Planet News, 11/18/16


“Cohen looked unflinchingly and with monkish intensity at his own excesses and weakness, and at ours, and saw them, tragic and beautiful, as our only strengths. ‘There is a crack in everything,’ he sang in 1992’s ‘Anthem,’ ‘that’s how the light gets in.’ No tribute can leave out his most beloved and most covered song—one of the most covered and beloved songs ever written— ‘Hallelujah.’ From its best-known Jeff Buckley version in 1994 to Rufus Wainwright’s and countless others, the song instantly conjures gravitas and stirs deep wells of emotion in the secular and religious alike.”- Josh Jones on Leonard Cohen’s passing in Open Culture.

“The first language the keepers of the hold use on the captives is the language of violence: the language of thirst and hunger and sore and heat, the language of the gun and the gun butt, the foot and the fist, the knife and the throwing overboard. And in the hold, mouths open, say, thirsty.” – On the Violent Language of the Refugee Crisis: an excerpt on Lit Hub from Christina Sharpe’s new book In the Wake: On Blackness and Being.

“Dostoevsky experienced more than one hundred major seizures, walked in chains and prison garb, wasn’t permitted to hold a pen or pencil for nearly four years or read any book but one. He watched two children die and wrote several times of a man’s inner-life in the minutes and seconds before execution. […] His books offer the words to feel into pursued to their radical end, embodied. To feel into—which doesn’t mean to understand, or analyze, or interpret, or heal. Doesn’t mean to solve, define, make steady, claim knowledge of, but has something to do with drawing close, with how there’s a radiance more mysterious, more unspeakable than horror; more private in its wounds, more lasting.”- Laurie Sheck on “Dostoevsky’s Empathy” and incredible suffering for The Paris Review.

“And a poet wakes up and thinks, ‘You know, anything is possible.’ They imagine things before they’re possible. The reach and power of the imagination means that poetry will always be with us, that it will always be important, that it will always be part of what goes along with our culture, our politics, our personal feelings and relationships.”- Hope in the aftermath of the presidential election–an interview between Megan Garber and the editor of Poetry magazine, Don Share, in The Atlantic: “Still, Poetry Will Rise.”

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