Tag Archives: Camille Paglia

“I love humanity but I hate people.” — poet Edna St. Vincent Millay

Edna St. Vincent Millay was born on this day in 1892 in Rockland, Maine. “Boys don’t like me anyway because I won’t let them kiss me. It’s just like this: let boys kiss you and they’ll like you but you … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Wystan Hugh Auden: “The enlightenment driven away / The habit-forming pain”

W.H. Auden was born on this day in York, England, 1907. I first encountered Auden in my “Humanities” class, senior year in high school. I got a lot out of that class, and I remember we analyzed Auden’s famous most-anthologized … Continue reading

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“The mood of the Blues is almost always despondency, but when they are sung people laugh.” — Langston Hughes

The Blues always impressed me as being very sad, sadder even than the Spirituals, because their sadness is not softened with tears, but hardened with laughter … of a sadness where there is no god to appeal to. — Langston … Continue reading

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“I doubt sometimes whether a quiet and unagitated life would have suited me–yet I sometimes long for it.” — Lord Byron

— And who is the best poet, Heron? asked Boland. — Lord Tennyson, of course, answered Heron. — O, yes, Lord Tennyson, said Nash. We have all his poetry at home in a book. At this Stephen forgot the silent … Continue reading

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“The fault that I acknowledge in myself is to have descended to print anything in verse.” — John Donne

“So difficult and opaque it is, I am not certain what it is I print.” — first publisher of the work of John Donne It’s his birthday today. John Donne (1572-1631) was a poet and an Anglican priest (born a … Continue reading

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Cane was a swan-song. It was a song of an end.” — poet/novelist Jean Toomer

Jean Toomer was born in 1894 on this day and died in 1967. Toomer’s family tree encompasses all of pre-and-post-Civil War South: slaves, freemen, black, white. His father, Nathan Toomer, was born into slavery. After the war he continued working … Continue reading

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“Beside her Joyce seems innocent as grass.” — W.H. Auden on Jane Austen

“The little bit (two Inches wide) of Ivory on which I work with so fine a Brush.” — Jane Austen on her writing In 2020 – which feels like it was 1,000 years ago, I reviewed the new film adaptation … Continue reading

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“Every day life feels mightier, and what we have the power to be, more stupendous.” — Emily Dickinson

“If I read a book [and] it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know … Continue reading

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“Thy soul was like a Star and dwelt apart” — William Wordsworth on John Milton

Milton was born on this day in 1608. Although he left Oxford without completing his degree, he remained a thinker, a propagandist/pamphleteer, a scholar till the end of his days. The isolated poet, focused on self and personal emotion, would … Continue reading

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“Improvement makes strait roads, but the crooked roads without Improvement, are roads of Genius.” — poet/engraver/visionary William Blake

“I mean, don’t you think it’s a little bit excessive?” “The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. William Blake.” Pause. “William Blake?” “William Blake!” “William Blake???” “William Blake!!!” — Bull Durham William Blake was a poet virtually … Continue reading

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