Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tonight …

POETRY IN COMMON
 &
THE GREEN LINE CAFÉ POETRY SERIES
PRESENT

AN OPEN POETRY READING
THE ANNUAL RONALD JOHNSON POETRY AWARD
FOR BEST POEM

THE PRIZE: Poetry Books Valued at $50

Judges: RAFI LEV & CASSIE MACDONALD

Hosted by LEONARD GONTAREK

Tuesday, September 19, 2017, 7 PM

THE GREEN LINE CAFE IS LOCATED
AT 45TH & LOCUST STREETS
PHILADELPHIA, PA  USA
(Please note the address, there are
  other Green Line Café locations.)
        greenlinecafe.com

     This Event Is Free


Cassie MacDonald has been Hearthkeeper of Brigid's House in Waterfront South Camden since 2008, where she practices radical hospitality and hosts writers, artists and musicians with wide-open creative space and loving encouragement.  From here, she launched the Poetry Liberation Front, whose Guerrilla Poets paint poems on abandoned places in the neighborhood.  She is also Coordinator of Camden FireWorks, a collective of artist studios, gallery and teaching space and the future home of the FireHouse Press, in the emerging artist district known as SoBro.  Her latest chapbook of poems, Use Your Words, is currently looking for a home.




Rafi Lev has over 25 years experience in multicultural education, cross-cultural communication, interfaith dialog, leadership training, youth mentorship and intergroup relations. For six years he performed with Full Circle Theatre’s intergenerational improve troupe and has been trained in Comedy Sportz, PlayBack Theatre and Theater of the Oppressed. He was a founding 3 year member of Center City Poets and has been published in Moonstone Arts “Poetry Ink”, “The Fox Chase Review” and “ In Barcelona”. His favorite forms include haiku and tanka and he is an avid aficionado of the daily jumble. His community building efforts have ranged from volunteering with Fellowship Farm, Asian Arts initiative, Norris Square Neighborhood Project, Operation Understanding, Broad Street Ministries, Raices Culturales Latinoamericanas, the Arts and Spirituality Center and Mighty Writers. Originally from the Midwest and a lifelong linguist, he has lived and studied in South America and the Middle East, as well as worked and traveled extensively in Africa, Asia and Europe. Rafi is rumored to have one of the largest refrigerator magnet collections in the Delaware Valley. Most days, he is still searching for that elusive perfect Muse.

Hmm …

… Uncensored John Simon: Who Killed Poetry? (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



I suppose that the answer to the question posed in the title is "John Ashbery." But while the post makes plain that Simon does not like Ashbery's poetry, and even doubts that it is poetry, he never actually gets around to demonstrating that Ashbery somehow killed poetry.

For what it's worth, here is the only review I ever wrote of Ashbery's work. I seem to have gleaned some meaning — and some pleasure  — from it.


But the science was settled!

A group of prominent scientists on Monday created a potential whiplash moment for climate policy, suggesting that humanity could have considerably more time than previously thought to avoid a “dangerous” level of global warming.

Good to know …

… Philly Loves Poetry: Local poetry reviews on Vimeo.

A deft sonnet …

… Informal Inquiries: "Into My Own" by Robert Frost.

Hear, hear …

 Camille Paglia's Teaching | Mark Bauerlein | First Things. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Paglia believes there is a causal connection between young Americans’ ignorance of history and their dim view of present conditions. At a conference in Oxford, Paglia stated again, in response  to a student who criticized her and others for telling youths not to be so sensitive and snowflaky, “There is much too much focus on the present.” Thanks to the (presumed) sensitivity of modern youth, Paglia says, students have not had a “realistic introduction to the barbarities of human history . . . . Ancient history must be taught . . . . I believe in introducing young people to the disasters of history.” Without that background, she implies, our only standard of appraising current circumstances is current circumstances plus a few utopian dreams. We have so much material prosperity, they think, so why don’t we have more perfect people to enjoy it?

Something to think on …

The philosopher does not seek to understand the world — that is the business of the scientist — but he asks himself how is it that there is a world to understand? How is it that this world is intelligible to human beings and that there is an intelligent being to know it in its intelligibility?
— Étienne Gilson, who died on this date in 1978

What "culture" is about …

… Cultural appropriation | J. C. on the ethics of borrowing. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



Culture, from Latin cultura "a cultivating, agriculture," figuratively "care, culture, an honoring."



Dave also reminds me of an earlier post on this subject.

In case you wondered …

… 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Odds To Win| SportsBettingExperts.com.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Check this out …

… Cli-Fi.Net -- the world's largest online 'Cli-Fi' portal for Cli-Fi: Cli-fi is the ‘best way to explore climate change,’ says literary critic.

Sharpshooter …

… Paul Davis On Crime: My Q&A With Robert O'Neill, The Navy SEAL Who Shot And Killed Osama Bin Laden, America's Enemy Number One.

Once upon a time …

 When Chicago Was the Real Literary Capital of the United States | Literary Hub. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Good to hear …

… Marsha Mercer column: Not dead yet, poetry due for comeback | THEIR OPINION | richmond.com. (Hat tip, G.E. Reutter.)

Picking up the beat

… Poetry of Carl Sandburg takes musical cue in jazz drummer's CD. (Hat tip, G. E. Reutter.)





On the job …

… New U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith reports for duty. (Hat tips, Rus Bowden and G. E. Reutter.)

In case you wondered …

… Cli-Fi.Net -- the world's largest online 'Cli-Fi' portal for Cli-Fi: "What can we do about climate change?" is a question best left to cli-fi novelists and film directors, not so-called PhD "experts" who are just pissing in the wind - an OpEd.

Something to think on …

Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not.
— Samuel Johnson, born on this date in 1709

The ghost of uncertainty …

… The New World of William Carlos Williams. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
… when he was preparing his last book for the press, Leibowitz writes, Williams grew so anguished that he “tore the manuscript to pieces and dumped them in the trash.” His wife had to fish out the fragments and mail them to his publisher, James Laughlin of New Directions, “who put them together like a jigsaw puzzle.”

Sunday, September 17, 2017

A satisfying rightness …

… Let Us Watch Richard Wilbur: A Biographical Study by Robert Bagg and Mary Bagg | Quarterly Conversation. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Part of the problem for any biographers of a poet like Wilbur is the essential goodness and conventionality of their subject’s life. In the Army, he was neither hero nor coward. He did his job. He is a Christian. He was married to the same woman, Charlee, for sixty-five years, until her death in 2007, and had four apparently normal children. There is no evidence of marital infidelity, spousal abuse, or other scandal. The Baggs tells us the couple rather naively misused prescription drugs with alcohol in the 1980s, and successfully underwent treatment. That’s about the most shocking thing they have to report. Compare that to the lives of Berryman and Crane.

Big Sky, MT 9-16-17


Good idea …

… Stop dissecting a poem as if it were a dead frog. (Hat tip, G. E. Reutter.)

Sound advice …

… Reading Poetry Can Instantly Boost Your Happiness, Says Deepak Chopra | Reader's Digest. (Hat tip, G. E. Reutter.)

Honoring a feast day …

 Hildegard of Bingen: A Sonnet | Malcolm Guite. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

See also:

Jeannette Jones: “A Theological Interpretation of ‘Viriditas’ in Hildegard of Bingen and Gregory the Great.”

Mens sana in corpore sano …

… 104-Year Old Japanese Doctor Recommends These 14 Healthy Pieces of Advice. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



I love the typo in the first line.

Hmm …

… Thirty Years, by John P. Marquand (1954) - The Neglected Books Page. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

In his introduction to the book, Clifton Fadiman calls Marquand “the best novelist of social comedy now [1954] at work in our country” and predicts that he will be considered the American Thackeray of the 20th century. Fadiman attributes Marquand’s success to his being “at once outsider and insider.” From the distance of over a half century later, I think it’s become clear that Marquand was far more insider than outsider. And despite recent attempts to prop up the place of rich East Cost white men as its pinnacle, it’s probably also safe to conclude that the role of Boston and New York clubmen in the American Establishment mostly of historical and anthropological interest today.
But could not one say the same of Thackeray's drawing rooms?  Good novels actually provide worthwhile insight into how people — presumably people much like ourselves — actually lived in circumstances that happen superficially to differ from our own.  Marquand's novels might provide needed insight into today's Ivy Leaguers (see H. M. Pulham, Esq.).

Inquirer reviews, sort of …

There are two reviews in the paper this Sunday, but I can only find one online. Maybe somebody should buy those who staff Philly.com a subscription to the paper.

Anyway, here's the one review that is online: Jesmyn Ward goes to front of the choir with 'Sing, Unburied, Sing'.

There's also this: Stephen Greenblatt goes back, back to the beginning with 'The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve'.


Something to think on …

We cannot live in a world that is not our own, in a world that is interpreted for us by others. An interpreted world is not a home. Part of the terror is to take back our own listening, to use our own voice, to see our own light.
— Hildegard von Bingen, who died on this date in 1179

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Tracking the inanity …

Grief born of love …

… The Poetry of Death | The New Yorker. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

In the weeks after her funeral, I drove four times a day to her grave. I read novels only if they exercised rage and misery—“No Country for Old Men,” not “The Ambassadors.” I took pleasure only in disaster: Oklahoma City, an airplane crash in New York with everyone killed. My days were misery, except for an hour in the morning, when I revised the wailing and whining I had drafted beside her hospital bed. Today I realize that these death poems had already begun to bring my language back to life. One morning I looked out of the window at her garden. Her peonies, basketball-sized, stood tall and still unopened late in May, with weeds starting from the black earth around them. I began the poem that, by autumn, became “Weeds and Peonies.”

A man among books …

… Clifton Fadiman Didn’t Mind Being Called Schoolmasterish | Humanities. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)


Introducing his 1957 essay collection, Any Number Can Play, he was eerily prescient about our e-mail-and-text-addled, Twitterpated age. “Now there is a tendency to absorb the instantaneously received idea, mentally file it, and proceed to the next message transmitted by the tireless mass-communicators,” he wrote. “With so many signals crowding in upon us, there is no time, and soon no inclination, to arrange them in order of importance, reflect upon them, and take proper action. Eventually the alert reception of the signal suffices.”

A timely reminder …

… Why Elie Wiesel’s ‘Night’ Still Matters So Much To Me – The Forward. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Many of us have been struck by the fact that it took Elie 10 years to prepare himself to put into words the horrors of what had been done to him and to his family and to his people. A whole 10 years before he could begin to write. And when he did so, in the spring of 1955, this wise old man who had been to hell and back was just 26 years old. What must it have been like for this man, in his Paris lodgings, to rouse the demons — to hear once again what he called the “silent cries”? “While I had many things to say,” he would later write, “I did not have the words to say them….. How was one to rehabilitate and transform words betrayed and perverted by the enemy? Hunger — thirst — fear — transport — selection — fire — chimney… I would pause at every sentence, and start over and over again. I would conjure up other verbs, other images, other silent cries. It still was not right.” He reimmersed himself in that period, into the darkness of night. The approach that came most naturally to him was blunt and unsparing. What he bore witness to — and thus relived — were the horrors inflicted upon him, but also his own most searing moments of dehumanization, when he could not bring himself to help the person whose companionship had helped keep him alive in Auschwitz and later, on the death march — his father. As he eventually wrote, “He had called out to me and I had not answered.”

Digging deeper …

… Essayism is ultimately about how literature can make a difference. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

What truly comes across in this book is that the essay may well be a sally against the subject, but what is tried, in the final reckoning, are the authors themselves. And, of course, found wanting, in both senses of the word. 
Dave sends along this also, by John Banville — Essayism review: Its own kind of self-made masterpiece.

Post bumped.

The chosen past …

… Zealotry of Guerin: Carpet of Memory (Klee), Sonnet #369.

In case you wondered …

… How Typewriters Changed Everything | JSTOR Daily. (Hat tip, Dan Bloom.)

Something to think on …

The view which regards man as a well, a reservoir full of possibilities, I call the romantic; the one which regards him as a very finite and fixed creature, I call the classical.
— T. E. Hulme, born on this date in 1883

Friday, September 15, 2017

This says it all …

… Informal Inquiries: The final poem by Basho.

The king of comedy …

… Jack Benny’s Comic Program | commentary. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Therein lay Benny’s triumph: He won total acceptance from the American public and did so by embodying a Jewish stereotype from which the sting of prejudice had been leached. Far from being a self-hating whipping boy for anti-Semites, he turned himself into WASP America’s Jewish uncle, preposterous yet lovable.

Hmm …

… Amazon redacts one-star reviews of Hillary Clinton's What Happened | Books | The Guardian. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

The book’s publisher at Simon & Schuster, Jonathan Karp, told the Associated Press: “It seems highly unlikely that approximately 1,500 people read Hillary Clinton’s book overnight and came to the stark conclusion that it is either brilliant or awful.”
Then we ought to be suspicious of both. I wonder how many other books Amazon has done this for.

Inside story …

… The Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh Vol 30: Personal Writings 1903-1921: Precocious Waughs by Alexander Waugh and Alan Bell - review | London Evening Standard. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Re-reading these diaries to write A Little Learning, Waugh wrote, but did not publish, this paragraph, now included in the notes of the new edition and quoted by Alexander Waugh in his introduction: “If what I wrote was a true account of myself, I was [cold-hearted, supercilious arrogant and callous] conceited, heartless & cautiously malevolent. I should like to believe that even in this private journal I was [showing off] dissembling a more generous nature; that I absurdly thought cynicism and cruelty the marks of maturity. I pray it may be so. But the evidence is there, in sentence after sentence, on page after page, of consistent caddishness.” 

In case you wondered …

… Paul Davis On Crime: John le Carre: Why I Brought Back Guillam, Smiley And The Cold War.

Anniversary …

… Informal Inquiries: Light the candles on Agatha's birthday cake.

Investigating more than crime …

… Ross Macdonald, True Detective | New Republic. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)





Whereas Hammett’s Sam Spade and Chandler’s Philip Marlowe stride through worlds that exist as their own spotlit stages, the new-type detective looks outward, tries to locate flickers of meaning in the vast gloom around him. These are stories where the detective doesn’t just discover what happened to a missing person. He reveals what makes a person feel lost—the perverse and tawdry elements that define people as castoffs in a skewed American landscape.

Ordained sleuth …

… Informal Inquiries: Stained Glass.

September Poetry at North of Oxford …

… 2 Poems by Dongho Cha.

… 2 Poems by John Timpane.

 Bikini Wax, an Inquiry Into Heteronormativity by Jeremy Freedman.

… Revelstoke Mountain, 5am by Julia Wakefield.

Something to think on …

I am pretty sure that, if you will be quite honest, you will admit that a good rousing sneeze, one that tears open your collar and throws your hair into your eyes, is really one of life's sensational pleasures.
— Robert Benchley, born on this date in 1889

Thursday, September 14, 2017

And the nominees are …

…. Man Booker Prize shortlist 2017: Londoner who wrote debut novel on her phone competes against five other authors | London Evening Standard.

What isn't, these days?

… Applebaum vs. Fitzpatrick: Is History Political? - Quillette.

Section 7 …

… "Cosmography" Jupiter-1.



See also the revised Introduction.

Look and listen …

RIP …

… “Nothing is as it was…To understand nothing”: Julia Hartwig, “the Grand Dame of Polish Poetry,” 1921-2017 | The Book Haven.

Anniversary and controversy …

 Informal Inquiries: Handel runs into controversy in Tennessee.

Being smart may not solve all of your problems, but being a nagging dimwit is sure to create unnecessary problems for yourself and others. Everybody should heed Fred Allen's advice and leave everybody else the hell alone.

Quite revealing …

… John Cleese on Monty Python and Political Correctness. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

A very good interview. Not surpisingly, I don't agree with everything that's said (the interviewer seems happier with political correctness than I am), but one does get a good idea of who Cleese is. Like many smart people, he tends to overvalue smartness, which sometimes is not as smart as it seems. Take his remarks about coastal vs. heartland audiences. Those coastal audiences were also the ones who laughed at David Letterman's remarks, not because they were funny — they weren't — but because they thought that if they didn't laugh they would expose themselves as unhip.

FYI …

 Cli-Fi.Net -- the world's largest online 'Cli-Fi' portal for Cli-Fi: A ''cli-fi'' listicle for 2017.

Not just for laughs …

 Getting Serious About Jewish Comedy: PW Talks to Jeremy Dauber. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Q&A …

… The Reporter as Teacher: A Talk with John McPhee - The Barnes & Noble Review. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Something to think on …

When people are serving, life is no longer meaningless.
— John Gardner, who died on this date in 1982

RIP …

 JP Donleavy obituary | Books | The Guardian. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

More than just books...

The coming conflicts...

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Anniversary …

… Informal Inquiries: Francis Scott Key and the future of Informal Inquiries.

And the nominees are …

 2017 National Book Awards. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Portrait of the artist as a complex man …

… Waugh on the Merits by Paul V. Mankowski | Articles | First Things. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Waugh does not deny that the Catholic Church has aesthetic splendors to offer; what he denies is that such splendors provide a reliable basis for accepting the Church’s claims as true. The feelings such splendors produce are sporadic and transitory, and those who wallow most deeply in them will feel cheated and distraught on the day their magic fails. Rather it is the ordinary daily Mass, the opus operatum, performed and assisted at out of duty rather than desire, that points to the objective reality of a universal immutable faith: Your preferences have not been considered.

Timely Rumpole …

 Informal Inquiries: Rumpole and the Reign of Terror.

Have a listen …

 Paul Davis On Crime: A Little Night Music: Roger Whittaker's Sea Ballad 'The Last Farewell'.

Blogging note …

I won't be doing any blogging until later today. I have to leave in a few minutes for a doctor's appointment, and then I'm heading over to The Inquirer. After that, I have some errands.

Something to think on …

Write as often as possible, not with the idea at once of getting into print, but as if you were learning an instrument.
— J. B. Priestley, born on this date in 1894

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Prophetic television …

 “Who is Number One?” asks “The Prisoner” 50 years later - Salon.com. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… one crucial thing The Prisoner” reminds us of is that the only chance we might have, collectively, is going to be based on how strong we are individually. It’s that idea that is, in a certain sense, the Village’s undoing, even as it comes close to breaking Number Six. Think of how many people you know who talk the same way, use the same exact phrases (“at the end of the day”), like the same TV shows, cite their fondness for Netflix, virtue signal their existences away in public forms, but screw you over privately, and on and on.
There are still individuals around, but I think they tend to be thought of as cranks or amiable eccentrics.

More to listen to …

 Episode 235 – Liz Hand and John Clute | Virtual Memories.

“I think of a collector as a gardener, rather than someone who just buys books. Like gardeners, they do a lot of murdering. They cull books.”

Listen in …

 Episode 234 – Kathy Bidus | Virtual Memories.

“If you write something and you think it’s not that good, you should throw it away. If you write something and you think it’s really good, you should throw half of it away.”

Anniversary …

… Informal Inquiries: Hopalong Cassidy rides off into the sunset.

Social clmbing and its discontents …

 Creative Destruction in Fiction | Intercollegiate Studies Institute: Educating for Liberty. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

O’Hara writes about ambition and the things it makes us do. His business people drive hard bargains and his married couples obsess about how they might move themselves up in the social pecking order. Worse, his young people, observing this behavior in their parents, are so jaundiced that they don’t seem to harbor much ambition at all. In the posthumously published story “Family Evening” (1972), a daughter refers to her elders as “the B.D.’s” or “Better Deads.”

What the seasons hint at …

 Hope in Creation: The Worldview of Richard Wilbur - The Imaginative Conservative. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Wilbur’s reliance on nature, and thus God’s creation, does affirm his eternal hope and perspective. As Wilbur narrates the puzzle of why four great rock maples [are] seemingly aligned in “In Trackless Woods,” it becomes apparent that his or man’s conjecture is incapable of deciphering the issue.

A true scientist …

 "I placed too much faith in underpowered studies:" Nobel Prize winner admits mistakes - Retraction Watch at Retraction Watch.

Something to think on …

I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.
— H. L. Mencken, born on this date in 1880

Monday, September 11, 2017

Ladbroke's odds …

… on this year's Nobel Prize for Literature:

Ngugi Wa Thiong'o 4/1
Haruki Murakami 5/1
Margaret Atwood 6/1

(Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Were it up to me it would be either Sebastian Barry or Sweden's own Torgny Lindgren.

Unintended consequences …

… How Poets Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Academy - The Chronicle of Higher Education. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… in many ways poets have traded reliance on an aristocratic elite for a technocratic one — the patron for the administrator.
And those administrators are  less cultured today than their predecessors. And the academy — at least its liberal arts branches — has become too much in thrall to hare-brained fashions.

Jive talk …

… Cab Calloway’s Hepster’s Dictionary: A Guide To The Language Of Jive (1938) . (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Myths old and new …

… The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve: exploring the myth of the original sinners. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The claim to be based in science is one of the defining features of modern myths. After the collapse of European imperial power, the pseudo-Darwinian mythology that propped up colonialism fell into disrepute. But it was soon followed by other myths claiming a basis in social science. A progressive mythology developed that viewed racism and imperialism as exclusively Western vices and the flaws and conflicts of post-colonial states entirely as consequences of colonial rule. These myths were channelled through theories of modernisation, which posited a future fundamentally different from anything that existed in the past.

Not your ordinary fish story …

 A Review of Morten Strøksnes’ Shark Drunk | BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog.

History and literature…

… Informal Inquiries: The Falling Man (2007).

Tough birds …

Los Periquitos. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Something to think on …

Men are freest when they are most unconscious of freedom. The shout is a rattling of chains, always was.
—D. H. Lawrence, born on this date in 1885

Sunday, September 10, 2017

In case you wondered …

… Paul Davis On Crime: Edward Snowden: Traitor, Thief, Scoundrel, Spy.

The poetry sleuth …

 'Plagiarists never do it once': meet the sleuth tracking down the poetry cheats | Books | The Guardian. (Hat tips to Dave Lull and G.E. Reutter.)

Meet …

… Me — PoemShape. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Hmm …

 Informal Inquiries: In the Name of the Father (2006).

'Washington as general and president was both father to his nation and {as plantation and slave owner} father to his slaves.(Emphasis added) So, as the author argues, 'the Washington mythology opened a space for the incorporation of slaves into this national family, with slaves, like white Americans, united in bonds of affection and gratitude {and consent?} to Washington ... {Thus, the} paternalist ideology of nationalism blended into and eventually authorized a paternalist {and acceptable} ideology of slaveholding as these texts promoted both nationalism and slavery in the name of the father.'
I think the former Colonists already had some idea of themselves as a nation, and while the contradictions are evident, there's no reason to assume that any of what he is talking about was intentional.

Nations happen. They aren't invented. See various attempts at "nation-building."

Interesting …

… Sugar Tongue Slim — Articulate Show. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



Sounds like a pretty sharp dude to me.

Hmm …

 So, should we ban Catholics from public life? | Abortion | spiked.

Indeed, today we have the perverse situation where to criticise Islam’s repression of women is treated virtually as a speechcrime, as Islamophobia. So not only does the chattering class hold back on criticising Islam – it pressures everyone else to do likewise. How about we have a truly equal and secular form of freedom that allows all religion to be criticised, and all people to hold whatever religious beliefs they choose?
Fine by me.

Well, that's nice …

… Literary landmark named for this Bethlehem poet — The Morning Call. (Hat tips to Dave Lull and G.E. Reutter.)



This is less so:

Overshadowed in the male-dominated canon during her lifetime, Doolittle has been rediscovered by academics in recent decades as they study her work through the lens of feminism.
Try studying it through the lens of poetry.  I discovered her work one day at the Holmesburg Library when I was maybe 15. It was, as Thomas Mann said of his first encounter with work of Peter Altenberg, "love at first syllable." I still read her regularly. She is one of the great poets..

Inquirer preview …

… Fall's big books: From Le Carré, Ward, Egan, Maynard, Ng … and Tom Hanks?

Trusting in God...

SO THIS GUY WAS warned about being in the path of a hurricane. HE SAID "That's okay God will save me." The winds and the rain started coming and a rescue worker came by, "Time to leave sir." HE SAID "That's okay God will save me." The water started rising and he had to go to the second floor of his house. His cell phone rang. "Get out of there," his mother said. HE SAID "That's okay God will save me." The water kept rising, and he had to climb out on his roof. A boat came by "LAST chance sir, please leave." HE SAID "That's okay God will save me." He died, went to heaven and asked GOD "Why didn't you save me?" GOD SAID "I sent a rescue worker, your mother and a boat. What else did you think I was going to do?"

To our readers staring down the barrel of Hurricane Irma

Stay safe.  All our prayers and hopes go with you.


Something to think on …

Religion is the everlasting dialogue between humanity and God. Art is its soliloquy.
— Franz Werfel, born on this date in 1890

Saturday, September 09, 2017

In case you wondered …

 Why Jack Kerouac Loathed The Hippy Generation He Inspired. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

As embarrassing as it was for me to realize this, I respect his lack of hubris. He was a deeply religious, lifelong Republican, and he loathed the counterculture that arose in response to his writing. But he was also a broken and remorseful alcoholic undeserving of his role as a moralist, and he freely admitted it: “I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another ‘til I drop. This is the nigh

Finally getting their due …

… The Women Who Rode Miles on Horseback to Deliver Library Books - Atlas Obscura. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Visual stories

… A Writer Learns From Wyeth | The Woven Tale Press. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



… it’s when we read what Wyeth said—to his wife, to Thomas Hoving (in Andrew Wyeth: Autobiography), to Meryman, to Edward Hopper, to anyone who could persuade Wyeth to step, for a moment, out of the shadows he preferred and into the concentrated light of reminisce and explanation—that we discover the painter who might have offered a master class on the asterisk arts of literature. The necessary unseens. The rites of passage. The principled purpose.

In praise of …

… Fruit Flies — A.M. Juster. (Hat tip, Dave Lll.)

Remembering Diana...

Surge of thought …

… Zealotry of Guerin: The Second Day of the Creation (Escher), Sonnet #368.