Poetry Submissions off and it's not even 1 p.m. yet. Time yet to read and write for the day.
Presently I am reading The Silent Woman by Janet Malcolm. Biographical work on Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. I've read so many bios on the two. Malcolm pretty much trashes Anne Stevenson's Bitter Fame. Stevenson just passed away Friday or Saturday. I'm not far into Malcolm's book to provide a critical assessment. I'd say I am open minded, but slightly critical of some of her commentary, but I'm hopeful she will provide more substance to support her statements. Stay tuned.
Currently I am reading Floating True by Deborah Jung. Deborah was a Writer to Writer alumni the same time I was (2017). This is her first book and it is a perfect read for the uncertain times we are trapped in. There is a centering to it. A generational span of love and memory through life that is not always so kind.
Two very thoughtful gifts from my wife, Cathy. I now have both volumes of the Letters of Sylvia Plath.
Going into the holiday was kind of rocky as I was ill between Thursday and basically Sunday and part of Monday. My eyes hurt too much to even read so I felt like those were days of waste. But, I'm back and ready to meet life head on.
My night stand becomes a catch all for things that I go to from time to time to read from, in addition to new titles that I am reading for the first time.
So what’s on my nightstand right now?
April 1st it is, and I have taken on the poem-a-day challenge for National Poetry Month. I've got off to a good start, completing my 1st poem by mid-day. The task of a poem a day for 30 days is no small task. It's easy to get discouraged when you aren't getting quite what you want out of the piece you've been working on for several hours and throw everything up in the air and utter a choice word or two. I've don that, so I know. Thinking back over the years I've attempted this I believe only one have I actually finished with 30 or more. Sometimes I've given up mid way though or once I think I ended with 27 or 28. Anyway, I have every intention in completing the challenge this year.
On another note, Marie Howe's Magdalene came out on the 28th & my copy arrived yesterday and I finished today. Magnificent work by Howe, though I've read another book by her that I loved. I will say, she overdid herself with this one. I will be writing a review of it soon.
Arriving in today's mail, Bukowski in a Sundress by Kim Addonizio.
So, I will forsake watching the Republican Convention tonight in favor of reading this book. I mean I just don't think the RNC can top Melania Trump's Michelle Obama knock-off speech from last night,
I almost always adore Addonizzo's poetry. The edginess, sometimes inappropriateness that you have to admit to yourself, if no one else, makes you cheer her a bit and keeps you coming back for more.
Anyway, this is my new read. I'll let you know how it goes.
Clearly my memory has not faltered just yet. In a recent trip to Half Price Books, I saw a copy of Gene McCarthy's Minnesota - Memories of a Native Son, a book I recall checking out of the Southwest High branch public library. We won't go into how long ago that was, but suffice to say it was not in this century.
At a mere $2.99 I could not pass up this collection of poetry published By Winston Press in 1982.
I have to say that I recall holding in my hands a copy of this very book like it was yesterday. I also recall very clearly the final piece in the book titled Memories of Hubert - A Politician Too Good to be Vice President. What make this find so interesting is going back to the time I would have read it, my interest in poetry would have been far more casual. Motivation for checking this book out would have been more related to my early political interests at the time than poetry. Oh, I was reading other poetry in this time period but I was not a serious student of poetry nor was I writing anything with serious intent. I do recall reading Daniel Berrigan in this time period and a few others.
Thinking back on reading this book, I don't recall thinking the poetry was particularly impressive. I was most intrigued by the fact that a U.S. Senator, even a one time Presidential contender would take the time to pen poetry and that it would be published.
This seems funny to me now, because I don't know on what basis I felt qualified in those days to determine how good or bad certain poetry was.
So, I once again have a copy of the book. My own, that won't need to be returned. My plan is to sit down and read this book again - obviously with many more years and many more life experiences between then and now. We'll see what difference all these many years makes.
Michael Allyn Wells - notes & musings