July 8th, 2005

Green Kiki

Why not Fortran?

Well, Comcast was nice enough to add two new channels to the lineup: the long-missed Boomerang (how the fuck did we not get that, of all things?), and Logo. the channel for gay people who program on Apple IIe computers.

Giant finned cars nose forward like fish

I've been slowly and joyfully rediscovering the poems of Robert Lowell.

I somehow made it through high school without reading him, thanks to (otherwise competent) teachers who avoided 20th century poetry* (the trade-off being an amazingly thorough grounding in pre-1900 poets). I spent most of my college years enjoying the works of Frost and Williams, with a brief diversion into the poetry of the 1980s and early 90s (Olds, Lux, etc). I finally read some Lowell when I discovered Plath and Sexton, and I was blown away by him then, but he somehow slipped away from me, and faded from memory.

And weirdly, he seems to have done that for America as a whole. We're talking about someone who won a pair of Pulitzers, who was considered the best poet of his generation, and who was pretty much on a par with Robert Frost at one point in terms of being recognized as The American Poet of the 20th Century. His influence on folks like Plath and Sexton, as well as the vast numbers of folks who mimic them, is undeniable. Much as I love both Frost and Williams (and I do, a whole hell of a lot), Lowell had a way with language that American poetry hadn't seen since Whitman. But he practically vanished from the American psyche just a few short years after his death.

I only recently thought of him again thanks to reading the glowing reviews of his Letters, which has now been added to my wishlist (the fact that a good chunk of the collection consists of letters to the equally wonderful Elizabeth Bishop isn't a bad thing, either).

Rediscovering his works, I'm just amazed by how much emotion he can convey so simply. "For the Union Dead" (a beautiful dedication to fellow Bostonian Colonel Robert Shaw, best known to most folks as the guy played by Matt Broderick in Glory) is the one work that everyone seems to have encountered, but his other works are all wonderful. The poem below was one of his last, a look at his own career.

Collapse )

Yeah, I'll be getting that collection of letters next time money/gift certificates come my way.

*Except Frank O'Hara, who we read in an advanced course on New York literature.
  • Current Music
    What's Mine is Yours -- Sleater-Kinney
  • Tags

Fantastic Four quotes

The movie may well blow, but it's inspired some great writing:

sweinberg: Buy a box of M&M's on your way into Fantastic Four, and eat one (1) candy every time Ms. Alba offers a new facial expression. You'll be going home with a mega-full box of M&M's, trust me.

Roger Ebert: Alicia tenderly feels [The Thing's] face with her fingers, like blind people often do while falling in love in the movies, and I guess she likes what she feels. Maybe she's extrapolating.

nihilistic_kid: Sue Storm isn't just a chikie-poo in the movie, she's a geneticist. She wears make-up like she's a ninth grade whore and never does any science stuff, but really, she's smart.

Walter Chaw: . . . and then we're told that when our lovable quartet's DNA were altered, the DNA of their uniforms was altered, too, meaning that their clothing is able to perform the same feats of derring-do as these superheroes. Not knowing that fabric even had DNA, I was amazed to discover that the stupidest movie of the year actually taught me something. (I hope to one day have the power to clone my battered "Members Only" jacket using this fabulous technology.)

A.O. Scott: But really, Ms. Alba - who has certainly made the most of her own genetic advantages - is no more laughable in such a role than Ioan Gruffudd, who does his best to achieve the emotional depth and physical grace of a plastic action figure. Mr. Gruffudd plays Reed Richards, a genius who has lost the financing for his pet project, which involves both space travel and DNA sequencing.

Really, any movie that inspires this much fine writing is worth the production costs.
  • Current Mood
    amused amused
  • Tags