Saturday, January 31, 2004

Richard Holmes on Shelley's drowning myths: " Later still might have come the famous 'Odes to Electromagnetism', the seditious verse play about Chartism, the suppressed 'Essay on the Variety of Sexual Intercourse'. Finally perhaps, we can imagine him being scandalously elected as the first Professor of Poetry and Politics at the newly founded, and strictly secular, University of London. "
The Hidden Forest
kids & classic rock:
"Holly--It sounds like when your wee goes back up.
Beth-- Is this the Beatles?
Gabrielle --It's too rough and horrible.
Holly --It's a good tune but the singing is not good.
Ben --This is brilliant.
Beth --Ugh. I was born with Plasticine in my mouth?
Benjamin --He's getting things stuck in his mouth and he can't chew.
Ben-- And he's been arrested by a substitute. "
Online SSCrabble
photos from Evan Lee

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Old Hampshire Mapped
Said's whole intro to Auerbach's "Mimesis": "It is not an exaggeration to say that, like Vico, Auerbach was at heart an autodidact, guided in his diverse explorations by a handful of deeply conceived and complex themes with which he wove his ample fabric, which was not seamless or effortlessly spun out. In Mimesis, he resolutely sticks to his practice of working from disconnected fragments: each of the book's chapters is marked not only by a new author who bears little overt relationship to earlier ones, but also by a new beginning, in terms of the author's perspective and stylistic outlook, so to speak. The 'representation' of reality is taken by Auerbach to mean an active dramatic presentation of how each author actually realizes, brings characters to life, and clarifies his or her own world; this of course explains why in reading the book we are compelled by the sense of disclosure that Auerbach affords us as he in turn re-realizes and interprets and, in his unassuming way, even seems to be staging the transmutation of a coarse reality into language and new life. "
Polish President held at Gander: "'We saw what it feels like when an unexpected guest arrives who in the beginning is treated as a potential illegal immigrant. And that is how we were treated,' Mr. Kwasniewski said. 'The passengers from my plane were held in a place where we could not leave. . . . it all took about three hours.'"

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Popular: "The UK's 950+ Number One Hits since 1952, reviewed, in order, irregularly, for as long as I can bear to keep doing it. A history of pop in the shape of a chart. "
Bravo to show the films of Canadian indie auteur Larry Kent next month.
happy birthday JOSE MARTI - Cuba's Greatest Hero
Octopus Magazine has this & two other poems by Jacques Roubaud trans by the Waldrops:

Rues Madame and Monsieur

He walked one day on Rue Madame
One day she walked on Rue Monsieur
Rue Madame is laid with macadam
True no less for Rue Monsieur.

Gladly he strolled down Rue Madame
Calmly she ambled Rue Monsieur
A day without drama on Rue Madame
Delightful day on Rue Monsieur.

You can see the sky from Rue Madame
From Rue Monsieur the skies unfold
All cats are gray in Rue Madame
In Rue Monsieur all cats are old.

She never went down Rue Madame
He never went up Rue Monsieur
Never their eyes met flame with flame
Never a vow from either breast

And maybe that's all for the best.

He walked away by Rue Madame
She walked away by Rue Monsieur
Rue Madame is laid with macadam
True no less for Rue Monsieur.

via splinters
reading at subtext in Seattle:

February 4th--Jeff Derksen(Vancouver, BC) & Kreg Hasegawa (Seattle, WA)
Jeff Derksen is author of three books of poetry: Down Time, Dwell and Transnational Muscle Cars. His writing on art, urbanism, and imperialism has appeared in magazines in North America & Europe. He lives in Vancouver, B.C. where he works at Simon Fraser University. He is a member of the transnational poetry collective, The Social Mark.

Kreg Hasegawa lives in Seattle. He is coeditor of Monkey Puzzle, a stapled, 8 1/2 by 11 inch magazine of poetry and prose. His essays have appeared in The Stranger, Tablet, Copper Press, and The American Book Review. His work is due to appear in The News and The Ensign.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

trailer for The Brown Bunny
Stephen Greenblatt on Rabelais and carnival: "Gargantua and Pantagruel is not carnival, but the brilliant aesthetic representation of carnival motifs; not the communal laughter of a largely illiterate populace, but the highly crafted, classicizing of a supremely literate individual, not festive mayhem in the streets, but words on a page. The difference - like the difference between the traditional Whitsun-ale an Englishman could still have seen in 1611 in dozens of country villages, and the Whitsun-ale he could have seen represented at the Globe Theater in The Winter's Tale - signals as much the break away from the festive mode as its continued vigor. "
Five books of the lives, heroic deeds and sayings of Gargantua and his son Pantagruel, by Francois Rabelais with these and other Dore illustrations--
"With this I ran away a fair gallop-rake."
"All stiff drinkers, brave fellows, and good players at ninepins."
"The Master of Ringing Island"
Re-rack: "Sleep has long been thought to improve creativity. Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards said the riff in '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction' came to him in his sleep, while the 19th-century chemist Dmitri Mendeleev literally dreamed up the periodic table of elements. "
Haggis all year long??: "Anyone who scarfs down a sidewalk-vendor smokie has no reason to balk at 'the chieftan o' the puddin-race'."
The Tyranny of Copyright: "The Copy Left sees innovations like iTunes, Apple's popular online music store, as the first step toward a society in which much of the cultural activity that we currently take for granted -- reading an encyclopedia in the public library, selling a geometry textbook to a friend, copying a song for a sibling -- will be rerouted through a system of micropayments in return for which the rights to ever smaller pieces of our culture are doled out. ''Sooner or later,'' predicts Miriam Nisbet, the legislative counsel for the American Library Association, ''you'll get to the point where you say, 'Well, I guess that 25 cents isn't too much to pay for this sentence,' and then there's no hope and no going back.'' "

Monday, January 26, 2004

The Adventures of Kool-Aid Man Comic Book!
John Mullan on Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Great Cham in LRB: "So the Jacobite army entered London in triumph. The King escaped westwards, but with only a small kernel of his forces, and the Royal Family, which had been waiting at Portsmouth for news of the battle, sailed into an exile that seemed likely to be permanent. "
NDP "needs to be watched": "But the real story is in more prosaic revivals of NDP spirit at the riding level.
Nanaimo-Cowichan, on Vancouver Island, is a good example. The riding used to be an NDP stronghold. (Tommy Douglas represented an earlier version of it.) But in 1993, Nanaimo-Cowichan was one of a swath of Western ridings that leapfrogged from the NDP to Reform (from one form of populist protest to another). By 2000, the NDP had sunk to a very poor third place in the riding.
But Jean Crowder, a popular local councillor, has already secured the NDP nomination, and is working the riding hard. If Mr. Layton is to stage a comeback for his party, the NDP will need to get voters in this and similar 'leapfrog ridings' to leap back."
Fiendish is back--

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Merry Muses of Caledonia by Robert Burns
birthday of Robert Burns

Epistle to Davie, a Brother Poet


While winds frae aff Ben-Lomond blaw,
An' bar the doors wi' driving snaw,
An' hing us owre the ingle,
I set me down to pass the time,
An' spin a verse or twa o' rhyme,
In hamely, westlin jingle.
While frosty winds blaw in the drift,
Ben to the chimla lug,
I grudge a wee the great-folk's gift,
That live sae bien an' snug:
I tent less, and want less
Their roomy fire-side;
But hanker, and canker,
To see their cursed pride.

It's hardly in a body's pow'r
To keep, at times, frae being sour,
To see how things are shar'd;
How best o' chiels are whiles in want,
While coofs on countless thousands rant,
And ken na how to wair't;
But, Davie, lad, ne'er fash your head,
Tho' we hae little gear;
We're fit to win our daily bread,
As lang's we're hale and fier:
"Mair spier na, nor fear na,"^1
Auld age ne'er mind a feg;
The last o't, the warst o't
Is only but to beg.

To lie in kilns and barns at e'en,
When banes are craz'd, and bluid is thin,
Is doubtless, great distress!
Yet then content could make us blest;
Ev'n then, sometimes, we'd snatch a taste
Of truest happiness.
The honest heart that's free frae a'
Intended fraud or guile,
However Fortune kick the ba',
Has aye some cause to smile;
An' mind still, you'll find still,
A comfort this nae sma';
Nae mair then we'll care then,
Nae farther can we fa'.

What tho', like commoners of air,
We wander out, we know not where,
But either house or hal',
Yet nature's charms, the hills and woods,
The sweeping vales, and foaming floods,
Are free alike to all.
In days when daisies deck the ground,
And blackbirds whistle clear,
With honest joy our hearts will bound,
To see the coming year:
On braes when we please, then,
We'll sit an' sowth a tune;
Syne rhyme till't we'll time till't,
An' sing't when we hae done.

It's no in titles nor in rank;
It's no in wealth like Lon'on bank,
To purchase peace and rest:
It's no in makin' muckle, mair;
It's no in books, it's no in lear,
To make us truly blest:
If happiness hae not her seat
An' centre in the breast,
We may be wise, or rich, or great,
But never can be blest;
Nae treasures, nor pleasures
Could make us happy lang;
The heart aye's the part aye
That makes us right or wrang.

Think ye, that sic as you and I,
Wha drudge an' drive thro' wet and dry,
Wi' never-ceasing toil;
Think ye, are we less blest than they,
Wha scarcely tent us in their way,
As hardly worth their while?
Alas! how aft in haughty mood,
God's creatures they oppress!
Or else, neglecting a' that's guid,
They riot in excess!
Baith careless and fearless
Of either heaven or hell;
Esteeming and deeming
It's a' an idle tale!

Then let us cheerfu' acquiesce,
Nor make our scanty pleasures less,
By pining at our state:
And, even should misfortunes come,
I, here wha sit, hae met wi' some-
An's thankfu' for them yet.
They gie the wit of age to youth;
They let us ken oursel';
They make us see the naked truth,
The real guid and ill:
Tho' losses an' crosses
Be lessons right severe,
There's wit there, ye'll get there,
Ye'll find nae other where.

But tent me, Davie, ace o' hearts!
(To say aught less wad wrang the cartes,
And flatt'ry I detest)
This life has joys for you and I;
An' joys that riches ne'er could buy,
An' joys the very best.
There's a' the pleasures o' the heart,
The lover an' the frien';
Ye hae your Meg, your dearest part,
And I my darling Jean!
It warms me, it charms me,
To mention but her name:
It heats me, it beets me,
An' sets me a' on flame!

O all ye Pow'rs who rule above!
O Thou whose very self art love!
Thou know'st my words sincere!
The life-blood streaming thro' my heart,
Or my more dear immortal part,
Is not more fondly dear!
When heart-corroding care and grief
Deprive my soul of rest,
Her dear idea brings relief,
And solace to my breast.
Thou Being, All-seeing,
O hear my fervent pray'r;
Still take her, and make her
Thy most peculiar care!

All hail! ye tender feelings dear!
The smile of love, the friendly tear,
The sympathetic glow!
Long since, this world's thorny ways
Had number'd out my weary days,
Had it not been for you!
Fate still has blest me with a friend,
In ev'ry care and ill;
And oft a more endearing band-
A tie more tender still.
It lightens, it brightens
The tenebrific scene,
To meet with, and greet with
My Davie, or my Jean!

O, how that name inspires my style!
The words come skelpin, rank an' file,
Amaist before I ken!
The ready measure rins as fine,
As Phoebus an' the famous Nine
Were glowrin owre my pen.
My spaviet Pegasus will limp,
Till ance he's fairly het;
And then he'll hilch, and stilt, an' jimp,
And rin an unco fit:
But least then the beast then
Should rue this hasty ride,
I'll light now, and dight now
His sweaty, wizen'd hide.