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Barry’s Blog # 310: To Sacrifice Everything — A Hidden Life, Part Two of Four

Near the snow, near the sun, in the highest fields See how these names are fêted by the waving grass, And by the streamers of white cloud, And whispers of wind in the listening sky; The names of those who … Continue reading

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Barry’s Blog # 309: To Sacrifice Everything — A Hidden Life, Part One of Four

Every good deed brings its own punishment. – James Agate Sometimes the spirit comes through me. I’m not saying this out of pride. I’m simply observing that one when is committed to his art – in my case, writing about … Continue reading

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Barry’s Blog # 308: A Tale of Two Families, Part Three of Three

When their idealism collapsed, so did their lives. Finally realizing that the C.I.A. was intent only on destroying all he had believed in, Frank resigned – and quickly drank himself to death. Similarly, after Stalin’s crimes came to light, Al, … Continue reading

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Barry’s Blog # 307: A Tale of Two Families, Part Two of Three

In that same period, the Zeligs were moving their residences every three or four months. As committed, underground communist cadres, Al and his wife had been assigned the task of providing safe houses for fugitive radicals who were evading the … Continue reading

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Barry’s Blog # 306: A Tale of Two Families, Part One of Three

The Adams’ The Adams’ are an old New England Yankee family. After attaining a Law degree from Yale (as both his father and grandfather had done before him), Frank Adams signed up to fight fascism in World War Two. He … Continue reading

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Barry’s Blog # 305: Death, Where is Thy Sting? Death Poems, Last Words and Epitaphs, Part Two of Two

Part two: The West Yoel Hoffman, editor of Japanese Death Poems, observes that jisei poetry arose out of a culture of extreme conformism: Death poems reveal that before death, the Japanese tend rather to break the restraints of politeness that … Continue reading

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Barry’s Blog # 304: Death, Where is Thy Sting? Death Poems, Last Words and Epitaphs, Part One of Two

Part One: The Far East How do we want to be remembered? Death poems (jisei) developed in the literary traditions of Japan as early as the seventh century. Later, taking much energy from Zen Buddhism’s emphasis on the transiency and … Continue reading

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