This essay celebrating the first printing presses during the Renaissance in Florence, Italy, is included in my most recent book The Modern Salonnière. The 34 other…View More Saluting the Renaissance Book Club
Tag: dead poets society
I created the dead poets society tag on The Diary of Improvateur to designate when I feature a poet who has changed the course of poetry but has passed, particularly those I want to honor with the heartfelt reviews of their poetry that I am compelled to write.
There are a number of posts that feature writers who have left enough of a legacy for me to consider them a member of the dead poets society, one of which is Rainer Maria Rilke, whose poem “The Panther” inspired a trip to the Buenos Aires Zoo during a few weeks I spent in Argentina. I am against Victorian zoos because I believe they are cruel for the wild animals but I wanted to have a similar experience as Rilke when he sat and watched a caged panther at a zoo.
I read the poem aloud to the big black cat, feeling a sizzle when I read, “As he paces in cramped circles, over and over…” and the panther stood up and began pacing on the dusty floor of its outdoor pen. I continued reading, studying him as my words petered off into silence and, almost as if on cue, he sashayed to a spot he had hollowed out under a copse of trees, his tail dragging in the dirt, and lowered his body into the shallow pit. Without so much as a glance in my direction, he closed “the curtain of the pupils” over his gorgeous golden eyes, and my heart broke for him, trapped as he was within such a sad prison.
Café Society as Cultural Interpreter
What do the Paris and New York City cafés that served as historical backdrops for some of the world’s most brilliant creatives say about the…View More Café Society as Cultural Interpreter
Exploring Frankfurt with Goethe
I am returning to Frankfurt am Main next week to attend Heimtextil for the second time, an experience I truly enjoyed last year for the…View More Exploring Frankfurt with Goethe
The Sensuous Delight of Place
Like Katherine Mansfield’s enigmatic stories, the book Place by Tara Bernerd feels like “a thread with a subtly woven texture embracing ecstatic feeling, sensuous delight.” The…View More The Sensuous Delight of Place
Earnest in Paris
This comparative look at Wes Anderson and Ernest Hemingway, Earnest in Paris, is a guest post by Miles Stephenson, a talented young writer whom I…View More Earnest in Paris
A Backward Glance on rue de Varenne
The narrow sidewalks push their black iron batons up out of the ground to protect the buildings hemming them; the rain turns the cobblestones to…View More A Backward Glance on rue de Varenne
Touching Literary History
I will once again be touching literary history soon, as the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University reopened yesterday following a 16-month…View More Touching Literary History
Celebrating Shakespeare The 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death is April 23rd, the date he passed in 1616 at the age of 52 believed to…View More Celebrating Shakespeare
Reading Dante in Milan
“I’d like that sunny table near the windows under the beautiful mirror,” he says to the hostess at Le Vrai, pointing to the niche set…View More Reading Dante in Milan
I Met Virginia Woolf in This Room
Who else is relieved that Lady Edith Crawley, played by Laura Carmichael, is finally finding happiness on Downton Abbey? Having binged on all of the…View More I Met Virginia Woolf in This Room