Here at eNotes, we would NEVER let Halloween pass without a few good scares from the masters of horror! Let’s all take a break from the tedious terror of government shutdowns and 404 Errors of the new healthcare law and enjoy some scares that are a lot more fun.
1. “The shortest horror story: The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door.”
― Frederic Brown
2. “At bottom, you see, we are not Homo sapiens as all. Our core is madness. The prime directive is murder. What Darwin was too polite to say, my friends, is that we came to rule the earth not because we were the smartest, or even the meanest, but because we have always been the craziest, most murderous motherfuckers in the jungle. And that is what the Pulse exposed five days ago.” – from Cell by Stephen King
Nobel prize winner Seamus Heaney, “The most important Irish poet since Yeats,” passed away in Dublin early this morning. He was 74.
In the short time since his death, tributes have poured in from all over the globe. But all eyes are on the people of Ireland, whose loss of a national treasure is deeply felt. President Michael D. Higgins, himself a published poet, has spoken of Heaney, “the presence of Seamus was a warm one, full of humour, care and courtesy – a courtesy that enabled him to carry with such wry Northern Irish dignity so many well-deserved honours.” It is that Irish dignity that Higgins credits with boosting national confidence after the economic downturn the nation suffered in 2010.
He carried with him an Irish legacy, born of rural county Derry, that will live on in poems like “Digging” and “Field Work.” Taoiseach Enda Kenny spoke for all of his country when he said the death of Heaney was a “great sorrow to Ireland… “For us, Seamus Heaney was the keeper of language, our codes, our essence as a people.”
Listen to Heaney’s 1995 Nobel lecture below:
Under my window, a clean rasping soundWhen the spade sinks into gravelly ground:My father, digging. I look down…Between my finger and my thumbThe squat pen rests.I’ll dig with it.
T.S. Eliot once observed that “genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.” This is a sentiment that ”guerrilla” poets embrace. Guerrilla tactics, whether in war or in art, often rely on hit-and-run assaults, leaving the subjects of their surprise attacks a bit dazed and hopefully more aware.
This week, the website Flavorpill (by way of booooooom.com) published a variety of guerrilla poetry projects that are sneaking poetry into the lives of the largely unsuspecting public. Here are ten of the best:
1. Scottish artist Robert Montgomery installs subversive poetry on billboards, stripping away the large-scale ads for his black-and-white text. Other poems are set on fire. The anonymous works about modern life offer a moment of reflection, away from the consumerist gaze.
I could go on.
Here are ten great lines from literature that just might help you get lucky, too.
1. “The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.”
- From The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The thing that is so fascinating about a person’s final words is, of course, that the person rarely knows those utterances will be his or her last.
One of my favorite poems is W.S. Merwin‘s “For the Anniversary of My Death”:
Every year without knowing it I have passed the dayWhen the last fires will wave to meAnd the silence will set outTireless travelerLike the beam of a lightless starThen I will no longerFind myself in life as in a strange garmentSurprised at the earthAnd the love of one womanAnd the shamelessness of menAs today writing after three days of rainHearing the wren sing and the falling ceaseAnd bowing not knowing to what.
Here are ten of those now-famous, or at least, interesting, last words:
“Pardon me, sir. I did not do it on purpose.” - after she accidentally stepped on the foot of her executioner as she went to the guillotine.
“I am about to — or I am going to — die: either expression is correct.”
“Bugger Bognor.”“ - to his physician, who had suggested that he relax at his seaside palace in Bognor Regis.