News to me. Pass the tissues.

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader,” Robert Frost admonished. He was talking about the “clarification of life” that poetry brings, and you don’t see clearly through tears. Also, being a stoic New Englander, Frost was temperamentally disinclined to emotional display, even in the face of extreme tragedy, of which his poetry has no lack. Instead of crying, the boy who loses his hand to a buzz saw in “Out, Out” —  gives a rueful laugh of shocked disbelief. And then he dies. Nobody in the family cries either: “And they, since they / Were not the one dead, turned to their affairs.”

Another reason for the no tears rule is that reticence tends to increase rather than diminish pathos, which is to say, less is more. The boy doing a man’s job in “Out, Out —,” denied even a half hour of childish leisure… More…

A tragedy depicted with Lego.

Sean Kenney makes life-size sculptures of endangered animals out of Lego bricks. Adam Reed Tucker reconstructs famous buildings throughout the world in Lego form. Beth Weis specializes in Lego as home décor. Some people grew up building with Legos, and then never stopped. Lego invaded their minds and now they view the world through a Lego prism. These people have made Lego into a full-time profession. So much so that Lego now has an officially recognized category of what they call “Certified Professionals.” There are nine of these Certified Professionals at present. They are good at making things with Lego.

“Brick by Brick: the LEGO Brick sculpture of Nathan Sawaya.” Through April 13. Agora Gallery, New York.

Certified Professional Nathan Sawaya got his start at the Legoland theme park in Southern… More…