“In French, we were learning how to buy a train ticket; but in Latin we learnt … what happens when a city is sacked, what happens to the old people when the young are slaughtered before their eyes, and the terror of trying to escape and survive”: David Kern of the Circe Institute interviews Drs.Continue reading “Bookish Links — March 2018”
Of wisdom, splendid columns of light waking sweet foreheads, I know nothing but what I’ve glimpsed in my most hopeful daydreams. Of a world without end, amen, I know nothing, but what I sang of once with others, all of us standing in the vaulted room. But there is wisdom in the hour in whichContinue reading ““Epistle” by Li-Young Lee”
These lists just keep getting longer! Per usual for this time of year, here’s a list of classic literary paraphernalia that was released or rediscovered for the first time this year. I’ve tried to make it as complete as possible, but if you know of any other previously “lost” works that were found or published this year, let me know in the comments.
“We believed that poetry, the opposite of propaganda, should encourage people to think and feel for themselves: it should appeal to their ‘generous instinct,’ as MacNeice said in the violent 1930s”: the New Statesman this lecture by Northern Irish poet Michael Longley recently published on the Troubles and the poetry that came out of it.
It’s that time of year again! Our local library recently had its semi-annual used book sale. Usually, I’ll pick up ten or twelve books at these things—this time, I got 27. Anyhow . . . A quick disclaimer: the links to the Book Depository are affiliate links. The Amazon links, however, are not. A fewContinue reading “Fall Library Sale”
Here, classicist and translator Mary Beard answers that fool from The Guardian who thinks that learning foreign languages is useless. In honor of John Ashbery’s recent passing, Andrew Epstein from Locus Solus posted this about the time Ashbery sat for one of Andy Warhol’s “Screen Tests.” While we’re talking about Ashbery, here’s an article fromContinue reading “Bookish Links — September 2017”
Year of Publication: 2004 Number of Pages: 56 Publisher: Tupelo Press Genre: Poetry Note: this post contains an affiliate link. The first thing to strike me about Ilya Kaminsky: that he could be so well-known after publishing only one book. Dancing in Odessa is Kaminsky’s first and, to date, only full-length poetry collection, with hisContinue reading “Book Review: Dancing in Odessa by Ilya Kaminsky”
This month, Philip Yancey’s Washington Post op-ed on “the death of reading” caused a lot of buzz. You can read that here. It also inspired some interesting responses, including this one by Cynthia Haven tying Yancey’s ideas into Czesław Miłosz’s idea that we are living in a time of “the complete undoing of essences, of eternalContinue reading “Bookish Links — July 2017”
As promised, here’s the companion to my post on opening lines, this time turning the focus to poetry. John Donne, “The Canonization” For God’s sake, hold your tongue and let me love, Come on, who (besides Samuel Johnson) doesn’t love a beginning like that? It’s short and snappy, it’s to-the-point, and it brings that immediacyContinue reading “A Few Words about First Lines: Poetry Edition”
Rain Taxi magazine has one of the last interviews Derek Walcott gave before he died. He and interviewer Michael Swingen talked about Hart Crane for most of it, so there’s some fascinating analysis there. This month, there was a ton of articles about Gwendolyn Brooks, for the occasion of her 100th birthday (I wrote oneContinue reading “Bookish Links — June 2017”
Yes, I’m very late, and this time, I missed a special occasion: last Wednesday was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Gwendolyn Brooks. I had been taught Brooks’s poetry since elementary school, but it’s only just recently that I’ve really begun to appreciate her and her work. One of my favorites from her isContinue reading ““kitchenette building” by Gwendolyn Brooks”
Since I was trying to keep up the Irish literature theme for last month’s “Bookish Links,” I missed a lot of cool things that went up in March. For instance, March 1 was Robert Lowell’s 100th birthday, so the folks at the Poetry Foundation put together this podcast interviewing former students from Lowell’s poetry classesContinue reading “Bookish Links — April 2017”