Z e t e o
Reading, Looking, Listening, . . . Questioning
Wilfred Owen's mother, pictured center with her family

By William Eaton This appreciation of one of Bob Dylan’s love songs, “Ramona,” leverages its lyrics to make three basic observations about poetry and to call attention, to include in the endnotes, to several poems by other writers. While not all of these comments are positive, in general this short essay is watered with a […]

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The Ballerina and the Bull, Adbusters poster - Occupy Wall Street

Allowing the full Influx of the World Artistry mitigates disaster and keeps us alive. I mean both the artistry of the world and our individual artistry in responding to it. It’s a balancing act, a ballet on the back of a dancing bull. Artistry, incoming and outgoing, from the world and from us, gives us […]

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Categories: Ed Mooney, ZiR | Add a Comment

          These are preliminary notes on a tension between philosophy and friendship. They are prompted by two texts I encountered nearly in conjunction, within the passage of just a few days. The first is a remarkable passage from  Moby Dick where Ishmael, the narrator whose name echoes the Biblical figure cast […]

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  A comparison with a shaggy dog tale—with “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”—may help us appreciate and begin to think about an “elusive passage” in Plato’s Symposium. In Twain’s text, the narrator goes seeking news of the Reverend Leonidas W. Smiley and ends up hearing stories about an inveterate gambler named Jim Smiley. […]

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Five mysteries hold the keys to the unseen: the act of love, and the birth of a baby, and the contemplation of great art, and being in the presence of death or disaster, and hearing the human voice lifted in song.                                                                              […]

  Kierkegaard appears unexpectedly on the “Opinionator” page of last week’s New York Times. He’s discussed in “The Stone” by a canny and sensitive philosopher, Katalin Balog. She finds the Danish thinker just under the surface of the Hungarian movie about the Holocaust, “Son of Saul,” which was recently awarded “Best Foreign Language Film” at the […]

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I’m not sure what led me to open Moby Dick again. It’s become a book to browse rather than “get through.” And when a passage pops up, one can’t be in a rush. Going slowly I can unravel serpentine sentences that so often deliver gold. Why just now? Perhaps because I’ve moved to the seacoast […]

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While reading Suketu Mehta’s Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found, I came across a most thought-provoking passage on Bollywood, which applies to Hollywood as well. On pg. 348, Mehta writes (emphasis mine): Gangsters and whores all over the world have always been fascinated by the movies and vice versa; the movies are fundamentally transgressive. They are […]

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Categories: Ed Mooney, ZiLL | Add a Comment

    I have a friend who has published an award-winning book of poems titled “Having Listened.” He writes in the shadow of Boston, near the Arnold Arboretum, designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted. We walked there recently, a patrician park overseen by Harvard University. It has no end of whispering trees and rolling paths. It’s […]

ZiLL

The Self is Disposable, Isn’t It? Not for most of us for most of the time. But its reality can be brought into question. There are exotic cases of apparent persons who seem to lack a self. Bureaucracies and the structures capitalism seem to deflate any rich sense of self. And the splendor of brain […]

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Categories: Ed Mooney | Add a Comment

  In “Madeline, Imperfection, Love, and Loss” (Zeteo, 11.25.2015), Joy Yeager reminds us of that priceless book for children and adults called, simply, Madeline. It’s the story, as she reminds us, “of a little girl, an orphan, who lives in an old house in Paris, with eleven other girls.” A nun, Miss Clavel, is in […]

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Asano_Takeji-No_Series-Snow_at_Iwashimizu_Hachiman_Shrine_Kyoto

  In “Madeline, Imperfection, Love, and Loss” (Zeteo, 11.25.2015), Joy Yeager reminds us of that priceless book for children and adults called, simply, Madeline. It’s the story, as she reminds us, “of a little girl, an orphan, who lives in an old house in Paris, with eleven other girls.” A nun, Miss Clavel, is in […]

ZiR

July 16, 2018

Thanks a lot, Steve. And, continuing the segue-ing, here's an old (and traditional) Gary Snyder poem I just came across yesterday: Seaman’s Ditty I’m wondering where you are now Married, or mad, or free: Wherever you are you’re likely glad, But memory troubles me. We could’ve had us children, We could’ve had a home— But you thought not, and I thought not, And these nine years we roam. Today I worked in the deep dark tanks, And climbed out to watch the sea: Gulls and salty waves pass by, And mountains of Araby. I’ve travelled the lonely oceans And wandered the...

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Asano_Takeji-No_Series-Snow_at_Iwashimizu_Hachiman_Shrine_Kyoto

  In “Madeline, Imperfection, Love, and Loss” (Zeteo, 11.25.2015), Joy Yeager reminds us of that priceless book for children and adults called, simply, Madeline. It’s the story, as she reminds us, “of a little girl, an orphan, who lives in an old house in Paris, with eleven other girls.” A nun, Miss Clavel, is in […]

ZiR

July 16, 2018

A very nice piece, William. I am reminded of a Sung Dynasty poem that D.T. Suzuki quotes in one of his books. I'm not sure of its relevance here, but it seems to resonate somehow. Misty rain on Mount Lu, And waves surging at Che Kiang. When you have not been there, Many a regret you have; But once there and homeward you wend, How matter-of-fact things look! Misty rain on Mount Lu And waves surging at Che Kiang.

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Frank Kermode, August 2000, photo by Charlie MacDonald

  In “Madeline, Imperfection, Love, and Loss” (Zeteo, 11.25.2015), Joy Yeager reminds us of that priceless book for children and adults called, simply, Madeline. It’s the story, as she reminds us, “of a little girl, an orphan, who lives in an old house in Paris, with eleven other girls.” A nun, Miss Clavel, is in […]

Essay

June 14, 2018

The time that takes place in stories compared to the time that we actually live is radically abbreviated. It briskly sweeps aside all the commonplace moments that make up the long stretch of toilsome time and focuses instead on the interesting and compelling. With a mere section break or a simple transitional phrase, days, months, and whole years are disposed of as if they had no significance at all. “Then time passed slowly until the day arrived when….” A lot of important living is hidden in such a phrase. From the moment-to-moment flow of time, the storyteller lifts out only those narr...

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