Z e t e o
Reading, Looking, Listening, . . . Questioning

I was startled to read in yesterday’s Boston Globe that a scholarly paper on “the God particle” (the Higgs boson) had 5,154 authors. I wondered if they hired a stadium for the signing and celebration. I usually think of science as dancing with poetry. An odd couple, you’ll say, but I’ve learned from Thoreau that […]

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    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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Nothing is more fascinating — and frustrating to others — than our capacity to manipulate the image or story we present to others. In an acute way this capacity to pretend or impersonate raises the question of who we are beneath public appearances. The clash between public appearance and underlying reality plays into the hands […]

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♦ What would happen if God leaned down and gave you a full, wet kiss?            — Daniel Ladinsky   Some words, like people, move us before we’re really aware of what’s happening. We return the glance from across the room instantaneously, spontaneously. Sometimes words are like that, a contagious spark. We dance in the […]

Categories: Ed Mooney, ZiR | 1 Comment

The massacres in Paris or Beirut, the stabbings and instant “justice-by-cop” in Israel, unabated slaughter in Syria or Yemen, or the crystal clear framing here in Zeteo of centuries of suffering attributable to brutal class warfare — if faced unblinkingly, all this can induce paralysis. Then we learn, within days, that three are murdered in […]

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  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 […]

Categories: Ed Mooney, ZiR | 4 Comments

Thinking sometimes seems like conversing and borrowing and remembering. A colleague or friend says something that starts one off on a path that is half conversational response and half remembering. One remembers having traveled sometime past the conversational thought-paths that are now emerging. When one writes down one’s thinking it is then borrowing from one’s […]

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Is atmosphere important? — Can I control breeze? I usually leave political observation to one side, but today was my first voting experience in my newly adopted state, Maine, and it was distinctive and instructive. But before I get to the voting, let me pause on the place, pass on some impressions of the atmosphere. […]

ZiR
Categories: Ed Mooney, ZiR | 11 Comments

A colleague has written a nice review of The Tragedy of Fatherhood: King Laius and the Politics of Paternity in the West. The book pursues the thesis that the role of fatherhood is a central trope in Western Political Philosophy. The author of The Tragedy of Fatherhood, Silke-Maria Weineck, traces that theme through all the […]

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Categories: Ed Mooney, ZiR | 3 Comments

Images have impact! In my previous post, Zeteo 10/04, I considered Rilke’s poem “The Archaic Torso of Apollo,” where the poet conjures the image of a broken statue of Apollo as he views it in a museum. He traces the impact as his eyes follow the contours of the god’s torso. The image — what […]

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Categories: Essay | 3 Comments
Frank Kermode, August 2000, photo by Charlie MacDonald

Images have impact! In my previous post, Zeteo 10/04, I considered Rilke’s poem “The Archaic Torso of Apollo,” where the poet conjures the image of a broken statue of Apollo as he views it in a museum. He traces the impact as his eyes follow the contours of the god’s torso. The image — what […]

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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Categories: Essay | 3 Comments
Frank Kermode, August 2000, photo by Charlie MacDonald

Images have impact! In my previous post, Zeteo 10/04, I considered Rilke’s poem “The Archaic Torso of Apollo,” where the poet conjures the image of a broken statue of Apollo as he views it in a museum. He traces the impact as his eyes follow the contours of the god’s torso. The image — what […]

Essay

May 11, 2018

Using personal essay, literary reference, and journalistic voice, the article plants itself on our existential doorstep while illuminating Barnes' novel one more time. Very strong. Thanks.

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Categories: Essay | 3 Comments
Frank Kermode, August 2000, photo by Charlie MacDonald

Images have impact! In my previous post, Zeteo 10/04, I considered Rilke’s poem “The Archaic Torso of Apollo,” where the poet conjures the image of a broken statue of Apollo as he views it in a museum. He traces the impact as his eyes follow the contours of the god’s torso. The image — what […]

Essay

May 10, 2018

"When these new memories suddenly came upon me … time had been placed in reverse. As if, for that moment, the river ran upstream." Stolen from Barnes's book for my poem "From the Vale for a Soul Making". Great book to write about.

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