Sunday, November 11, 2007

Donald Hall, "Ambition"

Donald Hall, acclaimed American poet, when asked at a literature conference what place success and ambition had in his life, responded, “Success? Forget about it. If I have any ambition it is for my work, not for myself.” His conviction is that an artist’s or writer’s life work is to communicate insight, experience, wisdom and truth through the written or unwritten word, rather than to seek personal acclaim or fame.
- Luci Shaw

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Photos: Finn Slough

Photos: Richmond pumpkin field

Michael Lind, "The Minor Prophets"

None of the minor prophets
knew that he was minor, of course. Habakkuk, I imagine,
thought that his visions earned him
standing as Ezekiel's peer, if not indeed Elijah's.
Then there was Obadiah,
who could be forgiven if he thought he might be a Moses.
How they would be remembered
Providence concealed from them all, though they could see the future.

Maybe it doesn't matter.
If you're on a mission from God, sent to rebuke a city
or to redeem a nation,
where by canon-makers you're ranked may be inconsequential.
Nor is the voice within you
any less authentic for not having a distant echo.
Seers of the world, be heartened.
Even minor prophets can have genuine revelations.

from Parallel Lives, by Michael Lind
Heard November 9 2007 on Garrison Keillor's "The Writer's Almanac"

Friday, November 09, 2007

Photos; Tom Balke, Pacific Rim

Photos; Tom Balke, Turkey

Wish I could claim these, but no, they're by my friend Tom Balke.

Hamlet concept?

"I think that there is probably a way to do Hamlet where the prince is a more Chekhovian figure -- essentially tragic-comic, his profundo monologues taken less as holy writ but as a pathetic defense against his hilarious inabilty to resolve his oedipal tensions, his dutiful son schtick, and his secret identification with Claudius, the virile man of action that he longs to be. A tension that can only be resolved in a farcical and suicidal bloodbath."

Anonymous email correspondent

Photos: Tom Balke, Wickaninish

Friday, November 02, 2007

Photos: Regent College

Julius Novick on Canadian playwrights

"Canadian Playwright." The words seem a little incongrous together, like "Panamanian hockey-player," almost, or "Lebanese fur-trapper."

- Julius Novick on "The Ecstasy Of Rita Joe"
New York Times (1967)