SONG OF THE CRAB NEBULA or “The Shadow of a Magnitude”

By Dan Leach Long before the first eyes ever saw me   Floating like a ghost upon the night, Long before human minds even feebly   Pierced beyond their dimly shrouded sight, I was there, though clothed in different raiment,   Blazing like your own, my brother sun, Over unimagined reaches distant,   When your…

Dante’s Commedia, or How to Escape a Modern Inferno

By David Gosselin This is the accompanying article to a lecture given by the same author, as part of the RTF Lecture Series “The Renaissance Principle Across the Ages“. Many today would consider Dante Alighieri a “Dead White European Male” of dubious relevancy. However, Dante is in fact alive and well, as are so many…

Beyond the Lines: Keats’ “Ode on Indolence”

By David Gosselin The question has been raised by many critics, academics, scientists, and artists, “What is Creativity?” In the spring of 1819, the poet John Keats experienced one of the greatest bursts of creativity in the history of art and science. When fully considered, the astounding poetic achievements of the spring of 1819 parallel…

History as a Battle for the Mind: Edgar Poe as a Cultural Warrior

In this New Lyre Podcast, David Gosselin (founder of the Chained Muse) and Matthew Ehret discuss the real story of Edgar Allan Poe as a cultural warrior who stood on the frontlines as defender of the greatest humanist traditions upon which the young republic’s survival was based during the tumultuous 1820s-1840s. While few people either…

Negative Capability: The Genius of Keats and Einstein

By David Gosselin “To develop a complete mind: Study the science of art; Study the art of science. Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.” – Leonardo Da Vinci In reply to the deeply held popular belief that madness and creativity share a special kinship, this author argues, “They do not,…

Why the Poetic Principle is Imperative for Statecraft

Cynthia Chung Today, perhaps more so than at any time in history, we are experiencing a divide between what is considered to be the “domain” or “confinement” of art as wholly separate from the domain of “politics.” The irony of such a perception is its failure to recognise that the root of our political system…

Representations of Muslim Culture in Western Literature

In this class, Asad Wasti presents a quick survey of the works of various Western literary icons, in an attempt to demonstrate a direct influence on their writings from the Muslim world. We will examine the correlation between Dante’s Comedia and the Isra & Mai’raj tales from the 13th century, as well as later representation…

The Power of Metaphor

By David Gosselin Metaphor should not be approached as some “thing,” but as a transformative power, the invisible process by which “things” come into being. Using metaphor, even very simple language and very common-place images can be brought into new, unique constellations. Contrary to the sundry definitions of metaphor proffered by many school teachers and…