The diction here is a bit of a push for us – not because of the words used, which are all quite familiar – but just because poets used to take a lot of poetic license in pushing diction around all over the place to fit the meter and the rhythm and the rhyme and so on and so forth. … Read More
We’ve all had WTF moments. Keats put how he felt about one into a very famous poem.
From Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn“: I took a good gap and a stretch, and was just going to unhitch and start when I heard a sound away over the water. I listened. Pretty soon I made it out. It was that dull kind of a regular sound that comes from oars working in rowlocks when it’s a … Read More
I was 16, in Paris. I wanted to find out what a work of art was all about. I somehow knew that there was something to it that I hadn’t ever experienced myself. I went to the Musée d’Orsay. I found the Monet Water Lilies and started looking at them, trying to find what it was that made them so … Read More
We’ve been talking about how the appreciation of art is a use of emotional ability as well as intellectual ability. Here’s a powerful example from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.” This is packed with the stuff we look for in a work of art. Turn your eyes on this, read every word with your whole heart, and see if … Read More
Van Gogh’s “Almond Blossoms” There is certainly quite a bit in art that can be appreciated with one’s intellectual ability. Here is an example, from Van Gogh. Van Gogh gave this painting to his brother Theo on the occasion of the birth of Theo’s son. Van Gogh wrote to Theo: I should have greatly preferred him to call the boy … Read More
Jacques-Louis David’s “Napoleon Crossing the Alps” A work of art contains intellectual insights, of course. But the power of a work of art, and the reason people still love it centuries after it has come into existence, is in its emotional insight. Let’s have a look at an example in one of the most famous paintings in the world: Jacques-Louis … Read More