John Clare: Peasant poet (of environmental loss)

Surely one of the most interesting of all environmental columnists is George Monbiot of The Guardian, who this week penned a luminous tribute to the great "peasant poet" John Claire.  Clare found great success in his youth, but saw his beloved coutryside divvied up by enclosure and, argues Monbiot, it drove Clare crazy. Into theContinue reading “John Clare: Peasant poet (of environmental loss)”

Gary Snyder: Still startling after all these years

Gary Snyder appeared last week at the Central Library in Los Angeles, as part of a tribute to his late friend Lew Welch. Snyder was in top form, about as focused and hard-hitting and charming as any man standing at a lectern could hope to be. We all should be so smart at eighty. OrContinue reading “Gary Snyder: Still startling after all these years”

Most beautiful “to the reader” ever

Last time Patti Smith came through town, she was in her rock star mode, and put on an un-freaking-believable show at the Ventura Theater, chatting with fans in line, going on to play all her hits, her clarinet, a Blue Oyster Song, and just generally being a totally giving person and sweetheart. At one pointContinue reading “Most beautiful “to the reader” ever”

The American Idea, According to Bruce Springsteen

Al Filreis, the UPenn prof who knows as much about American poetry as nearly anyone alive (heck, he has roughly twelve freaking blogs on the subject) links to a big story in the inevitable New York Times about Bruce Springsteen, and endorses the idea that Springsteen is "The Rock Laureate." Jon Pareles is a goodContinue reading “The American Idea, According to Bruce Springsteen”