Posts Tagged ‘ silence ’

Fanny Howe’s Ordinary Mysticism | Commonweal Magazine

Fanny Howe (Lynn Christoffers)

In Howe’s mystic vision, we’re always shuttling between darkness and dawn. It’s within that liminal space, that place of uncertainty and confusion, that God can be found: “A burnt offering is the only one / That love has pity for. // Not rare or well done. // But burned, burned, burned.”

In The Wedding Dress, a 2003 book that is part poetic manifesto, part spiritual biography, Howe declares that her guiding ethos, the word she’d write Emerson-style on the lintels of her door-post, is “bewilderment.” By this she means many things. As a poetic value, bewilderment suggests an acceptance of linguistic instability, a cultivation of the dreamlike and fragmented over the orderly. As a spiritual tenet, it signals an embrace of the via negativa. As a political philosophy, it indicates “devot[ion] to the little and the weak,” a refusal to accept the social and economic world as it is. More generally, bewilderment for Howe means a poetics and a theology of openness, of incompletion and continual revision.

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For decades it’s been a sure bet that every two years or so a new book from Fanny Howe would appear, and that this new book would bewilder and unsettle. But now, Howe told me, she’s through: “I really don’t have anything more to write. Done. Gone.” Her friends have told her that the mood will pass, but she doesn’t think so. Love and I, she asserts, will be her last book: “I feel like I’m working on ending things. Putting things away.” She’s putting away her pen (she writes longhand and her arthritis is painful), and she’s no longer returning to the writers—Thomas Hardy, Virginia Woolf, Michel de Certeau, Giorgio Agamben—she loves. Instead, she has decided that, from now on, she’ll just read “whatever comes by chance”: a reading suggestion from a friend, a poet sending her a manuscript in the mail. In the end, to live a life of radical openness is to put things away. True bewilderment, like true theology, ends in silence.

Source: Fanny Howe’s Ordinary Mysticism | Commonweal Magazine

CABINET / Ringing in Your Ears

 

Silence and memory in Berlin

Source: CABINET / Ringing in Your Ears

“Winter-Lull” by D. H. Lawrence

Winter-Lull

by D. H. Lawrence

Because of the silent snow, we are all hushed
Into awe.
No sound of guns, nor overhead no rushed
Vibration to draw
Our attention out of the void wherein we are crushed.

 

A crow floats past on level wings
Noiselessly.
Uninterrupted silence swings
Invisibly, inaudibly
To and fro in our misgivings.

 

We do not look at each other, we hide
Our daunted eyes.
White earth, and ruins, ourselves, and nothing beside.
It all belies
Our existence; we wait, and are still denied.

 

We are folded together, men and the snowy ground
Into nullity.
There is silence, only the silence, never a sound
Nor a verity
To assist us; disastrously silence-bound!

Poor People’s Campaign asks America to face the injustices keeping millions in poverty | PBS NewsHour

Shortly before his death, Martin Luther King Jr. called for an economic revolution with protections for the poorest Americans. Half a century later, a group of religious and moral leaders are planning a revival of the Poor People’s Campaign, with a wave of civil disobedience in Washington. Rev. William J. Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, joins Judy Woodruff for a conversation.

Source: Poor People’s Campaign asks America to face the injustices keeping millions in poverty | PBS NewsHour

The Anne Carson Interview | Quarterly Conversation

 

As I was interviewing the classicist, poet, and author Anne Carson in June, 2017 via e-mail about her new translation of The Bakkhai, the question-and-answer process felt like a consultation with the ancient Pythia. Much like an ancient Greek attempting to get an answer from the priestess of Apollo, I had to go through a few layers — book publicist and agent—and the answers I received back can best be described as intriguing and esoteric; they varied in length from a few words to a paragraph to no response at all. Every reply was also written in all lower case, including the first-person singular “i,” an idiosyncrasy that seemed almost playful, and is something I usually see in the prose or text messages of a student or a younger person. Like a Greek hearing those ambiguous missives given by the Pythia, I was repeatedly surprised by the puzzling, thought-provoking answers I received.

Source: The Anne Carson Interview | Quarterly Conversation

Silence, Odilon Redon | inni in vani

Source: Silence, Odilon Redon | inni in vani

when silence – Leonard Cohen

 

 

Silence

and a deeper silence

when the crickets

hesitate

– Leonard Cohen