Very few people can offer us a satisfying definition of poetry. Enumerating the technical qualities of literary verse, as English teachers do each day, seems like a paltry explanation of what poetry is and does.[...]
Jorge Luis Borges, as any reader of his stories knows, had a lot of ideas. Some of his ideas must have seemed pretty fantastical when he wrote stories around them from the 1920s to the 1950s.[...]
Image by Michiel Hendryckx.
Although the boundaries of what should pass for free speech in high school English classrooms will be forever in debate, most everyone would agree some boundaries must exist.
“On April 24th,” writes The New Yorker‘s John Kleiner, “Samantha Cristoforetti, Italy’s first female astronaut, took time off from her regular duties in the International Space Station to read from the Divine Comedy.” You can watch a clip of that reading of the first canto of the Paradiso above.[...]
Can a computer game teach writing and free up the creative mind? Elegy for a Dead World, a Kickstarter-funded game for Steam PC, Mac and Linux systems, hopes to do so. The creators Ichiro Lambe and Ziba Scott brought the game to E3 last year and debuted it with a brief introductory walkthrough.[...]
Are we to look at cherry blossoms only in full bloom, the moon only when it is cloudless? To long for the moon while looking on the rain, to lower the blinds and be unaware of the passing of spring—these are even more deeply moving. Branches about to blossom or gardens strewn with faded flowers are worthier of our admiration.[...]
Hôtel de Lauzun, the meeting place of the Club des Hachichins
It may be cliché to say so, but there does seem to be a strong correlation between experiments with mind-altering chemicals and some of the most intriguing experiments in literary style. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Arthur Rimbaud, William S. Burroughs, Hunter S. Thompson….
Image by Fred Palumbo, made available by the Library of Congress.
Put THIS in your pocket. The Library of Congress is celebrating National Poetry Month by launching its new Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature. It debuts with 50 choice poetry recordings, spanning 75 years of time.
If you have to ask what jazz is, Louis Armstrong supposedly said, you’ll never know. But the poet Langston Hughes, who in his 1955 First Book of Jazz reveals himself as a great enthusiast of Armstrong indeed, seems to have operated on a very different premise.[...]
In 2001 or 2002, guitarist and singer David Gilmour of Pink Floyd recorded a musical interpretation of William Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 18″ at his home studio aboard the historic, 90-foot houseboat the Astoria.[...]