|Reconnecting with Beauty|
for our Common Life.
Like many, I recall "duck and cover" in third grade and a sick childhood fear of Russia's bombs. Now the emerging tales of what went in Wisconsin with police home invasions, material seizures, and families with scared children awakened by armed police standing over their beds gives me the same frisson of unrest that I felt as a little girl, crouched under my desk. How anguished would any of us feel, herded into a room with our little children at night? This sad series of narratives is not about right and left but about right and wrong, and it grieves me that representatives of the people in my own country should have done such things to families and children.
We have had too many terrible stories lately, too much overreaching of power, too much destruction of the innocent. Let us bare the truth and bear the truth of these and other recent tales, and let us also strive to have better stories told of us and of our public servants soon. The world is listening to our stories.
At Cairn in June
Evidently I will be serving as Fujimura Institute Fellow and poet-in-residence for the day at Cairn's culture care conference in Philly in June. I'll be doing readings and talking about some of the ideas that have been leafing out from Makoto Fujimura's initial seed of thought--the desire to care for culture and produce beauty, generative work that is worthy of enduring in time. I'll post more about events later on.
--from Joseph S. Salemi, "The Rebirth of Copia" (Trinacria, Fall 2014)
Copia means abundance. In classical rhetoric, it is the capacity of a writer to fill his work up with plenty of words, usually via repetition and variation, but also by judicious manipulation of tropes and figures, and the expansion of his sentences into colonic subordination....
Every ancient rhetorician, whether Greek or Roman, knew that copia was an essential tool of literary composition, and more crucially, that it was the manifestation of one's command of language. Once you were trained in it, you were never tongue-tied. That peculiarly modern problem, writer's block, was unknown or rare. Can you imagine Cicero or St. Augustine or Thomas Nashe not being able to crank out prose at will?