Tuesday, June 06, 2006

What I've Been Reading

The Adventures of Pinocchio, Carlo Collodi & Roberto Innocenti (illustrator). I bought this for the wonderful dark wintry illustrations. Oh Field of Miracles, Oh Blue Fairy!

Saving Daylight, Jim Harrison. Young love, old love, and everything in-between.

Echolalia, Deborah Bernhardt. Fun stuff, delightful language and word play.

Apropos of Nothing, Richard Jones. New book from Copper Canyon. My favorite poem is also the shortest:


between the pages
of a handbook on prosody —
monarch wings

Refusing Heaven, Jack Gilbert. I loved Monolithos. It was one of my most favorite books back then. But I don't get what all the fuss is about this book (NBCCA, etc). Still, I liked a few poems very much, including this odd little one:

Meditation Eleven: Reading Blake Again

I remember that house I rented with them.
The laughing and constant talk of love.
The energy of their friends.
And the sounds late at night.
The sound of whipping. Urging and screams.
Like the dead lying to each other.

Wisteria, Kwane Dawes. Narrative poems in the voices of black women who lived through most of the 20th century in the old south. Looks really interesting so far.

Green Squall, Jay Hopler. It won the Yale. Not as interesting as Siken's Crush, but definitely a good read. Here's a short one (a little melodramatic, but funny in its own way):

Meditation Malheureuse

The rain stops

Just long enough to make you think
Of the one day in your whole rotten
Childhood you where happy.

Then it starts raining again.

Perhaps my favorite poem in the book is the wonderful closing poem, "Feast of the Ascension, 2004. Planting Hibiscus" where Hopler seems to come to terms with nature, death, the garden and its beauty/terrors:

"It is hard to believe beauty is the new ugliness.
But it must be, why else would so many of my contemporaries
mock it so?"

Beside Ourselves, Nance Van Winckel. Read: "If You're Happy & You Know It."

Collected Poems, Jorge Luis Borges. Some real gems here, for instance, "To a Minor Poet of the Greek Anthology."

Journeyman's Wages, Clemens Stark. Great poems from a carpenter and ex-railroad hobo. Met him at Wordstock.

The Wrong End of the Rainbow, Charles Wright. Same old stuff, and still good as ever.

Happy reading . . . .


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