Humanities

Bimonthly magazine providing review of notable humanities projects and developments.

Articles from Vol. 25, No. 3, May/June

A CULTURAL FEAST: A Sampler of NEH-Funded Poetry Projects
NO MAN IS AN ISLANDThe eight-volume Variorum Edition of the Poetry of John Donne will furnish authoritative texts of Donne's two hundred poems along with a catalog of commentary. More than thirty scholars have contributed to the edition, headquartered...
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A Roundup of Activities Sponsored by the State Humanities Councils
CALIFORNIAAn exhibition chronicling the revitalization of the Madison Neighborhood Village in Pasadena will open at the Madison School on May 26.Middle school students in Los Angeles will present (Out)Law & Order: Where the Code of the VJest Meets...
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BOOKS pUBLISHED RECENTLY WITH NEH SUppORT
A list of Endowment-supported books based on research by Anne Lopez-Buitrago, Margaret Scrymser, Jennifer Serventi, and Russell Wyland.AWARD WINNERSAmerican Historical Association, John H. Dunning Prize for outstanding monograph in U.S. historyWILLRICH,...
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Helen Vendler: The Poem Unfolded
An Appreciation by Henri ColeWHEN I THINK OF HELEN VENDLER, I think of her listening-listening to a seminar student explicate "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd"; listening to Wagner's opera of immolation and love, The Ring Cycle; listening to...
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In Focus: Mississippi's Barbara Carpenter
BARBARA CARPENTER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR of the Mississippi Humanities Council, is quick to counter the assumption that Mississippi is not ethnically diverse. "People have traditionally thought of Mississippi as a black and white state," says Carpenter....
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Lending an Ear: The Online Poetry Classroom
WHEN A POET VISITS his classroom, says Richard Cappuccio, students "find out that poets are alive.""I love Shakespeare, and I love Emily Dickinson and John Donne, and I love Wordsworth," says Cappuccio, who teaches at Grover Cleveland High School in...
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Poets Thinking: Pope, Whitman, Dickinson, Yeats
POETRY HAS OFTEN BEEN considered an irrational genre, more expressive than logical, more given to meditation than to coherent argument. The "proofs" it addresses are, it is judged, more fanciful than "true," and the experiences it affords are emotional...
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Soul Says: On Recent Poetry
THE SIGNIFICANT poem, for me, can be about anything, or almost anything. I have never been drawn in a positive way to subject matter: that is, I do not respond more enthusiastically to a poem about women than to a poem about men, a poem about nature...
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The Breaking of Style: Hopkins, Heaney, Graham
IT IS STILL NOT understood that in lyric writing, style in its largest sense is best understood as a material body. When a poet puts off an old style (to speak for a moment as if this were a deliberate undertaking), he or she perpetrates an act of violence,...
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The Critic's Craft: A Conversation with Helen Vendler
POETRY CRITIC HELEN VENDLER is this year's Jefferson Lecturer in the Humanities. She spoke recently with NEH Chairman Bruce Cole about the power of words-spoken, sung, and written-and how a poem can be a companion through life. Vendler, whom the poet...
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The Jefferson Lecturer
Poems "tell complex truths of human response," Helen Vendler says, "and they structure words with particular force, wit, charm, intellectual responsibility, and plangency."For forty years she has been reading poems with close attention, writing books...
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The Music of What Happens: Poems, Poets, Critics
Vendler writes about poets John Ashbery and Elizabeth Bishop.NO SCRUTINY can exist without an angle of vision. Looking at a single poem, one critic is describing the lyric structure, another the influence of Shelley, and another the use of archetypes;...
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Tickling the American Fancy
Bostonians in the early 1800s paid a penny to peer through a giant kaleidoscope wheeled through the streets. Around the country, people bought thousands of cheap versions of the new invention. This was the height of the American Fancy period of style,...
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Wallace Stevens: Words Chosen out of Desire
I DO NOT MEAN TO SENTIMENTALIZE STEVENS in insisting that his poems are meditations on emotions of love, idolatry, loss, self-loathing, and self-forgiveness. he is so chaste in self-revelation that his emotions are easily passed over. A poem like The...
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Willam Blake: Visions and Verses
A chapter in the first biography of Blake, published in 1863, is entitled "Mad or Not Mad." William Wordsworth once wrote that William Blake's Songs of Innocence and of Experience were "undoubtedly the production of insane genius," and yet, "there is...
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