“Poetry is the shadow cast by our streetlight imaginations.” Ferlinghetti
Season's greetings if you are celebrating this weekend. We are lucky enough to have one Seder and two Easter meals lined up with at least one egg hunt.
Welcome to springtime, damp, but ablaze with cherry blossoms.
Today perusing The Guardian's list of 100 best books of the 21st century, I was shocked to discover that I, who consider myself well-read, had only finished a little over a dozen of the their titles. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/sep/21/best-books-of-the-21st-century Perhaps I'd better put aside all this trendy stuff and buckle down with the tried-and-true, according to the Brits.
But April is Poetry Month so here is what I am reading this week from poets: Naomi Shahib Nye, Fanny Howe, Ada Limon, Artist Leonora Carrington, as well as a fantastic novel from last year of Southern California's native population, Mecca by Susan Straight. I'm rereading a collection of short stories by Alice Adams, After You've Gone, along with Poet in New York for a forthcoming class on Garcia Lorca and Kate Zambreno's hybrid literary take on historical and fictional literary ladies combined with memoir, Heroines. Below is Poet Laureate Ada Limon's poem on goldfinches and resurrection ("mud puddle and musk thistle"): https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/18/magazine/poem-the-year-of-the-goldfinches.html
The Year of the Goldfinches
By Ada Limón
There were two that hung and hovered
by the mud puddle and the musk thistle.
Flitting from one splintered fence post
to another, bathing in the rainwater’s glint
like it was a mirror to some other universe
where things were more acceptable, easier
than the place I lived. I’d watch for them:
the bright peacocking male, the low-watt
female, on each morning walk, days spent
digging for some sort of elusive answer
to the question my curving figure made.
Later, I learned that they were a symbol
of resurrection. Of course they were,
my two yellow-winged twins feasting
on thorns and liking it.
As a woman of a certain age, I was tickled by Anne Lamott's interview on Facebook with Memoirist Abigail Thomas (Three Dog Life, Safekeeping, etc.) about her new book, Still Life at Eighty: the Next Interesting Thing, which is taped here: https://www.facebook.com/AnneLamott/videos/164041119867995
Also inspiring was the NYT article on psychodelics research pioneer Dr. Roland Griffiths who's had a Stage 4 diagnosis but tells us ‘Come on, let’s wake up! We're all terminal." https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2023/04/03/magazine/roland-griffiths-interview.html
And pursuant to age and women, this is a huge but fine article on Author Deborah Levy, again from The Guardian (okay, okay, I donated): https://www.theguardian.com/books/2023/apr/04/how-deborah-levy-can-change-your-life?e=efb8758ff89e9c80315b74a8b7804d907dc9859fd4627db134960b8eb9e25646
Thanks for following along.