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April 01, 2010


I really like the poem and the image. They fit so nicely together. I'm an ex-New Englander (RI) and this struck me quite nicely.

I do have a poetry section amongst my books. It's the messy, unorganized section because I'm always pulling books down to reread poems I like or rediscover ones I didn't read so closely the first time through.

Nice understated treatment of emotion there. Reminds me more of the ancient Japanese poems from the Kojiki and Manyoshu than the haiku written 1000 years later.

Thanks, James. Yes, that New England landscape gets into one's head and stays there! Of course the second photo above is from a different year, later in the spring. No leaves anywhere yet!

Dave, glad to hear your comment. I'm trying to go a little deeper into my haiku expression, and using the classic form is helping. It's an interesting journey of distillation, not only of the observed moment but of the feelings or insights the moment creates.

Beth, this is beautiful.

I read a lot online, especially when people post to blogs. I buy several books of poems each month. When they arrive, I flip through them and dive deeply into a poem here and there. If the book grabs me, I read straight through, but this doesn't often happen right away. Usually, I keep flipping, waiting and hoping to be captured.

Recently, I took almost all of my volumes of poetry to my office, where I'm spending more waking hours than my house. I had hopes that I'd read the volumes during less busy times at the office, but there haven't been many of those days lately. Their presence in my office cheers me--and it's great to have them available for when I plan my teaching.

The foto and the poem fit. You should make a broadside of them. I mostly read poetry from books. Usually the same volumes...Whitman, Neruda and some of the revolutionary poets like Zamora. I read some poetry online. Maybe it is just my own prejudice but when I read the poet's bio and I see MFA this or MFA that I find it harder to enjoy the poem. So I read the poem first and the bio later.

Lovely image & poem. So glad you didn't miss your old home, area.

My reading: I'm mostly a self-taught poet, so am on a bit of a gluttonous mission to consume as much poetry as I can manage. I have joined a few challenges in the last couple of years, and try to read a combination of new works and classics. That is a wide range, to be sure. And sometimes I wonder if I'm going at it as if I were trying to order sushi at a Chinese-American restaurant that serves breakfast all day.

I buy new books, chapbooks & pamphlets (when I can afford it; & the smaller pamphlets in the $3-8 range seem like coffee/lunch money I can easily spare) and borrow from the library (these days)for more expensive books. I do read online, but I find I like to read that way as research (who do I want to read further or to find out what different journals & voices are like). I prefer to have a book I can fondle. Something I can take on the bus, read waiting for an appointment. Maybe that is because I cram so many things into my life that it is efficient, and a break from my online life, to have a book in hand.

I'm a smörgåsbord browser, lucky to have access to a great library system & the world's largest bookstore. And I love pulling threads & going off on tangents. So I am rarely without a book or two of poetry to read.

I don't go back to books or specific poems very often because I want to read more. As in additional. (Although I also have as a goal to memorize a few favorite poems so I can always have them near.) I tend to read books straight through and I've recently decided to track my reading better by keeping my list current at GoodReads and jotting down informal "reviews" as a way to learn to articulate my thoughts better.

Well. *That* was long-winded. And yet I only grazed the surface. :-)

I don't consider myself much of a reader of poetry. But lately... I've taken to getting a book from the library Saturday mornings. I keep it on the breakfast table and open it at random - just a bit here and there with the oatmeal.
Last month my mother was in the hospital for surgery - there and back home during her week recovery as my sister, Mom, and I sat around somewhat stunned by the changes wrought by life - I read to them Billy Collins, Sailing Round the Room. We seemed to only have the attention span for a poem or two at a time. But, we kept coming back for a bit more each day. Poetry seems to so encourage you to let the Silence just surround and hold you. Perhaps it went with winter. We'll see how things change now that I can sit outside at breakfast and stare up at the trees.

So tender ... so few words say so very much & leave us with that lump in the throat feeling that you must have had.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.