Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Posts Tagged ‘The Poem as Time Machine

Flash Gordon and the time machine

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I remember the day my father came home from the neighbors’ in 1949 and said they had a radio with talking pictures. It was his way of explaining television to us in terms of what he knew: radio. Several years later I would sit on the rug with half a dozen neighborhood kids at the house down the block, watching Flash Gordon and advertisements for Buster Brown shoes.

Such early space-travel films may have marked my first encounter with the idea of time machines, those phone booths with the capacity to transpose one into encounters with Napoleon or to propel one ahead into dilemmas on distant planets. I was six or seven years old and already leading a double life as an imagined horse disguised as a young girl…

Flash Gordon never became a horse by stepping into a time machine, but he could choose any one of countless masquerades at crucial moments in history or in the futures he hoped to outsmart. This whole idea of past or future being accessible at the push of a button seemed so natural to me as a child that I have been waiting for science to catch up to the idea ever since.

Tess Gallagher, “The Poem as Time Machine”

Written by nevalalee

December 30, 2018 at 7:30 am

Quote of the Day

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It is the poet who refuses to believe in time as a container, who rushes into the closed room of time, who plunges through the bay window and slashes a hand across the harp, even if what results is not music so much as a passionate desecration of a moment, which, like the photograph in its effort to fix us, excludes us from our own past. The poet is always the enemy of the photograph.

Tess Gallagher, “The Poem as Time Machine”

Written by nevalalee

July 26, 2018 at 7:30 am

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