Tag Archives: poetry

One Shall Be Taken

Two horses–look again– Winged, like cherubim– Watering at a marble trough, Ivy in riot about them. Reality? Silence, bones Saline, a coffin–not a trough– And a tale in the main that Had been uneven, rough, harsh. I’d have done it differently. This … Continue reading

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Charles Darwin vs. Thomas Aquinas: What Follows from Our Nature?

At his blog recently, Thomist philosopher Edward Feser wrote the following: “For Aquinas, what is good for us is necessarily good for us because it follows from our nature. As such, even God couldn’t change it, any more than he … Continue reading

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Who Is William Blake, Really?

William Blake is a poet, not a metaphysician. When someone writes with aphorism, irony, and wild and flamboyant system building (as Blake and Nietzsche did), they are mocking essentialism; they’re showing that language is infinite; that there are a gazillion … Continue reading

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FOUND POEM

Somebody on Crenshaw Hit on a bicycle And they are dead.

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Vivian Maier: The Emily Dickinson of Photography

I’m super interested in seeing this documentary.

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Henry Rollins Tells His Compelling Life Story

The story Henry Rollins tells himself: __________

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If Emily Dickinson Wrote a Facebook Profile

Emily Dickinson (poem 288, c. 1861): I’m Nobody! Who are you? Are you–Nobody–Too? Then there’s a pair of us! Don’t tell! they’d advertise–you know! __ How dreary–to be–Somebody! How public–like a Frog– To tell one’s name–the livelong June– To an … Continue reading

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What Makes Shakespeare So Good? (Hint: Mimesis Might Have Something To Do With It)

In the preface to his eight-volume edition of Shakespeare’s plays (1765), the literary critic Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) had some opinions about what makes Shakespeare so good. Here they are (and notice how many of them are grounded in mimesis): Shakespeare … Continue reading

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Metaphor Generators: Douglas Hofstadter and Shakespeare

I’ve been reading Douglas Hofstadter’s new book, Surfaces and Essences, in which he posits an analogy model for what human intelligence ultimately is, and I notice that the new November edition of The Atlantic has a profile piece on Hofstadter, a … Continue reading

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The Religion Tree: A Poem

THE RELIGION TREE I. The leaf doesn’t fall far from the tree, and we are all leaves on the same tree, and will take our leave from there. II. The yellow leaf signals fall, the green leaf, pride before the fall. … Continue reading

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Is the Late David Rakoff the Alexander Pope of Novelists?

David Rakoff wrote a whole novel in sing-song rhyme, like a Dr. Seuss book, and it has just been posthumously published. Not sure I like it, but below is a sample. I do like this couplet late in the recording, … Continue reading

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Life

The eagle flies, the crows perch. The eagle craps on the crows’ perch.

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What Would Homer Say? Model Writers at Your Shoulder as a Tool for Writing Improvement

Imitation and emulation. The ancient Greek teacher Longinus is among the first persons to address what would become a recurrent theme in the history of rhetoric and literary criticism: the sublime (elevated emotion; ecstasy). His reflections on the sublime can … Continue reading

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Guitarist in Blue

__________ Your country is vast, But no thing pure. Nothing is. I kiss You, playing both Parts. Off time, A little. Fingers underbug The strings attached. The hole is out front. Wood is at the back. I’m not here, here. … Continue reading

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An Interview with Charles Hood

__________ Poet and photographer Charles Hood’s most recent book, South x South, based on a trip he made to Antarctica in 2011, has just been published by Ohio University Press (2013). Jordan Davis, poetry editor of The Nation, writes the … Continue reading

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The Tao of Emily, the Calm of Lao Tzu, and Trouble from Blake

Below are two couplets of flower power yin-yang from Emily Dickinson’s poem, “Awake ye muses nine, sing me a strain divine,” written in 1850 when she was aged nineteen. Insofar as anybody knows, it’s the first poem she’d ever written … Continue reading

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Emily Dickinson’s Poem, “My Life had stood–a Loaded Gun–“

I’d like to offer an existentialist interpretation of Emily Dickinson’s famously perplexing poem, “My Life had stood–A Loaded Gun–” (poem 754 in her collected works). Here’s the poem: My Life had stood–a Loaded Gun– In Corners–till a Day The Owner … Continue reading

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Sharon Olds in High Form

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Kerouac’s Inspiration

“There’ll be no editing. This book was dictated by the Holy Ghost.” –Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) to his publisher after completing the first draft of On the Road (1951). Kerouac’s mugshot for the United States Naval Reserve in 1943 (eight years … Continue reading

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A Great Stephen Gould Quote on Evolution

What appears below can be found at the beginning of Dinosaur in a Haystack (1995). It’s hard to contrast the West’s religious era with its secular era more clearly. So much is implied in the way Gould has put this: … Continue reading

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