It is a heart-wrenching love story. That alone would put it in the category of “good summer read.” It is a short book, clocking in at one hundred and fifty-one pages in my edition. It’s thus an easy book to stick into a beach bag or to carry on the train.

It is also highly appropriate to read in the dying days of this summer, the summer of 2014. That’s because this summer is the hundred-year anniversary of the beginning of World War I. The guns started firing on June 28, 1914. By mid-August, young European men were dying by the tens of thousands, victims of a war that redefined organized, industrial killing for the modern age.

Morgan Meis has a PhD in Philosophy and is a founding member of Flux Factory, an arts collective in New York…. More…

How does a poet who aims to make his or her expressions timeless react to a contemporary tragedy steeped in politics such as the disaster in the Gulf? — Dr. Sunshine

 

It’s always tricky when poetry, current events, and politics intersect, but it happens all the time. Lawrence Ferlinghetti wrote “An Elegy to Dispel Gloom” after the assassinations of Harvey Milk and George Moscone. “New York American Spell” is Thomas Sleigh’s reaction to 9/11. I believe these poems achieve a sense of timelessness, but more on how to do that in a moment.

It can seem that timelessness is achieved in part by avoiding politics and current events: Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Billy Collins, the Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska. But how do we really know that “The Road Not Taken” was not Frost’s response to a contemporary tragedy?… More…