First, Grant Snider considers New Year’s resolutions in his inimitable way.
Then, Barbara Berman draws a connection between two recent poetry collections—famous German playwright Bertold Brecht’s posthumous Love Poems and The Book of Scented Things: 100 Contemporary Poems About Perfume, edited by Jehanne Dubrow and Lindsay Lusby. Each poem in the latter makes sense of scents in a “lush” and “full” way. “There is something terrifically dive-in about all these poems,” Berman writes. Meanwhile, the collection from Brecht shows how “generous love can make the world feel finer” in the present moment, just as it did in the past.
In our Saturday Essay, Jen Girdish uses Richard Linklater’s dubious masterpiece, Boyhood, as the focal point for recollections of her own father. She writes, “… though [her] father had planned for a boy, I wasn’t a son.” The similarities between Girdish and her father spur her to examine Linklater’s film, its “relatability,” and its lack thereof.
Lastly, the fallibility of memory plays an important part in the Sunday Essay. Matthew Daddona analyzes a family history complicated by mysterious lineage, addiction, and depression. An estranged uncle and a grandfather who is mostly a stranger help Daddona make a case for using old photos as writing prompts. Pairing the photos together “cast[s] a unique metaphor for remembrance.”