The unfortunate truth is that virtually no one reads poetry anymore. Though there are many reasons why this may be the case, as a former educator, the common grievances I heard against poetry were that it was too abstract, complex, and generally wandering. But it is for these very reasons that poetry is one of the highest forms of human expression.Read More
Valentine’s Day annoys many people.
For many in a relationship, the pressure to impress a partner can weigh heavily, and expensive gifts serve as a reminder of the relentless commercialization of the holiday. Meanwhile those still looking for love approach the day with trepidation – another reminder of their single status and the pressure to find a partner.Read More
The poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” better known by its opening line “‘Twas the Night before Christmas,” has a special place among Christmas traditions, right alongside hot chocolate, caroling and bright lights. It has also inspired the modern image of Santa Claus as a jolly old man sporting red and a round belly.
But this poem has been steeped in controversy, and debate still looms over who the true author is. Traditionally, Clement C. Moore – a 19th-century scholar at the General Theological Seminary in New York, where I work as a reference librarian – has been credited with writing the poem in 1822 for his children. Every December, library staff shares our multiple copies of the poem in an exhibit to celebrate the holiday season.
No matter who wrote it, the poem is a fascinating object that has shaped Christmases past, present – and maybe yet to come.Read More
Several controversies have broken out in the past two months surrounding the foreign language translations of the poem read by Amanda Gorman at President Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Since February, two translators have been forced to step away from their position to translate the poem into Dutch and Catalan because of backlashes to the fact that they are both white.
Gorman, the poet who wrote “The Hill We Climb” for the inauguration, received immense fame for her work. The poem was planned to be translated into 16 languages and distributed internationally.Read More