William Blake’s Masterpiece Illustrations of the Book of Job (1793-1827)

≡ Category: Art, Literature, Poetry, Religion |Leave a Comment

Orthodox thinkers have not often found the answers to suffering in the Book of Job particularly comforting—an early scribe likely going so far as interpolating the speech of one of Job’s more Pollyannaish friends.

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Watch Russian Futurist Vladimir Mayakovsky Star in His Only Surviving Film, The Lady and the Hooligan (1918)

≡ Category: Film, Poetry |1 Comment

Tall and dashing, with the face of a boxer and glowering stare of a gangster, Russian Futurist poet, painter, director, and actor Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930) came by his intimidating look honestly.

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Rome Comes to Life in Photochrom Color Photos Taken in 1890: The Colosseum, Trevi Fountain & More

≡ Category: Photography, Poetry, Travel |Leave a Comment

For almost two hundred years, English gentlemen could not consider their education complete until they had taken the “Grand Tour” of Europe, usually culminating in Naples, “ragamuffin capital of the Italian south,” writes Ian Thomson at The Spectator.

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A Six-Hour Playlist of Shel Silverstein’s Poems & Songs: Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic & More

≡ Category: Audio Books, Comedy, K-12, Music, Poetry |Leave a Comment

www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOHPuY88Ry4″>Johnny

Image via Wikimedia Commons
Ah, the dog days of summer…
Is your family hot and cranky? Crammed together in a car for the long ride home? Has boredom set in, despite the thousands of Pokémon still at large?
The perfect antidote, dear readers, is this six-hour playlist of poet and musician Shel Silverstein’s best loved work.

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Maya Angelou Reads Her Poem, “The Human Family,” in New iPhone Ad Released for the Olympics’ Opening Ceremony

≡ Category: Apple, Poetry, Sports, Technology |10 Comments

www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuBU3pzy7is”>Iggy

It’s always demoralizing when a favorite song—Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life” or the Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar” come to mind—is co-opted to sell soda or Caribbean cruises.
Poetry, however? I’m not ungrateful to have some smuggled into my day by a commercial carrier whose agenda is somehow less suspect.

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Allen Ginsberg Teaches You How to Meditate with a Rock Song Featuring Bob Dylan on Bass

≡ Category: Music, Poetry, Politics, Religion |Leave a Comment

www.youtube.com/watch?v=yU7DbA82xEc”>recording

Image via Elisa Dorman, Wikimedia Commons
Whatever other criteria we use to lump them together—shared aims of psychedelic consciousness-expanding through drugs and Eastern religion, frank explorations of alternative sexualities, anti-establishment cred—the Beats were each in their own way true to the name in one very simple way: they all colla

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Marie Osmond Performs the Dadaist Poem “Karawane” on the TV Show, Ripley’s Believe It or Not (1985)

≡ Category: Life, Literature, Music, Poetry, Television |2 Comments

www.youtube.com/watch?v=4q4ZtbY52og”>eponymous

Remember Donny and Marie Osmond, the toothy, teenage Mormon siblings whose eponymous television variety show was a wholesome 70’s mix of skits, songs, and ice skating?
Their surprisingly enduring theme song reduced their popularity to an easily graspable binary formula:
She was a little bit country. He was a little bit rock and roll.

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Charles Bukowski’s Controversial Poem “Girl on the Escalator” Gets Literally Retold in a New Short Film

≡ Category: Poetry |7 Comments

Everyone’s favorite alcoholic poet and dirty old man Charles Bukowski was hardly what you’d call a romantic, though he had a softer side: a vulnerability and compassion for the lonely, poor, and suffering. But we don’t love Bukowski because he prettied up the nasty business of being human.

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Walt Whitman Gives Advice to Aspiring Young Writers: “Don’t Write Poetry” & Other Practical Tips (1888)

≡ Category: Literature, Poetry, Writing |2 Comments

Some of the best, most succinct writing advice I ever received came from the great John McPhee, via one of his former students: “Writing is paying attention.” What do you see, hear, taste, etc.? Questions of style, syntax, and punctuation come later.

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Bertrand Russell Lists His 20 Favorite Words in 1958 (and What Are Some of Yours?)

≡ Category: English Language, Literature, Philosophy, Poetry, Writing |20 Comments

Image via Wikimedia Commons
Is it possible to fully separate a word’s sound from its meaning—to value words solely for their music? Some poets come close: Wallace Stevens, Sylvia Plath, John Ashbery. Rare phonetic metaphysicians. Surely we all do this when we hear words in a language we do not know.

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