Monday, June 27, 2022

Poem by Frank O'Hara

A while ago I read the poem "Music," in the 1964 book Lunch Poems, by Frank O'Hara (City Lights Books).

The poem, the first in the book, is dated 1953.  Mr. O'Hara died in 1966, at age forty, two years after Lunch Poems was published.

There is a phrase in the poem--just part of a sentence--which has stayed with me; I have re-read it several times.

Mr. O'Hara wrote:

It's like a locomotive on the march, the season 

      of distress and clarity

Friday, June 17, 2022

Watergate

Today is the 50th anniversary--50 years? My heavens--of the break-in at the Watergate complex.  The arrest of the burglars led, ultimately, to the 1974 resignation of President Nixon.

Earlier this month, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who, notably, covered the Watergate scandal for The Washington Post, published a "Perspective" piece, in the Post.  It is titled: "Woodward and Bernstein thought Nixon defined corruption. Then came Trump."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2022/06/05/woodward-bernstein-nixon-trump/

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Liz Cheney, and the House hearings

I have written previously, in this space, about Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney.

Ms. Cheney, one of two Republicans on the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th insurrection, was featured prominently during the committee's opening hearing Thursday night.

New Yorker writer Susan B. Glasser wrote this about Cheney, and the initial hearing: 

Speaking directly to her fellow-Republicans in Congress, the vast majority of whom have continued to support and promote Trump even after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol and sent them fleeing for their lives, she concluded her presentation with a warning: "There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain."

Cheney's words--about Trump, January 6th, and the state of the Republican party--are routinely, and strikingly, eloquent. 

Yet her oratorical style--her manner of presentation--also commands attention.

It is the speaking style, one might say, of stoicism.  The style is unadorned, sober. There is often a near-flat quality to her oratory.

Yet one guesses it is precisely because of this--that her style is so unusually restrained, is so often without ornament--that her words, at their best, become that much more powerful, and dramatic.

The House Select hearings continue Monday morning, at 10 o'clock Eastern time.

(This post was edited, slightly, on June 14th, and on June 27th.)

Monday, June 6, 2022

D-Day

The image, below, is of the front page of New York's Daily Mirror, a tabloid paper, from D-Day, June 6, 1944 (seventy-eight years ago today). 

I've had the newspaper (along with other newspapers about D-Day) for decades--probably fifty-plus years.

At some point (as is perhaps evident, in the image), the front page separated from the rest of the paper.  Also, at some point, the page itself split in half, around the area of the fold.

I believe--I am not certain of this--that the group of newspapers was given to me by my maternal grandparents.


 

Friday, April 22, 2022

Earth Day, 2022

The following, circa 1989, is a photo-montage, with photograms and small objects, by artist Jenny Lynn, a longtime friend.  It is titled "Planet Earth." 

(Here is the definition of photogram, via Wikipedia:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photogram)  

As Ms. Lynn noted today on Instagram, the montage was inspired by Paul Gaugin’s 1898 painting “Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?”

https://www.instagram.com/jennylynnphotoart/

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Ken Burns's "Benjamin Franklin," on PBS

Am eager to watch, tonight, the second (and concluding) two hours of Ken Burns's new PBS documentary, "Benjamin Franklin."

The program's first two hours, last night, were outstanding.

https://www.pbs.org/show/benjamin-franklin/

Sunday, March 27, 2022