The 1950s and 1960s are often cited as the golden age of television. Those were the days when comedians such as Groucho Marx and writers such as Rod Serling worked in the business. That era produced many programs that still bear rewatching (The Dick Van Dyke Show, for one, and I say this not just because I had a boyhood crush on Mary Tyler Moore).
(after an image by photojournalist Gerald Herbert)
That little tragedian, the dragonfly, wings smeared with earth’s black blood, stands glued to its stem like an orator. It will never leave this soapbox now. Just hangs there spread-eagled, a wee-Jesus on a crucifix of grass. Some undertaker draped its rainbow in a shroud of pitch, shined its tar-ball shoes, closed those onyx eyes for good. It has become an effigy of itself. It wanted to tell us that it died for our sins. But its lips are sealed. This orator without a speech, ne of the meek, so busy inheriting the earth, it never noticed the evil tide bubbling up from earth’s slit jugular, it never saw that drop of gleaming crude on Judas’s lip.
A writer in the Century some years ago recalled in passing the
era when mail was delivered twice a day. He noted, somewhat
whimsically, how that practice ensured at least two hopeful moments in
These waters, I must trouble for myself, in an age of the absence of angels, as I plunge, first of the day to break the lambent surface of the pool, and commence my daily reaching after miracles, swimming laps at almost eighty-one. The miracle I seek these recent years has been defined, and then refined, by that old friendly temporizer, “yet”; no longer seeking not-to-die-at-all, just not-to-die-quite-yet, to win a couple bonus years, in which to pen another poem or two, to pile a few more chosen words onto this heap I have—for Oh so long—been working on. Any healing that might come will clearly have to be short term. Until, that is, I reach the final turn, take up my beggar’s bed, and walk.
Print books remain significantly more popular than digital books, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. The bad news is that the number of people who reported reading a book in any format last year was 73 percent, down from 79 percent in 2011 when Pew first started gathering data on the reading habits of America (Publishers Weekly, September 16).