Tomorrow (Dec. 17) marks the anniversary of the death of the Sufi poet Rumi.
Here are five of our favorite poems by him…
Here are five of our favorite poems by him…
Hardback: Simon & Schuster, 2016.
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]
Reviewed by Alden Bass
This is not Alain de Botton’s first attempt to write a book about love. Twenty years ago he wrote his debut novel Essays in Love, a story about a boy and a girl who meet on a plane and – you guessed it – fall in love. An essay is an attempt, a beginning, and in this more mature reflection on love de Botton determines to see love through to its end. Along the way, he speculates on what precisely is the end of love in a series of philosophical narratorial asides.
Rather unromantically, The Course of Love is a story about marriage. Specifically, two very average Edinburghers named Rabih and Kirsten who date, get engaged, marry, settle down, have kids, have affairs, and go to counseling. Their marriage is the Everymarriage. Which is precisely the kind of story de Botton needs to develop his thesis. (Yes, this is a novel with a thesis.) Namely, love is a sort of existential rootedness, a sense of security and familiarity which grounds one to love and serve others.
A Feature Review of
Most of us have heard the aphorisms since childhood from parents, pastors or other well-intentioned people concerned for our welfare and trying to ensure we find a productive, healthy place in the world:
“You are what you eat.” (So be sure to eat that broccoli!)
“You are what you think.” (So be careful what books you read and songs you listen to!)
“You are what you speak.” (So be certain to control your tongue and if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all!”)
Or if you grew up around a fan of the music of Frank Zappa, you might have heard: “You are what you is!” (“And that’s all it ‘tis.”)
Calvin College professor of philosophy James K.A. Smith begs to differ just a bit with our parents about eating, our pastors about thinking, our teachers about speaking, and even the inimitable Zappa about whatever esoteric truth he was articulating in his 1981 recording that still garners a cult following more than three decades later.
All of these poems can be found in
Great Love Poems (Dover Thrift Editions)
(a 99c Bargain Kindle ebook!)
How Do I Love Thee?
The conscience of an artist worthy of the name is like an incurable disease which causes him endless torment but occasionally fills him with silent joy.”
– Georges Rouault, painter,
who died on this date, 1958
*** Four Love Sonnets
by Pablo Neruda
Kindle Ebook Deal of the Day:
Great Love Poems (Dover Thrift Edition)
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*** NOTE: This stated price is for the United States. Unfortunately, this offer may or may not be available in other countries. Sorry!
Paperback: Wiseblood, 2014
Buy now: [ Amazon ]
Review by Michial Farmer
In the title poem of Cave Art, Charles Hughes’s excellent first collection, he ruminates on the ancient paintings in Lascaux, miraculous surviving the millennia:
Inside the caves,
The painters left, in vain, what more they saw—
Stark, dazzling life that tugged them in and in
And still survives as art and evidence.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, I give you one of my favorite songs…
A song about love… and baseball (and the sorts of gifts and passions we have that give shape to our lives)
This song has been recorded in several different places, but this live version from 2000 is one of my favorites:
ALSO, for a limited time…
Bill is giving away a free MP3 of a different recording of this song…
The song also appears on his 2002 album Fetal Position…
[Listen and Download here]
Paste Music Magazine, in a poll conducted by both writers and artists, listed Bill Mallonee as 65 in their “100 Greatest Living Songwriters Poll.” “At the end of the day, it’s about the story living under your own skin. In my work, I’ve just tried to chase that story down and put something of a frame around it for a spell.” Mallonee, (pronounced MAL-O-KNEE) the lyrical and musical source behind the late Vigilantes of Love, started playing music in Athens in the late 80’s. Bill’s deeper love for music and lyricism of artists like Dylan and Neil Young left an indelible mark on his writing and vocal delivery. “Being a son of the South, it’s hard not to be surrounded by the beauty of things fractured and incongruous…that’s the stuff of real songs… What came out was my own version of what I deeply loved in the work of those two.” [Dylan and Neil Young]