April 15, 2011
Links, poetry-related and otherwise
I stumbled this morning upon this poem, by Catherynne M. Valente: A Silver Splendour, A Flame. It’s exceptional—part poem, part libretto for an imaginary vaudville show, part retelling of the Persephone myth, part kaleidescope, maybe even a bit of ars poetica, and entirely beautiful. Well worth checking out.
The Zingara Poet has begun a new series of interviews with poets, which will feature discussions with poets a bit more off the beaten path than one normally encounters in textbooks or at, say, Poets.org. The first interview, with Alarie Tennille, can be found here.
Just for the record, Liberty University (a private, conservative Christian institution founded by Jerry Falwell) received more money from the federal government last year than the Corporation for Public Broadcasting did. (Hat tip to Fred Clark.)
What’s with the abuse of figurative speech lately? First Senator Jon Kyl states that 90% of Planned Parenthood’s work is related to abortions (when the figure is actually closer to 3%), and when called on it, his office stated that “his remark was not intended to be a factual statement,” and then, after Kobe Bryant received criticism for calling a referee a “fucking faggot,” he stated that the slur “should not be taken literally.” What bothers me about issues like these is, quite simply, words mean things. “Oh, but that’s not what I meant” does not come across, to me, as a particularly compelling explanation. Even when writing poetry—a form of communication that is not generally assumed to represent factual statements or to be taken literally—if most of the people who hear or read your words take from them a meaning counter (or unrelated) to the one you’d intended, you might want to reconsider your words.
Of course, Jon Kyl’s statement ended up leading to a thoroughly amusing Twitter hashtag, so that’s something.
This article about a young woman growing up Objectivist has been making its way across the interwebs, but I thought I’d link to it as well, just in case my lovely readers haven’t seen it.
Happy Friday, all!