In Hill’s later poetry, one is consistently caught unawares by some slantwise piercing glance. Amidst the rumbling ground bass of gnarled density and difficulty, a keen pure tone sometimes shines through.
The title of a literary work serves one mandatory function within the literary practice and institution – that of identification. Yet, there is a second function, which might be optional in principle, yet is inescapable in practice.
“Je raffole de tout ce qui rampe,” she told Van, her cousin and to-be-paramour. “I’m crazy about everything that crawls.” She was the last fictional love of my late childhood, slowly morphing into bursts of confused and chaotic lust.
Exploring the lives or the work of many artistic figures, the fear of their womb of thought becoming a tomb seems to torment them. This might seem paradoxical given the intuitive association of art with originality and the belief that the latter is an intrinsic trait of the firm. Instead, this self-evident thought is transmuted as an esoteric angst, an internalised mission.
There are things they do not tell you about occupied Palestine. You see, there are two types of cities. The first is built to be seen, to be gazed at. To have its curved vernaculars adored and to have the words “hundred years” roll off the tongues of elegantly-practiced private guides.
Those who have talked to me within the past few weeks will know that a sudden confrontation with my pessimism about the future of humanity has plunged me into the first instance of what I seriously call an ‘existential crisis.’
Law is an endless odyssey through the intricacies of language, be it the language of statutes or that of judicial decisions, as there are no constitutional provisions, in the peculiar uncodified constitutional state of the UK.
T.S Eliot’s poetry was consistently discoursing with Symbolist undertones, with despairing themes of social degradation and the need for individual alignment with spirituality. Particularly in the aftermath of the first World War, he shifted his focus from the gruesome battlefields of France to an overarching idea of degeneration which dominated his perspective of society and mankind.
He arrived at noon, trudging up the road with a black duffel bag slung over his shoulder. I never asked him how he got here. The station was much too far away to walk from, and he must have been completely exhausted. Perhaps the army truck dropped him off, or he might have taken a cab. But if that was so, why didn’t they leave him at the door?
In February 1888, Vincent van Gogh, travels from Paris to the Provence and looks out of the wagon’s window to ‘to see if it was like Japan yet’, enthralled – as he was – by Japanese woodblock prints. It was their light that he sought, a light that he found in the crisp sky of Arles.
Adolph Törneros was one of the most prominent members of the new school of romanticism which developed at the university in Uppsala in the early 1800s. During his lifetime he published very little, his oeuvre amounting to nothing more than some texts on Cicero and ancient Rome. What makes him a remembered and still cherished part of the Swedish literary panthéon are his letters.
In the closing bars of Rachmaninoff’s Prelude 10, Opus 32, we hear an airy, arpeggiated B major chord climb the keys, only to chromatically and resignedly sink back down to a low, closely spaced B minor chord, upon which the piece ends.
What does it mean for something to be untranslatable? And perhaps the more interesting question is: Why are some works untranslatable? In this essay I will approach both these questions from a personal perspective, structuring and formalising my intuitions in a manner which I hope will lead to a coherent response.
In the Greek port of Piraeus, during the interwar years, amber worry beads kept the fingers preoccupied, carnations instead of lapel badges. Amidst the underlit streets, in the smoky underground taverns, the desire for eternity and the necessity of temporality for the people leading marginal lives became externalised. The music of rebetiko was born.
A sugar cube, about the size of long nails on the hand that holds it, comes into contact with a cup of coffee. As a flute plays a familiar melody, an ochre hue engulfs the whiteness until it completely disappears, at which point the female hand lets go of the cube and drops it in the coffee.
What always amazed me about Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky is not that the poem is centred around nonsense words, but rather, that the nonsense words integrate into the rest of the poem in such a way that the reader feels no urge to inquire into their meanings.
Whether or not humans misuse their freedom lies beyond God’s control – for it is logically impossible, even for an omnipotent being, to preserve free will and also make us capable only of doing what is morally right.
If, like me, Satie’s work holds meaning for you, I invite you to examine the hidden intricacies of his other works, all examples of an intelligent mind’s ability to mold beauty from simplicity using a deep understanding of craft.
The silent despair of Dido for her husband’s murder is deafening. Mourning the loss of beauty seems not only to refer to the body of Sicheus, but to the entire humanity, which opiates the intricate effect of words and the aesthetic power of language.
Wallace Stevens played his most dramatic themes upon the strings between philosophy and poetry. Neither a pure aesthete nor an aesthetician, Stevens’ knowledge of the two seeps through in the form of an irreconcilable tension, as I have found most recently in his allusions to philosophy in Description without Place.
Dante writes in Paradiso about a ship, sailing out onto the sea alone. This image can act as a mirror, through which one can observe the world he lived in and the time which followed; the Late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Italy in the 1200s and onwards was a lonely ship treading dangerous waters.