A Search For Who To Learn From

January 4, 2014

In the next to last poem he ever wrote, A Thanksgiving,  W.H. Auden pays homage to the voices without whom, he reckons, "I couldn't have managed / even my weakest of lines."  It's quite a list:      - Hardy, Thomas and Frost, for inspiring his early adolescent verse      - Yeats and Graves for a young lover, discovering the center of the universe isn't exactly him      - Hitler and Stalin, who "forced" questions of divinity      - Kierkegaard, Williams and Lewis, who guided the poet "back to belief" Then comes the poet's turn towards his own uncertain future, as the aging Auden, already a beloved master, asks: "Who are the tutors I need?"  A question the most profoundly accomplished among us never stop asking.   We're each on our own desperate, unending search -- not just for wisdom, but for the sages generous enough to share it.  Not just a search for learning, but a search for who to learn from. Sometimes it's awkward, like that afternoon I spent in my office with inventor Dean Kamen, who I was dying to meet and learn from.  Turned out, Dean was far more interested in excoriating me for my ineptitude at effecting global change than anything else.  Unpleasant as it was, Dean is our generation's Ben Franklin, and I continue to learn from him. My own list of teachers is long and quite an array.  Filmmakers, poets, artists, musicians, curators, an evolutionary biologist, a few bankers, countless entrepreneurs and investors, journalists, philosophers, bloggers, my parents, an uncle.... I make time every month to consult individually with a smaller set, what I call my Council of Elders, a group of advisors who've been through what I'm experiencing many times over, and who've come out the other side with a perspective I'm decades from achieving on my own. Here's Auden's poem (written the year he died, the year I was born), in its entirety:  

A Thanksgiving

When pre-pubescent I felt that moorlands and woodlands were sacred: people seemed rather profane.

Thus, when I started to verse, I presently sat at the feet of Hardy and Thomas and Frost.

Falling in love altered that, now Someone, at least, was important: Yeats was a help, so was Graves.

Then, without warning, the whole Economy suddenly crumbled: there, to instruct me, was Brecht.

Finally, hair-raising things that Hitler and Stalin were doing forced me to think about God.

Why was I sure they were wrong? Wild Kierkegaard, Williams and Lewis guided me back to belief.

Now, as I mellow in years and home in a bountiful landscape, Nature allures me again.

Who are the tutors I need? Well, Horace, adroitest of makers, beeking in Tivoli, and

Goethe, devoted to stones, who guessed that — he never could prove Newton led science astray.

Fondly I ponder You all: without You I couldn’t have managed even my weakest of lines.

                                             - W.H. Auden, 1973


No RX Careprost

October 31, 2011 — 0

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Discount Flexeril

September 18, 2011 — 0

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Same day, Flexeril us, Flexeril coupon, our neighbors recycled their printer, Brooklyn style (meaning they put it on the curb so someone on the block could take it, Flexeril india, 200mg Flexeril, which a neighbor did).  As you can see, 150mg Flexeril, 100mg Flexeril, our neighbors' printer can't print anymore, it can only scan.., Flexeril japan.

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If I went back to being a poet, I would hope my blog would get more interesting than entries like this.  But it's free.

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Careprost For Sale

September 11, 2010 — 0

Poet Daniel Nester just posted this poignant piece in the Times Union Careprost For Sale, remembering what it felt like the night before 9/11... and after.

“Keep the Memory Alive”: An Account from Nine Years Ago
by Daniel Nester

On the evening of September 1o, 2001, Careprost mexico, I went to a party to honor former poet laureate Billy Collins. It took place at the late George Plmpton’s house, Careprost usa, which also housed the offices of the Paris Review.

Paris Review parties are famous in literary circles: for the writers who go there, the booze, the pool table, Careprost canada, and the beautiful women. I went with my friend Ross, a poet who is now is a vice-president at MTV, Careprost For Sale.

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I slept in the next morning, since I wasn’t teaching and I didn’t have any freelance work, Careprost overseas. My wife slept in, too. Careprost For Sale, We were going to get some brunch. 40mg Careprost, It was as crisp and as blue as it is this morning in Delmar, NY.

Then we heard this huge thud. It sounded like a dumpster had fallen from a truck, Careprost us, or maybe gunfire.

We kept on sleeping, 30mg Careprost, but we got up, made coffee, and turned on NPR.

The news seemed more urgent than usual, and when I focused on what they were saying, we walked outside our apartment building and looked toward Manhattan, Careprost For Sale.

We had a diagonal view of World Trade, 100mg Careprost, and could see the smoke coming out of the side of one tower. I don’t remember worrying that much, 250mg Careprost, at least at first. That was before I put on the TV and watching what happened on the ground. I heard one of the Towers fall at once through our living room window and, through a slight delay, 1000mg Careprost, the Today Show’s broadcast. Careprost For Sale, The whole day consisted of looking at the TV reports, then walking outside to see what was happening. By afternoon, Careprost australia, I spotted some dust-covered neighbors tread down Fourth Avenue on their way home.

At some point my hands had started to shake. I think it was when a newscaster said there were other planes in the air that were unaccounted for.

Life gradually went back to some version of normal in the weeks to come, Careprost japan. At the college where I used to work, there was a teach-in that seemed way too peace dove-ish to me at that time, Careprost For Sale.

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“We’d rather take a nun than you, Careprost coupon, as old as you are,” the recruiter told him. 10mg Careprost, I calmed down as the years went on, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that something had shifted.

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A couple months later, Paul McCartney played Madison Square Garden for The Concert for New York City. He had been on the airport runway that morning, and saw the whole thing, too. He played this song, “Freedom,” which I wouldn’t mind never hearing again. Careprost For Sale, The best song that night, hands down, was Billy Joel doing “Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Down on Broadway,” which I used to sing along to in my bedroom in New Jersey and seemed to sum up the whole tragic and absurd and only-in-New York events that had transpired in the months.

“I am not an American,” I used to hear people say at parties. “I am a New Yorker.”

I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel that way sometimes during my New York City years, especially after going to a fancy party and meeting famous people. You can get caught up in the whole experience. I would also be lying if I said September 11, 2001 didn’t mark a crack-up in how I see the world. I wonder what New Yorker could.

My evenings are filled with less famous people, which is just fine by me. Still, I like to take Billy Joel’s advice from the song, about how people who survive, no matter how they feel about it, no matter how much they change over the years, need to “keep the memory alive.

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The Wall Street Journal Reports Iranian Simin Behbahani Will Follow John Ashbery As mtvU’s Next Poet Laureate

October 29, 2009 — 4


Tonight, The Wall Street Journal broke the news that we've named mtvU's new Poet Laureate. As the Journal's Kamau High reports, it's 82 year-old Iranian poet Simin Behbahani. Beginning Monday, mtvU will broadcast 19 short films featuring Behbahani's poems, translated by Farzaneh Milani and Kaveh Safa, and produced by Sophia Cranshaw. mtvU will also be tweeting Behbahani's poems, in English and in Farsi, and will broadcast -- on-air and online -- college students' reactions to Behbahani's work, throughout the year. The poems featured on-air and online span the length of Behbahani's career, including new, unpublished poems composed as recently as this fall in the midst of the current turmoil in Iran. Why choose Behbahani? After a year-long, international search, the decision became clear. Known as the "Lioness of Iran," Behbahani's poetry champions women’s rights and acts as a voice of peace and freedom during a time of political and social upheaval. Twice, she has been nominated for the Nobel Prize in Poetry. Her poems illuminate not only the struggle of Iran but also the extreme beauty of the land, its people, and its history. IT'S TIME TO MOW THE FLOWERS by Simin Behbahani It’s time to mow the flowers, don’t procrastinate. Fetch the sickles, come, don’t spare a single tulip in the fields. The meadows are in bloom: who has ever seen such insolence? The grass is growing again: step nowhere else but on its head. Blossoms are opening on every branch, exposing the happiness in their hearts: such colorful exhibitions must be stopped. Bring your scalpels to the meadow to cut out the eyes of flowers. So that none may see or desire, let not a seeing eye remain. I fear the narcissus is spreading its corruption: stop its displays in a golden bowl on a six-sided tray. What is the use of your ax, if not to chop down the elm tree? In the maple’s branches allow not a single bird a moment’s rest. My poems and the wild mint bear messages and perfumes. Don’t let them create a riot with their wild singing. My heart is greener than green, flowers sprout from the mud and water of my being. Don’t let me stand, if you are the enemies of Spring. --Translated by Farzaneh Milani and Kaveh Safa I need to personally thank University of Virginia Professor Farzaneh Milani, a champion of Behbahani, who has helped me on my journey through Behbahani's poems. Farzaneh has become a true friend, and I owe her a debt of gratitude for her brilliant inisghts, steadfast courage and devotion to Persian literature. I'd also like to thank my colleague, Bahareh Kamali, who has helped me to understand Behbahani's impact and significance throughout the Middle East and beyond. Also of great help in that regard have been our friends at PEN American Center, the organization of writers working to promote literature and protect our freedom of expression, who helped us considerably, throughout this process. Simin Behbahani is a poet who simply cannot leave her home without permission. Yet, at 82, she won't stop writing these poems. In response to the outcry on U.S. college campuses against violence and oppression in Iran, mtvU will share her poems with a new generation of millions of American college students, who, like their peers in Iran, are themselves an engine for social change.