“Vita Nova,” Louise Glück (1999)

louise-gluck-vita-nova-1999From Louise Glück’s collection Vita Nova, published in 1999:

“You saved me, you should remember me.

The spring of the year; young men buying tickets for the ferry boats.
Laughter, because the air is full of apple blossoms.

When I woke up, I realized I was capable of the same feeling.

I remember sounds like that from my childhood,
laughter for no cause, simply because the world is beautiful,
something like that.

Lugano. Tables under the apple trees.
Deckhands raising and lowering the colored flags.
And by the lake’s edge, a young man throws his hat into the water;
perhaps his sweetheart has accepted him.

Crucial
sounds or gestures like
a track laid down before the larger themes

and then unused, buried.

Islands in the distance. My mother
holding out a plate of little cakes—

as far as I remember, changed
in no detail, the moment
vivid, intact, having never been
exposed to light, so that I woke elated, at my age
hungry for life, utterly confident—

By the tables, patches of new grass, the pale green
pierced into the dark existing ground.

Surely spring has been returned to me, this time
not as a lover but a messenger of death, yet
it is still spring, it is still meant tenderly.”

See “Vita Nova” and other poems by Glück at The Poetry Foundation.

Futurama, “Hell is Other Robots” (1999)

Futurama

In the ninth episode of Season One of Matt Groening’s Futurama, the robot Bender is condemned to Hell after violating his contract with the Temple of Robotology.  In their search for Bender, his friends track his scent to the Inferno ride at Reckless Ted’s Funland.  Meanwhile, the Robot Devil leads Bender around the circles of Robot Hell in a song.  The Devil explains: “We know all your sins, Bender, and for each one we have prepared an agonizing and ironic punishment.”

Click here for more information about the episode.

Watch the video clip of the Robot Devil’s song here.

Illustrations by Mattotti, Glaser, and Moebius (1999)

lorenzo-mattotti-inferno-1999     milton-glaser-purgatorio-1999     moebius-paradiso-1999

In 1999, Nuages Gallery in Milan published these three illustrated editions of Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. See Nuages to learn more about the illustrators (Lorenzo Mattotti, Milton Glaser, and Moebius) and the project as a whole.

Playwright Margaret Edson

margaret-edson

“MARGARET EDSON is the Harper Lee of playwrights. She has had just one play produced — ‘Wit,’ which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1999 and has been revived on Broadway in a Manhattan Theater Club production starring Cynthia Nixon — and having said what she had to say, she doesn’t feel any need to try playwriting again. She occupies herself these days with projects like learning the piano and setting the multiplication table to opera choruses. She reads Dante in Italian, a canto or so every day, and once made a scale model of Paradise with the Sun-Maid raisin lady holding a basket of souls.” [. . .]    –Charles McGrath, The New York Times, February 16, 2012

Roberta Delaney, “Translations and Transformations”

roberta-delaney-translations-and-transformations
“‘Translations and Transformations’ is a journey with two destinations: Dante’s and mine. Dante’s Divine Comedy was written at in the early 14th century, in Italian, and in verse. He is the narrator and main character. Since 1812 when it was first translated into English, this long poem of 100 Cantos has been translated continuously just in English. Dante’s journey takes us down into the many levels of the Inferno (the Pope is next to Satan); we leave the Inferno climb a mountain out of Purgatory leading to Paradise. Dante has completed his journey and returns to earth, content.
I have also completed my journey. The Divine Comedy is still being translated because within the poem’s tight geometric structure, Dante has exposed the flaws of human nature. He was a Catholic, but highly critical of the clergy. In the wider sense, pride is still with us as is greed. This is a universal work of art that resonates in today’s living language and, fortunately via translators, for future generations.
There are twenty-six etchings in ‘Translations and Transformations’, it is bound and all the text is letterpress printed. The Italian text is printed in light gray, the English translations in black. Open, the size is 13″high X 37”wide.”    —Roberta Delaney

Troy Duffy, “The Boondock Saints” (1999)

troy-duffy-the-boondock-saints-1999“About one hour into the movie they go to a strip club to kill Ron Jeremy’s character. The door leading into the dancer’s room reads ‘Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here.'”    –Charlie Russell-Schlesinger

Contributed by Charlie Russell-Schlesinger (Bowdoin, ’08)