This essay by Brian Volck at “Close Reading,” the Slant Books blog, looks at three poetry collections published in 2020 by Angela Alaimo O’Donnell, Paul Mariani, and Carolyn Forché.
I’m after accomplished poets who can’t stay away from those classic Catholic themes—suffering, death, sex, the pattern of sin and redemption—and habits—self-examination, ritual, memory, the honoring of community over self. Above all, there’s the centrality of the body as contested locus of power and punishment, pleasure and pain.”
Art for Extraordinary Circumstances: Henri Matisse’s “Jazz” and More
Jennifer Farrell, Associate Curator of Department of Drawings and Prints, writes at the Met Museum website about “a selection of artworks that have survived, been altered by, or were created under extraordinary circumstances. These include artifacts that have survived war and iconoclasm, as well as dramatic depictions of the struggles for abolition, suffrage, and equality. Jennifer Farrell . . . opens with the story of how Henri Matisse turned to a new technique in the middle of World War II.
G. K. Chesterton: The Autobiography of G. K. Chesterton
Happy Birthday, Gilbert Keith Chesterton, who began his autobiography in this way:
Bowing down in blind credulity, as is my custom, before mere authority and the tradition of the elders, superstitiously swallowing a story I could not test at the time by experiment or private judgment, I am firmly of opinion that I was born on the 29th of May, 1874, on Campden Hill, Kensington; and baptised according to the formularies of the Church of England in the little church of St. George opposite the large Waterworks Tower that dominated that ridge. I do not allege any significance in the relation of the two buildings; and I indignantly deny that the church was chosen because it needed the whole water-power of West London to turn me into a Christian.”