Of the bird called carduelis carduelis, there are hundreds of very clear appearances in religious and secular art - if you fancy some better-researched renaissance info, Herbert Friedmann has the book for you, called The Symbolic Goldfinch. But I didn’t know about any of this when I wrote a poem, years ago, one morning.
How do you feel about cultural comfort food? About the ‘guilty pleasure’? As they’re commonly used, the terms connote a certain uncoolness, that the culture isn’t ‘difficult’ or capable of providing long-term sustenance. Have you been consuming more of such things in 2020?
“It is so like meTo dream of better places” I’ve been doing a strange kind of hibernating – the kind that happens in the full flush of springtime. It began when nuthatches were building their nests, under that canopy of trees near my home. We discovered new walking routes then, every possible walk within thirty… Continue reading To Dream of Better Places
While we're staying in, many of us will be enjoying the fruits of creative people's labours. Let's support them directly via Bandcamp, and more...
We go to cinemas for a different view of the world we live in, or to visit an imagined world and escape the laws by which this one's bound. Like the best films, Mati Diop's Grand Prix-winning film Atlantics satisfies both longings.
In which my post-sleep brain comes to life in the company of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's genius; we consider the internal monologue of St Cecilia; and my new music project is announced.
Here’s why I’m going to bat for BlacKkKlansman. I don’t have to ask my partner about her best moviegoing experience of 2018, because I remember the visceral responses that came from the seat directly to my left – expressions of every feeling art can produce, a pile-up of emotions at the picture’s several denouements, and… Continue reading Worth of a Nation: Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman, the Oscars and Capra
It’s contained, like a lamp-bound genie, sought-after like hidden treasure and as glowing and inaccessible as the realm of the Wizard of Oz. The Room may know you better than you know yourself, so be ready for a stark discovery.
"Like finding a new room in the Great Pyramid", says Sonny Rollins. Maybe so, but for John Coltrane this recording was just another tape reel and another day in a brief, wondrous life.
It’s a kaleidoscope of widescreen keyboards, arpeggiators and drums, into which axewoman Jenn Wasner injects high-voltage bliss at perfectly judged moments. Several points on the album made me inwardly conclude 'ah, this is what music should be'.