Karamzin, Memoir on Ancient and Modern Russia. Thomas Gray Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard and lockdown. Andrew Marvell's "The Garden". Elena Shvarts. Poetry. Prophecy. The traditions of St Petersburg and modernism.
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.
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 am reposting this post from maybe May or June. In Melbourne now all the weeks bleed into one. Do not forget us, world - we were a people with soul once, and a few of us can still find the courage to resist. **** Dr Cogito, a persona I know who inhabits the ghost … Continue reading Dr Cogito endures Melbourne’s fifth … and sixth and seventh… lockdown
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
I am very pleased to announced that I am publishing my collected poems, Gathering Flowers of the Mind: Collected Poems, 1996-2020 in both a print and e-book edition. You can purchase through online retailers such as Amazon and Booktopia. You can buy the print edition from Amazon here and the e-book edition from Amazon here. … Continue reading My collected poems published and on sale now
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.
Over the last difficult year my garden has been a constant companion and a source of renewal and strength. Here are three tankas composed in thanks for my garden. I Freshly dug earthOpens its arms for rain.Here dreams were planted.Yesterday, my flowers died.Tomorrow, my ferns will grow. II Plants await plantingAtop a stone ledge besidePrepared … Continue reading Three tankas on my garden
This morning I read some poems from Hafez (c 1315-1390) that celebrated love and wine and striving of a mysticism. Notwithstanding the art, the sentiments left me cold, and so I recovered from an earlier post this different sentiment of Rumi that speaks more to my sense of the spirit of the times: "Sometimes the … Continue reading A revelation from Rumi
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