break, blow, burn

topic posted Sat, August 27, 2005 - 6:14 PM by  Unsubscribed
"Poets have glimpses of other realities, higher or lower, which can't be fully grasped cognitively. The poem is a methodical working out of fugitive impressions. It finds or rather projects symbols into the inner and outer worlds. Poets speak even when they know their words will be swept away by the wind."

Camille Paglia, Break, Blow, Burn (2005)
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  • Re: break, blow, burn

    Sat, September 3, 2005 - 5:48 PM
    Camille Paglia: Hurricane Katrina has demolished this administration's mask of confidence
    Any rational observer could have predicted the delayed effects of flooding on this fragile city
    Published: 03 September 2005

    'Hurricane Katrina is simply the latest chapter in the epic of American nature. It is a subject that Europeans rarely show understanding of in their often dismissive comments on US culture. In my latest book, Break, Blow, Burn, I reprinted a little-known poem by Norman Russell, "The Tornado" , which describes a family home being swallowed up by a roaring black twister: Russell deftly captures the terrifying grandeur of the American sublime. Despite the enduring and perceptibly increasing influence of Christian fundamentalism here, the political will is constantly being tested and refined against the pagan chaos of brute nature.

    American history is crammed with tales of fortitude in the face of hostile geography and punishing weather, from the struggle of the Mayflower Puritans to survive their first New England winter to the desperate march of pioneers in the 1849 California gold rush through the baking desert of Death Valley. Books and TV features regularly document our list of worst disasters - such as the great blizzard of 1888 that sank 200 boats under five feet of snow or the hurricane-caused 1900 flood in Galveston, Texas that killed 6,000 people. '
    • Unsu...

      Re: break, blow, burn

      Sat, September 3, 2005 - 8:09 PM
      Thanks for the timely link!

      One could go even further to say that human fortitude is at the core of our survival as a species. It serves the darwinian premise of survival, in that our cooperation during a crisis or disaster has the capacity to create stronger models of adaptation, and our opportunism and competitiveness reveal the weaknesses of political power structures, much like what is happening to the Bush administration.

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