For weeks, I’ve been grappling with an essay about the multitude of “perspectives” I’ve been offered about my oldest son, particularly since I began writing about him in my poetry. I tried writing response poems. I tried writing journal entries. I tried it as a letter. Everything I attempted fell into what can only be called unbridled rage. Maybe that’s what I need to do eventually–just allow myself to funnel into a rant, get it off my chest. But Amanda Baggs says it so much better than I do, and more poignantly than I ever could, and with the only damn perspective on autism that makes any friggin’ sense. Take ten minutes out of your day to watch this video, and reconsider everything you’ve ever learned to be true. Because chances are, it isn’t.
Somewhere in all of this history, the balance that existed in the beginning of literary tradition was lost, and with it, a thinking, reading audience. Even the briefest study of literature that has stood the test of time—from Homer to Shakespeare and Eliot to Frost, up to contemporary giants like Isaac Asimov—shows that people value balanced literature. Who can deny that Hamlet was extremely well-written, but also educational (historically and morally), inspiring, and entertaining? Who could argue that Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 wasn’t beautifully written, meaningful, entertaining, and also belongs to mainstream genre fiction? Who could say that Louise Glück’s poetry is not both accessible and meaningful while exhibiting extreme adeptness with language and poetic devices?
For S & I’s review readers, I wanted to let you know that my review of D.A. Feinfeld’s collection Rodin’s Eyes is appearing on Rattle. It begins:
“D.A. Feinfeld’s Rodin’s Eyes is a collection of 50 poems with no discernible central theme, but which all play off one another for the reader’s benefit. While the collection is crowded with striking images and ideas, the most striking quality of this book is the range of poetic technique and form.” Continue reading
Usually, he lies on a blanket in front of the television. His hair is short, surrounding his face in chestnut tufts. Almond-shaped eyes of a deep brown hue glance to and fro, often moving before he can muster the strength to turn his head. When the grey and white drapes in the living room are open, and the sun casts its rays down upon his face, those eyes sparkle and gleam, as though nothing in the world is horrible or sad. During these times, he moves himself closer to the window, to look up at the sky. Continue reading