Long, fascinating article in the Daily Beast, (2.16.14) of all places, about "Lord" Byron. It relates Byron to the international politics of our day. Excerpt:
It’s certainly true that he exhibited one of the hallmarks of the 19th century Orientalist: the frisson he experienced in the Near East was mostly sexual. “I am dying for the love of three Greek girls at Athens, sisters,” he wrote his friend Henry Drury in 1810. “Teresa, Mariana, and Katinka are the names of these divinities—all of them under fifteen.” (Teresa inspired the poem “Maid of Athens, Ere We Part.”) But even amid such dissipations, there was powerful paradox at work in Byron’s character: the spoiled, aristocratic posturing, luxurious living, and reckless sport-fucking competed with a core seriousness founded on a hatred of injustice and a sincere internationalism.
Unlike British radicals of more recent vintage, Byron was profoundly pro-American despite never having traveled to the constitutional republic he thought a model for all civilized nations, including his own. He associated the “first tidings that have ever sounded like Fame” not with his domestic critical reception (far from adulatory) but with hearing that his poems were now read on the banks of the Ohio River.
An informative article about Helga Sandburg Crile relayed that "Helga does not attend funerals or weddings. None. Speaking of the death of a dear friend she says that every morning a beautiful red cardinal comes to her in the garden and asks "Is Betty here?" When she "hears" the cardinal ask about Betty she says, "Betty is always with me. There was no reason to go to her funeral."
This week, what will change, for sadly, Carl Sandburg's last daughter has just died. Speaking of the death of her last husband, Helga told the interviewer:
"I still talk to his ashes. The wonderful thing about death is that it can't take away memories."
She loved gardens, and it remains to be seen if her own remains will be placed in the incredibly wonderful family garden-cemetery in Galesburg, or with her deceased husband, in Cleveland.
(PBS Newshour 1-24-14) Walk around the market town of Dumfries, Scotland, and at first glance you'll see what looks like a kind of graffiti in the windowpanes -- faint etchings in some, and in others verses written boldly in thick black pen. A few are the surviving work of Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns, etched into the glass centuries ago when he stayed at the Globe Inn. Others are the work of contemporary poets, writing to pay him tribute.
January 25th marks the 255th anniversary of Burns' birth, and around the world, Scots and devotees of the poet alike will gather to commemorate the event with Burns Suppers -- eating haggis, raising a wee dram of whisky (whiskey to us Americans), and most importantly, reading his poetry aloud. Burns was only 37 years old when he died, but was a prolific writer, giving the world "Auld Lang Syne," "A Red, Red Rose" and "To a Mouse," among others.
Mexico City (AFP) 1/26/2014 -- "President Enrique Pena Nieto also paid tribute. "A great representative of our (Spanish-language) literature has passed away. Mexicowill miss the great writer Jose Emilio Pacheco. May he rest in peace," the president tweeted.
Pacheco, born in Mexico City, was humble despite his fame, rejecting until the last moment the title of greatest living Mexican poet.
"I'm not the best poet of Mexico, not even of my neighborhood," he quipped in 2009, noting that he lived near Argentine poet Juan Gelman, who died earlier this month.
Abdul Ghani: Poet/Painter/Pashto Philosopher: Painters from the province, including Brekhna Shehzad, Mavra Khan and Mohammad Arshad, are trying to incorporate Khan’s philosophy and politics into their work to express their affection for the man who was not just a poet but a painter, sculptor and vital part of Pashto literature.
Ghani Khan’s poetry was mostly humourous and satirical. He is considered to be one of the grand masters of Pashto literature in the same league as Amir Hamza Khan Shinwari and Qalandar Momand.
Hamdullah Arbab, a painter who works mostly with oil and water colours, while talking about his portrait of Ghani Khan, said it was an interesting way to highlight the poet’s work and philosophy. He added that his real aim was to convey Ghani Khan’s philosophy to the masses through his art.
Mumbai, India. Around 5,000 people walked in a procession on Thursday to bid adieu to a leader who shook up the 1970s with his militant Dalit movement.
Renowned poet and firebrand Marathi writer Padma Shri Namdeo Dhasal, 64, who was battling colorectal cancer for the past three and a half months, passed away on Wednesday. Thousands, including personalities in the field of Marathi literature and politicians...
Breaking away from normal poetic styles and conventions, Dhasal liberally used words and expressions typical to Dalits. In "Golpitha", he made use of the crude language normal in a red light area, shocking many readers.
Arundhati Subrahmaniam once described his poetry thus: "Dhasal is a quintessentially Mumbai poet. Raw, raging, associative, almost carnal in its tactility, his poetry emerges from the underbelly of the city - its menacing, unplumbed netherworld. This is the world of pimps and smugglers, of crooks and petty politicians, of opium dens, brothels and beleaguered urban tenements."