Arts & Society

Looking at Ballad Form, and the Nature of Voice

by Joe Weil Art
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We are in traditional ballad country the second Auden writes “As I Walked Out One Evening” (see “The Streets of Laredo”). He is not mocking the structure or form of the ballad (except perhaps the way a lover would tease his beloved); he is reveling in the cliche. He trusts his own ability to have fun with cliché (something Ashbery also trusts).

Reciting your own poems from memory is for supernerds, or the worst project of my life

by Ben Fama Aesthetics
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Concerning all the recent discussions about memory, recitation, etc, I thought I would try it in my own way. I should disclose that I never recite my own poems from memory at readings. I think it is corny, weird, it makes me uncomfortable, and frankly, to spend that much time memorizing your own work is kind of sick.

Ain’t No Sunshine in My Shell

by Samantha Zighelboim Academia

I’m currently in a class concerning Animal Studies in the Comparative Literature Department in which the word “anthropomorphism” is a swear word. The argument is that anthropomorphism is anthropocentric, and thereby undermines the possibilities of the animal’s consciousness by placing the human in a superior (and dominating) role. It should be noted that while I think this all well-argued and slightly interesting, when it comes to poetry—it’s a large load of nonsense. We’d have to knock out some pretty significant poems in our extended canon were we to castigate anthropomorphism the way they are proposing. At least for me, and for a long trailing history of ancestor poets behind me, anthropomorphism is the stuff I (we) live for. And if it’s a profane thing, then @#*& you, Comp Lit people. (It should also be noted I am the only poet in that class, and I am looked at at least twice during every session as if I were a really cool but leggy and crawly beetle that you’re grossed out by but can’t look away from.)

Do Movie Critics Matter?

by Micah Towery Aesthetics
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Journalistic standards have changed so drastically that, when I took the podium at the film circle’s dinner and quoted Pauline Kael’s 1974 alarm, “Criticism is all that stands between the public and advertising,” the gala’s audience responded with an audible hush—not applause.

Portland

by Stuart Krimko Memoir
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I’m sitting up in bed, or on the couch, as it were, where I have been trying to sleep off the slew of vodka-and-tonics I downed last night at our Sand Paper Press reading here in Portland.  Shawn Vandor, whose Fire at the end of the rainbow was just reviewed over at Dossier, and I […]

NOTES ON NOISE

by Sarah V. Schweig Music
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People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share…
-Paul Simon

Music, I regret to say, affects me merely as an arbitrary succession of more or less irritating sounds….
-Vladimir Nabokov

To my wife Anne, without whose silence this book never would have been written.
-Philip K. Dick, dedication page from The Man in the High Castle

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING, ABRIDGED

by Ben Fama Aesthetics
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Ben Luzzatto’s THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING, ABRIDGED (UDP, 2010) is one of those rare artifacts that transfers its own actual magic—and it is real magic—until the possessed begins to lift a bit toward the sky.

Immortality (Blogging through Grossman, Part 4)

by Micah Towery Art
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I’ve decided to change my strategy for blogging through Grossman. Not only is it almost impossible to try and successfully capture the first part of the book in any systematic way (the conversation shifts too rapidly and it’s almost maddening to trace any idea), but the second part is so lovely and systematically broken down, […]

“Hour” by Christian Hawkey with drawings

by Simone Kearney Art
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Frank O’Hara’s “To The Poem”

by Ben Pease Art
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Sometimes when I happy get

by Stuart Krimko Film and TV

Sometimes when I happy get I turn on my television set

Paying and Being Paid

by Sarah V. Schweig Academia
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I’d caught glimpses of them before. Maybe I’d been up very late and into the morning, taking the Brooklyn-bound train from Manhattan and had seen them standing with briefcases on platforms waiting for trains. Maybe I woke bright and early for my hangover, craving Naked Juice and sparkling water from the corner bodega. Maybe I had wild notions of pretending I had a nine-to-five writing schedule so that there would be an end to the thankless work.

As If She Were a Symbol of Something

by Sarah V. Schweig Aesthetics
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Before I post my regularly scheduled post, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I give you an excerpt from James Joyce’s “The Dead.”

To Make Bach the Grund of Grundrisse and the Chaconne of a Shocked Shack

by David Shapiro Aesthetics
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Today I thought I should add my secret voice to your evaluations.
Your intelligence may be genius, but remember as my mother saids also always to be nice.
A seventh grade teacher consoled me when I was teased:
You can always tell the genius by the enemies who surround him.

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An Annotated ‘Some Enchanted Evening’

by Stuart Krimko Aesthetics

The Temptations sing ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ and you can read along with an annotated lyric sheet

Waverly Gate

by Sarah V. Schweig Academia
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A certain esteemed professor requires that those enrolled in his poetry workshop meet with him in his downtown studio apartment, right off Washington Square.

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