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Pea Soup and Poetry

A poem, for me, is often very clearly a response to what I am reading and the way it fits into my material existence. The poem in other words is both a reflection on literature and the way that literature seems to become a meaningful part of my life, my thinking. Sometimes, it seems as […]

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What Else Was There?

From Donald Hall’s Essays After Eighty, “A Yeti in the District.” The next day I got back to writing. What else was there? Well, there was anticlimax. When Linda and I returned to my house, we found a stack of five Concord Monitors, the local paper, delivered in kindness by the morning deliverer. Top of […]

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A Nothing More Blank

Stevens and Frost “The Snow Man” by Wallace Stevens One must have a mind of winter To regard the frost and the boughs Of the pine-trees crusted with snow; And have been cold a long time To behold the junipers shagged with ice, The spruces rough in the distant glitter Of the January sun; and […]

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A Discernment: Frost or Stevens

To ask the question concerning he daemon is to seek an origin of inspiration. Whereas Robert Frost is possessed by an external daemon whose name is Loss, hence the power of Directive, Wallace Stevens undergoes possession by the rival daemon of a Supreme Fiction. Frostian unmaking of a diminished thing contrasts antithetically with Stevens’s proposing […]

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Soldier-Sentimentalist-Poet

Two snippets from Ford’s The Good Soldier (1924). The word “sentimental” or some form of it occurs 28 times in the novel–a use for big data! ************ For all good soldiers are sentimentalists—all good soldiers of that type. Their profession, for one thing, is full of the big words, courage, loyalty, honour, constancy. And I […]

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The Whole Pieces of Modernist Poetry

Stevens places a jar in Tennessee and Williams breaks a bottle and places it “between walls.” I placed a jar in Tennessee, And round it was, upon a hill. It made the slovenly wilderness Surround that hill. The wilderness rose up to it, And sprawled around, no longer wild. The jar was round upon the […]

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Choral Rings: Stevens’ “Circled Sea”?

Stevens ends his Collected Poems with “Not Ideas About the Thing but the Thing Itself.” At the earliest ending of winter, In March, a scrawny cry from outside Seemed like a sound in his mind. He knew that he heard it, A bird’s cry at daylight or before, In the early March wind The sun […]

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Placing Things

These trees! Rilke, Sonnet #1 of Sonnets to Orpheus A tree ascended there. Oh pure transendence! Oh Orpheus sings! Oh tall tree in the ear! And all things hushed. Yet even in that silence a new beginning, beckoning, change appeared. Creatures of stillness crowded from the bright unbound forest, out of their lairs and nests; […]

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Bantling Psalms

Hard upon the last entry I remembered that Waldo penned his own “psalm” to the new nation commemorating a commemoration of the Battles of Lexington & Concord (April 19, 1775). I thought it would serve to put that poem in close proximity to Melville’s. Concord Hymn Sung at the Completion of the Battle Monument, July […]

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Pedantic Prosody

“If a poet starts counting syllables and heeding the rules prosodists invent, writing verses becomes a pedantic game on a par with crossword puzzles.” Basil Bunting

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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 […]

WFHB’s Interchange – An Interview with Jasper Bernes on Logistics and Food Systems

AUDIO: Capital’s (Hidden) Art of War and the Belly of the Revolution In the book of Genesis in the Hebrew […]