poems that flaunt their modernity, that tend to refuse any kind of formal whalebone. But Wiman’s deceptively retrograde rhyme scheme conspires to move the reader to a conclusion that’s all the more harrowing for being set in sing-song trimeter.

Something to think on …

What was any art but a mould in which to imprison for a moment the shining elusive element which is life itself — life hurrying past us and running away, too strong to stop, too sweet to lose.
— Willa Cather, born on this date in 1873

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Preview …

Succinct commentary …

… Daily Signe Cartoon 12/04/16.

Will power …

… Beyond 221B Baker Street Redux: Introduction to Shakespeare.



My great experience of seeing Shakespeare performed was Peter Hall's production Lear with Paul Scofield.

Avian convocation …

… A Murmuration of Starlings on a frozen afternoon on Otmoor - Mail Online - Peter Hitchens blog. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



They were in constant motion, yet seeming to think as one, making sudden turns in almost total unison. Seen from directly underneath they were all individuals, flying or gliding at their own will. But seen from the side, and from far away, they had an ordered, unified purpose. Even in the increasingly biting cold (I had not dressed warmly enough) I was unable to stop watching until the light had gone.