keskiviikkona, kesäkuuta 30, 2004

Bill Luoma is a poet and minor league baseball player. »

First art to become a sport

It sometimes seems like poetry is the first art to become a sport. The writer/common reader model has broken down in favor of a sort of generalized participatory afición. Few baseball fans never play baseball (Marianne Moore might have been an exception); likewise there are poetry sandlots and diamonds all over the place. And some Shea Stadiums. The result is lively but fuzzy. »


Cole: I wonder if the skills of memorization have slackened. Since that is not a part of most people’s mental furnishings, it’s just much harder.

Vendler: It all depends on cultural values. If you can make schoolchildren in China memorize four thousand characters, you can make schoolchildren memorize anything. Indeed, they memorize on their own all kinds of baseball statistics or popular songs. It’s not as though they don’t have memories and that the memories can’t be activated. It’s just a question of will, whether we want to include that as an important part of the curriculum. »

Poetry is the scholar's art

If the arts are so satisfactory an embodiment of human experience, why do we need studies commenting on them? Why not merely take our young people to museums, to concerts, to libraries? There is certainly no substitute for hearing Mozart, reading Dickinson, or looking at the boxes of Joseph Cornell. Why should we support a brokering of the arts; why not rely on their direct impact? The simplest answer is that reminders of art's presence are constantly necessary. As art goes in and out of fashion, some scholar is always necessarily reviving Melville, or editing Monteverdi, or recommending Jane Austen. Critics and scholars are evangelists, plucking the public by the sleeve, saying "Look at this," or "Listen to this," or "See how this works." »

tiistaina, kesäkuuta 29, 2004

Uusia klisheitä

ajatus lentää sinne minne sanat
etenevät usein kielen ehdoilla

runouteen on aina kuulunut
kirjaa voi ja pitääkin lukea »

maanantaina, kesäkuuta 28, 2004

But to learn what is on a neighborhood's mind, visit its bookstores. »

sunnuntaina, kesäkuuta 27, 2004

Ydinkysymykseni kesäyönä,
olenko oikealla planeetalla. »

perjantaina, kesäkuuta 25, 2004

Midsummer night's dream

We can share the women
We can share the wine »

torstaina, kesäkuuta 24, 2004

These little strings

Eleven total dimensions. Is that what string theory predicts?

That's ten of space and one of time. You and I only see three of space and one of time.

Are there any words that can give me a hint of what dimension number eight would be like? »

keskiviikkona, kesäkuuta 23, 2004

Sie sagt

Ah, German bossa nova, what a strange beast you are. »

tiistaina, kesäkuuta 22, 2004

All the tired horses in the sun

Cherish the cultural moment: Just as Bob Dylan sells his soul for a Victoria's Secret Venetian holiday, the academy ushers him into the Great Hall of Poets. »

Koko gets love

The Telephone Book: Technology, Schizophrenia, Electric Speech
Fiction was invented the day Jonas arrived home and told his wife he was three days late because he had been swallowed by a whale.
Koko the gorilla gets love ("He talk with hands ... Change me life") »

maanantaina, kesäkuuta 21, 2004

“A man cannot say, ‘I will compose poetry.’” »
'' 'I Heard You Paint Houses.' '' »

perjantaina, kesäkuuta 18, 2004

Kirjainten, pelkkien kirjainten, kaikesta yhteydestä irrotettujen kirjainten kyky herättää tunteita. »
This time through, your text reaches me with only the hyphens and apostrophes messed up, an accident that allows me to believe we're making increasing sense. »

Animals with attitude

You could regard it as a book for children, which it nominally is. Or you could realize that when Mr. Leonard writes about cats, dogs and coyotes, even the animals have attitude. Sure, this is a book with cheery illustrations. But it's also one in which Antwan, the coyote of the title, thinks about his prey and decides: "Mice were the most fun, 'cause you could play with 'em before you ate 'em." »

keskiviikkona, kesäkuuta 16, 2004

"Yes I said yes I will Yes." »

tiistaina, kesäkuuta 15, 2004

So you’ve studied the way a poem can swivel. »

The soul of man

When you're a little pre-teenage girl and you imagine what a naked man in full arousal is like, it's Howlin' Wolf. . . . He was the scariest, most deliciously frightening bit of male testosterone I've ever experienced in my life.
You gotta remember, these guys didn't have blueprints. . . . The thing that makes Wolf so magical is that you see a person create a whole genre of music through just their mind, and you ain't supposed to do it. You're supposed to have a sheet of paper, a desk, a quiet room. . . . And here's a guy using just his ego, creating lyrics in a room full of smoke, alcohol, four-letter words and intimidating individuals -- and yet he still creates.
When I heard Howlin' Wolf, I said: 'This is for me. This is where the soul of man never dies.' »

maanantaina, kesäkuuta 14, 2004

No clock, no hurry

Baseball comes from an age with no time clock. Like hunting and fishing, what it needs is patience and good reflexes... »

torstaina, kesäkuuta 10, 2004

On runo

puhe on runo
tämä on runo
Mikä on runo
Information on Runo
Elämä on runo
Rumuus on runo
jälkimmäinen on runo
buddhalainen on runo
threatening on Runo
pätkä on runo
sisäruno on runo
se on runo »

keskiviikkona, kesäkuuta 09, 2004

The one person who can't go to a Dylan concert

Around the same time Mr. Ricks also began listening to Mr. Dylan's love songs. "You love a song at first by applying a person you knew to that song," he said. "And then it very beautifully turns into the other, complimentary thing, which is that you understand the person better by virtue of the song, and it's a lovely sort of virtuous circle that this is. The extraordinary applicability of the songs does seem to me to be part of their greatness. I do in the book somehow say, 'How did Dylan know this about me?' "
Dylan concerts have a particular beauty and also a certain sadness, he explained, because Mr. Dylan himself is the one person who has to be at a Dylan concert and also the one person who can't go to a Dylan concert. "It's sad," he said, "the way it's sad that Jane Austen couldn't read a Jane Austen novel." »

perjantaina, kesäkuuta 04, 2004

Art that is the very opposite of mass media

What we need more of is slow art: art that holds time as a vase holds water: art that grows out of modes of perception and whose skill and doggedness make you think and feel; art that isn't merely sensational, that doesn't get its message across in 10 seconds, that isn't falsely iconic, that hooks onto something deep-running in our natures. In a word, art that is the very opposite of mass media. For no spiritually authentic art can beat mass media at their own game. »

torstaina, kesäkuuta 03, 2004

A New Novel, No Verbs, in France, No Less »

tiistaina, kesäkuuta 01, 2004

Toisenlaisesta ajattelusta

Runoilija Jouni Tossavaisen yhdeksäs runokokoelma välittää tyylikästä, yhteiskuntakriittistä lyriikkaa. Kaupallisuuden kaikenkattavuus synnyttää provosoivia toiveita vaihtoehtoisesta vallasta, toisenlaisesta ajattelusta.

Maksajan paikalla Nokia
iso mies paljonsyöpä
kustansin muijalle opetukset
ja lääkärin viran Tampereelta
niin toimii Mafia
lapsestaan se puhuu
niin kuin omistaisi sen »

Athletics, tragedy, democracy

Still, there was something special going on in Greek athletics that we need to be reminded of. It is no accident that the same culture that invented athletics also invented tragedy and democracy.

None of the ancient competitive events involved team sports. Only individuals competed against other individuals, the athlete depending solely on his own ability and drive to win the crown that would be denied to all the rest--which is, one recalls, the universal condition of the leading characters in the tragic plays that filled the Greek stage. Greek tragedy always presents the isolated protagonist who must bear alone the burden of trying to achieve and then living with the unforeseen consequences of that success and the high cost of his aspirations.

In both instances we see a harsh, unforgiving world that resists and thwarts human desire, that requires immense efforts in order for men to achieve excellence in the teeth of those limits, and that distributes sparingly the scanty rewards for that achievement. Both tragedy and sports create losers, and both demand that we acknowledge losing as a nonnegotiable reality against which we must necessarily strive in our attempts to win.


Unlike tragedy, however, the games had winners. Yet the victory was merely a transitory respite from the relentless forces of existence that ultimately defeat everyone. Pindar, the fifth-century celebrator of aristocratic athletic prowess, makes explicit this link of the tragic view of life and athletic competition:

The happiness of man grows only for a short time
and then falls to the ground,
cut down by the grim reaper.
Victory in the games is like a ray of sunshine,
a gift of the gods,
a brilliant light that settles on men,
then fades, leaving only memory behind. »
Tämä on liikettä oudossa maastossa.
Jalka vie runoilijaa ja runoilija kieltä.