Arts+Culture

Arts+Culture

We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner

Film

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

When he was in his early 40s, Jean-Dominique Bauby, editor of a French fashion magazine, suffered a massive stroke which left him completely paralyzed except for the movement of one eye. By using this eye and a Morse code of sorts, he was able to dictate a memoir to a caring and patient scribe.
Film

The Counterfeiters

The Austrian picture The Counterfeiters, which won this year’s Academy Award for best foreign film, dramatizes yet another little-known story of the Holocaust. In “Operation Bernhard” the Nazis assembled a select band of prisoners at Sachsenhausen concentration camp and put them to work producing counterfeit versions of the English pound note and the American dollar bill.
Film

Juno

Diablo Cody won an Academy Award for her screenplay for Juno, and it’s true that the film bubbles along on the strength of the snappy, frank commentary that Juno (Ellen Page) offers on the travails of being pregnant at 16.
Poetry

Aging tulips

See, it’s not sweet youth
that touts a wildness, but crazy
old age. Beauty shifts. Plump
pink petals fall away, or stay,
curling every which way,
like stiff, unruly hair, dried
to a deep blood-red.

The once-upright congregation-
in-a-vase flops over, losing their
heads, but that’s all right. They
find another life in unconventional
gesture, extravagant dance:
this still troupe, ecstatic,
with nothing left to lose.

Poetry

Evensong

All winter the fish lounge at the bottom of the pond
squinting up now and then toward the cloudy light
beyond the ice, but mostly skulking behind cold wet shadows
like teenage guys down in the basement
hanging out, waiting for life to happen
dreaming elongated nursery rhymes
feeling the submerged sluggish vibrations of the earth
a faint quiver of the moon’s pull on the tides.

After Easter, though, they dopily drift toward the surface
where I am waiting patiently with
something like civilization in mind.
Sooner or later they’ll make the connection:
they get their daily bread from me.
And in return I get
a glimpse of their elusive grace,
their perfect freedom organized into evening ritual.