CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 20, 2001
Richard Pendleton Rogers, 57, director of the Film Studies Center at Harvard University and a documentary filmmaker, died Saturday of melanoma at his summer home in Wainscott, N.Y. Rogers made several films for PBS, including documentaries on William Carlos Williams, William Kennedy and Wallace Stevens. With his wife, documentary photographer Susan Meiselas, he made "Pictures From a Revolution," a film about Nicaragua. Born in New York City, Rogers graduated from Harvard in 1957 and was a Fulbright scholar at the Royal College of Arts in London.
July 1, 2001 |
It is an odd fact that poets tend to be either larger-than-life figures of rebellion, as Lord Byron and Allen Ginsberg were, or that they happen to lead lives of (at least outward) banal conformity: Mallarme the schoolmaster, Philip Larkin the librarian, Wallace Stevens the insurance man. Constantine P. Cavafy belonged firmly to the latter group.
February 7, 1999
The house was quiet and the world was calm. The reader became the book; and summer night Was like the conscious being of the book. The house was quiet and the world was calm. The words were spoken as if there was no book, Except that the reader leaned above the page, Wanted to lean, wanted much most to be The scholar to whom his book is true, to whom The summer night is like a perfection of thought. The house was quiet because it had to be.
July 5, 1998
The houses are haunted By white night-gowns. None are green, Or purple with green rings, Or green with yellow rings, Or yellow with blue rings. None of them are strange, With socks of lace And beaded ceintures. People are not going To dream of baboons and periwinkles. Only, here and there, an old sailor, Drunk and asleep in his boots, Catches tigers In red weather. From "An Introduction to Poetry," edited by X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia (Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers: 652 pp., $30.
November 16, 1997
The palm at the end of the mind, Beyond the last thought, rises In the bronze decor, A gold-feathered bird Sings in the palm, without human meaning, Without human feeling, a foreign song. You know then that it is not the reason That makes us happy or unhappy. The bird sings. Its feathers shine. The palm stands on the edge of space. The wind moves slowly in the branches. The bird's fire-fangled feathers dangle down.
November 16, 1997 |
Literary anecdotes abound with traded rhetorical punches; a celebrated exchange in American literature is that between Ernest Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald, the latter observing (as he had at the opening of his wonderful story "The Rich Boy") that the very rich are different from us, and Hemingway presumably winning the two-blow bout by his debunking, "Yes, they have more money."