I am a victim of overwhelm
Overwhelm is swamping and depressing me.
Recently it has mushroomed
Since trump got the blow up the world button
And proceeded to reconstruct the dark ages.
I am overwhelmed by getting involved emotionally
In all the stuff I can do nothing about
I cannot stop it, change it or do anything
To switch it from negative to positive.
The consequence is mind crushing outrage.
This is the Guardian’s poem of the week, January 2017
Italy to Lord by Jayne Draycott
It’s dark in here and forest green: Britannica,
sixteen oak trees in a London living room,
the little girl, my mother, in the bookcase glass.
Italy, Ithaca, Izmail, Japan, each page a mainsail,
turning, HMS Discovery – none of the rivers
of southern Italy is of any great importance.
Like birds on a long-haul flight, let not seas
or deserts, cliffs or icy mountain-tops
impede you. Jews, Kabȋr, Kabul, Kaffir,
from up here all seems clear (all evil in the world’s
ascribed to Maya or illusion), then home at last
returned from all those navigable miles
to Lichen, Linnet, Logic, London, to find
a century has passed, the forest’s cleared,
the animals all bared and scorched, the gold
all brought to light. I look into the glass,
discover there myself in dense shade, deep
and shadowy as on any wooded island.
If you search this on the Guardian there is a really interesting support article which provides both context and aids understanding.
Paterson, a love poem to poetry, is a film directed by Jim Jarmusch.
The director offers a mini reading list for anyone who may be a poetry lover, but just doesn’t know it yet
In Jim Jarmusch’s thirteenth feature, Paterson is a bus driver who also happens to live and work in Paterson N.J. And like an earlier Paterson resident, physician-poet William Carlos Williams, he writes poetry in his spare time. During coffee and lunch breaks, and in the moments before he begins his route, Paterson writes poems inspired by everyday things. For example, a box of Ohio Blue Tip matches sparks a meditation on the pure, quiet love he feels for his wife, Laura, a charming, stay-at-home DIY dynamo.
Jarmusch, too, loves poetry. He’s a fan, in particular, of Frank O’Hara and John Ashbery, members of what’s commonly known as the New York School of poets. (The poems in Paterson, in fact, were written by New York School poet Ron Padgett.) Jarmusch has drawn on that love, and more, to make a picture that shows how art—maybe even especially art made in the margins—can fill up everyday life. Here, Jarmusch explains how Paterson came to be, describes his admiration for the work actors do, and offers a mini reading list for anyone out there who may be a poetry lover, but just doesn’t know it yet.
There are all kinds of ways to make films or art or poetry. And one reason he’s attracted to the New York School of poets is the idea of writing to one person. Not standing on top of the mountain, saying, “Here is what I believe!”
Like Frank O’Hara’s idea of addressing one person with a poem.
Yes, and it comes from William Carlos Williams, too, and Wallace Stevens. It’s not a megaphone that you’re shouting through. I would feel incredibly embarrassed if I thought I was trying to announce my feelings to the world.
I’m not comfortable, personally, trying to shout from the mountaintop. But I think that’s kind of obvious because my films are kind of marginal. They’re obviously trying not to hit a big marketplace. If they were, I’ve failed miserably!
A lot of people don’t bother to read poetry, either because they don’t feel they have the patience for it or are a little threatened by it. A mini reading list of poets or works that he particularly loves?
He starts with Dante. With the knowledge that Dante wrote in vernacular. He was writing in street language, so he was the equivalent, almost, of hip-hop. He was in the street. So Dante is one of the most exquisite. I can’t read Italian, but even in translation, a good translation, he’s the man.
Then I would say, read Arthur Rimbaud, the teenage poet, who stopped writing at the age of 19, who wanted to use language in a way that could completely turn around your idea of what your senses receive. A really revolutionary poet, artist, whatever—what a strange child poet he was!
And then I would jump to—well, there’s Wallace Stevens who was an insurance executive. When he won some kind of award, one of his colleagues at the company where he worked responded by saying, “Wait a minute, Wally writes poetry?” No one had a clue. And he’s one of our most beautiful philosophical poets.
Then I gotta jump to the New York School, and I don’t know who to quote, whether it’s John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch or Frank O’Hara. But let’s just say, Frank O’Hara: His full-time job was curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and he wrote poems on his lunch break. His poems are exuberant and funny and have a lot of exclamation points. One of his poems starts with “How funny you are today New York/ like Ginger Rogers in Swingtime.” Exclamation point! That’s, like, not shouting something from the mountaintop, but just exuberance of the details of being a human being. I carry those guys, always, in my heart.
With my lurcher
Who likes this time
Sun suddenly blocked
By grumpy clouds
Rain comes in big splats
Quickly covers the leaves
And gets to me
and on we go
As soon as it starts
The sun pops out
And lo it starts
The gentle buzz
of a million bugs
The comforting buzz
of that million bugs
As we walk
An amazing companion
On this summer evening
The fecund fragrance
of our steaming woods
for me and my lurcher
The woods are buzzing
Pat Mitchell, curator of TEDWomen, shares this report with the TED Blog: In April, I had the privilege of moderating a discussion at the Skoll World Forum on the subject of “Leading Through Adversity.” My panel consisted of four powerful women: Mary Robinson, Ireland’s first female president (watch Mary Robinson’s TED Talk); Halla Tómasadóttir, a good…
I sometimes feel it’s quite a shame that there’s something strange inside my brain.
Other times I don’t give a dam because it’s being odd
keeps the news away from me
It can be quite a strain on my brain.
What is odd in my brain?
I think it is a kind of block
a concrete block, a brick, a hole or even just a short circuit.
And do I know what it does block this strangeness in my brain?
Is it blocking me from something clear, the key to seeing?
No it feels like more a gap or a space in my existence,
a place where something should be or be happening.
But the strain in my brain won’t let me know
Maybe it isn’t something odd in my brain but a bind in my mind so unkind
it conceals from me the essence of me.
what makes me tick, makes me be, lets me see my soul.
The door’s undone to the fear and the worries, the bad and the dismantling.
I can smell the dust in the nooks and crannies of the places I was scared to go
When my child took flight to fantasy, constructs of joy and glee.
Hid from reality, harsh reality ruled by fear and doubt
I can see it now when permitted, my inner child awakes and lights that room
We panic, cling to each other in the dark empty space to block the fear,
the memory of us hiding from the day, the tomorrow,
the endless list of how it will fail go wrong and panic.
It could be nothing or everything. Please stop it’s been so long so hurting.
Invisible tears run down my face
the sun has gone away,
slipped between two clouds and gone
the air is cool as autumn stamps its arrival
on my over sensitive demeanour
the sooner to be meaner with the light
as its thieving hands steal an hour of afternoon light
and make my lurcher and
I sadder still.
Another bill without a thrill – the dead ends
of my fingers and my thumbs
fighting to grow back life
to touch with real feeling
to feel with real feeling
to hold with sensation
not the broken labourer’s hand
but that of an artiste
a pianist, a painter, a calligrapher.
A Chinese calligrapher
with a long flexible brush
wafting ink from thick swathes
to a single bristle
smooth, without judder or stutter
or stammer or fault!
But no not me
whose entire life is repeating sequences of stutter or
fault whose invisible face is etched from the
tracks of the tears the tapering tracks of embedded misery that
challenges existence, the reason to be –
to breathe another breath
Quantum biology is quantum mechanics in living organisms.
How does a robin know to fly south? The answer might be weirder than you think: Quantum physics may be involved. Jim Al-Khalili rounds up the extremely new, extremely strange world of quantum biology, where something Einstein once called “spooky action at a distance” helps birds navigate, and quantum effects might explain the origin of life itself.