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Prince, 1958-2016

posted by drew

04.22.16


He had the multi-instrumental talent of Stevie.

The devout artistic dedication of Jimi.

The genius of Joni Mitchell.

The soul of Ray Charles.

The funk of Sly.

The religious ecstasy of Aretha.

The royal fabulousness of Beyonce.

The liberated queerness of Little Richard, Bowie, and Grace Jones.

The commitment to Black freedom of James Brown.

The songwriting chops of Chuck Berry.

The star power of Elvis.

The magic of Michael.

He had the fearlessness of punk rock, the sexuality of a mystic in a juke joint, the mystery of a druid who could dance. Prince was all of this and more.

As a teenager in the 80s, when 1999 was either a distant party or the end of the world, Prince was a one-person sonic apocalypse, a purple armageddon that was musical paradise.

 
 


Beatrice as inspiration

posted by drew

02.21.16

"Beatrice, then, is another name for inspiration--romantic, aesthetic, moral, and religious. She inspires passion, vision, virtue, and, in the supernatural order, love of God. How she did it was Dante's secret--and hers. Of the fact and its effects nearly all the poet's works bear witness."

--Gerald Groveland Walsh, Dante Alighieri: Citizen of Christendom (1946) 


Go See Michael Moore's New Film, "Where to Invade Next"

posted by drew

02.19.16

I strongly encourage everyone to go see Michael Moore's powerful new film, "Where to Invade Next." It's heart-breaking, enraging, and ultimately hopeful.

I've often said that traveling to another country and/or entering another culture is a crash course in cosmology and worldview. One comes to recognize that what one thought of as "reality," or "the way things are," or "how things are done," is, in fact, just ONE WAY of perceiving and acting.

Moore uses this to maximum effect, traveling to other countries to shine a DEVASTATING light on current US society--what we've gotten used to, and what we've allowed ourselves to become.

Whether it's issues of work in Italy, school lunches in France, education in Norway, free college in Slovenia, historical memory in Germany, or women's leadership in Iceland, the film hammers the question of whether we have to be living the way we are.

I'm sure there are critiques of Moore's presentation, but the issues and questions raised by this film are tremendously important.

 


Jane Austen's Response to 19th Century Mansplaining

posted by drew

11.11.15

"You are very, very kind in your hints as to the sort of Composition which might recommend me at present, & I am fully sensible that an Historical Romance, founded on the House of Saxe Cobourg might be much more to the purpose of Profit or Popularity, than such pictures of domestic life in Country Villages as I deal in--but I could no more write a Romance than an Epic Poem.--I could not sit seriously down to write a serious Romance under any other motive than to save my Life, & if it were indispensable for me to keep it up & never relax into laughing at myself or other people, I am sure I should be hung before I had finished the first Chapter.--No--I must keep to my own style & go on in my own Way; And though I may never succeed again in that, I am convinced that I should totally fail in any other.--

I remain my dear Sir,
Your very much obliged & very sincere friend
J. Austen"

[Jane Austen to James Stanier Clarke (excerpt), Monday April 1, 1816] 


More Henein on the subversive function of poetry

posted by drew

10.11.15

"Poetry is the contrary of an ivory tower. Poetry is not only a refusal of obedience served on all existing censorship and tyranny or the most elevated form of non-resignation to the summary explanations of our terrestrial destiny. It is also an ever-increasing knowledge of the self, an uninterrupted discovery of new human regions and a necessary renewal of the bases of life. Poetry, and this is where the whole extent of its role becomes apparent, has the power to transport what was just a way of dreaming into a way of being. Or more precisely--it exalts this power within us."

--Georges Henein, "The Subversive Function of Poetry" (1939) 


Henein on the subversive function of poetry

posted by drew

10.11.15

"A work which obediently aligns itself with the order of existing facts, society, moral norms, oppressive processes and everyday servitudes... has not the slightest claim to poetry."

--Georges Henein, "The Subversive Function of Poetry" (1939) 


Kearney on imagination and ethics

posted by drew

10.07.15

"Imagination is indispensable to ethics.... One could argue that the receptive power of imagination lies at the very root of our moral capacity to respect the otherness of the other person, to treat the other as an end rather than a means, to empathize."

--Richard Kearney (1998) 


Luzzi on Borges on Dante

posted by drew

06.22.15

"One of Dante's most astute readers, the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges, said that it takes a modern novel hundreds of pages to lay bare a character's soul, but Dante needs only a few lines."

--Joseph Luzzi (2015) 


On Ableism and Looks-ism as Outdated Storytelling Shortcut

posted by drew

06.14.15

It's 2015, people. Time to leave behind the ableist storytelling shortcut that injury / disability = 'evil' / 'wicked.' Examples of this include the character "Scar" in "The Lion King"; the bad guy in "The Sting," who walks with a limp; Dr. Strangelove; Captain Hook; the bad guy in "Casino Royale," with a glass eye, and on and on and on.

Filmmaker's and storytellers do this because it has traditionally been a powerful way to 'establish character' in milliseconds. It's now time to do better, and establish character through ACTIONS, not injury / disability.

On a related note, there's a lot of looks-ism (aka lookism) in how looks and attractiveness are used to signify good / bad character. Time to kick that shit to the curb as well. 


Helen Vendler on the Arts & Education

posted by drew

06.02.15

"I want to propose that the humanities should take, as their central objects of study, not the texts of historians or philosophers, but the products of aesthetic endeavor: art, dance, music, literature, theater, architecture, and so on. After all, it is by their arts that cultures are principally remembered.... What would be the advantage of centering humanistic study on the arts? The arts present the whole uncensored human person--in emotional, physical, and intellectual being, and in single and collective form--as no other branch of human accomplishment does."

--Helen Vendler (2015)


On Dylan

posted by drew

05.27.15

Bob Dylan changed songwriting; opened it to kaleidoscopic new possibilities. There is no "Sgt. Pepper" without Dylan's influence. 1963's "Freewheeling" has two of my favorites: "Girl from the North Country" and "Don't Think Twice," and perhaps the first 'breakthrough': "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall."

"I’ve been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard"

1964 brings the exquisite "Boots of Spanish Leather," the stunning "Chimes of Freedom," the cantankerous "It Ain't Me Babe," and the anthemic "Times They Are A-Changing." But the REVOLUTION is Side Two of 1965's "Bringing It All Back Home." An achievement for the ages.

"And I try to harmonize with songs
The lonesome sparrow sings
There are no kings inside the Gates of Eden"

"Of war and peace the truth just twists
Its curfew gull just glides"

"The motorcycle black madonna
Two-wheeled gypsy queen"

"The foreign sun, it squints upon
A bed that is never mine"

I continue to stand in awe of "Gates of Eden."

But the song that remains an enigma--shining like an obsidian monolith of genius--the ineffable marriage of wordplay, imagery, sound is...

Read More


haiku: April 28, 2015

posted by drew

04.28.15

the Big Dipper spills
countless stars across the sky
my empty-cup heart 


Thoreau, Martin, Music, and Movements

posted by drew

04.23.15

Thoreau's statement, "When I hear music, I feel invincible," applies to the oratory of Martin Luther King Jr. When people heard the rhythms and music of King's preaching, the movement, and its goals, felt inevitable. Also applies to the power created in the Civil Rights Movement through song and collective singing, generating together the will to face repression in the struggle for community and justice. 


Hodler on art and unity (1923)

posted by drew

04.12.15

"The work of art will bring to light a new order inherent in things, and this will be: the idea of unity."

--Ferdinand Hodler (1923) 


Hodler (1923)

posted by drew

04.12.15

"To be simple is not always as easy as it seems."

--Ferdinand Hodler (1923) 


Ensor (1921)

posted by drew

04.12.15

"My unceasing investigations, today crowned with glory, aroused the enmity of my snail-like followers, continually passed on the road."

--James Ensor (1921) 


Ensor (1923)

posted by drew

04.12.15

"Ever since 1882 I've known what I am talking about."

--James Ensor (1923) 


Emil Nolde (1934)

posted by drew

04.12.15

"We 'educated' people have not moved so wondrously far ahead, as is often said. Our actions cut two ways. For centuries, we Europeans have treated the primitive peoples with irresponsible voraciousness. We have annihilated people and races--and always under the hypocritical pretext of the best of intentions.

Animals of prey know little pity. We whites show even less."

--Emil Nolde (1934)


Carlson on myth (1982)

posted by drew

04.12.15

"Myths fall into two general categories... (1) cosmogonies--creation tales of origins and beginnings; and (2) hero quests--stories of warriors and world redeemers, individuals who serve as exemplary models for more ordinary mortals."

--Harry G. Carlson, Strindberg and the Poetry of Myth (1982)


No End

posted by drew

04.12.15

"The reading of the Divine Comedy, like the reading of Shakespeare, has no end: one does not reach the point where it is possible to say that we see what is in it."

--Francis Fergusson (1953)


"Selma" – Still Crossing That Bridge

posted by drew

12.24.14

Film critic Elvis Mitchell, actor David Oyelowo, director Ava DuVernay, and producer Oprah Winfrey at a screening of Film critic Elvis Mitchell, actor David Oyelowo, director Ava DuVernay, and producer Oprah Winfrey at a screening of "Selma" in San Francisco. (Photo: Drew Dellinger)

It started with the brazen murder of a Black man by police in broad daylight. While this could describe a number of recent cases, the killing of Jimmie Lee Jackson in Selma, Alabama, on February 26, 1965, precipitated the climactic confrontation of the Civil Rights Movement, one that eventually ended a century of Black disenfranchisement in the South.

The events brought to life in Ava DuVernay’s stunning film, “Selma,” are essential to understanding our history, and the systemic racism that seems stuck on repeat, in what could be cut-and-paste headlines. “Selma” is an important, moving film that sets a new standard for dramas about Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement.

David Oyelowo’s Oscar-worthy performance does an exceptional job in a daunting assignment, capturing the soul of King. He does well enough with the sound and rhythms of King’s speech, especially in moments of conversation. He does less well in the great speeches, but who could fault any actor for failing to fully match one of the last century’s greatest orators?

Read More


Bachelard on poetry

posted by drew

08.09.14

"The great function of poetry is to give us back the situations of our dreams."

--Gaston Bachelard


Clifton on poetry

posted by drew

08.09.14

"One of the things poetry does is allow one to say, 'you are not alone,' and to speak for those who have not yet spoken."

--Lucille Clifton (2003)


Poetical Melancholy

posted by drew

07.14.14

"In reading the compositions of earlier men, I have tried to trace the causes of their melancholy, which too often are the same as those that affect myself.... Even when circumstances have changed and men inhabit a different world, it will still be the same causes that induce the mood of melancholy attendant on poetical composition."

--Wang Hsi-chih (353)

 


Edman on the Poetic Effect

posted by drew

07.10.14

"The basic movement of the rhythm, the total character of the dream, through the vehicle of exquisitely chosen sounds and incisively revealing epithets, constitute the poetic effect."

--Irwin Edman (1928)


Breton on Dream, Reality and Surreality

posted by drew

07.09.14

"I believe in the future resolution of these two states, dream and reality, which are seemingly so contradictory, into a kind of absolute reality, a surreality, if one may so speak."

--Andre Breton (1924)

 


Poets v. Kings

posted by drew

06.20.14

"An account in the Book of Ballymote shows the ritual sanctions available to a poet if a king refused him his proper reward for a poem. After fasting on the land of the king, a council of ninety could be called to give a judgement, and if they decided that it would be a greater crime to prevent the satire or curse on the king, the poet could continue with his ritual action. At sunrise, he and six other poets would stand on a hilltop at the boundary of seven lands. Each poet would face his own land, the ollahm, or holder of the highest degree addressing the land of the king. With their backs against a hawthorn on the hilltop, a thorn from the tree and a slingstone in each poet's hand, and the wind blowing from the north, each of them chanted into the stone and the thorn, the ollahm speaking before the others, then all the bards together. Each would then put his stone and thorn at the butt of the tree. If they were in the wrong, the earth of the tree would swallow them up. If their magic was powerful enough, the earth would swallow the king, his wife and his sons, his horses and his hounds, his arms and his dress."

--John Sharkey, Celtic Mysteries (1975)


Dante drawing Angels

posted by drew

06.19.14

"Dante, as he tells us in the Vita Nuova, was discovered drawing an angel after the death of Beatrice.

It may be that what these poets had in common was a method of contemplation that expanded consciousness in them so that they were made open to the illumination of Sapientia, and that an effect of this expanded consciousness was to open up to them the world of the imagination, the world of symbols... through which Love acted as their guide."

--William Anderson, Dante the Maker (1980)


What Makes "Bad" Rhymes "Bad"?

posted by drew

05.14.14

There is a lot that could be said about bad rhymes, and many examples we could nominate, each according to our taste, but one thing that makes bad rhymes bad is that they call attention to themselves; their conspicuousness breaks the spell of the poem or song. Rather than serve it, they subvert it.

Rhymes call negative attention to themselves when they feel forced or contrived, like the poet is being pushed around by the rhyme scheme. Poets and lyricists rightly sense that they MUST follow the rhyme (in a rhyming piece), or else it will unravel, but following it to the exclusion of good sense and artistic truth leads to the ludicrous word choices we recognize as bad rhymes.

A particularly egregious example of this can be found in a song by the band, Train. Let's look at the whole lyric, then break it down:

"Hey soul sister
Ain't that Mister Mister
On the radio, stereo,
The way you move ain't fair, you know."

--Train, "Hey Soul Sister"

 

1. "Hey soul sister..." So far, not bad, but things go wrong pretty quickly.

2. "Ain't that Mister Mister"

Are you fucking kidding me? Are you seriously talking about some bullshit band from the 80s right now? This is the line that clearly was chosen for the sole reason that the word "mister" rhymes with "sister." It's been said that "Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." It's not good to be too critical during the creative, composing phase, but for God's sake, this is a line that never should have escaped the notebook or rehersal room. There are many factors that can make a line great, bad, or in-between. Sometimes a line tries to do too much. This is an example of a line, or a writer, doing too little. Lazy writing says, 'It rhymes; that's enough." But a line doesn't just have to rhyme. It has to make sense; it has to work on its own; it has to fit the tone of the piece; it has to ring true in some way; it has to have the natural rhythms of speech, or the novelty of fresh language; it has to not-be-about-some-ridiculous-80s-band-just-because-it-rhymes.

3. "On the radio," This line only exists to try to make some sense out the previous line, which only exists because "sister" rhymes with "mister."

4. "Stereo," Was it a stereo or a radio, or both? Is this necessary? Does this really make sense, or does "stereo" just kind of fit sonically and syllabically with "radio"?

5. "The way you move ain't fair, you know." "Stereo and "fair you know" is par for the course as pop rhymes go; not terrible, but we never should have gotten here. This whole rhyme scheme emerged as a pointless effort to cover the tracks left by the ungodly, "Ain't that Mister Mister." In this case, the bad rhyme set off a cascade of misfortunes.

Of course it's easy to pick on Train. (Later in this song they sing, "I'm so obsessed / My heart is bound to beat right out my untrimmed chest." Untrimmed? Seriously?) But the larger point is to learn from bad rhymes the principles that make a rhyme work. 

As stated above, it should never feel like the writer is reaching too far for the rhyme. A rhyme should have the simple ease of Keith Richards warbling, "Hey baby, what's in your eyes? / I see them flashing / like airplane lights," or the novelty of Beyonce rhyming "woke up in the kitchen" with "how the hell did this shit even happen."

Rhymes should feel natural and fresh at the same time; not forced or ludicrous, as with "bad" rhymes, but suprising and satisfying. Trying to reach the hearts of the reader or listener with bad rhymes is like sending a WWE wrestler to do the work of a ninja. Only great (or good) rhymes have the stealth and grace to deliver the Five-Point-Palm Exploding-Heart-Technique of poetic satisfaction.

 

 

 


Nietzsche quote

posted by drew

04.17.14

"My wisdom hath accumulated long like a cloud, it becometh stiller and darker. So doeth all wisdom which shall one day bear lightnings."

--Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra


"mary's dream" by Lucille Clifton

posted by drew

03.06.14

 mary's dream

winged women was saying
"full of grace" and like.
was light beyond sun and words
of a name and a blessing.
winged women to only i.
i joined them, whispering
yes.

--Lucille Clifton (1980)


Jacques Maritain on Art and Poetry

posted by drew

01.23.14

 "Art and poetry cannot do without one another. Yet the two words are far from being synonymous. By Art I mean the creative or producing, work-making activity of the human mind. By Poetry I mean, not the particular art which consists in writing verses, but a process both more general and more primary: that intercommunication between the inner being of things and the inner being of the human Self which is a kind of divination (as was realized in ancient times; the Latin vates was both a poet and a diviner). Poetry, in this sense, is the secret life of each and all of the arts."

--Jacques Maritain, Creative Intuition in Art and Poetry (1952)


Did this passage from "The Psychedelic Experience" help inspire the first line of "I Am The Walrus"?

posted by drew

08.11.13

Yesterday I was looking through The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead (1964), by Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner, and Richard Alpert (now Ram Dass).

While perusing, I  was especially stuck by a sentence in one passage, and its subtle similarities in spirit and phrasing to John Lennon's immortal intro to "I Am The Walrus": "I am he / as you are he / as you are me / and we are / all together."

Here's the passage from Leary, Metzner, and Alpert (emphasis added):

A sense of profound one-ness, a feeling of the unity of all energy. Superficial differences of role, cast, status, sex, species, form, power, size, beauty, even the distinctions between inorganic and living energy, disappear before the ecstatic union of all in one. All gestures, words, acts and events are equivalent in value -- all are manifestations of the one consciousness which pervades everything. "You," "I" and "he" are gone, "my" thoughts are "ours," "your" feelings are "mine." Communication is unnecessary since complete communion exists. (The Psychedelic Experience, 1964.)

Admittedly, this is not much to work with, but I think the coincidence in timing is worth noting. "The Psychedelic Experience" was published in 1964, just as Lennon and the other Beatles were first encountering LSD. In the next few years Lennon wrote his psychedelic anthems, "Tomorrow Never Knows" (Revolver, 1966) and "Strawberry Fields Forever (1967),  as well as "A Day in the Life" and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" (Sgt. Pepper, 1967).

It seems likely that a book such as "The Psychedelic Experience" would have been among Lennon's reading interests at the time.

Clearly this is longshot speculation, with little to go on, but it seems possible that the idiosyncratic syntax of this phrase, "'You" 'I' and 'he,'" as well as the spiritual import of the paragraph, caught Lennon's attention.

Just maybe, these words helped inspired what I've always thought to be the peculiar (and somewhat masculine) phrasing of Lennon's captivating verse: "I am he / as you are he / as you are me."

I haven't looked at my Beatles books to see what John has said about the influences on "I Am The Walrus," but I thought this small correspondence was worth noting. I have no evidence that John Lennon read this paragraph, or, if he did, that it had any influence, but I think the similarity in spirit, and slight echoes in wording, to one of Lennon's most iconic lyrics, is enough to raise the question.

 

Additional note (Aug 11, 10:26am): 

I just glanced at a statement where Lennon says the first two lines of "I Am The Walrus" were written during two separate acid trips. More resereach to be done. Also, on further the reflection, the "I am he as you are he," kind of language also seems similar to my memory of some of the kinds of wording used in the Upanishads.


Georges Bataille on Art and Existence

posted by drew

07.07.13

"At the heart of existence, we find art, and we find poetry, and we find a multitude of religions. Yet no one knows what art is. Or poetry, for that matter. No one, in the end, knows what religion is."

--Georges Bataille (1959)


Bronowski on Poetry and Connection-making

posted by drew

07.06.13

"The successful poet, the poet who really carries his message, is the one to whom the words come that have this particular power... What he does for you, what he does for us all is always to produce a metaphor in which we suddenly see two separate parts of the world, and we say, 'My God, why did I not think that they belonged together?' ... It is the essence of poetry, as of painting, as of all art, to communicate that, to leap over the gulf between us -- to make the metaphor suddenly speak to us, not so that we understand it, but so that we recreate it. Style is the means by which we recreate the content for ourselves."

--J. Bronowski (1978)


Bowra on the Romantic View of Imagination as Holy

posted by drew

11.21.12

"For Blake the imagination is nothing less than God as He operates in the human soul.... for Coleridge the imagination is of first importance because it partakes of the creative activity of God.

This is a tremendous claim, and it is not confined to Blake and Coleridge. It was to some degree held by Wordsworth and Shelley and Keats. Each was confident not only that the imagination was his most precious possession but that it was somehow concerned with a supernatural order. Never before had quite such a claim been made, and from it Romantic poetry derives much that is most magical in it."

--C. M. Bowra, The Romantic Imagination (1949)


Keef on the Stones

posted by drew

11.17.12

 "I mean, in a way, the Rolling Stones overtake you, and it's almost like you're sort of levitating. You don't even want to touch the strings 'cause they're doing it themselves. And anyway they'd be too hot."

--Keith Richards, from the documentary, "Crossfire Hurricane."

 


Orhan Pamuk on the Political Nature of Fiction

posted by drew

11.12.12

"Novels are political not because writers carry party cards -- some do, I do not -- but because good fiction is about identifying with and understanding people who are not necessarily like us. By nature all good novels are political because identifying with the other is political. At the heart of the 'art of the novel' lies the human capacity to see the world through others' eyes. Compassion is the greatest strength of the novelist."

--Orhan Pamuk

New York Times Book Review, "By the Book," Nov. 11, 2012


Eliade on art and the cosmos

posted by drew

08.24.12

"The artist does not act passively either in regard to the Cosmos or in regard to the unconscious. Without telling us, perhaps without knowing it, the artist penetrates--at times dangerously--into the depths of the world and his own psyche....

The attitude of the artist in regard to the cosmos and to life recalls to a certain extent the ideology implicit in 'cosmic religion.'"

--Mircea Eliade (1965)


Mystic Coolness in Yoruba Culture

posted by drew

03.20.12

"Coolness, then, is a part of character, and character objectifies proper custom. To the degree that we live generously and discreetly, exhibiting grace under pressure, our appearance and our acts gradually assume virtual royal power. As we become noble, fully realizing the spark of creative goodness God endowed us with... we find the confidence to cope with all kinds of situations. This is ashe. This is character. This is mystic coolness."

--Robert Farris Thompson, Flash of the Spirit: African and Afro-American Art and Philososphy (1983)


Luminous Library: Robert Farris Thompson

posted by drew

03.19.12

 "The Yoruba assess everything aesthetically--from the taste and color of a yam to the qualities of a dye, to the dress and deportment of a woman or a man. An entry in one of the earliest dictionaries of their language, published in 1858, was amewa, literally "knower-of-beauty," "connoisseur," one who looks for the manifestation of pure artistry."

--Robert Farris Thompson, Flash of the Spirit: African and Afro-American Art and Philosophy (1983)


Luminous Libray: Geneva Smitherman on Sacred-Secular Style (1977)

posted by drew

03.16.12

"No sharp dichotomy exists, but a kind of sacred-secular circular continuum.... There is very often a sacred quality surrounding the verbal rituals of the secular style, with all gathered around the rapper, listening attentively, looking idolizingly and lingering on his or her every word, mystically engrossed in the rap."

--Geneva Smitherman, Talkin and Testifyin: The Language of Black America (1977)


Luminous Library: "The Cryptography of Dante"

posted by drew

01.03.12

"Dante in meditation"


"The Divina Commedia contains a large number of cryptograms which have never, so far as I know, been noticed.... A cryptogram, or hidden writing, is a deliberate arrangement of words, letters, numbers, or other signs, which is intended to conceal as well as express a meaning.... Among the cryptograms which I have discovered in the Divina Commedia are acrostics, telestics, interior sequences, anagrams, irregular letter clusters, string ciphers, and cabalistic spelling devices.

I am far from assuming that the cryptograms which I have discovered are all that Dante made.... The announcement that the Divina Commedia is teeming with cryptograms is likely, I am aware, to be met with incredulity."


--Walter Arensberg, The Cryptography of Dante  (1921)


#drewdellingersluminouslibrary

 


On Story

posted by drew

10.13.11

Stories reflect the ecological nature of reality. Each story is an ecosystem, a galaxy of its own, a holographic microcosm that contains and mirrors the One Story that is the cosmos.

 

(Nod to Susan Griffin and Thomas Berry.)


Luminous Library: Quote of the Day

posted by drew

10.06.11

 "The attention of the audience is gained through a willingness of the performer to involve himself totally in the performance and to call for the audience to do so as strongly. This the artful talker does by 'dancing' his talk, by dramatizing himself and his argument in physical ways."

--Roger Abrahams


Luminous Library: Periodical of the Day: Beatles, cont.

posted by drew

09.07.11

 "Sgt. Pepper hit a nerve in popular culture as nothing before had.... 'For a brief while,' critic Langdon Winner famously wrote, 'the irreparably fragmented consciousness of the West was unified, at least in the minds of the young.'

This was seen -- and is still remembered -- as a call to community. In some ways, the Beatles had represented this ideal all along: Through them, we witnessed the cultural power that a pop group and its audience could create; with Sgt. Pepper, possibilities of all sorts that felt boundless. Rock & roll became collusive with the social and political disruptions of the 1960s."

--Mikal Gilmore,

Rolling Stone magazine,
The Beatles: The Ultimate Album-by-Album Guide


Luminous Library: Periodical of the Day

posted by drew

09.02.11

"A Day in the Life" exists in the space between unawareness and disenchantment -- the space that the times now moved in -- and it closes with the most famous moment in 1960s music: a single chord played by Lennon, McCartney, Ringo Starr, [George] Martin and Mal Evans across several pianos at once, reverberating on and on, like a possibility without resolution. It was the abyss at the end of the dream, the void that the dream had to somehow surmount. As that eventful chord lingered and then decayed, it bound up an entire culture in its mysteries, its implications, its sense of providence found and lost. In some ways, it was the most stirring moment that the culture would ever share, and the last gesture of genuine unity that we would ever hear from the Beatles."

 

--Mikal Gilmore, Rolling Stone magazine,

The Beatles: The Ultimate Album-By-Album Guide (2011)

 

#drewdellingersluminouslibrary


"same moon" -- Poem: July 13, 2011

posted by drew

07.13.11

same moon

the same moon
that shone in the New
Mexico sky, shimmering
into silvery existence
in a tray of Ansel Adams' developer

the same moon that illuminated
the apples of Eden,

the same moon that shines upon my
lover in Bolinas

that inspired poet-monks
to drink and write

the same moon that rose for the goddesses and heroes

climbs the sky
above the bay

outside my door.

 

--Drew Dellinger

July 13, 2011

 


Van Live 1980

posted by drew

06.05.11

feeling it, and it feels sweet. van live 1980.


Song of the Day: C, N, G

posted by drew

06.05.11

Small fist. Big punch. A great anti-war song.


Quote of the Day: Happy 70th, Bob!

posted by drew

06.03.11

"All sorts of people can write a great song. It took Bob Dylan to rewrite our idea of what a great song can be."

--Jon Pareles


Song of the Day

posted by drew

05.16.11

 Pretty sweet!


Sad but true.

posted by drew

05.16.11

U.S. in a nutshell: People cheer when Carlos Santana speaks the truth through his guitar; people boo when he speaks the truth about racism.


Quote of the Day

posted by drew

05.15.11

"I write because of my fundamental faith in the transformative power of narrative; not in the notion that simply by telling stories one might come to transformative truths, but rather that in unearthing the silences of the past we are necessarily involved in understanding the forces by which those silences were created and are maintained."

--Jennifer Morgan,

in Why We Write: The Politics and Practice of Writing for Social Change


PTM Quote of the Day

posted by drew

04.12.11

"It's like I was a fictional character in my own life until I became real to myself by putting it on the page."

--Wendy Merrill


Archetypal Metaphors

posted by drew

03.22.11

"Archetypal metaphors seem to have a special rhetorical potency.... According to [Michael] Osborn, the primary sources of archetypal metaphors are derived from the fundamental human experience of water and the sea, light and darkness, the human body, war and peace, animals, the family, mountains, sexuality, and the relationships between above and below and forward and backward."

--John Louis Luciates & Celeste Michelle Condit


Quote of the Day

posted by drew

03.21.11

"You cannot tell people what to do, you can only tell them parables; and that is what art really is."

--W. H. Auden


Al Jarreau is a Genius

posted by drew

03.14.11

Check out this amazing clip of Al Jarreau's cover of "Your Song." (The song starts at about 1:15.)


I repeat...

posted by drew

02.06.11

"Repetition is the fundamental phenomenon of poetic form... All the principles that have been or may be used to generate formal structure in poetry are describable in terms of the repetition of either a certain physical feature of language--as in rhyme and alliteration--or a relationship among such features--as in stress patterns and syllable counts."

--Barbara Herrnstein Smith


Quote of the Day: Van Gough, Yo

posted by drew

01.25.11

The Starry Night (1889) The Starry Night (1889)

"First of all the twinkling stars vibrated, but remained motionless is space, then all the celestial globes were united into one series of movements....Firmament and planets both disappeared, but the mighty breath which gives life to all things and in which all is bound up remained."

--Vincent Van Gough


Quote of the Day

posted by drew

12.22.10

"The moment I feel that I don't have anything more to give musically, that's when I won't be found on this planet. I'm not sure I will live to be 28 years-old, but then again, so many beautiful things have happened to me in the last three years, the world owes me nothing."

--Jimi Hendrix


Best Rap of 2010?

posted by drew

12.18.10

Drake, "Forever," featuring some guys, and Eminem who KILLS IT (starting at 4:54). There's a reason that Shady raps last on this song. Nice track.

What are some of your favorite songs of 2010?


Quote of the Day

posted by drew

12.13.10

"Those who restrain their passions do so because theirs are weak enough to be restrained."

         --William Blake


Ray Charles kills it!

posted by drew

12.05.10

"The Little Drummer Boy." The "me and my drum" breakdown at the end is phat!

Check the video.


drew dellinger

Drew Dellinger

Drew Dellinger is a speaker, poet, writer, teacher, and founder of Planetize the Movement. He has inspired minds and hearts at over 1000 events around the planet, performing poetry and keynoting on justice, ecology, cosmology, activism, democracy and compassion.
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"I came across some notes from the poetry writing workshop you held with us here in Brisbane back in December of 2009 and I remembered what a masterful teacher you are."
- Fiona Kem Leiper, Australia

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