Closer Readings +

Gary Snyder Found His Voice as a Poet with Poems Set in the American West

Gary Snyder
Is there anything more distinctive in American poetry than hearing a recording of Robert Frost reading one of his own poems? Video clips and recordings from the sixties capture the distinctive voice at public readings, where Frost’s voice and the poem he’s reading aloud become one and the same. The lines, we feel while listening, were written for Frost, not just by him. Frost, much earlier, had discovered what he had to say as a poet—he had discovered his voice.Read More »

Debates over the State of Reading Seem Unsettled Today? Look to Late Nineteenth Century Newspapers to Find Out How Much, or How Little, Things Have Changed.

Woman reading in European cafe
In France and Germany in the latter half of the nineteenth century, newspapers—printed matter in general, in fact—underwent dramatic and dynamic changes. For newspapers, readership had increased greatly, and the feuilleton (pronounced, fuh-ya-tawn)—a section often starting at the bottom of the front page and continuing on the back, offering lively reportage, criticism, or serialized novels—attracted a diversity of readers who came to rely on these “little sheets of paper” as a mirror held up to society that reflected and refashioned its tastes, opinions, and quirks.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Rites of Spring in the Nation's Capital

Cherry Blossoms around the Tidal Basin with Washington Monument in background
Look at the cherry blossoms!Their color and scent fall with them,Are gone forever,Yet mindlessThe spring comes again.— Japanese poet Ikkyū (休宗純1394–1481)Read More »

“The Song of Wandering Aengus”

Hazel Wood in Glen Fyne
I went out to the hazel wood,Because a fire was in my head,And cut and peeled a hazel wand,And hooked a berry to a thread …—W.B. YeatsAs we prepare to celebrate all things Irish this week on St. Patrick’s Day, enter the poetic dream-vision or “aisling” of Irish poet W. B. Yeats with EDSITEment’s new feature, “The Song of Wandering Aengus.”Read More »
Categories Closer Readings