Mardi Gras Indians

The best thing about Mardi Gras are the Indians. These are some very authentic ones, from 2006. It is downright thrilling to be sitting at your kitchen table, or executing some other entirely mundane activity, and to hear a tambourine in the distance . . . Indians coming! Axé.


. . . in the land of Mordor where the shadows lie (Tolkien). When Frodo Baggins threw the Ring into the fires of Mount Doom, the only place where it could be destroyed, the Shadow lifted. One year in late spring I found the Ring. Having it was exhilarating until early fall. I have been … More Shadow

One Hundred Years

There is always at least one student fascinated with One Hundred Years of Solitude. Today one such student said that in this novel, the characters are impelled to act according to a series of paradigms, with which they work but which they do not control. The containing and shaping influence of these paradigms does not … More One Hundred Years

On Voice

In one of my comment threads yesterday, Colorado Bob talked a little bit about how he thinks of his blog. This is, of course, a question we all consider often, and much has been said about it. I will not attempt to link to, or to summarize, the ongoing discussions of this matter. My anniversary … More On Voice

On Odes and Songs

I wanted, but did not have, an English version of Garcilaso’s canción To the Flower of Gnido. I wanted it for people like Stephen Bess, who has a poetic and artistic blog, and likes old texts, but does not read Spanish. I also wanted it out of mere curiosity, to see how such a translation … More On Odes and Songs

Exhuming Banes II

1. Mirror, Mirror… Lakshmi Chaudhry clearly does not read the blogs I do. She believes blogs, and YouTube videos as well, are fame-crazed Americans’ attempts to attain a form of micro-celebrity. Voyeurism, narcissism, and exhibitionism are the order of the day. I would not say that about the blogs I read, any more than I … More Exhuming Banes II

Le jeu du samedi

I found this chez Bint Alshamsa. Your Heart Is Purple “For you, love is about establishing and developing a deep connection. If it’s true love, it brings you more wisdom and inner strength. Your flirting style is sincere. Your lucky first date is an afternoon at a tea house. Your dream lover is both thoughtful … More Le jeu du samedi


This sonnet “in praise of a poetess called Antonia” is a tautogram: all of the words start with the same letter. It is not clear to me whether I understand it. I may have to translate it, and/or look up a commentary. A summary, as Antrobiótica points out, would be to join the first and … More Tautogram

Calling All Professors

What are your very best techniques for convincing graduate students that: a) their theses and dissertations should have a well defined scope: they should be narrow enough, and then deep; b) their committees should include the people in the department whose expertise most closely matches their topic; c) each project they undertake can only address … More Calling All Professors