W(h)ither the Catholic writer? The days of Evelyn Waugh, Allen Tate, Graham Greene, J.R.R. Tolkien, Kenneth Rexroth, Robert Lowell, and Thomas Merton are long gone, it appears. When you read about a Catholic writer these days, it is usually in the context of explicitly leaving the Church. Anyway, you should also read it because Dana Gioia is not just a very good poet, he’s also one of the better essayists of the poetry world and it worth reading. And I had no idea he was Catholic.
Another paean to Seamus Heaney. He was not my favorite poet, but he was probably the last great, English language poet who came as close as it is possible (in this anti-poetic age) to the stature of his Irish predecessor, W.B. Yeats or Robert Lowell (who has fallen out of favor lately, in favor of his confidante, Elizabeth Bishop, but was held in high esteem in the years after Life Studies) or Robert Frost as a sort of tribal elder figure, held able to comment and illuminate broad truths. Does English language culture have room for another anytime soon? Also, Seamus Heaney liked to text. Yup.
I would say that I was shocked to learn that this incident occurred in Florida, but, really, it’s just kind of inevitable that these incidents take place in Florida. Awesome job, Florida Republican Party! You have used your control of every lever of state power to… I don’t know, wreck my home state? Compete with Mississippi and Alabama for 50th place (56th if we include the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Marianas Islands, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and Guam; that’s right, I said it, Florida, and, by the way, Guam is way out of your league; you’re not competing with Guam, you’re competing with countries emerging out of multi-decade civil wars… and you’re losing). I don’t blame Rick Scott: we knew when we elected him that he was nothing more than a high finance con artist bilking taxpayer funded programs out of their cash who also just happened to look like a Star Trek villain.