Entries from April 2012

“There is only the trying”

So here I am, in the middle way, having had twenty years—
Twenty years largely wasted, the years of l’entre deux guerres
Trying to learn to use words, and every attempt
Is a wholly new start, and a different kind of failure
Because one has only learnt to get the better of words
For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which
One is no longer disposed to say it. And so each venture
Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate
With shabby equipment always deteriorating
In the general mess of imprecision of feeling,
Undisciplined squads of emotion.
And what there is to conquer
By strength and submission, has already been discovered
Once or twice, or several times, by men whom one cannot hope
To emulate—but there is no competition—
There is only the fight to recover what has been lost
And found and lost again and again: and now, under conditions
That seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss.
For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.

— T. S. Eliot: “East Coker” from Four Quartets

Categories: Poetry    Tags: ·

Imtiaz Dharker: Carving



Others can carve out
their space
in tombs and pyramids.
Our time cannot be trapped
in cages.
Nor hope, nor laughter.
We let the moment rise
like birds and planes and angels
to the sky.

Eternity is this.
Your breath on the window pane,
living walls with shining eyes.
The surprise of spires,
uncompromising verticals. Knowing
we have been spared
to lift our faces up
for one more day,
into one more sunrise.

— by Imtiaz Dharker

Noticed this poem on the London Tube last week, on one of the “Poems on the Underground” posters.

From: Imtiaz Dharker, The Terrorist at My Table (Bloodaxe Books, 2006).

Categories: Poetry    Tags: ·


Cannes Festival poster

The official poster for the 65th Cannes Film Festival.

Categories: Design · Movies    Tags: · ·

In case you missed it

On this morning’s “Anderson,” Anderson Cooper’s new talk show, Nicholas Sparks named Defending Jacob his #1 recommendation for summer reading. I’m floored. Thank you, Nicholas Sparks, wherever you are!

Categories: My Books    Tags: · ·

Our golden age of reading

reading chart

Alexis Madrigal: “our collective memory of the past is astoundingly inaccurate. Not only has the number of people reading not declined precipitously, it’s actually gone up since the perceived golden age of American letters.”

Categories: Books    Tags: ·

This morning in the Public Garden

Boston Public Garden

An early sign of spring in Boston: the pond in the Public Garden has been refilled. No swan boats yet.

Categories: Boston    Tags:

In today’s Wall Street Journal

There is a nice profile of Random House president and publisher Gina Centrello in today’s Wall Street Journal (link requires subscription). The article includes this graphic. Here’s a test: see if you can spot the title that’s only been out for two months. Pretty heady stuff.

Categories: My Books    Tags: ·