A Poulter’s Dozen: RT’s Selected Posts, 2011
Remember this little guy? He appeared all the way back in February as a kind of tropical antidote to winter. Now it’s nearly 2012, and soon (but don’t quote me on this), WordPress will be sending us our annual stats & list of most popular posts. It’s a great service, and an e-mail I’ll be posting, but I’m not sure that it’s completely representative of a year that saw more than a hundred posts added to The Rag Tree.
RT’s solution? Make my own selection of 2011’s best, and in particular, those posts that won’t make WP’s Top Five. So here are twelve posts, chosen from across the months, that I have a soft spot for–and think deserve a second viewing:
1. Print, Applause and $$. January. Perhaps a bit argumentitive, this essay defends my claim: Writing isn’t about getting published; writing is about community. A consideration of the larger issues at play in the writer’s life.
2. Sappho. February. She defined the lyric poem in the West, is perhaps the greatest woman poet who ever lived–and her poetry survives mostly in fragments. Here is my translation of one of her most intense moments.
3. Gliese 581. February. You couldn’t say that it’s a next-door neighbor, but the star Gliese 581 has a mind-boggling solar system, and Gliese 581-g is the most earth-like planet discovered so far. What a vacation!
4. Did Jacob Climb his Ladder? March. For centuries, scholars have been working to identify the sources that were compiled to create the Hebrew Bible. This post introduces the Elohist, the most mysterious of the Bible’s four main sources.
5. Sor Juana. March. A consideration of a woman who has been called Mexico’s greatest poet–and of the more enlightened side of Spanish colonial rule.
6. The Tax to Ceasar. April. Over the centuries, this episode from the Gospels has been used to define Christianity’s relationship to political authority. RT thinks the Tax is just one of the most extraordinary moments in Jesus’s life.
7. The Novgorod Codex. July. The discovery a decade ago of a hyper-palimpsest–a document that contains hundreds of pages of over-written text–has spurred one Russian scholar to extraordinary lengths in deciphering the material.
8. How to Eat an Essay. July. Ladies and gentlemen: tuck in your napkin, pick up your fork and knife, and dig in!
9. A Global Trust Bank? August. It could help track funds used in relief efforts–and other monies, too.
10. Idiolects. September. A big topic, a surprising answer.
11. Pitman Shorthand. October. Working on your first novel? Lighten the load.
12. Confessions of a Disorganized Poet. November. Paper, paper everywhere! I mean, what do you do with all this stuff?
& now for the extra eggs:
13. The Thunder Throne. January. An amazing work of art–created by a black janitor.
14. Ni L’Un, Ni L’Autre. August. OK, OK, it’s one of RT’s own poems; on the other hand, it’s pretty good!
& here’s to a productive 2012! RT
Photo: Microcebus Rufus. Photographer, Alex Dunkel; Camera, Freddie Barber; Modifications, WolfmanSF. Source: Wikipedia; License: CC 3.0 Unported.