100 Years of Poetry: Re-Reading Reviews by Joel Brouwer

22 August, 2012 § 13 Comments

Joel Brouwer

Joel Brouwer of poetryfoundation.org

Check this out! This is the best review of literature reviews that I’ve read in a long time.

100 Years of Poetry: Re-Reading Reviews by Joel Brouwer.


Changing Bulbs | Part 2 of 3

11 May, 2012 § 1 Comment

Chronological scaffolding is when what I write reflects who I have been reading. The chronological scaffolding of your work is like the ladder that changes the light bulb that shines a brighter light on your work for your reader’s/viewers benefit. It is the chair that gives a leg up to those who are a little too short to reach the top shelf without a little help. In essence: it is your favorite authors, poets, screen writers, directors, painters, sculptors and so on and so forth. Of the two kinds of scaffolding, chronological scaffolding is the kind that you do not mind to see as you are walking through the halls of a fine establishment, because you know it means that due diligence has been made to ensure a quality outcome.

Next Friday: Mechanical Scaffolding

Don’t forget to read the first in the triology: Intro to Scaffolding

Ah Bet E’ll Fall | Part 1 of 3

4 May, 2012 § 3 Comments

In September of 1932 Charles Clyde Ebbets took a picture that ended up defining his career. It was called Lunchtime atop a Skyscraper.  Its subjects were the fearless construction men who built the Rockefeller Center in New York City having their tea and cigarettes in a break room that would make even the most lenient of OSHA officers go into cardiac arrest. As an art receiver, when I saw this picture my stomach turned inside out for those men but I didn’t give much thought to the photographer himself. After all, the construction workers are the ones out on the crossbeam, dangling their leathers hundreds of thousands of feet in air. The point is that I never questioned Mr. Ebbets’s safety when I looked at this picture.

I imagined his feet firmly planted on a platform taking pictures of people who were decidedly in a more precarious situation. The truth is that Charles Ebbets was in as much danger of falling as the men who debuted in this historic photograph.

The concept of being two hundred thousand feet above 6th and 49th fashioning art that makes you look like you have your feet firmly planted on a wrought iron platform is what I like to call the principle of scaffolding. Without scaffolding no artist or author could get high enough to snap, paint or write about the situations that peak people’s interests. There are two types of scaffolding that an artist or an author has to deal with. The first is the chronological scaffolding of his or her influences and the second is his or her mechanical scaffolding.

Continued Next Friday: Chronological Scaffolding

On Histories

17 April, 2012 § Leave a comment

After a war the victor sits in his cushioned armchair, pale from the bloodletting that preserves his idea of peace and prosperity. What was necessary for preservation is as good as done; therefore he writes the wrongs in retrospect–chronicling victories and assaying the  events in what light he will.

In any light, our’s is a history of violence.

Searching for Good in Good Friday

6 April, 2012 § 4 Comments

 “He (God, the Father) made Him (Jesus, the Son) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” II Corinthians 5:21

As a child I often wondered why the day that we commemorate the death of Jesus is called “Good Friday”. The truth is that the result of  our rebellion called sin is death (Romans 3:23).

Recently I finished the first in Suzanne Collins‘ series, The Hunger Games, in which a post apocalyptic North American polity commands twelve districts who at one point in history had rebelled against the capital district. The punishment was that once a year each district would offer up a tribute of one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to be entered into a televised gladiator event that lasts until the last tribute stands undefeated. The punishment for their rebellion was death.

Pay attention–it is not that far from the truth. God, our creator, who loves us, came into this world in very like circumstance. Man has rebelled and turned his back on the Father. Remember that “At the heart of all sin is the vain ambition of angels  and men to be God and to think, speak, and act accordingly” (Sin | Image Series Part 3). The penalty for man’s rebellion is death.

Consider this passage, for in it’s commandment lies the reason that goodness results because of Jesus’ death.

“5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-8

Jesus was sinless because He was fully God yet liable to death being fully man. Remember that God is three in one and that every attribute that He has is magnified by infinity. The third member of the infinite trinity came to die as the representation of fallen humanity so that  in his infinite death, death itself was satisfied, and in his infinite life he was raised again and conquered sin and the grave.

Forty days after the Resurrection, Jesus ascended into heaven to sit down at the right hand of the Father to intercede for us. This is why we call it “Good Friday”. Because Jesus made it possible for humanity to be reconciled to God.

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