by | 08.31.2009
'There is no element more conspicuously absent from contemporary poetry than nobility', Stevens wrote. Perhaps in a very literal way we should restore 'nobility' to the history of contemporary poetry, if for no other reason than because it seems foreign to the field?
by | 08.30.2009
Commentary can help a reader appreciate what's left out when a poem is translated from one language to another. It can also be daunting. Unless you're truly convinced that the original version of the poem is absolutely first-rate, why would you ever want to spend time with aridly philological blah-de-blah?
by | 08.27.2009
One of those little lies you tell undergraduates is that Romanticism-its obsession with unique inner feeling, its obsession with nature-emerged as a result of the Industrial Revolution.
by | 08.26.2009
What is it about the human (Western?) mind that compels us to think in narratives?
by | 08.20.2009
An uncertain faith is the title of the manuscript I am currently working on. It refers to an alternate definition of faith to that used by atheists to dismiss religious believers, namely, belief without evidence.
by | 08.18.2009
Poetry translates badly: granted. A poem’s diction, tone, syntax, and sound—the things that make it memorable—cannot be fully reproduced in another language. Agreed. So, what are we to do? Give up? Limit ourselves to verse we can read in the original? Such a decision seems foolish in an era when globalization has become an idée fixe.
by | 08.11.2009
I never had a good relationship to fusion when fusion was most popular—a period that coincided with my own teenage years. Now I can appreciate certain aspects of it more because I no longer feel resentful that it watered down jazz just at the moment when I was coming of age as a jazz fan.
by | 08.10.2009
For my first post on Arcade I thought I would introduce myself and my recent and current projects. I graduated with a PhD in Comparative Literature from Stanford in 1988 and am Professor of Spanish at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. I blog at Bemsha Swing, mostly about jazz and contemporary Spanish poetry.