How Bertran de Born Pleases Me


This was supposed to be a soliloquy

about Bertran de Born, a troubadour from

the twelfth century Limousin. I wanted to start

with his line about springtime pleasing him.

I wanted you to hear de Born like he was

Richard III or Coriolanus begrudging an aside

bloviating on all the pornographies of war

beautiful buckram, helmets and hauberks,

waving gonfalons and brains greasing clubheads.

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An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump

I’ve been obsessed with this painting by Joseph Wright of Derby (1734-97) for the last few weeks. I love the use of chiaroscuro in general, and I love how Wright has used it to deify the scientific experiment. I’ve also been reading Boynton’s Beginnings of Modern Science, a collection of the early letters and essays showing the development of major scientific fields of study. I am always in awe of our curiosity and ingenuity as a species.

This poem is also dedicated to Artschaft, whose excellent art criticism has exposed me to lots of new art and artists. I encourage you to have a look at her work.


An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump


And Boyle said let there be the element

primitive and perfectly unmingled body

made of no others nor of each other mixt

of one and only one kind making all things.

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Tagore’s Fireflies

Tagore Study 1

I’ve been doing some studies of Rabindranath Tagore (1861 – 1941) while reading his book of short poems, Fireflies, and this is the first one that I really liked, so I decided to pair it with one of the poems from his book. The style I was going for was partly influenced by his signature. I wish I could read his work in its original Bengali, because I’ve read it’s even more striking and melodious.