Image via Wikimedia Commons
Over the years, we’ve let you hear Sylvia Plath reading many of her poems, all written before she took her life at the age of 30. What you likely haven’t heard — until today — is Three Women, one of Plath’s lesser-known pieces of writing.
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.[...]
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.[...]
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.[...]
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.
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.
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
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.
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.[...]
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.[...]