Sunday, April 28, 2013

Nightstand Review: Late April and the Books are Piling Up!

I have a crowded nightstand. And that's not the half of it. 

Hello, Goodbye, Hello — Truman Capote meets Peggy Lee, Peggy Lee meets Richard Nixon, Richard Nixon meets Elvis Presley... it's a chain of 101 meetings.  The book blends from one encounter to the next seamlessly with well-recorded conversations and comments from reliable resources: published accounts, diaries, third-party accounts, all verifiable, all more honest than one would expect.

Winds of Marble Arch — A not-easily found collection of Connie Willis' short stories. (Well, some not terribly short. In fact, most I've read have been rather long. Not quite a novella, but certainly a long tale.) I like her, and I like her stories. I can't wait to see what bite-sized nugget (or substantial snack) comes next.

Wolf Hall — I have both of Hilary Mantel's books in this trilogy. (The third one is in production.) I really like them: a little rambling, but one wants to be in the heads of her chracters.

Chi Running — This will help me once I read it, I'm sure. 

The Map of the Sky — If you haven't read The Map of Time, the first in this series, go get it now. You will thank me later.

Life After Life — A much ballyhooed new title about opportunities to start life over.

The Round House — Carole told me I'd like the narrator, and I do. He is telling a tale of what happened when he was a child, and his mix of adult and budding-adult observations is stunning. 

The Language of Flowers — Victorians wrote the language of flowers (what each means when it is given), and Vanessa Diffenbaugh tells us about a lost, bewildered young woman who learns it. I read the first few chapters then had to take a break: heartbreaking story, but so well-told...

There are a few more in the wings, including Up the Down Staircase and Unnatural Creatures. If only the publishing industry would pace itself so I could read everything! In the meantime, I'm consuming as quickly as I can. Honestly, my eyes truly are bigger than my stomach.

What is on your nightstand? Tell me!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Little Night Poetry During National Poetry Month




Little Night Prayer
 

Lord, I’m tired,
the bunion on my right foot is throbbing,
I worry about myself.


Who is this anguished man, Lord?
it can’t be me,
so woeful and sluggish.


I would like to trust quietly,
but like waves in the ocean,
tempers bubble up in me.


I try a smile,
but some hairdespair
impedes me.


This isn’t all right, Lord,
feel pity for me, be scared,
reward my endeavors.


Evaluate things with me,
delete with my own hand
what isn’t needed.


Taste with me what needs to be tasted,
and say to me:
this is sweet! this is sour!


Remind me
of the small red car,
of something that was good.


There was a lot that was good, wasn’t there?
a lot of sunken islands,
crumbled glamour.


Place a net into my hands
to fish with, in the past
and in the present.


I’m a fish too, in the night,
puckering silver,
bubble-lifed.


Turn me inside out, freshen me up,
throw me up high and catch me!
What’s it to you, Lord?


If you must,
lay down your cards,
show me something new.


How your leaves fall!
your sun scorches
your wind whistles.


Speak to me!
Talk with me through the night,
it’s nothing to you, Lord!


by Péter Kántor
translated by Michael Blumenthal  

Courtesy of  sorry that user name is taken

Be sure to stop by  Hedgehog Lover, where it's all poetry, all month.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Here's a Poem for 'Poem in Your Pocket Day' April 18



Poem in Your Pocket Day is April 18. Get ready by reading this tidbit, my personal favorite pocket poem. What's yours? Let me know!

Small Frogs Killed On The Highway

Still,
I would leap too
Into the light,
If I had the chance.
It is everything, the wet green stalk of the field
On the other side of the road.
They crouch there, too, faltering in terror
And take strange wing. Many
Of the dead never moved, but many
Of the dead are alive forever in the split second
Auto headlights more sudden
Than their drivers know.
The drivers burrow backward into dank pools
Where nothing begets
Nothing.

Across the road, tadpoles are dancing
On the quarter thumbnail
Of the moon. They can't see,
Not yet.

by James Wright
courtesy of Poetryconnection.net

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

National Poetry Month: Beauty



Beauty

Beauty is seen
In the sunlight,
The trees, the birds,
Corn growing and people working
Or dancing for their harvest.

Beauty is heard
In the night,
Wind sighing, rain falling,
Or a singer chanting
Anything in earnest.

Beauty is in yourself.
Good deeds, happy thoughts
That repeat themselves
In your dreams,
In your work,
And even in your rest.


by E-Yeh-Shure'

Thanks to Karen for sharing! 
Have you sent me your favorite poem yet? What are you waiting for?

Monday, April 1, 2013

April is National Poetry Month

Welcome to National Poetry Month! Here's a poem to start April's best festivities. For full-on poetry lovin', visit Hedgehog Lover, where it's all poetry, all month.

Piano, New York

Anywhere, like Idaho, women like our aunts
would save quarters in cups or sell pies
to buy one like this. They'd put it in a parlor
for hymns and rub it with lemon oil each week,
but here an old piano comes with the apartment,
and no one will pay movers to hoist
the beast out the window on ropes.
We think we've no choice but to saw into its side
that shines like the side of a horse.
We save the real ivory keys in shopping bags
and yank out the rack of purple felt mallets.
Behind it all is a harp, tall as the whole piano
and sprayed with gold. When wing nuts are loosened,
the strings twang then hang slack. We stop
for a moment, then rasp through its frame
with hacksaws and drag the thing, piece by piece,
down three flights of stairs to the street
where people walking by recognize—
just from its insides—a piano.

by Julia Kasdorf
from Sleeping Preacher. © Pittsburgh University Press, 1992.
Courtesy The Writer's Almanac 


Librarians Do Gaga


When I grow up, I want to be a cool librarian — like these folks!

And these folks: "10 of the Coolest Librarians Alive" from Flavorwire