Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Library Way: Isak Dinesen and Shadows on the Grass

 photo © Mark Butkus 2011
And then in the end, the Liberation came.

Isak Dinesen. Tania Blixen. Osceola. Pierre Andrézel. Four of the names that the Danish author Karen Blixen (1885-1962) used in her literary career. Best known for her 1937 book Out of Africa, Blixen is remembered on Library Way with a quote from the last published work during her lifetime, Shadows on the Grass, which itself serves as an end to Out of Africa.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Charles Bane Jr.'s The Chapbook — My Old Soul

photo © Mark Butkus 2007
Remembering The Holocaust and the liberation of Bergen-Belsen.

My old soul has sung before.
It has lain many hands in mine;
I reach for yours,
and link it to he who needs.

He stands in Bergen-Belsen in the rain,
waiting his turn to expire.
He takes hands he cannot save
and sighs and breathes the gas.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Revolution on Canvas: Poetry from the Indie Music Scene

photo © Mark Butkus 2017
This ship — S.S. Palo Alto — has a hole...

catching the grayest of blue skies when
love is just too big to know
straddling april's winter when the
heart is only half whole

Sunday, April 8, 2018

First Lines Second Thoughts — George Orwell's 1984

photo © Mark Butkus 2007
Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his breast...

First Lines Second Thoughts is an occasional look at the first lines of well known literary works. On second thought, do these opening words stand alone as poetry? Today, on a cold April day, we look at the opening lines of George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Of Baseball, the White Sox and Nevest Coleman

photo © Mark Butkus 2011
Having opened their hearts, the Chicago White Sox open their home season today. Go ChiSox!

This one is for Nevest Coleman
Who was thrown a curveball
Who spent 23 years in prison
For a rape and murder
That he did not commit.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Martin Luther King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail

photo © Mark Butkus 2012
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

Written in the margins of a newspaper — the only paper available to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Birmingham City Jail — The Letter from a Birmingham Jail was written four days after King's arrest on Good Friday April 12, 1963 while marching against racism and racial segregation in Birmingham, Alabama.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Charles Bane Jr.'s The Chapbook — The Two

photo © Mark Butkus 2017
A poem for Easter. A poem for Passover.

I think when God walked shy to Moses,
stars clustered in his hands,
he led our rabbi down
to the orchards of the heart.