Wendell Berry vs. Godzilla

Wendell Berry was hitting stride while delivering the 41st annual Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities at Kennedy Center last night. The great agrarian poet was calling out the excesses of corporate America, technology, capitalism and our rampant disregard for nature. Our wanderlust has destroyed our rootedness, our sense of place. It suddenly dawned on me […]

Translations

This morning’s Wall Street Journal featured an article by Stephen Mitchell detailing the process he went through translating Homer’s Iliad. In addition to offering a fascinating glimpse into the art of translating, Mitchell provides a great tip for all writers: read your work aloud and listen. The music of the spoken word was clear on Thursday […]

A good Dickey is hard to find

One of my favorite moments in Flannery O’Connor’s fiction comes at the grisly finale to “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” The Misfit has just killed a grandmother in cold blood, prompting his cohort to note: “She was a talker, wasn’t she?” “She would of been a good woman,” the Misfit says, “if it […]

A kayak made of poetry

In a New York Times obituary of George Hitchcock, the founder of Kayak poetry magazine, it noted the publication carried the following motto in every issue: “A kayak is not a galleon, ark, coracle or speedboat. It is a small watertight vessel operated by a single oarsman. It is submersible, has sharply pointed ends, and […]