Tag Archives: poetry

A Documentary on the Life of Artist Damien Hirst Worth Seeing

__________ This web page at the Tate on Hirst is also good.

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What Is This Life?

According to a recent science article at the Huffington Post, Sara Walker, an astrobiologist at Arizona State University, along with some of her colleagues, has arrived at a fresh definition of life as seen through the prism of information processing: Walker’s team … Continue reading

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Huell Howser Impersonator

Comedian James Adomian parodies Huell Howser perfectly here (but you’ll have to click over to YouTube to watch it): __________ Howser was an institution on public television in California, going around the state interviewing people. Homosexual and originally from Tennessee, … Continue reading

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From Lemons to Lemonade: Two Cool Examples of Contingency Turned to Art (One a Painting, One a Poem)

In a collection of art essays by Roger Kimball titled Art’s Prospect (Ivan R. Dee 2003) is an essay on a Matisse exhibit in which Kimball writes the following (151): [Matisse] arrived [in Morocco in 1912] in the rainy season, and his … Continue reading

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Poem for the New Year, 2013: Tennyson’s “Ring out, wild bells”

From In Memoriam (106), by Alfred, Lord Tennyson Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky, The flying cloud, the frosty light: The year is dying in the night; Ring out, wild bells, and let him die. Ring out the old, ring … Continue reading

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This Looks Worth Seeing

The Tree of Life director has a new film. Here’s the trailer.

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Terence McKenna Tells the Truth

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Coffin Therapy?

I’m down with this. __________ More on coffin therapy here. Carpe diem.

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Dance With Me (In The Interpretation Of Lines From Yeats)

When reading something, guessing about an author’s exact state of mind is sometimes tricky, but it’s still fun to play. Take for instance William Butler Yeats’s poem, “Among School Children.” The Yale literary critic Paul de Man once noted that … Continue reading

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Have You Lived Today?

If so, I suppose that would mean that you: did something novel as opposed to habitual; slowed down and noticed things; thought; loved; valued; took some risks; and either identified with Dionysus or channeled with discipline your Dionysian energies into … Continue reading

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Look

Really. Look. __________ No method nor discipline can supersede the necessity of being forever on the alert. What is a course of history, or philosophy, or poetry, or the most admirable routine of life, compared with the discipline of looking … Continue reading

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Abjure the Flesh?

In this extraordinary oil on canvas by Egon Schiele (1890-1918) of a cardinal and nun praying together rather intimately, the nun returning our gaze makes abjuring the flesh an open question. Shall the p go in the v? This is … Continue reading

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Time and Space, or Poetry and Art

In Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s (1729-1781) Laocoon, or On the Limits of Painting and Poetry (1766), there is a key insight: with regard to time and space, poetry and art function differently. A poem must necessarily be read in time and … Continue reading

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Richard Dawkins and Memes

For being an early and vigorous defender of the theory of evolution by natural selection against its critics, 19th century biologist Julian Huxley became known as “Darwin’s bulldog.” In the late 20th and early 21st century, the sinewy and quick-witted … Continue reading

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Sink Eye, Space Eye, and The Empty One

“Lia-Triple M” (a . k. a. liammm) got a curious result from taking a photo of her sink draining: __________ __________ It’s not just that we’re primed for recognizing faces and eyes; it’s the bottomlessness of the above image that unsettles: … Continue reading

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The Reelection Of Barack Obama (A Poem)

Sunrise, seven November, the seventh day. Rest. Gumby, pushing sixty, Enters his yoga studio by the glass door, gliding slowly. Pokey, waiting in Corpse Pose, says, I voted Romney. Big Gum: I did too. At the back window A bat leaves its cave, circles tightly, … Continue reading

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The Inner Lives of Conservatives in Literature

When Mitt Romney loses the election today (as he almost certainly will), where in literature, aside from the Bible, might conservatives go to process that loss? James McGirk sees that processing coming most characteristically from Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged (1957). … Continue reading

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Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) on the Success and Survival of Shakespeare

Literary critic Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), in the famous preface to his eight-volume edition of Shakespeare’s plays (1765), attempts to address the question of Shakespeare’s genius: why have his plays been so captivating to so many for so long? Johnson offers … Continue reading

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A Great Poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

It’s her first sonnet in Sonnets from the Portuguese : I thought once how Theocritus had sung Of the sweet years, the dear and wished-for years, Who each one in a gracious hand appears To bear a gift for mortals, … Continue reading

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“Courtly Love, Or, Woman As Thing”: How To Do Lacanian Analysis Like Slavoj Zizek (Or, At Least Understand What He’s Getting At When He Does)

In his essay, “Courtly Love, or, Woman as Thing” (1994) cultural critic Slavoj Zizek (b. 1949) presents courtly love—knight-Lady romance as ritualized in the European Middle Ages—through a Lacanian lens (Jacques Lacan, the psychoanalyst popularly dubbed the “French Freud”). Courtly … Continue reading

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