Saturday, January 19, 2019

Saturday Good Reads

In the fall of 2014, we were in London on vacation. Knowing I had pulled a muscle in my back, I decided to ignore as best I could, and we kept going full steam ahead. Two days later, my back was about as out as out could get, and my view of London was what I could see lying flat on our hotel room floor. But a doctor with a pain shot and an assortment of meds (including Tylenol with codeine – sold over the counterin Britain at the time) finally had me walking again. 

Man in the Forest (1971) by Anselm Kiefer
Shortly after, early one overcast morning, I took a bus to Piccadilly and the Royal Academy of Arts. I remember still feeling slightly disoriented – that feeling you get when you’ve been at home with a bad cold or recovering in a hospital and suddenly, you’re back in normal circumstances. My goal that morning with an Anselm Kiefer art exhibit at the academy. Whether it was the lingering effects of the meds or my confinement in the hotel room or the art works themselves or all of the above, I was overwhelmed by the exhibition. I wrote four poems about paintings from that exhibition: “Burning bush,” “Passing of the interior,” “Claustrophobia,” and “Legend reborn.”

Kiefer was the German artist who helped Germany begin to confront its Nazi history. He’s roughly the same generation as another German artist, Gerhard Richter. I discovered Richter via a book about a Richter painting called “September,” commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to commemorate 9/11. (I’ve written two poems about that painting,  “September change” and “Afternoon at the museum,” along with a poem, entitled “Broken Hallelujahs,” about another painting of his.) 

All of which is to say that there’s a new movie based on Richter’s early years, “Never Look Away.” You can read the story by Linda Yablonsky at The Art Newspaper.

More Good Reads

American Stuff

Grant in Egypt – Sarah Kay Bierle at Emerging Civil War.

British Stuff

When London’s Dragons Ruled Before Skyscrapers – Dhiru Thidani at American Conservative Magazine.

Art and Photography

Daddy Issues: Renoir Pere and Fils – Cody Delistraty at The Paris Review.

Tabled – Susan Etole.

Winter Wind – Tim Good at Pixels.


Five Poems - Laurie Kolp at Five:2:One Magazine.

Unison – Jennifer Wheelock at Valparaiso Poetry Review.

Slane Hill Graves – James Matthew Wilson at The Imaginative Conservative.

The Mud on My Boots – Doug Spurling at Spurling Silver.

I Felt the Sun Today – Brianna Lambert at Looking to the Harvest.


Listening to the Bible with David Suchet – Michael DeSapio at The Imaginative Conservative.

Thomas Merton: The Monk who Became a Prophet – Alan Jacobs at The New Yorker.

Don’t Shoot the Messenger – Zak Schmoll at Entering the Public Square.

The Danger of Politicized Pastors – Thomas Kidd at The Gospel Coalition.

News Media


Writing Craft: Foreshadowing – Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent.

Living Local Fiction – S. Dorman at Mere Orthodoxy.

Life and Culture

What Groucho Marx Can Teach Us About Liberal Education – Jon Schaff at Front Porch Republic.

Looking for a Dream – Gustavo Medina

Painting: Blue Girl Reading, oil on canvas by Auguste Macke (1887-1914)

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