Bookish Links — May 2018

“In Brodsky’s view, politics was one level of human existence, but it was a low rung. The business of poetry, he thought, is to ‘indicate something more … the size of the whole ladder.’ He held that ‘art is not a better, but an alternative existence … not an attempt to escape reality but theContinue reading “Bookish Links — May 2018”

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Bookish Links — December 2017

“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.

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A Few Words about First Lines: Poetry Edition

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”

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Bookish Links — September 2016

One of the many odd questions that often occurs to me while I’m reading is “How old is [insert character’s name here]?” So I was excited to find this article by an Oxford English professor explaining how he figures (Hamlet’s age. (Hint: it’s not thirty.) My other favorite article this month was this piece by Austin Allen forContinue reading “Bookish Links — September 2016”

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