Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Reading a New Translation of the Iliad


Reading a new translation of the Iliad — Robert B. Powell's. I'm not going to compare it to previous translations, not daring to presume. But it is really something to be reading that poem again.

The gods are puppet masters — that's obvious right off — but in violent disagreement about what we, their vassal puppets, should do on the world stage they set.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

recent visit to the gardner museum


first of all, "last seen," the sophie calle exhibit, consisting of quotes taken over the years from gardner visitors, staff, and art thief investigators, about the gardner's storied stolen paintings.

these quotes, juxtaposed over relevant images, can be hilarious, poignant and/or fantastically dumb. one visitor, we discover, has hated vermeer from the get-go as a kid, and is overjoyed someone has at last removed that damned vermeer from the museum.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

game of thrones, hbo version


peter dinlage, the dwarf who is the voice of wit in the hbo rendition of george rr martin's  "game of thrones", is an american actor. in his role of tyrion lannister he speaks the king's english. they all, all, speak such english. nothing wrong with it. it works. the curtness, cadences, pauses etc., the hard sharp cutting sarcasm, are entirely brit.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

internet chess



it's a terrible thing to go to sleep with a knife-edged bishop aimed at your king
three diagonals away

what kind of dreams can you have
when you hit the sack
in check?

in check you will remain forever
or until the rules of the game are forgotten
or the universe collapses

whichever comes first

as you try to awaken from the bad dream of this game
you know that your opponent sitting
at his bright screen
thousands of miles and eleven time zones away

is quite clear headed
looking forward to your coming back
the white square bishop
nudging, prodding and tearing at the soft tissue
of your spongy king