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”>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.


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

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


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”>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.


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.


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.


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.


8 Glorious Hours of Dylan Thomas Reading Poetry–His Own & Others’

≡ Category: Poetry |1 Comment

“To choose what I should read tonight, I looked through seventy odd poems of mine, and found that many are odd indeed and that some may be poems,” said Dylan Thomas in a 1949 BBC broadcast.


Hear Robert Frost Read His Most Famous Poems: “The Road Not Taken,” “Mending Wall,” “Nothing Gold Can Stay” & More

≡ Category: Audio Books, Poetry |1 Comment

Robert Frost has the dubious honor of being known the world over as the poet of a seize-the-day cliché.


Download 144 Beautiful Books of Russian Futurism: Mayakovsky, Malevich, Khlebnikov & More (1910-30)

≡ Category: Art, Literature, Poetry |10 Comments”>avant-garde

In the years after World War II, the CIA made use of jazz musicians, abstract expressionist painters, and experimental writers to promote avant-garde American culture as a Cold War weapon. At the time, downward cultural comparisons with Soviet art were highly credible.


4 Hours of Charles Bukowski’s Riotous Readings and Rants

≡ Category: Audio Books, Poetry |1 Comment

Drawing by Graziano Origa, via Wikimedia Commons
An old man sits alone, ranting in a nasally monotonous drone. He breaks into rueful laughter, threats of violence, mockery, maudlin lament….


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