Archive for the ‘The New Republic’ Tag

Stary Sacz, A Poem by Adam Zagajewski     Leave a comment

Red-bellied Woodpecker (Kingwood, Texas) — Image by Hugh Poland

Stary Sacz

A woodpecker in his red cap suddenly brought back
the stationmaster in Stary Sacz.
Over the station rose a little town,
that is, an enormous market and convent of Poor Clares;
each house had one window holding jars of borscht and pickles.

The innkeeper’s daughter was so thin
that she kept bricks in her backpack to outwit the wind
when she crossed the viaduct above the train tracks.
The wind never got her, but other elements weren’t idle,
especially Nothingness and her rich suitor, Mr. Time.

Adam Zagajewski


Robert Pinsky wrote in The New Republic: “[In the poetry of Adam Zagajewski] the unmistakable quality
of the real thing–a sunlike force that wilts clichés and bollixes that categories of expectation–
manifests itself powerfully . . . Like a fish breaking water . . . the achievement of these poems [“Without End”]
is partly in that act of rising above a lived-in element. In Zagajewski’s work, the engulfing, ferocious
historical reality appears as our habitat–not a well of horrors to be borrowed for rhetorical thunder,
not an occasion for verse punditry, not a mere backdrop for sensibility. And the perception of that habitat
has a mysterious, elating power.”

Bartender Blues — Saying Goodbye To The Possum   Leave a comment

george-jones_smWhen George Jones passed away in late April of this year, I made a note to share one of my favorite songs of his, “Bartender Blues.” Actually it’s a James Taylor song written in 1977.

“It’s hard to describe but it’s so tight and so sculpted. It was just remarkable to hear someone make that sound with a human voice. And it sounded like someone singing who had listened to a lot of steel guitar, the way he bends notes and phrases. To me it sounds like a steel guitar in a human voice.” — James Taylor in Billboard, April 27, 2013

Now, two months out I’m posting my note to share with my music friends. Click here to read a very thoughtful article in The New Republic, “Why George Jones Ranks With Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday.”

Bartender Blues
by James Taylor

Now I’m just a bartender
And I don’t like my work
But I don’t mind the money at all
I see lots of sad faces
And lots of bad cases
Of folks with their backs to the wall

But I need four walls around me to hold my life
To keep me from going a-stray
And a honky-tonk angel to hold me tight
To keep me from slipping away

I can light up your smokes
I can laugh at your jokes
I can watch you fall down on your knees
I can close down this bar
I can gas up my car
I can pack up and mail in my key


Now, the smoke fills the air
In this honky-tonk bar
And I’m thinking ’bout where I’d rather be
But I burned all my bridges
I sank all my ships
And I’m stranded at the edge of the sea

(Click On The Image And Watch On YouTube)

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