Check out my (free) multi-part report on the lively 2012 Auckland conference “Short Takes on the Long Poem”. The participants wrote the longest poem in the world, on Waiheke Island in Auckland Bay. Lots of photos! Here: http://johntranter.com/notebook/auckland-1.shtml
Gosh, the great Australian poet Les Murray AO is reading at the University of Sydney Library on Rod McKuen’s birthday:
Of course the date is appropriate, and so soon after ANZAC Day, but it does put me in a dilemma: on the one hand: Can’t miss that! On the other: if I don’t hang out with Rod, he’ll be upset!
What to do?
Enough arty photographs! Are you a surgeon? Feel a burning need to ligate a uterine pedicle? Welcome to Surgical Knots:
We introduced this section partly to accompany our research on surgical knots showing that the Constrictor is markedly superior to knots usually employed by surgeons. The paper has generated interest and, as a result, the [British] Royal College of Surgeons has kindly made it Available On Line. From: Animated Knots by Grog.
Welcome to one of the world’s most beautiful Ramayana manuscripts. The original was prepared for Maharana Jagat Singh, the ruler of the Rajput kingdom of Mewar in Rajasthan, in the middle of the seventeenth century.
Most volumes of the manuscript are now in the British Library. They were presented by Maharana Bhim Singh of Mewar to Colonel James Tod who brought them back to Britain in 1823. Other parts have remained in India, held today in three separate institutions and one private collection.
Digitisation has made it possible for this long-divided manuscript to be brought together again for the first time in almost 200 years. The majority of text pages in the manuscript have been digitised as well as the paintings so that Valmiki’s work can be read in the original Sanskrit.
Link here: http://www.bl.uk/ramayana
From my FaceBook page: Photo, above: Ashbery and Auden at the Poetry International Festival in London in 1972: Auden’s friend the Nobel-greedy Joseph Brodsky is sucking up to them both but his image has been trimmed from the RHS of the photo. Auden cheerfully knocked back the Nobel Prize in 1964… did you know that? I didn’t. You must read this recent piece from the NYTBR by Edward Mendelson on Auden: “W.H. Auden had a secret life that his closest friends knew little or nothing about. Everything about it was generous and honorable. He kept it secret because he would have been ashamed to have been praised for it… Auden… seems to have mentioned the incident only once, when he went to dinner with his friend Lincoln Kirstein the same evening and said, “There goes the Nobel Prize.” The prize went to Jean-Paul Sartre, who refused it.” More At http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/mar/20/secret-auden/
In the past few years, the science of Internet trollology has made some strides. Last year, for instance, we learned that by hurling insults and inciting discord in online comment sections, so-called Internet trolls (who are frequently anonymous) have a polarizing effect on audiences, leading to politicization, rather than deeper understanding of scientific topics.
The painting John Ashbery was referring to in his 1975 poem “Sef-portrait in a Convex Mirror”…
Of the origin of Francesco Parmigianino’s “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror,” 16th century painter and art historian Giorgio Vasari wrote: “He began to draw himself as he appeared in a barber’s convex glass. He had a ball of wood made at a turner’s and divided in half, and on this he set himself to paint all that he saw in the glass. Because the mirror enlarged everything that was near and diminished what was distant, he painted the hand a little large.”
Four centuries later, poet John Ashbery took up the painting in the title poem of his Pulitzer Prize-winning book Self Portrait in a Convex Mirror:
As Parmigianino did it, the right hand
Bigger than the head, thrust at the viewer
And swerving easily away, as though to protect
What it advertises.
Ashbery’s ecphrastic poetry is unique because, as poet David Lehman has remarked, Ashbery uses specific paintings “as points of departure that discover themselves by meditating on objets d’art, and thus displacing them. . . . Gazing at the painting, the poet comes virtually to inhabit its room, to make its quarters his own.”
- See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5926
Not sure about the hair… but: Nice Jacket!!
The Coen Brothers’ movie “Inside Llewyn Davis” (late 2013) takes place mainly in the folk singing venue the Gaslight Poetry Café, Greenwich Village, New York, in 1961. In the movie, the last folkie seen to take the stage bears a suspicious resemblance to the young Bob Dylan, not long after he left his rightful name (Robert Zimmerman of Hibbing Minnesota) behind for good. Yes, Bob played the Gaslight, in 1961. Here’s the album to prove it.