Category Archives: poetry

“Therefore, since we have to do our business/In spite of things, why not make it in spite of everything?”

John Ashbery turned 90 on July 28, 2017. However belated, it’s an occasion to celebrate. Just Walking Around on the internet, I ran across this quotation:

I don’t quite understand about understanding poetry. I experience poems with pleasure: whether I understand them or not I’m not quite sure. I don’t want to read something I already know or which is going to slide down easily: there has to be some crunch, a certain amount of resilience.—John Ashbery Continue reading

In a City Garden

In casting about for a poem to accompany the photographs on this post, I pulled Paroles, a slim book of poems by Jacques Prévert, from my book shelf. The photographs, by the way, are of the Central Park Conservatory garden in late March, with snow still on the ground, and late May. Continue reading

In Sicilia: Chi pupu eri?

Marionette funeral ceremony (Korea)

In Puppet: An Essay on Uncanny Life, Kenneth Gross describes Sicilian puppeteer Mimmo Cuticchio’s L’urlo del mostro (The howl of the monster), a puppet theater based on the Odyssey. In one scene, Cuticchio

plays Odysseus himself, encountering the ghosts of puppets in the underworld, seeking his identity there among lost comrades and dead family members. Of one skeletal wooden figure he asks, in Sicilian, “Chi pupu eri?” (What puppet were you?).” Continue reading