Music, the Opium of the Masses

Karl Marx is famous (or infamous, depending on your viewpoint) for saying, "Religion is the opium of the masses." Right church, different pew, I think. It's music that is the opium of the masses, which may explain why churches resonate with song, the nearer God to be. Unconvinced? You need only walk along city sidewalks …

Continue reading Music, the Opium of the Masses

Advertisements

Rogue Poems on the Lam

Charles Simic is of the camp that says poems, like characters in a novelist's work, take on a life of their own minutes after written, quickly declaring independence from the poet-god that breathed life into their lungs. It's an expansive, capital-R Romantic notion, the type Dr. Frankenstein could relate to (if you forget, for a …

Continue reading Rogue Poems on the Lam

A Carnival of Losses, A Big Top of Gains

I just finished poet Donald Hall's second (and final, given his death last year) collection of essays, A Carnival of Losses: Notes Nearing Ninety. His prose style is concise and entertaining, proving compression (i.e. "the art of poetry") has pay-offs for the essay writer, too. Make that "especially." For fans of poetry, two of the …

Continue reading A Carnival of Losses, A Big Top of Gains

“All Genuine Poetry in My View Is Antipoetry.”

Like Tony Hoagland, Charles Simic is no one-trick pony. In addition to his prowess in poetry, he knows his way around an essay, too. Yesterday, reading "Notes on Poetry and Philosophy," I noted much of interest, both from Simic and from the poets and philosophers he quotes. For instance, Wallace Stevens once said that the …

Continue reading “All Genuine Poetry in My View Is Antipoetry.”