poems, mostly metrical, and rants and raves on poets, poetry, and the po-biz (with 8-string stuff)
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Category — Elsewhere

My Sonnet and a Danish Science Fiction Club

SFC, a Danish science fiction club and independent publisher which also hosts Stig Jørgensen’s sci-fi blog Ekkorummet (Echo Chamber), is publishing a book of the same name, consisting of selected entries from that blog.

I’m extremely pleased that the book contains an essay, “Teaching Breakfast How to Love You,” the title of which comes from a line in my poem “This Morning’s Man”, and that my poem is quoted in full in that essay.

If you read Danish, or if you’d just like to see the poem, the book is available here. Below is the English translation of the book’s blurb:

“Atoms in love

We humans are a fleeting substance, an ever-changing configuration of atoms that we absorb from cucumbers and pork chops. And this arrangement of matter can feel great affection – and a deep sense of wonder at the universe. This is a mystery. How do we connect the scientific description of the nature of time, matter, and our brains, with our experience of the world as conscious beings feeling hunger and ambition and grief and infatuation? – from the essay ‘Teaching Breakfast How to Love You’

The starting point for this book is the meeting of science and aesthetics and the ‘softer’ aspects of human existence. This meeting unfolds in science fiction – a branch of literature that ideally deals with the significance of technology and the scientific picture of the world to human life – but also in many other places: in the visual arts, poetry and music, in philosophy and scientific thought experiments. Consequently, the essays and articles in the book cover a wide range of topics from the theory of evolution to the Danish painter Otto Frello, from mathematical logic to erotic fantasy, from the philosophy of language to the mutual references between the comic-book writer Neil Gaiman and the singer/songwriter Tori Amos, from artificial intelligence to the poetry of Henrik Nordbrandt – for the inspiration of the intellectually curious reader.”

The book is based on pieces from the blog Ekkorummet [Echo Chamber/ Echo Space], which Stig W. Jørgensen, a science-fiction expert, translator and linguist, wrote until 2012. Jørgensen’s echo chamber is “an open space, a place characterized by resonance where various scientific and cultural topics are given room to resound and reverberate.”

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June 23, 2013   No Comments

Linkedin—you’ve broken your presence on the iPad

First, your app sucks. It’s hard to find anything. Requests for connections don’t appear at all. And now you’ve broken the web site on the iPad also, since no matter how trivial an action I perform, the entire screen fills with an invitation to download the app. Used to be, that if I dismissed the invitation, things would continue as normal on the web site. Now it loses what I was trying to do. Which it also does when I accept the suggestion. If it’s not fixed, I’m leaving.

5/28/13: They fixed it. Hoorah.

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April 1, 2013   No Comments

Does Greatness Require Difficulty?

If what one means is that there is always difficult work to do in preparation for doing great work in some field and, sometimes, even more difficulty in the production of some particular great work in that field, I’m on board.

But in a fine essay at The London Review of Books , “Is Wagner bad for us?,” Nicholas Spice says this near the end:

The compression of information characteristic of much great music, the speed at which it passes, the bewildering density and delicacy of its over-determination, makes it difficult in the way that poetry is difficult. Like poetry, music deflects our gaze. It is an elusive medium which we grasp only partially through an endless process of interpretation.”

I know that’s meant as a compliment to poetry, but I’m glad for that “much” immediately before “great music,’ and I’d be very glad for a similar qualifier applied to “poetry.”

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March 28, 2013   7 Comments

Another Kind of Ghazanelle

In a 2002 letter to Lynx (unfortunately I can’t link to Lynx, only to specific instances of its pieces), Khizra Aslam describes the form she devised and provides a link to her own ghazanelle in Lynx. It’s the third poem as you scroll down the page.

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March 6, 2012   No Comments

In Other News …

Last night at band practice our bass player surprised me with a nifty setting to Tuesday’s triolet. I think we’re going to add it to the repertoire.

And I’ve added a link to Jingle Monster‘s very nifty Times in Rhymes, rhyming couplet commentary on the (mostly Australian) news of the day.

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September 29, 2011   No Comments

At Least It Rhymes, Usually

Via a Google news Alert on “poetry,” I found a most interesting review of Andrew Hudgins Shut Up You’re Fine: Poems for Very Very Bad Children. The review’s title is “Bad Poetry Is More Fun,” and it begins “I’m not usually a poetry reader” (but who is, these days?) and does a pretty fair job of introducing the book — even if I didn’t already know Hudgins’ work, I’d probably order it. But this passage particularly caught my eye:

Life, death, family, sexuality — all the big themes are touched upon, just not in a very enlightened way. I’m pretty sure the term “doggerel” was invented for poems like these but don’t let that stop you– there’s plenty here to enjoy if your taste in poetry isn’t too refined. At least it rhymes, usually.

In possibly related news, the same alert let me know that for the first time in 25 years, the Urdd Eisteddfod poetry chair of Wales was left empty. As a judge said, “None of the poems satisfactorily combine clear ideation with masterful technique.”

That link above to Shut Up You’re Fine includes an opportunity to “Look Inside”; for an unrhymed, unrefined, and definitely adult-themed poem from Hudgins, look here.

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May 30, 2009   No Comments

Elsewhere

I stole that title of from the Blowhards and I’m not sorry — go read this post about the forgotten author of Auntie Mame, Patrick Dennis. Michael Blowhard asks

Hey, some other questions that the Patrick Dennis thing may leave us wondering about:

Why don’t we value light entertainment more than we do?
Why don’t we value pleasure more than we do?
If it’s OK to think of Boucher, Fragonard, Fred Astaire, and Cary Grant as immortals, why not delightful writers too?

There may be more important questions concerning writing as an art market — but I can’t think of any.

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May 3, 2009   2 Comments