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If James Franco's first name had been Ben, it would take very little to convince me that he is, in fact, the 24-hour multimedia reincarnation of the original King of Enterprise and Toil, Benjamin Franklin.

Sondheim isn’t a man to cloud the expression of his judgments with considerations like politeness or collegial complicity. Were his rivals still alive, they might want to take out a contract on him.

A new language is a bully. Learning a new language is not really learning a new way to communicate, but a new way to think.

White’s poems are mired in a period, but not stiffly so: they breathe, they surf along the pulse of memory and desire.

[Reading: Nov. 17]

Metaphors are committed to falsehood and inexactness for the sake of a possibility more vital than precision.

Seemingly disconnected things envisioned as unified: this is the surreal experience of the “marvelous” or the Deep Image experience of the deep image.

Cut triangles with the tip of your knife for eyes, pairs of triangles on each side of each eye. Connect them with thin, arching lines, cutting a curl of wood away, leaving a circle remaining, a mound, a pupil, inside. Practice until you have a whole boards of eyes.

Russian novelists exhausted every eye color in the 19th century. Pop song writers are the only people who can make a big deal out of eyes anymore.

“Bloody hell, no! I want to study dead white men!”

Nixon went down to the beach and sat in the sand and waited. The waves came in, the waves went out, and he sat there in his suit and waited.

By the shores of gitchee goomy, / Stood the noble Hiawatha / quoting from the other shore: / Only this and nothing more.

Not only is Adam a teaching, magazine editing, book publishing maniac, he’s also managed to put together a poem collage in all that spare time he has.

Mary Karr and Christopher Robinson briefly discuss Tomas Transtromer's poems "Street Crossing" and "Face to Face."

Andrei Tarkovsky made an important film called Andrei Rublev, about a doubting monk, Russia’s greatest iconographer. The film feels very much like Bergman, from whom much of Tarkovsky’s style emerged. Like Bergman’s Seventh Seal, Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev is a slow-paced journey with monks, holy idiots, existential discourse, and symbolic animals.


Even though both the form and content of Gene Tanta’s work are particular to his Romanian-immigrant experience, he insists that his poetry is accessible to everyone. His poetry, he says, exists both as aesthetic objects and political propaganda. This is absolutely true about all poetry, not just his own. Inevitably, literary criticism will come to see that literature is always both.