Phoenixlike, and I am thrilled to be launching the Xs in this venerable fracas of a tome with a new entry on “xenoglossia” and the dream of a common language. To order, click to The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics….
In thinking through the title of Ezra Pound’s A Lume Spento, which cites Dante’s imagination of the unlit transmission of a heretic’s bones to the Verde River, the past days have been full of tides, startled by Lila’s dream of San Clemente full of water: the river Tevere, its eels and desecreated bodies, its healing [...]
In advance of the world premiere of Derek Walcott’s Moon-Child (Ti-Jean in Concert) at the American Academy in Rome last night, I interviewed the author/director, last week, for Sunday’s Il manifesto. A work recast from the earlier Ti-Jean and His Brothers, taking the ballad meter of the conteur, riddled with jokes & calypsolike songs on [...]
From the early fourteenth century of Dante-in-exile, in translation by Stephen Botterill, glimpse of a most ancient attempt to circumvent the confusion of Babel and pain of banishment from one’s mother tongue: Dodge the mother altogether: “Since human affairs are now carried on in so many different languages, so that many people are no better [...]
“I shall not bring to so large a cup only the water of my own thinking, but shall add to it more potent ingredients, taken or extracted from elsewhere, so that from these I may concoct the sweetest possible mead.” —Dante Alighieri, trans. Stephen Botterill