From the monthly archives:

February 2011

from “Self-Consciousness” by Tony Hoagland:

When a person takes the step toward learning more of craft and its history, more of artifice—when, for example, a person crosses the threshold of an MFA program—she chooses to end a childhood in artlessness. She gives up some of the innocent infatuation, the naïveté, the adolescent grandiosity, maybe even some of the natural grace of the beginner. “They are good poets because they don’t know yet how hard it is to write a poem,” I have heard a teacher say, a bit tartly, of her beginning poetry class.

This initiation into knowledge will infect the learner with the virus of self-consciousness. As a consequence of learning of the existence of the poems of W.H. Auden, or Marianne Moore, or Louise Glück, your writing may suddenly seem horribly simplistic, crude as crayon drawings on Masonite. Now the poem, even as you are making it, seems stiff, clumsy, and obvious. Now your work may become, in compensation, coy and encoded.

Yet that very knowledge, which can inhibit and choke, can also inspire and challenge. Self-consciousness is the necessary border crossing of craft, skill, and even of poetic ambition.”

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Even though he’s already met his goal, I think this is such a great project that I just supported it:

And you still have time to support it, too.

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From a New York Times article about the International Music Score Library:

“In many cases these publishers are basically getting the revenue off of composers who are dead for a very long time,” Mr. Guo said. “The Internet has become the dominant form of communication. Copyright law needs to change with it. We want people to have access to this material to foster creativity. Personally I don’t feel pity for these publishers.”

This comment by Mr. Guo has personal resonance:

“Composing is very good until you have to pay your bills,” he said.

As does this one, however much at odds it is with the last one:

“As a musician I have a duty to promote music. That’s the basic philosophy behind it.”

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A newspaper box in St. Petersburg, Florida

A newspaper box in St. Petersburg, Florida

A closeup of the sign

A closeup of the sign

Photo Credit: Jim Blair

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Dave Allen:

We live in interesting times. When The Guardian has an article with a headline that asks “Will Radiohead’s The King of Limbs save the music industry?” You have to laugh. Why would they want to do that? And so it is with the iPad apps and the media publishing industry “Will Rupert Murdoch’s The Daily save the newspaper and magazine industry?” Well, that’s no laughing matter.

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Egypt Remembers

The faces of murdered Egyptian protesters

via

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Eros and Disorder

February 10, 2011

in Poetry,Senses,Words

A careless shoe-string, in whose tie
I see a wild civility,
Do more bewitch me, than when art
is too precise in every part.

— From “Delight in Disorder” by Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

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