Poetry Magazine : October : 2012


A sexy poem by Laura Kasischke in The Second Death and another more heartbreaking poem Game.

A meditation on Matthew 6:22 by Gail Wronsky : Light chaff and falling leaves or a pair of feathers

Campbell McGrath : Nox Borealis

Marie Ponsot : A Visit + some lines on Austen :

“Mistress of accurate minor pain,/ Lend wit for forebearance, prideless Jane.”



Frederick Wiseman : Sad Comedy

“I think a lot of the movies are very funny. But it’s not comedy that makes fun of the people; it’s comedy that emerges from very complex situations which often have no solution, and the situations are indicative, in one way or another, of the muddlement of the human behavior. And so they’re funny. And I find that kind of comedy sad, because often, while it’s funny, the basic situation is very sad. . . . “High School” is a sad comedy because the ideology of the school is such that some, although obviously not all, of the potential of the students is being thwarted by this mindless kind of conformism that represents the actual attitude of the school as opposed to the rhetorical attitude. It’s sad because the students are being trivialized.” -Frederick Wiseman


Quotes on The Master

 “You’ll be my protégé and my guinea pig,” Dodd says to Freddie shortly after their first meeting. There turns out to be a lot more to it than that. They are father and son, guru and disciple, passionate friends and bitter competitors locked in a relationship whose sexual undercurrents are as palpable and mysterious as the motion of water under the surface of the ocean.

-A.O. Scott

“I believe in the church of Paul Thomas Anderson. Hollywood films give you zilch to believe in, tying up their narratives with a tidy bow so you won’t leave confused and angry. Anderson refuses to do the thinking for you. His films mess with your head until you take them in and take them on. No wonder Anderson infuriates lazy audiences.”

-Peter Travers

“Anderson doesn’t commit to the inspiration for his movie; he doesn’t commit to anything, really. You walk out of ‘The Master’ baffled and frazzled, wondering what this sumptuous, commanding movie was trying to say or why it was even made.”

-Rene Rodriguez

Paul Thomas Anderson on the response to The Master :

“I love it; it’s exciting. I’ve seen films that I absolutely could not stand when I saw it. Or I just thought, ‘I don’t know what is going on here.’ Then five years later, you see it and you can’t believe you missed something or what were you thinking? Or the opposite: You see a film, and you think the heavens have opened up. Then a couple of years later, you’re not quite sure what the hell’s going on, what were you thinking?

 “Films should be like that. That’s great. They’re moving, living things. In different situations they’re different, you know? You walk into the theatre expecting something, or you’re in a bad mood, or you’re in a good mood — you’re open to anything. There are just too many issues going into a film to strike everybody as a (immediate) win, you know?”

The Meaning of Names in The Master

Freddie Quell : Freddie from Frederick meaning Peaceful Ruler; Quell to vanquish, suppress, subdue.

Lancaster Dodd : Lancaster from Lune (Pure) +ceaster (castra, Latin for camp). Dodd means “Of the people” and is related to the Germanic word for rounded and therefore “dull”. Perhaps invoking dodder which means to quake, tremble. Perhaps also a pun on “dad/god”.

Peggy Dodd : Peggy is a nickname of Margaret which means Pearl. Peggy is used to invoke “pegged” (she’s pregnant the first half of the film) or perhaps the expression a “round peg” in square hole. Also, L. Ron Hubbard’s first wife was named Margaret “Polly” Grubb.

Doris Solstad Day : Doris from Dorian an ancient mode of music, related to the Greek word for Gift (doron). Her maiden name Solstad means Sun City in Norwegian. Obviously Doris Day invokes the actress, but it was also the name of the wife of George “Bud” Day, a highly decorated U.S. soldier (Doris Sorenson Day).

Winn Manchester : Winn short for Winnie short for Winifred (“win Freddie?”), the anglicized form of Gwenfrewi, which means Blessed Peace. Manchester from Mam (breast, breast like hill) +ceaster (castra, Latin for camp).

See also : The Meaning of the Names in Inception.

Is the Mind Matter?

“It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms.” — J.B.S. Haldane, Possible Worlds, 1927