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Nathan Brown

Poetic approaches to the limits of fabrication are not so historically determined. Sometime around 1862, Emily Dickinson starts a poem with “I cannot live with You –”, then proceeds to unfold a labyrinth of grammatical, theological, and syllogistic implications before arriving at the following decisive formulation: “So We must meet apart – / You there… Continue reading Nathan Brown

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James Baldwin

Societies never know it, but the war of an artist with his society is a lover’s war, and he does, at his best, what lovers do, which is to reveal the beloved to himself and, with that revelation, to make freedom real. — James Baldwin, “The Creative Process,” Creative America. (The National Cultural Center /… Continue reading James Baldwin

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Stephen Crane

I saw a creature, naked, bestial, Who, squatting upon the ground, Held his heart in his hands, And ate of it. I said, “Is it good, friend?” “It is bitter—bitter,” he answered; “But I like it Because it is bitter, And because it is my heart. — Stephen Crane, “In the Desert,” Twentieth-Century American Poetry… Continue reading Stephen Crane

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John Keats

The weariness, the fever, and the fret    Here, where men sit and hear each other groan; Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,    Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;      Where but to think is to be full of sorrow            And leaden-eyed despairs. — John Keats, from “Ode… Continue reading John Keats

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Tristan Tzara

The Death of Apollinaire (La Mort de Guillaume Apollinaire) We know nothing                We know nothing of grief The bitter season of cold                                                       Ploughs long furrows in our muscles He would have rather enjoyed delight in victory                We wise beneath calm sorrows caged                                                       Unable to do a thing                                              If the snow… Continue reading Tristan Tzara

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Tristan Tzara

If the birds were among us to be mirrored In the tranquil lake above our heads                                              WE MIGHT UNDERSTAND                Death would be a long and beautiful voyage And an endless holiday for the flesh for structure for bone — Tristan Tzara, from “The Death of Apollinaire (La Mort de Guillaume Apollinaire),” (1919) The… Continue reading Tristan Tzara

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