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Battlestar Galactica, or (Paradise) Lost in Space

(Warning: This post contains major spoilers for recent episodes of Battlestar Galactica, so if you don’t want to know, you’d best stop reading now.) When I first started watching Battlestar Galactica, I saw it as, among many other things, a reimagining of Vergil’s Aeneid. Now that another couple of seasons have passed and the emphasis […]

More on poetry and quotation (or, One-hit wonders of the literary canon)

So I was thinking about quotation a few months ago, and then yesterday morning I was working on a reference question about a very, very obscure Victorian poet. (So obscure he doesn’t even get a mention in the Dictionary of Literary Biography, and only a handful of libraries on this side of the Atlantic own […]

The quotation effect

The other night, wanting something to read, I asked my Twitter friends if they could recommend any poems they liked. One of them suggested Conrad Aiken's "Morning Song of Senlin," which I'd never read before but was very glad to have pointed out to me. At the end of the first stanza I was stopped […]

Google poetry goes…paper?

Actual book summary encountered today while I was selecting new books: "Poetry consisting of found text from Google search results." And I find myself surprised, not at the fact that someone would publish a book of found poetry from collaged text, or that they'd assemble it out of Google-fragments, but that the resulting poems would […]

Name that poem!

A meme for a Saturday morning: I've just discovered Wordle, a site that lets you generate nice-looking multicolored "word clouds" out of any text you put into it. One of the first things I tried doing with it was running the text of various poems through it. And then I thought, "I wonder how identifiable […]

Paul Muldoon, new poetry editor at the New Yorker

I heard on NPR this morning that Paul Muldoon is the New Yorker‘s new poetry editor. I was tickled to hear them discussing his poem "Capercaillies," which spells out, acrostically, "Is this a New Yorker poem or what." Given that my responses to most of the recent New Yorker poems have ranged from "mildly disappointed" […]

The map obsession continues

I’m still on my "space and place" kick, and probably will be for quite a while: it has all the signs of becoming a productive research obsession. Among the latest manifestations: Someone recently drew my attention to Ecotone, a new literary journal out of the University of North Carolina. It deals with the concept of […]

On the sticking power of poetry

Dale of mole has been posting about poetry and memorization, and how it makes poetry “available when we are in the moment of need or desire.” I can’t resist following that lead. It’s a subject on which I’ve now written about a ream of academic prose, but my fascination with poetry’s memorability goes back much farther than my choice […]

Nine questions about poetry

I stole this from Jane Dark. How could I possibly resist a poetry survey? 1. The first poem I remember reading/hearing/reacting to was… I don’t remember what poem it was, but I have a vague early memory of trying to rearrange the words in a nursery rhyme, and being perplexed when it didn’t sound as […]

Syllables like shell-spirals

Look, it’s a brand-new poetic form! The Fib is the invention of Gregory K. of GottaBook, and it’s kind of like a haiku, except that it’s got more than three lines, and the number of syllables to a line is based on the Fibonacci sequence: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, and so on. (As […]