Konstantin Leontyev and Byzantism. Henry Lawson, Past Carin'. Hart Crane. Tomas Tranströmer. Supply chain fragility. Alexander I and the defeat of Napoleon in 1812. Every poet is an émigré. Nobel Peace Prize misses the point.
Join the The Burning Archive Podcast on Apple or Spotify and other platforms for a special feature on the 2021 Nobel Prize for Literature, and learn not only about the hushed excitement of the winner (sshh no spoilers), but the history of the prize, favourite winners, best losers, and most contentious scandals. Congratulations to Abdulrazak … Continue reading Podcast #21 – Special on 2021 Nobel Prize for Literature
Wallace Stevens. COVID zero fanatics. The Novel is dead. Saint Galgano. Louise Glück. How democracies die. Solzhenitsyn.
Michael Oakeshott, Marina Tsvetaeva, Elena Shvarts, Russian Ark, St Petersburg
I have begun a YouTube channel, The Burning Archive, where I will feature short videos of my writing and interests in culture, history and literature. To begin the channel I am releasing a set of five poems that I have read from each of the fascicles of Gathering the Flowers of the Mind: Collected Poems, … Continue reading Watch my poetry readings on YouTube
This morning I read this poem. "A task" by Czelaw Milosz, chosen randomly from his collected poems. It reminded me of the post I made on reading this poem initially in 2017. It resonated again today amidst so much degraded public discourse. I will add to this repost the closing paragraph of the other poem … Continue reading A task: from Milosz to me
Wallace Stevens is a poet of comedy, and comedy relieves the distress of tragic history. Comedy reconciles the restless, Romantic imagination with the present and the real. When the world falls apart, one must cultivate one's garden, but also tell some comic stories over dinner. It is comedy, not alone but inseparable, that moves the infinite conversation on.
Today, 31 March, is the feast day for John Donne in the Anglican and Lutheran denominations and commemorates the metaphysical poet and reluctant priest's death in 1631. In honour of this intriguing figure, whose poetry and prose I wish to read more of, I am reposting a post from September 2016. It speaks of the … Continue reading Donne’s sermons and the blogging tradition
The story of Ezra Pound's mind cannot be told in plain and simple affirmations. Three twisted trees grow from this mind in all accounts: poetry, unavowable politics, and madness. They stand tangled and tragic in a strange, haunted copse that very few today will see as an holy trinity. The iconoclasts of today's fanatical cancel … Continue reading Ezra Pound, the unavowable fury of thy true heritage in fragments
One year ago I was about to fly to Bali, as it turned out in the last window of easy international travel before wide COVID travel restrictions. It was a wonderful, relaxing, luxurious and rejuvenating trip. Part of the regrowth came from the direct experience of the cultural traditions that India disseminated over South East … Continue reading The persistence of the Mahabharata
In April 2017 I wrote the following post in an experiment, a form of improvised association and regathering of the fragments of my mind. I will write some more of these kinds of posts soon. Please enjoy. Sponges, metamorphoses and psyche (originally posted 23 April 2017) After a morning during which I searched my ravaged … Continue reading Sponges, metamorphoses and psyche
There are few funny stories to emerge from American politics over the last two months, especially during the constitutional embarrassment of the latest faux and cursed impeachment. There is, however, one story that stands out as laugh-out-loud funny, and symptomatic of the cultural decay, which has been a constant theme of this blog since its … Continue reading Sound and fury told by the American cultural “elite”