November 29, 2011 § 1 Comment
The poet Robinson Jeffers, with whom I’ve had a sort of unhealthy obsession lately, came to public fame in the 1940′s, about 20 years after his first critically important book, after writing a hugely popular version of Medea starring Judith Anderson. With the country more seriously focusing on Jeffers and his work, he published an essay in the New York Times called Poetry, Gongorism, and a Thousand Years, which was something of an ars poetica. Jeffers touches on a lot of my omnipresent angst at the culture of poetry, the shifting trends, the incursions of temporal theoretical interests into an art that I’ve always found rotating about the, to use a concept stolen from Jeffers, Permanent quality of poetry. The entire essay is great, though I can’t really find a link to it in whole, but I wanted to post a couple paragraphs I thought especially good – one that sets up Gongorism, and a few that recount his hope and thoughts for the contemporary poet.
November 25, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Or, to quote another song, We’ve Got A Lot To Be Glad For.
First, a poem by Rabindranath Tagore. Then, a fantastic song, with an equally great video. Thanks.
Thou hast made me endless, such is thy pleasure. This frail
vessel thou emptiest again and again, and fillest it ever with fresh life.
This little flute of a reed thou hast carried over hills and dales,
and hast breathed through it melodies eternally new.
At the immortal touch of thy hands my little heart loses its limits in
joy and gives birth to utterance ineffable.
Thy infinite gifts come to me only on these very small hands of mine.
Ages pass, and still thou pourest, and still there is room to fill.
November 16, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Really, I could title this, Being Pretentious, or Trying To Be A Tastemaker – either would apply. But when it comes down to it, being wrong, staking out something that was partially untrue or not wholly true or not even partly true or wholly untrue, that’s the awful consequence.
See, for some reason, I thought growing up and maturing meant that I would continue to narrow my tastes and my opinions, that eventually I would have more figured out than I have un-figured out. I thought I would get the sense of Me, and that hand-in-hand with that sense is acquiring a thought-through, developed philosophy so that whenever News Event X or Album Y is presented, I could decide pretty quickly if it’s Good or Bad, Right or Wrong, and what my critical stance is. « Read the rest of this entry »