Walden Pond - Concord, MA.jpg


Whereas some say a Cloud is in his Head,
That doth but shew how Wisdom’s covered
With its own mantles: And to stir the mind
To a search after what it fain would find,
Things that seem to be hid in words obscure,
Do but the Godly mind the more alure;
To study what those Sayings should contain,
That speak to us in such a Cloudy strain.
— John Bunyan, Preface to Part Two of the Pilgrim’s Progress

Henry James: Cognitive Introspector-in-Chief

I look forward to unpacking and reflecting on this passage from Henry James’s The American:

His smile went through two or three curious phases. It felt, apparently, a momentary impulse to broaden; but this it immediately checked. Then it remained for some instants taking counsel with itself, at the end of which it decreed a retreat. It slowly effaced itself and left a look of seriousness modified by the desire not to be rude.



“Rip Van Winkle’s Lilac” – Melville’s Premonitory Vision of Posthumous Fame

Herman Melville read and studied the poetry of the great romantics. And so he likely had read, at least once, John Keats’s sonnet, “When I Have Fears That I May Cease To Be.”

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain,
Before high piled books, in charact’ry,
Hold like rich garners the full-ripen’d grain;
When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And feel that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love;—then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think,
Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.

Compare Keats’s sonnet with these lines of verse that conclude Melville’s prose-and-verse piece, “Rip Van Winkle’s Lilac.” Keats, young; Melville, elderly; both writing in verse to express their hope for posthumous literary fame and glory. Neither knew wide-spread fame while alive, but because of the few friends and family who did understand and appreciate their work, they each flourished creatively.

                                Came about
That neighbors, unconcerned before
When bloomed the tree by lowly door,
Craved now one little slip to train;
Neighbor from neighbor begged again.
On every hand stem shot from slip,
Till, that region now is dowered
Like the first Paradise embowered,
Thanks to poor, good-for-nothing Rip!

Some think those parts should bear his name;
But, no, — the blossoms take the fame.
Slant finger-posts by horsemen scanned
Point the green miles–To Lilac Land.
Go ride-there down one charmful lane,
O reader mine, when June’s at best,
A dream of Rip shall slack the rein,
For there his heart flowers out confessed.
And there you’ll say,–O, hard ones, truce!
See, where man finds in man no use,
Boon Nature finds one–Heaven be blest!

Imaginarium: Sightings, Galleries, Sightlines – A New Book of Poetry by A. Robert Lee



A. Robert Lee

has just published another volume of poetry:

Imaginarium: Sightings, Galleries, Sightlines

This is his latest collection of poetry and is published by 2Leaf Press.

From the publisher’s website:

The term “imaginarium” refers to a “place” devoted to stimulating and cultivating the imagination, towards scientific, artistic, commercial, recreational, or a spiritual end. In this collection, Lee explores two connecting keynotes: imagination and sight that explores the way we go about imagining as much as seeing reality. Lee goes about this using an ekphrastic approach by commemorating a dozen or so celebrated visual artists and their works, among them J.M.W. Turner and Frida Kahlo. He extends the usual meaning of the term to include vantage-points like a French archeological cave, and then expertly frames a run of personal encounters within the heights and widths of buildings and landscapes.

To learn more about Lee’s new poetry volume, click here to visit the 2Leaf Press website.

This is A. Robert Lee’s third recent volume of published poetry. For more about the other two recent volumes – Ars Geographica and Portrait and Landscape – published by Printed Matter Press, click here.

Ars Geographica
Portrait and Landscape



August 2016
« Aug    


Culture, Philosophy, Humor

The Philosophy of Marvel's DaredevilEveryone is familiar with the most obvious tropes of superhero comics: exciting action sequences, sk [...]

How the Republican Party went from Lincoln to TrumpWhen accused of promoting racist beliefs of policies, Republicans usually argue that it was their pa [...]

Simon Blackburn - Plato's RepublicThe term Utopia wasn't invented until 1516, when Thomas More published his now classic renditio [...]

Introduction to Symbolic & Philosophical LogicAlthough almost every activity human beings engage in requires some degree of reasoning, we're [...]

Harry Frankfurt - Bullshit!Bullshit is everywhere. I know it. You know it. And yet, what exactly is bullshit? You might agree w [...]

Must Society Recognize Trans People's Gender Identities?Between the fact that some celebrities have recently come out publicly as members of the transgender [...]

Plato - MenoPlato's Republic is widely recognized as his philosophic and literary masterpiece, but many of [...]

Boswell's Life of Marx: There Will Be Beard!Ever since the publication of his Life of Samuel Johnson, the name Boswell has become synonymous wit [...]

Will Durant - The Philosophy of PlatoThere are many great introductions to the history of philosophy. Some do a fantastic job of explaini [...]

What Is Socialism?Like political correctness, socialism is one of those concepts everyone keeps throwing around, usual [...]

Right Living, Thinking, Etc

  • Two Truths News
  • Natural Living-Healthy Planet

Writer and activist Rebecca Solnit tells the truth about misogyny, injustice, and environmental dest [...]

No self, no form, no goal: Thich Nhat Hanh on the truth we’re distracting ourselves from. The post T [...]

If you want to connect with the open, spacious quality of mind, says Lama Willa Miller, at some poin [...]

Enlightenment is possible in this lifetime but time is running out. We have to make the most of this [...]

The guest season will not reopen this summer at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, due to the ongoing th [...]

After 13 years as a Buddhist nun, Sister Dang Nghiem looks back on her medical career and realizes m [...]

In her widowed father’s pale, hopeful face, Ann Nichols saw that everything her mother had fallen fo [...]

Gelek Rinpoche argues that enlightenment is possible only when female and male energies are both pre [...]

Cheri Maples, a student of Thich Nhat Hanh and former police officer, addresses the current crisis i [...]

We all recognize monkey mind—that wild mind going in more than one direction at a time, swinging fro [...]

(NaturalNews) Questions about the health of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton continue [...]

(NaturalNews) A federal court has ruled that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is not permitted to use [...]

(NaturalNews) The release of singer Frank Ocean's latest album a few days ago was accompanied b [...]

(NaturalNews) In an ironic example of how insane our United States legal system has become regarding [...]

(NaturalNews) With over 29 million Americans currently suffering from diabetes - and a staggering 86 [...]

(NaturalNews) One of the most important things, if not the most important, that children should shar [...]

(NaturalNews) As waistlines get larger around the world, people are increasingly looking for a quick [...]

(NaturalNews) The American government has already laid the groundwork for tyranny to step in. Citize [...]

(NaturalNews) The misery continues for Venezuelans, as they suffer tremendously under the Bolivarian [...]

(NaturalNews) Despite the fact that the Obama administration has made a number of pledges to improve [...]

Science News

  • The Universe Today
  • Perimeter Institute
  • Science Daily
  • Sky and Telescope

A SpaceX commercial Dragon cargo ship returned to Earth today, Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, by splashing d [...]

The International Space Station has provided astronauts and space agencies with immense opportunitie [...]

The Juno spacecraft made history on July 4th, 2016, when it became the second spacecraft in history [...]

Being able to witness a solar eclipse is certainly a distinct experience. Even though the spectacle [...]

The ESO's recent announcement that they have discovered an exoplanet candidate orbiting Proxima [...]

Back in April, Russian billionaire Yuri Milner and famed cosmologist Stephen Hawking unveiled Projec [...]

For years, astronomers have been observing Proxima Centauri, hoping to see if this red dwarf has a p [...]

Tomorrow, August 25, 2016, the US National Park Service celebrates its 100th anniversary, and the NP [...]

Up for a challenge? Over the next two weekends, two asteroid occultations pass over North America. T [...]

SpaceX has certainly pulled off some successful feats lately. In the past few months, the private ae [...]

Independent Review Lauds Perimeter as “World-Leading” SuccessTuesday Aug 16, 2016 Perimeter Institut [...]

The Physics of the OlympicsWednesday Aug 10, 2016 “Faster, higher, stronger.” The Olympic motto also [...]

Teens encouraged to follow their curiosity at physics summer schoolFriday Jul 29, 2016 Life lessons [...]

Teachers learn to inspire passion for physicsMonday Jul 18, 2016 EinsteinPlus helps teachers bring m [...]

The Ultimate Science Playlist Monday Jul 18, 2016 Please your ears and feed your brain with these br [...]

Sandu Popescu Wins Prestigious Dirac MedalThursday Jul 14, 2016 Perimeter Institute Distinguished Vi [...]

Big Bang – Or Big Bounce?Wednesday Jul 06, 2016 A new model of quantum cosmology shows how this univ [...]

What We Know (And What We Don't) About Dark MatterMonday Jun 27, 2016 Some of the most abundant [...]

Celebrating the seventh class of Perimeter Scholars InternationalMonday Jun 20, 2016 Seventh class c [...]

New Experiment Clarifies How The Universe Is Not ClassicalFriday Jun 17, 2016 Theorists from Perimet [...]

3-D-printed structures 'remember' their shapesEngineers are using light to print three-dimensional structures that 'remember' their orig [...]

Hiding in plain sight: Vast reef found hiding behind Great Barrier ReefScientists working with laser data have discovered a vast reef behind the familiar Great Barrier Ree [...]

Scientists discover a ‘dark’ milky wayUsing the world's most powerful telescopes, an international team of astronomers has found a ma [...]

Microplastics discovered in the deep, open oceanA unique study will provide valuable new insights into the concentrations of microplastics in the op [...]

More to rainbows than meets the eyeIn-depth review charts the scientific understanding of rainbows and highlights the many practical ap [...]

X-raying the Earth with waves from stormy weather 'bombs'Using a detection network based in Japan, scientists have uncovered a rare type of deep-earth tremor [...]

A mammoth undertaking: Can de-extinction be ecologically responsible?Can the woolly mammoth be brought back from the dead? Scientists say it's only a matter of time [...]

Memory activation before exposure reduces life-long fear of spidersMany people suffer from anxiety and fears, and a common treatment for these problems is exposure the [...]

New research reveals cancers need a 'perfect storm' of conditions to developScientists have demonstrated for the first time the 'perfect storm' of conditions that cel [...]

The brain uses backward instant replays to remember important travel routesNeuroscientists believe they have figured out how some rats solve certain navigational problems. If [...]

Some daily sky events among the ever-changing Moon, planets, stars and constellations, from Sky [...]

El 21 de Agosto del 2017 va a ser la primera vez que los Americanos podrán ver un eclipse total de S [...]

NAME Astronomers Amateur Club of Charlotte ADDRESS 1105 D Technology Dr. Indian Trail, North Carolin [...]

Dust and gas between stars would pose a threat to spacecraft en route from Earth to the Alpha Centau [...]

The post Saturn and Mars crossing the Antares region appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]

The post 180 degrees Milky way composite panorama appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]

The post Perseids 2016 appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]

The post Our neighbour Galaxy appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]

The post Deep sky and landscape ! appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]

The post Comet C/2014 W2 (PANSTARRS) appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]