- January 20th, 2008
I received my copy of The Gift as a gift from a poet friend, David Clewell, in 1983. Poets have been passing the book around for 25 years for two main reasons. First, there is the book's advocacy for the creative economy, the notion that the gift of art (“no effort in the world can cause its initial appearance”) flows between us as an energizing, mysterious force.
- January 14th, 2008
My mother and maternal grandparents were Jewish holocaust survivors, repetitive in their reminiscences. I grew up with knowledge that the world is visited by pervasive terror. The survivors are fated to live with a looming story. This world-quality extended into my adulthood.
- January 10th, 2008from A Greener Meadow, selected poems by Luciano Erba, tr. by Peter Robinson (Princeton University Press)
THE PUBLIC AND THE PRIVATE
[“Il Pubblico e Il Privato”]
April came inside with the blackbird
whistling above washing lines
wind came into the city and went
over yellower fields, below bridges
of iron, like the gambling flight
of a first aviator’s biplane.
On parapets of the overpass
where men in blue have fixed
some long cement boxes to plant
- January 6th, 2008
Literary people have long provided the most moving, entertaining, and unconventional views of institutionalized religion. Voltaire, famously: “Religion is the source of all imaginable follies and disturbances; it is the parent of fanaticism and civil discord; it is the enemy of mankind.”
- December 31st, 2007
In his first novel A Painter of Our Time (1959), John Berger wrote, “We today pause to reflect on whether our severity may be made more severe; and in every one of those pauses the artist faces the same difficulty – it is the difficulty that unites us – the difficulty of making the intangible tangible, of creating a cold form to contain our fervent content.
- December 24th, 2007
Commenting in the LA Times on the 2007 publication of The Collected Stories of Leonard Michaels, Lynell George said, “What's still most hypnotizing about Michaels' work isn't just the circumstances of characters coming together or the shock of their collisions; it's also the thrumming violence that occupies a space so close to love.” I was reminded that in 1978 we published