Thursday, March 29, 2012

Diving into the Wreck--Adrienne Rich Gone Too

Not only has the Earl left us, but also the Poet, Adrienne Rich, one who led us on the dive below the surface of words in one of her most famous poems:
I stroke the beam of my lamp
slowly along the flank
of something more permanent
than fish or weed
the thing I came for:
the wreck and not the story of the wreck
the thing itself and not the myth.  
Fierce in her feminism, Rich left the world poorer in poetry on Tuesday when she left.

The Earl is Dead. Long Live the Earl.

Earl Scruggs is gone.  There will be bluegrass tears all through the country, mostly from folks who came to love the banjo through his fancy fingerwork.  His banjo picking on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" album and the recorded commentary from him there were the things that drew me in.  I was taken enough to purchase a banjo way back in 1978, and I carted that banjo and Scruggs' banjo instruction record around for over 30 years.  Too bad I only ever learned a couple of licks and never really played.  But I always appreciate a good banjo picker, and Earl was among the best.  He was a great ambassador for the instrument.  Story here.
Enjoy this banjo dynamo as he appeared with Steve Martin and other men with banjos on David Letterman. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

St. Patrick's Day--Limericks and Libation

A week late, but the B's had their annual St. Patrick's Day party this past weekend, giving us some time to get together, share some limericks and talk, and gather 'round the "campfire" for storytelling and catching up.  Returning visitors from Missouri came up, and this photo shows the elite crew that remained until late, long after the lighter weight classes had cashed it in.  It was a great time!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Fictions in Your Brain

A talk yesterday with some budding creative writers, followed by reading an article about scientists looking at the brain on fiction has prompted some thinking about fiction.  It appears that a brain reading good fiction (see--good fiction) reacts to the text in a way similar to its reaction to events occurring in real life.  So says a recent article in the NY Times. 

I was saying as much to a small audience of Dr. Blessinger's creative writing class.  Young writers always struggle, perhaps knowing that their work is not up to the standards of good fiction or poetry or non-fiction writers, but knowing too that they need to work through those weaknesses, that not everyone gets to reach the top echelons with ease, or at all.

So we all struggle, boats against the current.