Found Language #004
This is an entry in my notebook.
What does it mean to dive in the world of a poem? How do you move around the poet’s mind and consume the book’s heart like a sweet fruit. I think about that all the time whenever I read someone’s collection—what it takes to put them all together, and how long the days. I love the way Michael Kleber-Diggs talks about The Wet Hex by Sun Yung Shin:
“If I could start to read a poetry collection with any mission in mind, I suppose I’d choose openness. I don’t want to learn anything in an academic way; I’d opt instead to experience the landscape, soundscape, and ideas the poems make available to me. As a student of poetry, I fail in this mission all the time. As I read, I gather and ponder, question, agree, disagree, change my mind, and take note of reminders, lessons, ideas, strategies, new ways…
It is, poem-by-poem, brilliant, personal, candid, emotionally resonant, fantastic and sensational, mythical and mystical and musical, technically-sharp, lyrical, and attentive to the details in languages…I felt reminded that we can do anything, so we should: push publishers to the limit—collaborate with visual artists, build columns, upload docs, lay bare our bones…”
Tim Leberecht draws a connection between Roland Barthes and Susan Sontag, and how both luminaries understood the tether that exists between vulnerability and language. Quoting Barthes:
“Language is a skin: I rub my language against the other. It is as if I had words instead of fingers, or fingers at the tip of my words. My language trembles with desire.”
The Blower’s Daughter by Damien Rice remains one of the most heart-wrenching songs of my life. His creative collaboration with Lisa Hannigan was such a gift. That they fell out of love and drifted apart lends more weight to the original version. Asked about it eight years later, he said: “I would give away all of the music success…all the songs, and the whole experience to still have Lisa in my life.”
Here’s another rendition—with an older Rice singing perhaps to his past self and his past love. There’s something about the way songs have more texture when sang by the same artist so many years later:
Have you ever been a literary tourist? Here are some of the most visited bookstores in the world: “Cărturești Carusel in Bucharest, Romania is three floors of Greek columns and spiral staircases, undulating railings across the second and third floors, and sheer elegance.”
On fatigue, lack of motivation, and depression that has settled upon the world these past two years:
““That’s a long time to deal with uncertainty,” Jelena Kecmanovic, PhD, a therapist based in Arlington, Virginia, tells SELF. “Humans don’t do well with the sense that the ground is shifting under them.”
…Dr. Kecmanovic adds that the false promise of a concrete end point further walloped our collective resilience. “Psychologically, it’s extremely hard when you get your hopes up and then they’re dashed,” she says. “It’s not surprising that some people may be feeling like, ‘How can I get excited about anything, because there’s always something around the corner?’”
Open Culture on one of the greatest artists of our time: “Edward Hopper is as American as blue jeans, Coca-Cola, and urban alienation…”
“So what exactly are we, as a society, exploring through zombies in this moment? What fears lie at the heart of these masticating masses? What are zombies a metaphor for?” Anne Mai Yee Jansen asks.
“Here it is: August. We dress more warmly and look for remnants of soft and luminous light in the grass and leaves. In this light, heroes from classic works are seen, noble and majestic, but at the same time they are torn and wounded. They want to say something, but then they close their mouths.”
“The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.” — Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens By G. K. Chesterton; Chapter 3: Pickwick Papers
Found Language is where I gather writing, turns of phrases, and other statements that I find interesting, exquisite, or thought-provoking.