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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Poetry, Metaphysics, and Looney Tunes

The Warner Bros. cartoons of the '30s and '40s reside on a pinnacle of animation with their Disney feature-length peers from that time and, more recently, the Pixar films (can't wait to see Wall-E this weekend). Bugs, Porky, and Daffy lead a crew of characters who closely engage in a completely visceral universe where the laws of normal human behavior and nature are besides the point. The whole point is to get the laugh. The method which generates the laughter, the sheer madness of their pursuits and misadventures, inspires a sense of child-like awe in even the most jaded viewer.

And it inspires poetry.

The Wall Street Journal has a great article by former poet laureate Billy Collins on how Looney Tunes has effected his art. Billy is absolutely correct that artists recycle influence lists, and what is most influential is the stuff subsumed into the culture.

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