For each day of National Poetry Month one of our fellows will explore the breadth of poetry in three ways: through a question from another fellow, through a poem and through a writing prompt, #writetoday.
Jason Bayani asks, The poems I’ve read from you seem to bring up food a lot.If…
Blomqvist auction house was established in 1870, making them one of the first art dealers in Scandinavia. The house is famed for their exquisite selection of art and antiquities, as well as their fabled exhibition halls where Edvard Munch himself used to show his works during his lifetime. Now, 140 years later, Blomqvist still holds its position as one of the top auction houses in the region.
Pictured is Spanish artist Joan Miró’s exquisite 1973 work, Oda a Joan Miró, which Blomqvist is offering at auction next week. A profound balance of sophistication and innocence and a deeply rooted conviction about the relationship between art and nature lie behind Miró’s work and account for the wide appeal that his art continues to have across generations.
1957 Vol. 108, No. 2
Rest In Peace
There is a sort of emotional cake to this day. One could call it a crust. It’s the residue from yesterday; what turned out to be a full, long, and twisting roller coaster.
Yesterday morning was very brisk. Pulling shots from the espresso machine at home, an unfamiliar alert sound, like an 80’s alien video game emanated from my beau’s phone, indicating New York Time’s announcement- the death of one of the great actors of our time, Phillip Seymour Hoffman. “He was found dead, in his apartment this morning – with a syringe in his arm.”
I felt the compressing effect of this news and it’s lingering emotional drag after the alert, all throughout morning.
Then, at three-thirty, my city’s dogged, young, hard-working, and joy-spreading (and having) football team, the Seattle Seahawks went on to dominate the Denver Bronco’s from start to finish, in what was almost a shut out game- but we went on to own the Super Bowl XLVIII, Seahawks 43-8 at MetLife Stadium, in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
This win resulted in an all night parade of happy, Seattle swimming in it’s mirth- elated to the eyeballs. Though loud and testy at times, there was overall, a harmless raucous of unbridled joy from the cars, streets, and buildings of our port town. Very, “the little town with a big heart, that could”. It was inspiring, and I too was infected with delight, I had a grin on my face that could not be wiped off. Ventricles swollen, like the whole city was exploding with pride. The excitement was palpable, adrenaline, and a cascade of all kinds of neurochemical goodness made for an extremely cool, natural high- the likes of which I do not often experience.*
So, at midnight-thirty, it was with the buzz akin to Christmas Eve coursing through my veins I attempted to sleep. The police sirens intermittently blaring from the east veranda, head up on Denny- towards Capitol Hill no doubt. I am smiling in the dark. In bed, I lied restless, and happy but not comfortable… what would I dream tonight when I slept? What would I miss while I dreamt? In spite of the horror that struck me at the thought of Riotous Crowds, I was contented by the fullness of the day and drifted off.
Oh, it is only now as I look at his picture, and read this NPRticle that I cry at his passing. To look at his face and imagine how his pain, the burden of his addiction, how much that wretched monkey on his back weighed him down. In the last few months, I have reflected deeply (both inwardly, and with others) on the topic of addiction: pleasure, vice, and pain- all of their connections and interdependencies, what it has to do with me, and the people I know- looking for patterns and clues. How to get help, how to give help. How to think about it better. Yesterday, we lost a consummate artist to a suffering that was too great for him to bare.
Today is a special day for me personally. This day marks the beginning of a new era for me, and professionally too. So this emotional upheave was inevitable, only now it’s mixed into a big cassoulet of circumstances outside of my petite drama. Somehow, I feel the extraordinary richness of this ebb. Or maybe, I’m just getting older.
*Other times I recall this incredible sensation in Seattle were:
- When gay marriage was legalized, recently.
- When Obama was first elected into presidency.
"I think that the amount of concentration, sometimes the amount of personal exploration, it takes to do something well, can be not pleasant, you know, like hard work is. That doesn’t mean that you don’t want to do it or that you don’t love it or that it’s not ultimately satisfying. You know that old cliché; you know, nothing’s worth it unless it’s hard to do kind of thing. I wear that on my sleeve sometimes when I’m working… There’s always something about that job that’s exhausting, and that’s what’s exhausting about acting, is the level concentration over very long period of time.
And if you’re carrying that around and the emotional life of that around over a period of time, it can be burdensome. But it’s part of the work, and you’re trying to create something artful out of it. And so, it’s not therapy. So, you’re not there to be in therapy; you’re there to take, you know, what you know and the experiences and behavior and emotional life of yourself and others and try to make something artful out of it. But the carrying of that around and the focusing of that can be, it can be tough.”
-Philip Seymour Hoffman speaking to Terry Gross in 2008 about what he finds difficult about acting
In memory of Mr. Hoffman we put together a show with both of his interviews—one from 1999 and the other from 2008, in addition to a clip from our interview with director Paul Thomas Anderson. .
photo via the L.A. Times
Thirty years ago today, Steve Jobs did something he would go on to do many times over: He strode onto a stage and introduced the public to a product that would do its damnedest to dent the universe.
Here is, probably, the main thing worth remembering about the launch of the Macintosh: The soundtrack Apple chose for the moment of the machine’s introduction was, hilariously, the theme song from Chariots of Fire.
But here are a few more things to remember as the Mac marks its 30th birthday.
In honor of #readwomen2014 – an effort to equalize the gender imbalance in our collective reading habits – here are 14 fantastic, timeless reads by women:
- Joan Didion on self-respect
- Susan Sontag on photography as aesthetic consumerism and a form of modern violence
- Virginia Woolf on the creative benefits of keeping a diary
- Annie Dillard on presence over productivity
- Helen Keller on optimism
- Alexandra Horowitz on the blinders of attention
- Anaïs Nin on why emotional excess is essential to creativity
- Hannah Arendt on how bureaucracy fuels violence
- Jennifer Finney Boylan on what it’s like to be a transgender parent
- Anissa Ramirez on saving science education
- Jeanette Winterson on adoption and how we use storytelling to save ourselves
- Dani Shapiro on the pleasures and perils of the creative life
- Virginia Woolf on how to read a book
- Susan Sontag on literature and freedom
Artwork above by Joanna Walsh