In times of national anxiety, many of us take comfort in the fact that the U.S. has endured political crises even more severe than those at hand. History can be a teacher and a guide, and so too can poetry, as Walt Whitman reminds us again and again.[...]
Given the image of Communist Russia we’ve mostly inherited from Cold War Hollywood propaganda and cherry-picked TV documentaries, we tend to think of Communist art as sterile, brutalist, devoid of expressive emotion and experiment. But this has never been entirely so.[...]
When I find myself in times of musical trouble, Captain Beefheart comes to me.[...]
W.B. Yeats’ 1891 poem “When You Are Old” is widely considered a commentary on his unrequited lifelong passion for actress, Irish Republican and suffragette Maud Gonne.[...]
Image via Christiaan Tonnis
Americans can be quite ignorant of the richness of our country’s cultural history. Part of this ignorance, I suspect, comes down to prejudice. Innovative American artists throughout history have come from groups often demonized and marginalized by the wider society.
T.S. Eliot’s modernist poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” gives us a psychological portrait of a neurotic character who eloquently perseverates on the nature of his existence and the weakness of his will. The poem is a dream, but not an erotic one.[...]
We may have come nearly to the end of January already, but we can still call 2017 a new year — at least until we’ve listened to the poetry of T.S. Eliot to properly ring it in.[...]
What toddler is transfixed by a poem of tragically thwarted desire?
Thousands of them, thanks to “The Sleepwalker,” animator Theodore Ushev‘s creative interpretation of Federico García Lorca’s poem, “Romance Sonámbulo.
Wikimedia Commons photo by Chrysoula Artemis
When it comes to American indie director Jim Jarmusch, we tend to think right away of the importance of music in his films, what with his collaborations with Neil Young, Tom Waits, and Iggy Pop. (Jarmusch is himself a musician who has released two studio albums and three EPs under the moniker Sqürl.
In a recent post on the mathematical-minded Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher, Colin Marshall referred to David Auerbach’s short “Inquest on Left-Brained Literature.[...]