The Kenyon Review

The International Journal of Literature, Culture and the Arts


William Shakespeare was born 450 years ago this month, in April 1564, and to celebrate Oxford Scholarly Editions Online is testing your knowledge on Shakespeare quotes. Do you know your sonnets from your speeches? Find out with our Shakespeare quotes quiz!

“Poems saved me when I found them by accident in my teens and twenties, and poetry has never let me down as a source of deep pleasure and guidance. Whenever I am lost, it harbors and renews my spirit.”

—   Tony Hoagland

(Source: bit.ly)

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a vexed relationship with sleep. I’ve fought it; I’ve cursed it; I’ve outlasted it. Last year I published a poem called “Autobiography” in which the penultimate line reads, “Sleep is a kind of blind bliss.” A resolutely well-rested friend told me, over email, “I love the sleep stanza, but you’re not allowed to say ‘Sleep is a kind of blind bliss.’ I get to say that. You have to say, ‘Sleep is a mad prison that entombs me and which I submit to under only great duress.’””

—   Cody Walker, “First Sleep”

(Source: bit.ly)

“But when the breeze picks up and Sheetman finds himself inflating like a spinnaker, he rises to his tiptoes and lets his body exult in the sorcerous promise of flight. Sometimes this is joyous; sometimes it is so impossibly lonely it feels like it will break his bones. These are the times he remembers what it was like when his sheets were warmed by the body of another. They would move together through space, two bodies caught in the embrangle of hot cotton, swelling into each other, groping for the future in their bodies the way a potter feels the bowl take shape in his hand. Then Sheetman thinks about why she left. About the silence of his days and nights. About the miseries of the untouched. This, Sheetman realizes, is what he misses most of all: living contact.”

—   Adam Davies, “Sheetman”

(Source: bit.ly)

“Good poems aim for hard truths (Dickinson likes a look of agony, after all, because she knows it’s true), and truth incites a measure of discomfort. You want to get close but not too close.

Many poets have compared the truth-element of poems to fire.”

—   Will Schutt, “A Skeptic’s Faith”

(Source: bit.ly)

millionsmillions:

The subjects of photographer Robert Dawson’s latest project are beautiful, educational, and in danger; they are public libraries. For his new book, The Public Library: A Photographic Essay, Dawson visited hundreds of public libraries, from little free libraries to icons, in 48 states to photograph “our best example of the public commons.” The Morning News has a few of his photos as well as an essay on the importance of libraries by Charles Simic. “Wherever I found a library, I immediately felt at home.”

millionsmillions:

The subjects of photographer Robert Dawson’s latest project are beautiful, educational, and in danger; they are public libraries. For his new book, The Public Library: A Photographic Essay, Dawson visited hundreds of public libraries, from little free libraries to icons, in 48 states to photograph “our best example of the public commons.” The Morning News has a few of his photos as well as an essay on the importance of libraries by Charles Simic. “Wherever I found a library, I immediately felt at home.”

Worder to prattle box: what word would you use to describe a talkative person?

Are you a clatterfart? If not, you probably know a nimble-chops or a rattletrap. Not following? These are all words taken from the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary that have been used to describe a “talkative person.” Which is your favorite?

(Source: oupacademic)

“I went to UMass, and, having counted myself among the surprises to be found in certain barns, I feel warmly toward its MFA program, though I know it’s a rule of the internet that one can’t mention MFAs without invoking those critiques that people love to publish, love to debate, love to talk about instead of talking about writing. Are MFAs ruining literature? Will studying with a teacher for a couple of years disquiet the purity of your egotism? Is NYC a place? Never mind the sophisticated responses to this “debate” by Edan Lepucki, Laura Miller, Seth Abramson, and others. For a would-be provocateur, criticizing MFA programs plops one squarely into the literary news cycle; one could be forgiven for thinking that’s equivalent to being a successful writer.”

—   Zach Savich, "MFA vs. Banana" 

“I am writing this on the day we are celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. As a poet, I see a connection between Dr. King’s use of anaphora and the way he lived—asserting himself into the line of fire, again and again, to bring his message of peace. I can’t help but think that this consistency between his life and his words is exactly why the speech thunders through the body, and why the rhythm makes right action feel possible. I believe words change us.”

—   Katy Didden, "Listen Now Again" 
bookmania:

What can you say about this idea?