Today’s One-Liner (#12)

It’s terribly depressing to discover some quite worthless person blithely reciting a poem that you yourself had particularly liked and carefully copied down in a notebook.  –Sei Shōnagon, The Pillow Book, translated by Meredith McKinney

Containing Multitudes

Do I contradict myself?Very well then I contradict myself,(I am large, I contain multitudes.) –Walt Whitman, Song of Myself, 53 [Soen Nakagawa] had many faces: he was a simple monk, a “crazy wisdom” Zen master,…

Honesty & Humility

There is a story that Po always showed his poems to an uneducated old servant-woman, and anything she couldn’t understand, he rewrote. –David Hinton on Po Chü-i, in The New Directions Anthology of Classical Chinese…

Today’s One-Liner (#10)

On ne donne rien si libéralement que ses conseils.  –La Rochefoucauld, Maxim #110 One gives nothing so liberally as pieces of advice. –Translation by Stuart D. Warner and Stéphane DouardSt. Augustine’s Press, 2001

All Our Relations

All women are mothers and sisters, and all men are fathers and brothers in God’s family.–Maharajji, in Ram Dass, Miracle of Love: Stories about Neem Karoli Baba Oh humanityI am your grateful son.Every man my…

Searching

It was in Kafka that Scholem discovered a kind of heretical, secular Kabbalah, a literature paradoxically at once canonical and nihilistic. With Max Brod and Walter Benjamin, Scholem saw in Kafka a deeply Jewish writer,…

What’s Missing

During the thousand years of her history Russia had seen many great things. During the Soviet period the country had seen global military victories, vast construction sites, whole new cities, dams across the Dnieper and…

Reading Jewish

In 1994, I purchased Harold Bloom’s The Western Canon, and would peruse it from time to time, and pick a book off of Bloom’s four lists.    He got me back to Shakespeare  and sparked…