‘The Spring is The Autumn’

In ‘Henriette Wyeth: Scenes from a painter’s life’ (from A Certain Climate, Wesleyan University Press, Middletown, 1988, pp. 164) Paul Horgan makes  note of, and subsequently quotes Wyeth on, the wellsprings of her work: Ideas added to feeling, then, inform both her still lifes and portraits, and the most constant impulse is the desire to recordContinue reading “‘The Spring is The Autumn’”

Reflections on Translations – V: The Special Challenges of Poetry

I have previously confessed, on this blog, to being mystified by the magical processes of translation, especially when I realize important components of my literary and philosophical education consisted of reading translated works. This mystification is especially pronounced when I confront translations of poetry, where the translator’s task appears ever more difficult. When I readContinue reading “Reflections on Translations – V: The Special Challenges of Poetry”

Chiasson on Pinsky: Meeting Poetry with More Poetry

Reviews of poets and poetry can often be tedious: the poet is sometimes trampled by the reviewer’s exegesis and analysis; sometimes we wish merely to be pointed toward the poem. But sometimes the reviewer can, in his responses, show his own poetic instinct. In his review of Robert Pinsky‘s Selected Poems (New York Review of Books,Continue reading “Chiasson on Pinsky: Meeting Poetry with More Poetry”

Lorin Stein on Ben Lerner’s Adam: An Aspiring Poet’s Worries

In reviewing Ben Lerner’s novel Leaving the Atocha Station (“The White Machine of Life”, New York Review of Books, December 8 2011, Vol 58, Number 19), Lorin Stein notes that Adam, the novel’s central character, is “a poet who doesn’t have much feeling for poetry, for art in general.” And this poet is confronted aContinue reading “Lorin Stein on Ben Lerner’s Adam: An Aspiring Poet’s Worries”

Milton’s Satan, Heaven and Hell, And The Mind

A few posts ago, in writing about the detritus that can be found on professor’s office doors, I had recounted a little self-indulgent story about first finding Cavafy’s The City. Today, I want to point you to another ‘found’ poem–more accurately, a fragment–located, not on an office door but rather, in a budding poet’s workspace.Continue reading “Milton’s Satan, Heaven and Hell, And The Mind”

Things You Could Find On A Professor’s Office Door: Cavafy’s City

Professors put the darndest things on their office doors: I’ll-be-back-in-five-minutes notices, announcements of conferences, descriptions of new classes, suitably anonymized student grades, political posters, stickers. And then it gets wierd: vacation photos, children’s drawings, cartoons (a perennial faculty favorite in New York appears to be New Yorker cartoons), and of course, jokes culled from theContinue reading “Things You Could Find On A Professor’s Office Door: Cavafy’s City”