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Everything Reminds Me of Moby Dick: Maxine Kumin

It came to my attention while skimming the Women’s Review of Books that poet Maxine Kumin had died (nearly a year ago). I know nothing of Kumin’s work but this memorial piece by Robin Becker reminded me of something: The humor here belies the relationship Kumin negotiated with her own impulse toward reverence. The paradise […]

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Let No One Be Called (Updated: Audio)

Let No One Be Called (3:11) Perhaps it is better to have no legends. Let there be no letters composed into rigid words. Let no words be graven onto replicating presses. Let the forms be broken and the letters be molten. Let there be no more legends on the earth. Let life live and death die. […]

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Law On Her Brow

One would guess that “The Portent” is far and away Herman Melville’s most well-known poem (perhaps the only poem of his remembered or read by anyone other than an academic). It opens his book Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War (1866), and so opens the “Battle-Pieces” section of the book. This poem is about John […]

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In Silent Misconstrual Walks the Con

Coda to “Briggflatts” (1966) by Basil Bunting. A strong song tows us, long earsick. Blind, we follow rain slant, spray flick to fields we do not know. Night, float us. Offshore wind, shout, ask the sea what’s lost, what’s left, what horn sunk, what crown adrift. Where we are who knows of kings who sup […]

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A Lovers’ Quarrel

An audio recording by Doug Storm of “A Lovers’ Quarrel“ by Robert Browning from his volume Men and Women. A Lovers’ Quarrel by Robert Browning (1812-1889) I. Oh, what a dawn of day! How the March sun feels like May! All is blue again After last night’s rain, And the South dries the hawthorn-spray. Only, my […]

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Love Among the Ruins, Robert Browning (audio)

An audio recording of “Love Among the Ruins” by Robert Browning (1812-1889).   I. Where the quiet-coloured end of evening smiles, Miles and miles On the solitary pastures where our sheep Half-asleep Tinkle homeward thro’ the twilight, stray or stop As they crop— Was the site once of a city great and gay, (So they say) Of […]

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Unseconded Coming

Unseconded Coming* Returning I sallied out upon my special errand the sky changed and charged drivingly sleeting stubbornly storming I fought and found and entered a reigning silence of sailors wives and widows congregational against grief stormingly shrieking insularly sitting incommunicably apart seated I pretendingly quoting They steadfastingly eyeing black-bordered masoned marbled tableted sacredly worded […]

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Breaching the Sound

Breaching the Sound Born upon speculation only the gamble for the ground Anchored against the past our foundling fathers founder us Pledged to declarations constitutive bodies come unmoored Gauged between self and state owing all to each as purchased Sounding the breach    

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What Like a Bullet Can Undeceive!

Some poems from Melville’s Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War.   The Portent. (1859.) Hanging from the beam, Slowly swaying (such the law), Gaunt the shadow on your green, Shenandoah! The cut is on the crown (Lo, John Brown), And the stabs shall heal no more. Hidden in the cap Is the anguish none can […]

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Empty Wonder Born On A Beach

I hope you’ll indulge me.  Below are three “versions” of Chapter 14 of Moby Dick.  The first is “after” Ronald Johnson’s, Paradise Lost (radi os), and so I try to excise the text to “leave” a poem behind.  The next section offers the poem in a conventional form, and the last section is the full […]

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WFHB’s Interchange – Just a Spoonful of America

Audio: Just a Spoonful of America The title of our show, “Just a Spoonful of America – Prescribing American Studies […]

Luis Buñuel’s The Young One: Anatomy of White Male Supremacy (WFHB’s Interchange)

AUDIO: Luis Buñuel’s The Young One: Anatomy of White Male Supremacy We open with the jazz tune, “Epistrophy,” from Eric […]

WFHB’s Interchange – A Targeted Divide: What Bullets do to Bodies and Lives

AUDIO: What Bullets do to Bodies and Lives This is the special 90-minute finale for our series A Targeted Divide. […]

WFHB’s Interchange – A Targeted Divide: Crime, Decline, and the Rise of the Citizen-Protector

AUDIO: Crime, Decline, and the Rise of the Citizen Protector For our second show in our three-part series, A Targeted […]

WFHB’s Interchange: A Targeted Divide: Gunning Down the Bill of Rights

AUDIO: Gunning Down the Bill of Rights Today we begin a series of three programs on Guns in the USA […]

WFHB’s Interchange – Undermining Zinctown: The Feminist Socialism of Salt of the Earth

AUDIO: Undermining Zinctown We open with music composed by Sol Kaplan for the film Salt of the Earth. Kaplan was […]