Tag Archives: Camille Paglia

“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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“I find that I cannot exist without poetry—without eternal poetry—” –John Keats

I was just beautifying him, don’t you know. A thing of beauty, don’t you know. Yeats says, or I mean, Keats says. – James Joyce, Ulysses Born in 1795 on this day, John Keats was orphaned at fifteen. Because his … Continue reading

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“When the words do come, I pick them so thoroughly of their live associations that only the death in the word remains.” — poet Dylan Thomas

“[My] poems, with all their crudities, doubts and confusions, are written for the love of Man and in praise of God, and I’d be a damn fool if they weren’t.” – Dylan Thomas, 1952 Dylan Thomas was born on this … Continue reading

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