THIS TEXT AND THE ONE
BESIDE IT ARE EQUAL.
I WROTE THIS ONE FIRST,
AND THEN I GAVE IT TO MY
FRIEND CHRISTIAN BOK
AND ASKED HIM TO
GENERATE A NEW TEXT
USING EVERY LETTER AND
MARK THAT I USED IN MINE.
THE OTHER TEXT IS HIS. [by micah lexier]
MICAH LEXIER REQUESTED
IN ADVANCE THAT I
REINVENT HIS TEXT. SO
I UNKNOTTED IT AND
REKNITTED INTO THIS
VERY FORM, BUT THEN I
BEGAN TO THINK THAT HIS
MESSAGE HAD ALREADY
RESEWN A TOUTED ART
OF GENUINE POETRY. HIS
EERIE TEXT WAS MINE. [by christian bok]
“For to swim is also to take hold
On water’s meaning, to move in its embrace
And to be, between grasp and grasping, free.”
—Charles Tomlinson, as quoted by Willard Spiegelman in “Buoyancy: In literature, as in life, the art of swimming isn’t hard to master”
(Photo by IOC/John Huet, courtesy London 2012)
Poets traditionally own cats. Baudelaire would caress his “beau chat” and, being Baudelaire, daydream about his Creole mistress’s pliant body. T. S. Eliot famously celebrated the entire species in the comic verse of Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.
Michael Dirda muses on famous feral muses, from songbirds to horses. Read.
As we began to walk, he laced his arm through mine. Can you imagine how I felt—a boy from my circumstances, so American, so unfinished—walking along the backs of the Cambridge colleges with the man who wrote A Passage to India and Howards End on my arm as a silent companion?
-Steven L. Isenberg, on his meeting with an 86-year-old E.M. Forster
By way of lunches, Steven L. Isenberg recounts visits with four of the 20th century’s most esteemed English poets and writers in Lunching on Olympus.
(Pictured above: W.H. Auden, E.M. Forster, William Empson)
A poem is not the same poem from reading to reading, because the reader is not the same reader.
Quote from “COMPRESSION WOOD” by Franklin Burroughs, Spring 1998.
Richard Nicholls for The American Scholar.
Whether in music or architecture, literature, painting, or sculpture, are opens our eyes, ears, and feelings to something beyond ourselves, something we cannot experience without the artist’s vision and the genius of his craft. The placing of Greek temples, like the Temple of Poseidon on the promontory at Sunion, outlined against the piercing blue of the Aegean Sea, Poseidon’s home; the majesty of Michelangelo’s sculptured figures in stone; Shakespeare’s command of language and knowledge of the human soul; the intricate order of Bach, the enchantment of Mozart; the purity of Chinese monochrome pottery with its lovely names—celadon, oxblood, peach blossom, clair de lune; the exuberance of Tiepolo’s ceilings where, without picture frames to limit movement, a whole in exquisitely beautiful colors lives and moves in the sky; the prose and poetry of all the writers from Homer to Cervantes to Jane Austen and John Keats to Dostoevski and Chekov—who made all these things? We—our species—did. The range is too vast and various to do justice to it in this space, but the random samples I have mentioned, and all the rest they suggest, are sufficient reason to honor mankind.