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Posted inArt & LifeUncategorized

A Whitmanesque Trump

Tomorrow marks the 200th birthday of Walt Whitman, perhaps America’s first world poet. Whitman’s unrhymed compositions mixed transcendentalism with earthiness, and biblical cadences with sexual frankness. When you read him you sense boldness of imagination and voice. With a slight stretch you can hear the voice as President Trump’s – -f Trump were poetic.  What […]

Posted inArt & LifeUncategorized

The Reused Muse: Satire in Past Voices

The next three columns are based on The Divine Comedy, by Dante Alighieri. Dante’s Comedy, narrated in a colorful and musical Italian, unfolds over several days culminating with Easter in the year 1300. Guided by the Roman poet Virgil, Dante first descends through many levels of hell, then ascends past many levels of sin, finally achieving redemption in multiple celestial spheres. […]

Posted inArt & LifeUncategorized

Frosty Trump

Ten presidents ago, on the occasion of John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, the poet Robert Frost offered a recitation.  Were he alive today, perhaps he would celebrate President Trump similarly.  Or perhaps not.  We cannot know — but we can try to bridge the gap, reviving a familiar old voice in our own time. This is […]

Posted inArt & LifeUncategorized

The Impossible Read

Exactly 400 years ago, in April 1616, two of the world’s best-known writers died. One of them, William Shakespeare, wrote plays and poems familiar to most everybody. The other, Miguel de Cervantes, wrote “Don Quixote,” perhaps the world’s first novel – and perhaps also the first novel few felt up to finishing. Here in Evanston […]