"When April with its showers sweet / The drought of March has pierced to the root . . ." (Excerpt from The Canterbury Tales Prologue by Geoffrey Chaucer)
by Jonathan English Twenty years ago now, Baz Luhrmann’s brilliant cinematic marvel, Moulin Rouge!, blazed across the silver screen. It would go on to receive eight Oscar nominations. Still, many critics seem to overlook its depths, bedazzled and almost blinded to deeper meaning by the film’s surface splendor, fast-paced brilliance, and abundant musical allusion. For… Continue reading Awakening Love: Christian’s Descent into the Underworld in Moulin Rouge!
When Langston Hughes published his early poem, "The Weary Blues," back in 1925, he was innovating literature and language, it's said, matching poetic form to musical form, and subject. According to poet Kevin Young, "Hughes was in fact the first to write poetry in the blues form," and his 1926 collection "The Weary Blues represents the… Continue reading The Weary Blues
Fenton Johnson was born in Chicago and lived most of his life there, though he can be considered a poet of both the Harlem Renaissance and the lesser known Chicago Renaissance. He attended college at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago and later studied in New York at Columbia's School of Journalism before returning… Continue reading Tired
Known as a poet of the Harlem Renaissance, Georgia Douglas Johnson (1880-1966) wrote four collections of poetry: The Heart of a Woman (1918), Bronze (1922), An Autumn Love Cycle (1928), and Share My World (1962). However, she was more than a poet--she wrote plays as well as a weekly column ("Homely Philosophy")--and she did not… Continue reading Let Me Not Hate
Fenton Johnson was an African American poet who wrote before and during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and early 1930s. He self-published several collections of poetry, including A Little Dreaming (1913), Visions of the Dusk (1915), and Songs of the Soil (1916). His poetry is often anthologized and exhibits a range of style from… Continue reading Two Poems by Fenton Johnson