Tag Archives: H.L. Mencken

“When I aim at praise, they say I bite.” — Alexander Pope

How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot! The world forgetting, by the world forgot. Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind! -— Alexander Pope, from “Eloisa to Abelard” Alexander Pope was born on this day in 1688. He was so huge … Continue reading

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“Guilt pins a fig-leaf; Innocence is its own adorning.” — poet Anne Spencer

Anne Bethel Scales Bannister Spencer was yet another poet-librarian, like Dudley Randall, and many others. It was part of a tradition, one worthy of more study (there are websites devoted to it!). As the daughter of a librarian, I am … Continue reading

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“I have ever hated all nations, professions, and communities, and all my love is toward individuals.” — poet/writer/hater Jonathan Swift

“[He is] the most vigorous hater we’ve ever had in our literature.” — Edgell Rickword We’re not supposed to “hate”. “Hate” calls to mind tiki torches. Or “hate crimes.” But there is a productive kind of hate. A galvanizing hate. … Continue reading

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“Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.” — H.L. Mencken

“You know what H.L. Mencken said one time about religious people? He said he’d been greatly misunderstood. He said he didn’t hate them. He simply found them comical.” – Kurt Vonnegut Today is the birthday of one of the greatest … Continue reading

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“Poets, the best of them, are a very chameleonic race.” — Percy Bysshe Shelley

Drive my dead thoughts over the universe Like wither’d leaves to quicken a new birth! And, by the incantation of this verse, Scatter, as from an unextinguish’d hearth Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind! Be through my lips to … Continue reading

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“If I am going to be a poet at all, I am going to be POET and not NEGRO POET.” — poet Countee Cullen

Yet do I marvel at this curious thing: To make a poet black, and bid him sing! — Countee Cullen It’s his birthday today. Cullen is often compared to Langston Hughes (my post on Hughes here), seems a little unfair, … Continue reading

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2019 Books Read

It’s been such a busy year for me as a writer. The busiest. I’ve had to “make time” for reading stuff that has nothing to do with anything writing-wise. I need to read for pleasure. Many of the books I … Continue reading

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2018 Books Read

2018 Books Read 1. Tamburlaine, Part 1, by Christopher Marlowe I finished 2017 with Paradise Lost, in the mood to continue with rigorous challenging poetry. I decided to read the complete plays of Christopher Marlowe (re-read in most cases). The … Continue reading

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Bookshelf Tour #10

An extremely dog-eared section of my library. These books are rarely on the shelf since I dip into them so often. — The mighty Joan Acocella, dance critic for The New Yorker, but also so much more. Her dance writing … Continue reading

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Year in Review: Shooting My Mouth Off in 2013

Some of the things I’ve written in 2013, for my own site, and also other outlets. Thoughts on Memphis. “Memphis is wounded, and Memphis is obviously depressed. There are a lot of sad ghosts here. But Memphis does not forget. … Continue reading

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