Appreciating Contemporary Poetry
"American poetry is in a period of 'fertile uncertainty'—in other words, it's confused. That's a good thing." The Atlantic begins a series on appreciating contemporary poetry.
"Poetry, as a genre in the U.S., remains paradoxically flexible—carrying expectations, habitual moves, and taboos, for sure, but also within these boundaries the expectation that they continue to be violated, expanded, collapsed. This extreme adaptability gives poetry plenty of chances to remain relevant in today's contemporary culture, where memes and high-speed Internet rule the roost. And poetry's patience (or obliviousness, you could call it)—the degree to which it is exceedingly insulated (unlike the art world, say, or fiction) from an economic and cultural sphere increasingly dominated by finance capital and advertising—gives it a chance to play a vital cultural role in an era of pressing ecological and economic crisis."
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In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.
- Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
- The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
- Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.
- Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
- The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
- Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.
- In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
- This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
- Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
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