Amy Leach on the sounds of a weekend; Martha Cooley on the strangeness of loneliness; Robert Sullivan on the beauty of usefulness; Dubravka Ugresic on overcoming emptiness; Denis Donoghue on Eliot, Dante, and Shakespeare; Nora Krug's Kamikaze; Bennett Sims's ekphrases; Anne Carson's Q & A; John Ashbery's Rimbaud; fiction by Tash Aw and Stuart Dybek; poems by Cathy Park Hong, Alain Mabanckou, Adam Zagajewski, and others; and introducing Miroslav Penkov.
No. 13 • Amy LeachSunday Morning “You are the music. While the music lasts,” wrote T. S. Eliot, and while I am playing a song I believe the song. It’s more interesting to change with the music than to play sarcastically.
No. 13 • James GuidaHow I’d like to know everything that man knows, just not in the way he knows it.
No. 13 • Leslie JamisonThe warning, as ever, is also a promise: This program contains subject matter and language that may be disturbing to some viewers.
No. 13 • Bennett SimsThere is a famous photograph taken at the edge of death: inside a car parked by the sidewalk are all manner of large dogs, looking directly into the camera.
No. 13 • Miroslav PenkovIt's not like Grandmoms is urging me to steal from the British.
No. 13 • Tash AwIt was the shape of an arrowhead: sleek, sharp, fast.
No. 13 • Robert SullivanPublic art in New York, as in all vibrant cities, has a lot to do with spectacle.
No. 13 • Martha CooleyDenise walked past her lover’s wife’s car each evening.
No. 13 • Dubravka UgresicIt needs to be said up front: I’m not a karaoke fan.
No. 13 • Nora KrugIn December 1943, 20-year-old Ena Takehíko was drafted into the Japanese imperial navy.
No. 13 • Arthur RimbaudOnce the world has been reduced to a single dark wood for our four astonished eyes
No. 13 • Adam ZagajewskiStreets seem abbreviated / by the heat, the ease of seeing.
No. 13 • Allison TitusHere, in the advent / of the third-to-last / season of the very / long war, we grow / accustomed.
No. 13 • Nick TwemlowThe life of the party slits its wrists.
No. 13 • Alain MabanckouYou who are on your way over there / Toward what was once an azure blue dream, / My sun the closest shadow / to another’s shadow
No. 13 • Jason LabbeThe twilight landscape comes on / and one channel of a thousand lights the window.
No. 13 • Barbara Claire Freemannear the quays / wet lightless / day thickened
No. 13 • Cathy Park HongI dreamed of regicide though there is no king.
No. 13 • Orhan VeliSeveral years ago the poet and translator Murat Nemet-Nejat approached me with an entertaining offer: take his translations of Orhan Veli, the great poet of modernism in Turkey, and make new poems out of them.
No. 13 • Stuart DybekYou play the buggies, too? I noticed you studying that racing form like it’s a rich uncle’s will. Yeah, I know that look, like it’s a chess game and you’re Bobby Fischer thinking so many moves ahead it’s like he can see the future. Tell you, there was a time I could close my eyes and pick a winner like I was following my finger around a Ouija board.
No. 13 • Denis DonoghueIn The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism Eliot joked that the only pleasure he got from reading Shakespeare, when he was a boy, “was the pleasure of being commended for reading him; had I been a child of more independent mind I should have refused to read him at all.”
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