Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Slate and A Poem to Break Your Heart

I'm a big fan of Slate.

If you've never heard of it, Slate is an online magazine that manages to blend pop culture, politics, art, and science in quirky, random, and sometimes completely bizarre (but always fascinating) ways.

For example, headlines you can find at Slate today include "Politicians make lousy commencement speakers. Hire a celebrity instead", "How Obama is like Spock", and "What can reality TV teach us about clinical drug trials?"

Fun stuff.

Slate also has a pretty great section on the arts, and from time to time, they'll publish a book review, short story, or poem.

Today, they published a beautiful, heartbreaking poem, "Last Days" by Elise Partridge. In addition to the text of the poem, Slate also includes a recording of Elise Partridge reading it aloud. I've always been interested in how authors read their own work, so this is a nice inclusion (though I find most poets, including Partridge, to be pretty bad readers -- slow and boring and theatrically-cerebral, and they tend to take themselves and their work very seriously).

Anyway, check out the poem, which is good; and maybe ignore the reading, which is not.

I warn you, however, that the poem is absolutely tragic. Prepare to be broken.

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