Sunday, November 20, 2005

Bianca, You Animal, Shut Up! - John Taylor Gatto

posted at 9:05 PM

i'm on a break ... my feet hurt ... i haven't seen you yet ... there's still time ... i'm in room 401 ... i'm the guy leaning on the bookcase or propped on the heating ledge ...

posted at 2:57 PM

italo for beginners

posted at 2:55 PM

carmel's open house today ... i'm in the english room ... 401 ... stop in ... and distract me ... please

posted at 11:44 AM


Saturday, November 19, 2005

japanese arts : : Comics

posted at 8:16 PM

I am of another transition

through the frost even

I have been possible and good

posted at 4:31 PM

who says there are no good poems anymore ... here are one thousand four hundred and ninety-six poems from 2005 (to date) ... as selected by jordan davis

posted at 4:08 PM


Friday, November 18, 2005

Birthdays of Poets

posted at 7:05 PM

The poor are not those who have been "left behind"; they are the ones who have been robbed. The wealth accumulated by Europe and North America are largely based on riches taken from Asia, Africa and Latin America. ... via wood s lot

posted at 12:26 PM

j mayhew sets up an academic exercise ... The articulation of affect in poetry is a rather complex subject. What are the basic questions? Not just what the underlying tonality or mood of the poem is, but the basic approach taken, the attitude toward the emotion, the strategies for articulation or evasion. ... just as my senior class sits to write an ap essay based on Hardy's "Convergence of the Twain" ... Read the following poem carefully. Then, taking into consideration the title of the poem, analyze how the poetic devices convey the speaker's attitude toward the sinking of the ship.

so it's not expected that readers will have an affective response to the poem? or it is not considered at all relevant to the task of analysis? identify/isolate the speaker's attitude ... identify/isolate the poetic devices ... apply the latter to the former ... get a good score ...

should an english teacher not do some penance for this ... this crude exploitation of a poem ... this abuse of a poem's own good nature .. this mugging ... of the butterfly ?

(sure ... it's called "reading the papers" ... on a one-day weekend ... just before progress reports are due ... just before the short thanksgiving week ...)

though hardy's poem is no butterfly, any affective repsonse to any poem almost certainly is ... my students are not being asked at this moment to attend to their feelings about the poem ... in order to meet the task they'll probably find it more useful to ignore those feelings ... some are thinking man, i really hate poetry ... maybe because all they mostly know of poetry is how it's used in these analytical exercises ... maybe not ... but as jonathan notes: Our emotions about poetry include the actual emotions of the poem as well as our feeling about poetry itself.

would it be worth posing to the class a question about strategies for the evasion of emotion in writing a poem .... in reading a poem? about why a person might feel the need to evade it in writing or reading it?

posted at 9:06 AM


Thursday, November 17, 2005

National Library of Poetry ... a scam

posted at 12:29 PM

MCA Chicago - Upcoming Exhibitions

posted at 11:21 AM

from [Daniel] Silliman's Papers ...

In the works of Rene Girard, Wendell Berry and Jacques Derrida, we are presented, in three disparate fields by three very different writers, with a vision of human culture saturated by violence.

posted at 8:00 AM


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

a blog of poems ... doesn't attract much attention ... because nothing is actually being said ... you make too much silence out of a blog of poems ... it occupies a corner of the room where there's some talk... it usually stares at the wall ... it doesn't talk ... it makes the wall seem beautiful ... maybe interesting ... but even quieter than before ... when nobody was looking

posted at 4:29 PM

i never plop a whole article down on the blug ... but i just can't help myself with this one ... | 11/11/2005 | We've slipped from the moral high ground

We've slipped from the moral high ground

By Leonard Pitts Jr.

Well, I guess that settles that.

''We do not torture,'' President Bush said on Monday.

Never mind all those torture pictures from Abu Ghraib.

Never mind all those torture stories from Guantánamo Bay.

Never mind the 2002 Justice Department memo that sought to justify torture.

Never mind reports of U.S. officials sending detainees to other countries for torture.

Never mind Dick Cheney lobbying to exempt the CIA from rules prohibiting torture.

''We do not torture,'' said the president. And that's that, right? I mean, if you can't believe the Bush administration, who can you believe? No torture. Period, end of sentence.

But . . .

What does it say to you that the claim even has to be made?


Bush spoke in Panama on the last day of a five-day swing through Latin America to promote free trade. He was addressing controversy over secret CIA prisons in foreign countries. America, Bush reminded us in case it had slipped our minds in the 20 minutes since he last reminded us, is at war.

Guess that would explain all the dead people. And yes, war is not a nice business under the best of circumstances. It is less so when you fight a stateless enemy that strikes from shadows.

But we've been at war before, nasty, brutish wars, one war with civilization itself on the line, yet somehow, we always managed to be the good guy. That is not to say our soldiers and sailors and fliers were always good, immune from committing atrocities. It is not to say our officials were always good, untouched by dirty deeds done in clandestine ways. Finally, it is not to say our cause was always good, free from the taint of imperialism or expedience.

But we -- the collective we, the official we, the face shown in light of day we -- were the good guys.

It occurs to me that maybe I've larded that statement with so many caveats as to drain it of meaning. I'm not trying to be cute. Rather, I'm trying not to sound naive, while at the same time getting at something important:

We were the nation of moral authority, the nation of moral high ground, the nation that lectured other nations about human rights. And you know what? People believed us. They rush to our shores because there is freedom here, yes, because there is opportunity here, yes, but also because we stood for something, which was more than the tin-pot tyrants who ran their countries could ever say.

What a difference a presidency makes. ''We do not torture,'' he said.

When I heard that, my first thought was a one-liner: He's been torturing me for years.

But you know, this just ain't funny.


In the name of fighting terror, we have terrorized, and in the name of defending our values, we have betrayed them. We have imprisoned Muslims in America and refused to say if we had them, why we had them or even to provide them attorneys. We have passed laws making it easier for government to snoop into what you read, who you talk to, where you go. We have equated dissent with lack of patriotism, disagreement with treason.

And we have tortured.

Yes, Bush says we don't do that kind of thing but, to paraphrase Groucho Marx, who you going to believe, him or your lying eyes?

We ignore our lying eyes, I think, because we are afraid, because we saw what happened Sept. 11 and we never want to see it again.

I'd never suggest we ought not fear terrorism. But we should also fear the nation we are becoming in response. We should fear the fact that we have abrogated moral authority, retreated from moral high ground, become like those we once chastised.

''We do not torture,'' says the president.

I can remember when that went without saying.

posted at 12:24 PM

clarence page on Vine Deloria Jr. (rest in peace) ...

Native American voices like Deloria's and Alexie's help us to understand how big a mistake we make when we rob people of what makes them complicated. We insult people when we oversimplify their reality, blurring it behind stereotypes that cast them as more savage, more noble, more separate or more assimilated than they really are.

posted at 12:18 PM


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Berry writes as if in submission to a beauty, an awful beauty, that far exceeds his ability to grasp and of which he, inexplicably, is a part.

posted at 4:17 PM


Monday, November 14, 2005

posted at 7:28 PM

from Thomas Merton ...

We have to recognize that a spirit of individualism and confusion has reduced us to an ethic of 'every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost.'  This ethic, unfortunately sometimes consecrated by Christian formulas, is nothing but the secular ethic of the affluent society, based on the false assumption that if everyone is bent on making money for himself the common good will automatically follow, due to the operation of economic laws.

An ethic of barely disguised selfishness is no longer a Christian ethic.  Nor can we afford to raise this to the national level and assume that the world will adjust itself if every nation seeks its own advantage before everything else.  On the contrary, we are obliged to widen our horizons and to recognize our responsibility to build an international community in which the right of all nations and other groups will be respected and guaranteed.  We cannot expect a peaceful world society to emerge all by itself from the turmoil of a ruthless power struggle ­ we have to work, sacrifice and cooperate to lay the foundations on which future generations may build a stable and peaceful international community.  Every Christian is involved in this task, and consequently every Christian is obliged to seek information and form his conscience so that he may be able to contribute his own share of intelligent political action toward this end.

from Peace in the Post-Christian Era, by Thomas Merton.  Orbis Books; Maryknoll, New York. 2004.

posted at 7:22 PM

As litmus tests, abortion and the death penalty can seem to sit in opposite dishes, but the moral conundrums raised by each are similar. In both cases, and in others, what we need are politicians who reach moral conclusions in the privacy of conscience (whether religiously or not), and then dare to claim, explain, and defend their private positions in public.

posted at 7:07 PM

from whiskey river the other day ...
'Love is the connection with spirit, and one way it flows is through form. That's the state of rapture Rumi praises, the joy of being inside an intersection with the divine which is what this world is.'
- Coleman Barks

posted at 4:05 PM

We need to quit referring to the world as "the environment." That phrase proposes that the world merely surrounds us, is external to us, is "out there." If that were so, our problems would be fewer and simpler.

posted at 1:01 PM

Common-place: True Pictures

posted at 10:34 AM


posted at 8:12 AM

The Educated Imagination: April 2005

posted at 8:11 AM


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