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December 15, 2011 -- At the Baghdad International Airport today United States military forces lowered the American flag, and, in a ceremony with a long tradition, “cased” it for the trip home to America. Just a few thousand U.S. troops were left; the main U.S. base in eastern Baghdad is closed, as are hundreds of others. In a gigantic logistical operation, U.S. troops, support personnel, and equipment and supplies have been departing for months.
The ice that grips the curb is white,
With wavy snakes of gray-black stains.
It glints in noon's uncertain light
Made glassy hard in melting rains.
Rain raps the air conditioner
Set on my sill, but there is no
Premonitory, onward stir
Of tidings, no herald, in this slow
Recurrence, insensate pace
Of nature's inhuman patience.
This day before Christmas we face
No true unease; no reticence
Inhibits our routine. We cock
All poets embrace
Solitude, they say,
Company of one,
Which is much the way
Archers stalk the stars,
Shepherds tend their clouds—
Labors best pursued
Far from madding crowds.
And yet, Dante dared
Even the Abyss,
Poetry on hold
Beside the sea, Poe
Rages at a tomb;
Autumn sees his thoughts
Stray to Ulalume.
It’s just for fun, this beat we keep,
In Barcelona's summer night
A Spanish guitar's slow strumming
Went floating on the lazy air,
By many a sweet street coming--
Here snatching scent of tapas dough,
A woman's easeful laughter there--
Assailing me with such cruel yearning
I halted on an ancient stair
Beneath a consecrated arch
That cupped the moon in curving blue,
All trembling in my sight, and dim,
March 2006 -- Nancy C. Andreasen, The Creating Brain: The Neuroscience of Genius (New York: Dana Press, 2005), 197 pp., $23.95.
What do we know about what makes creative genius possible? Can we say anything new about the awesome creative ability of an Aristotle, a Michelangelo, or a Thomas Edison? For that matter, how does an Ayn Rand appear in our midst, as though out of nowhere, with a transforming vision and ideas that failed to occur to the other six billion or so humans on the planet?
Editor’s Note: Among the virtues we promote at The New Individualist are the courage, independence, integrity, and vision of creative producers in all walks of life—including those largely unheralded heroes of the business world.
October 2007 -- (b. 1905, St. Petersburg, Russia)