The best in poetry (and poetic things), this week with Seth Haines.
In case you haven’t heard, which is to say in case you live under a rock, the iPhone 5 launched yesterday. Apple’s newest version of their popular telephone/personal computing device is reportedly thinner, lighter, and at twenty times as awesome as the previous 4 iterations. And what should one do with such a cutting edge device? Look at photographs of old art, of course.
In her piece for VentureBeat, Christina Farr reviews the DailyArt app, which gives iPhone and Android users the ability to supplement their hectic lives with a daily dose of culture. She says, “apps like these are a step in the right direction for getting younger generations engaged with art.” Perhaps she’s right. But then again, given the choice between following Justin Bieber’s twitter stream and learning to distinguish a Monet from a Manet, I’m pretty sure we’ve already lost the “younger generations.”
Maybe there’s hope yet. This amazing and hilarious gallery of iPhone art is sure to engage those of the younger persuasion. And even if the humor of an Apple product falling onto the head of Steve Jobbs is lost on them, maybe they’ll at least get a chuckle from the iPhone-toting Ewok.
Every year September 11th sneaks up on me. Does it you?
This September 11, a famous Santa Fe sculptor was busying himself preparing an inscription to be hung on the wall of the National September 11 Memorial. The inscription–“No day shall erase you from the memory of time”–comes from “The Aeneid, ” that famous work by Virgil. But evidently, the quote is raising quite a stir among those who understand the context of the quote. Want to know why? Read “Out of Context, ” by Caroline Alexander and decide whether the inclusion of the quote is appropriate or a literary gaffe.
Do you stay up to date with the latest global news? Harper’s Magazine makes it easy and entertaining with their weekly news recap. This week’s review catches you up on the latest campaign news, the current state of affairs in Syria, and some bearded men’s attempts to save the… ahem… well… You can read more at Harper’s Magazine’s “Weekly Review.”
Think you have written the next great American novel? Tired of receiving all of those pesky rejection letters? Amazon.com and Kindle Direct Publishing are here to rescue you!
Last week, Amazon announced that authors can publish their own eBooks in a matter of hours at no cost. Through Kindle Direct Publishing, authors can create, publish, and distribute their own eBooks, retaining 70% of the royalties. Sounds like a great deal? What are you waiting for? Get publishing!
Did you know that Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein grew from a horror story writing contest proposed by Lord Byron in 1816? After the publication of Frankenstein, Shelley gave a first edition copy to Byron bearing the handwritten inscription, “To Lord Byron, from the author.”
Now you can own this very book! Peter Harrington, a Chelsea-based bookseller, is selling the Shelley inscribed copy. How much will it set you back? Let’s just say I nearly needed to be revived by a swift bolt of lightning when I read “Lord Byron’s personal copy of Frankenstein to go on display prior to sale.”
Anyone know the conversion rate for the British pound?
I’ve often thought that a creative life is a healthy life. Now, Tori Rodriguez of the Scientific American has provided the data to back me up. In “Creativity Predicts a Longer Life, ” she writes, “creative thinking reduces stress and keeps the brain healthy.” Moreover, “because the brain is the command center for all bodily functions, exercising it helps all systems to continue running smoothly.” Perfect. That’s all the reason I need to drop my gym membership and start writing more short stories. Thanks, Scientific American!
Speaking of health and creativity, have you been reading Tweetspeak’s weekly “Tea for Two” prompts? Follow along as yours truly eschews coffee for the kinder, gentler, more healthful drink, and attempts to spark a bit of creativity from the experience.
How would you like to write a piece of flash fiction? Consider entering NPR’s Three-Minute Fiction Round 9: Pick A President. The premise is simple: write a short piece of fiction (no more than 600 words) that can be read in three minutes. Stories must revolve around a U.S. President, who can be either real or fictional. Visit NPR for more details, and let us know if you enter the contest. We’d love to hear you reading your piece on NPR!
There are poems that sit heavy, leave you with a feeling of smallness. “The Way in Which, ” by Paul Willis is just such a poem. Ruminating on loss, Willis writes:
The way too in which every gesture
is insufficient, all words of loss
lost, each hand a broken sieve.
A timely poem for the week, “The Way in Which, ” is one of those pieces that holds you, even when you’d rather it let go.
Do you have writer’s envy? If not, you are either (a) not a writer or (b) a completely selfless saint who deserves canonization in the writer’s hall of fame. In “Being, ” L.L. Barkat explores themes of jealous and poet envy, writing:
I am jealous of the red flower.
Poets can be that way, wanting
to be the one
whom the gods chose…
Lucky subscribers to Every Day Poems have already received copies of “The Way in Which, ” and “Being.” If you’d like to receive poems like these in your inbox every day, sign up for Every Day Poems!
Do you remember those awful third grade school pictures? The ones where you sported that hideous knit sweater with the silhouetted boxer dogs across the front? Sure they were horrible, but were they as bad as those of J.D. Salinger, Stephen King, or Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.? You be the judge. See early school pictures of your favorite authors in “What J.D. Salinger (and Other Writers) Looked Like at Holden Caulfield’s Age.”
What do you get when you mix an average Thursday night with a group of carpenters and pints of beer? Poetry of course! In “How do I build thee? Let me count the ways, ” Bella English of the Boston Globe shares the story of a group of carpenters who began reading the poems of carpenter Mark Turpin. Inspired by Turpin’s pieces, the carpenters decided to create their own poetry competition.
Now, the “Carpenter Poets” meet twice a year to read their pieces. Read this wonderful piece of a group of normal carpenters who, by writing poetry, have engaged in the process of life-long learning.
10 Sound n Motion
I will leave it with Billy Collins, Poet Laureate at the time of the 9/11 attacks. This piece is moving.
Watch Poet Billy Collins Reflects on 9/11 Victims in ‘The Names’ on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.
What great poetic picks have you found this week? Be sure to share them with us in the comments.