Check Out Rives!

November 17, 2010

Hey all, you should check out Rives. And here’s his incredibly interesting website if you want to poke around, study the way the language changes for a timed performance from the page, see little weird dramas he’s written hidden in the chimes.

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Make sure you watch this one below; it’s very visual.

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Spectrum of Criticism: Brooker v. Heaney

August 31, 2010

Fresh out of class, I wish we didn’t have to leave just as the discussion was getting good.  The vertical line of the spectrum that we created on the board posed a dichotomy that was widely agreed to be “problematic”: poetry existing for the sake of art, beauty, and expression  Vs.  poetry functioning as a factual necessity of life.

Two critics that we didn’t really have a chance to compare directly, Jewel Spears Brooker and Seamus Heaney, both attack this dichotomy directly.

Brooker asserts that there was validity in just attempting to capture experience in words as she asks “Can we look at September 11 in terms of aesthetics alone?”  Brooker offers the possibility that some experiences just wont fit into the words we try to use, but that we, as poets, are still able to try.

Heaney poses poetry not as a simple means of expression, but  as an intrinsic necessity – that poetry satisfies a mysterious vacuum in the world of expression and communication.  He cites Havel: “Poetry is a state of mind, not a state of world.”  This quote pulls another binary argument onto our discussion: the natural process of language  Vs.  true representation of the world. Poetry is fueled by obligation, and even in its flawed nature, it is fundamental in human communication.

Both Brooker and Heaney bend the two ends of our art-or-necessity-axis until they are aligned.  Poetry is the attempt to capture indescribable experience in fixed words, but is it impossible to try and fully succeed, or it is impossible to try and fail?

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Dylan and Ginsberg

August 26, 2010

Hey all,

Saw this article the other day and thought it would be an interesting read for how some of the beat writers like Kerouac and Ginsberg was interacting with other artists in America at the time, namely Bob Dylan. The article has some interesting cursory biographical information concerning Ginsberg’s life and his poems and who could turn down such a great story? I know it’s a little long, but if you have free time I highly recommend it. There’s also a host of other stories concerning the Gins here. Everything from the ridiculous “last soup” to something interesting from the poet’s own mouth.

It was also interesting to discover the title of the article as advertised, “Bob Dylan and the Beats.” Made me wonder if America today cares more for singer poets than for written poets? What do you think–are people bigger fans of someone like Bob Dylan or someone like Allen Ginsberg? I tend to think that simply for his iconic status, Dylan is favored. Perhaps people favor something they can see rather than something they read or can hear? (thinking Kennedy vs. Nixon debate) Thoughts?

Happy reading!

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