“I, too, know my Hopkins (Lightin’ and Gerard Manley)”


I admit until reading this line by Yusef Komuntakaa I had never associated these two. It does my heart good to see them in the same sentence. It’s from the poem, Sprung Rhythm of  a Landscape. I read the poem, thinking that the “Charles” being addressed throughout might be Charles (i.e. Charlie) Parker, but no. In the book one has to flip to the back to find out things like if the poem is dedicated to Charles Wright. 

On the one hand, it comforts me to read poets and writers that seem to have lots of first hand contact with stuff I recognize like good music and poetry from history. On the other hand, I’m beginning to wonder just how many people are bothering with either Lightin’ Hopkins or Gerard Manley Hopkins these days. I beginning to feel like a stereotypical disconnected old guy who can’t quite get the back and forth between so many people because it only taps into popular cultural references that leave me in the dust.

Also that stupidity and ignorance are enshrined as long as it’s semi-witty and in short sentences with small words.

Professors, Stop Opining About Trump – The New York Times

This article popped to mind as I was writing about feeling disconnected. Stanley Fish, himself a professor, gets on his high horse about other professors getting on their high horse.

It has a strong anti-intellectual feel to me. God forbid opinions should be informed. But this is exactly the disconnect I feel from so much of what I read (okay what I read  on Feelessbook). People blathering on, either blatantly angry or disguising their anger and prejudice with weird twisting interpretations of facts and history.

Speaking of facelessbooger, I am convinced that a lot of the problem is that the medium is affectless. By that I mean pixeled words on a screen can be read in many tones of voice. So that a comment that might seem tossed off and not seriously can be heard as dogmatic and vice verse.

In addition, judging from some of the comments I read many social media people think we are all looking at the same feed of links, ads, and comments when in fact none of us sees exactly the same thing, right? That’s the whole deal. Our preferences are tracked and it makes a difference which people we “friend” and what pages we “like.”

Dentists won’t have to perform the root canals we all fear for much longer | Science! | Geek.com

And now for something completely different. This is a short little article but the science it is talking about is fascinating.

Being Honest About Trump – The New Yorker

 God help me. Two of my three links today have Trump in the headline. Here is some of that historical perspective that Stanley Fish abhors. Good read.

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