“Many philosophers have existed only in their own minds, but I think I may well be the first to exist only in other people’s.” —Kathleen Stock [May 19, 2023]
I have lately been thinking about things well over my head, even more than usual. Perhaps it has something to do with reading Ronald Blythe’s The Age of Illusion, about England in the 1920s and 1930s. It’s hard to choose a favorite quote, but here are a few:
In that progress of life which seems stillness itself in the mass of its movements—at last SPRING is approaching.
—William Carlos Williams, Chapter XIX, Spring and All (1923)
Mark Kerstetter, a fine poet himself and an incisive reader of the poetry of others, has embarked upon a series of posts offering thoughts and commentary on William Carlos Williams’ Spring and All. I’m only a little way in, but already entranced.
The collage is a visual review and homage to John Ashbery’s poem “The Dream of a Rarebit Fiend” in his new collection, Breezeway. For a far more cogent response to Breezeway, read Mark Kerstetter’s typically perceptive commentary here. Continue reading →
Today I wrote, “The spring is late this year.
In the early mornings there is hoarfrost on the water meadows.
And on the highway the frozen ruts are papered over with ice.”
The day was gloves.
How far from the usual statement
About time, ice—the weather itself had gone.
—John Ashbery (from The Skaters, IV)
In his Berlin story, Something About the Railway, Robert Walser wrote, “Nowadays, anywhere there is nature, trains are also found.” How true it is: almost all along its route, the best views of the Hudson between New York City and Poughkeepsie are from the train, not by foot. But there’s one place near to us where anyone on foot can have the ne plus ultra of views, weather permitting, of course. Continue reading →