The question stands: was the early Romantic poet William Blake a madman or a visionary? It is a misleading question, to be sure. “What is madness? How is it to be understood critically?” asks Paul Youngquist in Madness and Blake’s Myth. He goes on: “Such questions present formidable barriers to a criticism that would make madness the subject of interpretation,” and “[t]he madman… suffers real anguish, in our age as in any other.”¹ Blake the man certainly suffered in his life — in his age. He struggled to produce his craft…
When one considers the meaning of a piece of music, it seems common to take the rather ordinary position of giving primacy to the subjective experience: the emotion the music carries is what it is all about. Rather than taking some individualized emotion as the content of a particular piece of music, it is important to understand, instead, the primacy of the structure of the work in the interpretive process. The facts of the considered work, as it were, rather than the nebulous “facts” of the listener, reader, viewer, which may always be poorly understood and related. Do you feel…
I remember visiting you in the blue heart of winter. Step from the bus into the cold air of the station. A desolate lot, larger than most, populated mostly by abandoned cars. A few travelers sift through the snow. It is a throughway:
Hiremy-Hirschl’s Hermes, robed in royal blue,
steps onto the concrete shore, awaiting
Charon to ferry him across the Styx,
now a field of snow and ice.
The land is flat and frozen, and naked trees surround us. A pearly grey defines a sky which blends into the horizon, and that snowy field extends outward and up overhead…
Although our ever devoted star has set on the name of you and I, when I walk the well-worn paths of the garden tucked away within the walls of my mind, I find you echoed in hushed chambers.
I have buried you there,
among the roots of
an old apricot tree.
Fingers push the cold earth into shape — into walls to house your garden, like beetles beneath the grass, burrowing into the clay. This fortress made from muddy thoughts and memories, recollections lost and put back, time and time again, in an imperfect replacement. …
New England writer and artist who sometimes finds himself in loathsome Sarasota.