Where been? Have I

Poetry, for me, is a playing with words. Is playing with words. Word play.

“… the apprehension of a poem is a sensuous mental activity.”  

– Molly Peacock, pg 3 of How to Read a Poem

I had big plans for today, heavy laden with tasks, with ‘must-dos’. But all along, I’ve been reminiscent* that I have a poetry post due. While I mowed the lawn, I toyed with a rhyming ditty. While writing my daily letter(s), I jotted little rhyming ditties. I even attempted weighty thoughts, hoping the words would align into something worthy of sharing. (I don’t think I quite got the spark, unfortunately.)

Here’s that dittying of which I mentioned:

Lilacs are purple, tulips are pink.
Poems are astounding, designed to make one think.

If tulips are pink, what flowers are teal?
Poems jolt emotions, to make one feel.

I have been aware that April is Poetry Month and I have seen its mention many places. Every time I encounter a poem, I gave a little high-five to the universe, “Yay, a poem for poetry month!”, and yet, here it is, THE day to post for Read More Blog More and I’m finally sitting down to write my post.

Confession Time. I borrowed Peacock’s Poetry book from the library about 4 weeks ago and today is the first time I’ve even opened it. For shame. It might even be due (overdue) and I owe late fees. I’m really not sure.

Molly opens her book by describing how much joy she found in the fact that the word joy has an O in the middle. And how astonishing it is that the word ‘circle’ does not have an O. I could be friends with this woman. I should probably just buy the darn book.

“if you have form’d a circle to go into,
Go into it yourself, and see how you would do.”

– William Blake from “Gnomic Verses ii: To God”

I’ve been reading a lot lately. I listened to Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild (on CD, in my car**) and finished 1Q84 by Murakami. Just so you know, in case you don’t make it back for my reviews; I was most conflicted about Into the Wild and I thought 1Q84 was only OK. Yep, that means two stars. I don’t think I will go out of my way to read any thing else by this author.  You know the ol’ argument “Too many books, too little time” and I can’t waste time trying to figure him out and whether or not I *should* like his stuff.

And READ-A-THON! I felt guilty not participating. And yet, I probably read more pages of books this past weekend than any other prior read-a-thon ever. That’s guilt for ya.

What else?  I have book club this Thursday. I’m the CHOOSER or presentor-of-the-choices this month and here’s what I think I am proposing: Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell, and A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean. I keep toying with the idea of adding Fifty Shades of Grey***  to the list but I’m afraid that is what they will choose. And we will all read it anyway, I think. Thus, it shouldn’t be a book club choice. My opinion.

What does any of this have to do with poetry? Not a damn thing.

“Our sense inarticulacy in the face of the most articulate art, a helplessness in its presence – coupled with a sureness of our attachment to it even though we don’t know why – can bewitch us.”

– Molly Peacock, pg 4 of How to Read a Poem


Not a damn thing. How do we make poetry out of every day have-to-dos?
Lu asks, in her post from the weekend telling us to get ready for today:
#3) Where do you get your poetry? Do you read poetry in books, primarily online, in magazines?
I won the free gift from the Read-More-Blog-More committee last month, The Day the World Ends by Ethan Coen. I have yet to open it. Haven’t even cracked the cover. But THANKS!  I just haven’t gotten to it yet!!!   🙂
I find my poetry here there and anywhere. I mentioned that one of my latest reads was FULL of poetry: The Invention of Clouds and it was a most unexpected pleasure. But I don’t seek it out. Or maybe, I do. Just by participating in this event, I’m recognizing the possibility — the opportunity of poetry.
Yep, I think I will buy Molly’s book.
Finally, pink tulips:  

Can we conceive what humanity would be if it did not know the flowers?  ~Maurice Maeterlinck

* Can I be ‘reminiscent’? or was the DAY reminiscent? All this thinking hurts my brain.

** My attempt to “Go Audio” and I completely screw it up. I was SUPPOSED TO download something to my iPhone. Sigh…

*** Everyone I know in “REAL LIFE” has asked me if I’ve read Fifty Shades of Grey. I have not. Funny, I have yet to see a review of it here in my book-blogosphere. But that only proves that I never open my Google Reader.
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Copyright © 2007-2012. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.
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The Invention of Clouds

Thoughts  The Invention of Clouds by Richard Hamblyn, Farrar Straus and Giroux 2001, 403 pages

subtitle:  How An Amateur Meteorologist Forged The Language Of The Skies

Defin’d the doubtful, fix’d its limit-line,
And named it fitly – Be the honour thine!

LOVED THIS and yet I didn’t finish it before it had to go back to the library.  *sadface* However! I’m considering buying this as a gift though I am really not sure if the intended recipient will enjoy it. I think he might? But I also have no clue what his reading tastes are. I always seem to buy him books, though and I never remember to ask if he liked ’em. We don’t talk often. Sometimes that’s the way it is with family… Or maybe just my family. We’re not of the demonstrative types.

Anywhoosie.

This book was sweet, in a way. It had poetry! It really showed a sensitive side to the author, methinks. You could suppose a history book — a biography book, to be cut and dried and just-the-facts, but we must consider this guy – the subject, not the author – was  ‘discovered’ around the end of the Age of Enlightenment and kicking off the Romantic era. [Not that I’m an expert – I had to go look that up.]

So, in 1802, Luke Howard presented his nomenclature for identifying clouds. And it was GROUNDBREAKING!  WHY had no one ever figured this out before?!  astonishing! I loved this part and learning about Luke’s early years and then his being thrust into fame.

I was not so keen as to the actual cloud details and who else had done some findings or tried to piggy-back on Howard’s labels and ideas. I just had too many other books shouting at me to read and this one was too quiet.

I did attempt to flip through and skim to the end. I’m a horrible skimmer. Impatient readers cannot skim. Thus the need for skimming and then the frustration and then guilt and then the downhill fall to just giving up.

I found it fascinating that these public lectures on the wonders of science put these guys into rock star acclaim.

I loved that his grandchildren were fond of him.

I was delighted at the bit about how Mr. Howard surely must have met Miss Jane Austen – his carriage is documented as traveling the road on which her house was set. Being of similar class and stature, it would not be at all unheard of that he would stop and pay a call. But not record exists of such.

I loved loved LOVED the poetry!

Science, illuminating ray!
Fair mental beam, extend thy sway,
And shine from pole to pole!
From thy accumulated store,
O’er every mind thy riches pour,
Exacted from low desires to soar,
And dignify the soul.
                              -Sarah Hoare, 1831

and how about this, written by Goethe and based on one of Howard’s essays?

Stratus
When o’er the silent bosom of the sea
The cold mist hangs like a stretch’d canopy;
And the moon, mingling there her shadowy beams,
A spirit, fashioning other spirits seems;
We feel, in moments pure and bright as this,
The joy of innocence, the thrill of bliss.
Then towering up in the darkinging mountain’s side,
And spreading as it rolls its curtains wide,
It mantles round the mid-way height, and there
It sinks in water-drops, or soars in air.

There’s more to that – he has three more stanzas…

So. If you love science or the weather, or dreamily gaze up at the clouds, or love odd little biographies of interesting dudes from the early 1800’s, and certainly if you like poetry that was written during those times, I suggest this wonderful book.

And a big thank you to Vasilly for recommending a book that helps identify clouds: The Cloud Collector’s Handbook. I’m thinking of buying that for my nieces and nephews. Here’s another one that looks enticing:  The Cloudspotter’s Guide.

Do you not love white fluffy clouds in a bright blue spring sky?

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Copyright © 2007-2012. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Poetry for February

Today is the last day of the month and that means…

 POETRY!

Kailana has the sign in, or will?  And Lu is the other co-conspirator to make the last day of every month a celebration of poetry.

I thought about copying down a few Tennyson poems that were featured in the Byatt novella I just finished late last night, Morpho Eugenia (so good!) but. I’m not sure where I put the book. *lookingaroundroom*

THEN, I had the brilliant idea to go google for Leap Day poems but wasn’t inspired.

So, then I went and did some chores and am right now avoiding other chores and sat down to see if I could compose anything myself,with my poet-hat on. I do my best poetm-writing when I just sit and see what pops into my head.

.

I wish, I wish upon a star

But then wonder, can I do that?

It’s daylight, no stars in the sky at the moment,

And I’m obviously borrowing a line from someone else’s poem,

Is that stealing?

What is my wish?

World peace, I toast; I wish for cheerfulness and kindness.

I wish for easy decisions and less hassles,

Realizing immediately that my first world problems are silly.

Silliness but they are my sillinesses. My world.

Silly should be reserved for giggles and frivolity

not judging the quality of petty problems, anyway.

I wish I could find a swing and sail into the sky,

the sunny daytime starless sky.

Well?  How’d I do? Happy February Poetry Day!

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Copyright © 2007-2012. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Poetry Day

Today is Poetry Day for Lu and Kelly-TheWrittenWorld-Kailana-MyReadingBooks-PseudoKiwiCanadian-@BookishNerd as just one piece of the big celebrate-poetry event they are plotting to get me to read deep things that may or may not rhyme. Clicking on the pretty blue button above will transport you to that other world.

Here’s what I came up with for today:

I baked bread.
Just today, this morning.
very exciting.
I am hoping it is sourdough.
The cookbook index
Does not list sourdough.
It is boule.
Says it sours over days.
(The batter. Batter?
In the refrigerator.)
It smells so good.
Now that it is baked.
So tempting, not to tear into it.
Must let it cool.
Be cool.
Yum, I heart fresh bread.
And I made it myself!
I’m so proud.
Could anything be more basic
goodness?

Well? LOTS going on here, for such a simple poem that doesn’t rhyme. A carefree woman of middle-age who wants to try new things and get healthy – that’s the surface view. Who writes poetry about bread because she doesn’t own any poetry books that feature any poems about bread and that is what she felt compelled to talk about considering that she just crafted a loaf of homemade bread and wanted to share it with the world. But underneath, we glimpse a woman possibly unsure of what she really wants to do with her days and is easily swayed by trends – bake your own bread!write your own poems! I bet she is someone who talks too much about herself. But overall, a good person.

“The people long eagerly for two things –
Bread and circuses.”

– Juvenal (c. 60-140 A.D.)

 

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Copyright © 2007-2012. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

New Year Haiku

Five, seven and five
Is the meter of haiku.
Shouldn’t be so hard.

Of course, haiku is not so strict.
Point is, first and third get the same count, yes?
and then the middle row has more.

Happiness Project,
The. By a Gretchen Rubin.
Start now or wait til _____?

She has done research
on just what is this ‘Happy?’
Many quotes to share.

Court Justice Stewart
said, “I know it when I see it.”
(on what is obscene?*)
* He meant to define obscenity, but Rubin applies to happiness.

Am not really read-
ing this book. Yet. Cuz want to
start Miss Pettigrew first!
(in trend to start new year fresh with a new book…)

Happiness and feeling good;
Just what is a very cool life?
I aim to discover.

Goal is 50 books
(with a secret conniving:
will read many more.)

One goal is to move.
Move often and stretch first.
Drink lots of water.

I want to crave poetry.
I do not yet but want to.
Neon Vernac’lar.

New authors to try:
Krakauer and Mary Roach,
Perotta, O’Nan.

Susan Jane Gilman
Elliot, Miéville, Rowling,
and Mitchell and Yates.

Authors to repeat:
Atwood, Kidder, McEwan,
and DuMaurier.

1Q84
Maree and I and maybe
Vasilly; Will tweet!

Haiku is not so
Difficult once you start it.
Happy, happy, joy.

Wishing my readers
a healthy happy Twenty
Twelve.  Joyful, book-filled
FUN!

Thanks for helping me to make 2011 another wonderful book-blogging adventure. Looking forward to more in 2012.


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Copyright © 2007-2011. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Just Kids

Thoughts  Just Kids  by Patti Smith, Ecco (imprint of HarperCollins ) 2010, 306 pages

Interviewer:   Care, how did you hear about this book?

Care:  I think I first learned of it from Amazon; in one of those emails they regularly send to tempt me to purchase books.

Interviewer:  And then you researched it or did you instantly know you wanted to read it?

Care: I saw that it was Rock Star Patti Smith’s memoir about her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe, the famous photographer. It’s a National Book Award winner.

Interviewer:  Are you a Patti Smith fan or a Mapplethorpe fan, or both?

Care:  Actually, all I knew about Mapplethorpe was when his controversial photographs of nude males caused such a hullabaloo a few years ago. I’m dating myself, because the controversary about whether or not his work was pornography or ‘art’ had to have been before he died in 1989 which seems a very long time ago already, but I don’t really recall when I first heard about the artist. What I admit now, is that I had no idea that he was friends with Patti Smith. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you much about Ms. Smith except that she was grunge rock & roll. I’m still not sure if that description is accurate. To me, the image of Patti Smith that popped into my head was the parody of her on SNL by Gilda Radner! That was hardly flattering. I think…  I THINK, I was both shocked that Patti Smith would write a book AND that she knew Robert Mapplethorpe AND that I was obviously ignorant about a whole slice of cutting edge culture that I now want to know more about.

Interviewer:  So you bought the book.

Care:  Not at that time. I bought it at one of the GOOB sales at Borders.

Interviewer:  And now, you have added ‘Attend a Patti Smith concert” to your Bucket List on Pinterest.

Care:  Yes. I’m fascinated by her. I admire her. I think she is incredible. She has endeared herself to me and I think experiencing her art would be a tremendous thrill. I will probably buy her Horses CD and give it to myself for Christmas.

Interviewer:  So why did you give this book only 3 stars?

Care:  Oh. You saw that, did you?  Yes, well, I don’t really recall exactly and I was hoping you wouldn’t bring that up. Let me please reiterate that a three star rating is GOOD. That I liked it. A three star rating is not something to be sorry for. Why do I have to justify this? OK, I’ll try anyway. If I had a rating scale for various categories of things I like/love/hate etc about a book, then this book hits many HIGHs and a few lows and so in average, three stars. I liked it.  (My ratings are for me.)

What I liked most was how it was a glimpse into a life I will never see. How courageous and independent and soulful Patti is. How she had fears and doubts but living true to her ideals was her utmost priority.

Current photo of Patti Smith found here on her website.

What I liked least was the ‘lack’. And even in that, I have to admire it as artistic story telling.  Most of the lacks I cite are mine which made me frustrated with myself, I suppose, but also good in that I now have lots more things to learn.  A lack of knowing a ton of names!  A lack of going in a direction I wanted to know more about.  A lack of my knowledge of New York City.  A lack of photos online when I googled ‘how did such&such hotel look then and now’, etc.

Interviewer:  and did you run to google a lot to look up stuff you didn’t know?

Care:  Yes. A LOT. I was very fascinated. I spent almost as much time online looking stuff up than I did reading this book!  And so this book could deserve 5 stars for provoking intense curiosity. Crazy things; she had an affair with Sam Shepard! the actor guy who plays admirable men in movies and is married to Jessica Lange?! WHAT?! and she bumped into Jimi Hendrix – HUH?!?!  and Grace Slick!  just amazing. The whole Warhol thing. That she bought and sold rare editions of classic books and sometimes it was lucky she found such so she could buy food to eat.

Interviewer:  But what about Mapplethorpe?

Care:  A beautiful tragic love story? They were friends — true friends and that is quite beautiful. I can’t say I am any more interested in him than I was before.  I was much more enthralled with the Patti Smith personality.

Interviewer:  Who would you recommend this book to?

Care:  Anyone who loves art and poetry. Anyone who appreciates true love stories and realizes that life sometimes sucks. Anyone who has interest in the history of rock and roll music.  Anyone who enjoys memoirs/biographies of extraordinary people.  And NewYorkCity-ophiles.

Interviewer:   In five words, describe this book.

Care:  Fascinating, passionate, endearing, heavy, surprising.

Interviewer:   Do you have any reviews elsewhere in blogland to point to?

Care:  Yes, I recommend a wonderful review by Beth Fish Reads as well as Books are My Boyfriends’ enthusiastic take on it. And there’s always Fyrefly’s awesome search engine for book bloggers reviews.

Interviewer:  Anything else you want to share?

Care:  Nope. Thank you for helping me with this post. Oh! I am counting this for a challenge; it fits the LIFE STAGE category for What’s in a Name 4.

Interviewer:  You’re most welcome. Have a nice day.

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Copyright © 2007-2011. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Fearless Poetry Challenge

I’m signing up for the 2011 Fearless Poetry Challenge! x Serena, the hostess of this exciting new challenge, was my Secret Santa Giftee one year and I have always appreciated her love and passion for poetry. This year she is providing more incentive for me to dive into poetry. Frankly, when I am asked to think of a book blogger who loves poetry, Serena is at the top of the list.

Click on this button:      to learn more about the challenge and explore her blog Savvy Verse and Wit.

It’s easy!   We non-poetry-minded readers are asked to read ONLY ONE book of poems!     How could I say no?

Thusly, to announce my commitment to one collection; I hereby declare that I officially choose Neon Vernacular by  Yusef Komunyakaa.    I purchased this after being convinced by Lu of Regular Rumination that it is a must-read.     Lu is the second tremendous blogger that I think of when the topic of poetry comes up.   Jeanne of Necromancy Never Pays is another.

I have already committed to reading the Erotic Works of D.H.Lawrence which also contains a few of his poems so I’m going to have two poetry books in my reading counts this year.  Yay me!

What about you?   Read any good poems lately?

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Copyright © 2007-2011. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Fizzythoughts Cheerleading Mini-Challenge

Oh I wish I were a full participator,
That is what I truly want to be-e-e
cuz if a I was a REAL readathonner,
Then everyone would come and cheer for me.

but I own a boat and we’re out being social,
And I’m catching flack for wanting to read inste-eh-Ed
I’m reading a page every so often
And logging into Twitter when I can.

I just now got yelled at…
I’m hiding from the crowd.
I am so thankful for 3G
But it’s time to run off to dinner and end this rhyme.

Oh I wish I were a REAL read a thonner
That. Is what I ‘d truly like to be e e
I’m reading Woman in White when I can
And envious of all you rea – eed – ding!!!!!!

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Copyright © 2010. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Read-A-Thon Oct 2010

hour 8 update – Am on page 28 of The Woman in White by WilkieCollins.

🙂

Since this is the last weekend for using the boat before we pack it up, pull it out of the water, shrinkwrap it and wistfully look forward to NEXT year,

I won’t be full-on participating in Read-A-Thon this Fall.   😦    Nope, I’ll be partying with friends at Octoberfest in Newport RI.    SO, I thought I would post this big cheer for everyone who will be setting aside time and stacks of books to read and blog and blog and cheer and read and tweet and do all that other fun stuff.

CHEERS!

Please turn off cumbersome sign-in forms, (ie take off word verification?)   🙂     Here’s a little ditty to get you in the proper frame of mind:

The books are stacked carefully, alongside the comfy chair.

Snacks and favorite teas – at the ready; excitement is in the air.

Kids&dogs are dropped off elsewhere, spouses paid to go away,

What heavenly bliss, to sit around and only read for 24 hours this day!


DEWEY’s 24 Hour Read-A-Thon

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Copyright © 2010. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

New Books In the House

The Witch of Hebron by James Howard Kunstler – Thank you Alix!

Virginia Woolf bio by Hermione Lee – for Women Unbound Challenge – #fridayreads prize!

Neon Vernacular by Yusef Komunyakaa – Thank you, Lu, for a convincing BBAW Forgotten Treasures post) – #fridayreads prize!

D.V. autobio by Diana Vreeland – #fridayreads prize!

Bob Dylan’s CHRONICLES Volume One – for the  John Cusack Challenge (bookmooched)

How To Grill by Steven Raichlen – with encouragement from BermudaOnion, gift for my husband #fridayreads prize!

I want to especially thank @thebookmaven for giving out prizes to the Twitter “Friday Reads” participants!    If you are on Twitter on Fridays, just use the hashtag #fridayreads (and/or #fridaylistens for audio books) and you just might win a prize!   I did!!    With my Amazon gift certificate plus only a few dollars of my own, I purchased the Raichlen Grilling book, D.V., the Woolf bio and the poetry book.

Read all about Twitter’s #fridayreads here as explained at The Book Maven’s blog.

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Copyright © 2010. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.