Friday, April 05, 2013

Satire & Venom of Lightness without Being

Prizes, fellowships, and an emphasis on collegiality have tamed the poetic impulse. What does poetry need? More spleen, more satire, more venom... The best poets, however, never forget that the path to light often leads though the dark

A teenage Paul Muldoon sought advice from Seamus Heaney. Muldoon sent his poems, and asked what was wrong with them. “Nothing,” ... Heaney replied

Abysses are monstrous, terrifying, and, in literature, ubiquitous. Here they are in Baudelaire, there in Nietzsche, everywhere in ... Kafka:   I and the Abyss

The business of literature is chaotic. Always been that way. Technology evolves, but the question remains: What is the ... value of a book?

“I never attacked anyone weak,” says Renata Adler. “Only bullies, secure in their fiefdoms. Fear didn’t come into it. Maybe it should have”... Cowards driving us crazy

What's so shameful about the emotional clarity and moral imperative of getting even? Why all the hypocrisy surrounding revenge? Eye for an Eye: The Case for Revenge

Mary MacLane's I Await the Devil's Coming, the early 20th century memoir that I wrote the introduction to for the reissue, is getting a lot of attention. I wonder if that is mostly because she is immensely quotable - "It is not deaths and murders and plots and wars that make life tragedy It is Nothing that makes life tragedy

But life is not a swimming pool, contained within four walls and measured in laps and tenths of seconds. It is an ocean; unfathomably deep, wide and changeable, and completely unable to be controlled by human hands Swimming Studies