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text 2017-10-20 18:07
Excerpt from "The Wish," by Abraham Cowley

This was printed on bookplates my dad had purchased from the Antioch Bookplate Company when I was a small child, but they had wrongly attributed the poem to Richard Lovelace.  Because these aren't the opening lines, and most poetry was only indexed by first lines, I spent many hours in a fruitless search for the source.  Thank you, Internet!

 

 

Ah, yet, ere I descend to the grave
May I a small house and large garden have;
And a few friends, and many books, both true,
Both wise, and both delightful too!

 

 

 

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review 2017-10-17 15:25
I Can No Longer Bear the Aggressiveness of Poetry: "Berlin-Hamlet" by Szilárd Borbély, Ottilie Mulzet (Translator)
Berlin-Hamlet - Szilárd Borbély,Ottilie Mulzet

"When I came to Berlin, I no

 longer

wanted to live. Why isn't

   there a way, I thought, if 

  someone doesn't  want to live

 any more, simply to 

         disappear."

 

In "Berlin-Hamlet" by Szilárd Borbély, Ottilie Mulzet (Translator)

 

"I do not believe in poetry"

 

In "Berlin-Hamlet" by Szilárd Borbély, Ottilie Mulzet (Translator)

 

"I can no longer bear the aggressiveness of poetry,

and I do not wish my deeds to be investigated."

 

In "Berlin-Hamlet" by Szilárd Borbély, Ottilie Mulzet (Translator)

 

 

"My need is for those who will know/how/all of this will end."

 

 

In "Berlin-Hamlet" by Szilárd Borbély, Ottilie Mulzet (Translator)

 

 

I can't give any more quotes...The book is a long quote.

 

After having finished reading this heart-wrenching poetry book, my thoughts come back to Hamlet, as always. It's always about indecision... 

 

Borbély is masterfully able to give us this indecision in a modern version.

 

 

If you're into gut-wrenching poetry full of Angst don't read my review, read the book... 

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review 2017-10-12 17:34
You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie
You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir - Sherman Alexie

This is an unusual book and not what I expected, so my rating may not predict yours (as readers so far have loved it wildly, it probably doesn’t). I hadn’t read anything by Alexie before and chose this over Part-Time Indian because I enjoy memoirs but not YA. But this is far from a typical memoir, which tells the story of the author’s life – usually focusing on a particular aspect or theme – in chronological chapters. The first chapter, which has 19 pages and focuses – despite various digressions – on a crucial event from the author’s childhood, fits into that pattern and had me enthralled. But this is in no way representative of the book as a whole. It consists of 156 chapters, ranging from short to extremely short (though the page count may appear long for a memoir, I’d guess the word count is in line with that of your typical 250- to 300-page book). Half of the chapters are poems. The prose chapters are sometimes only a paragraph long, more commonly 2-4 pages.

These brief essays and poems don’t exactly tell the story of Alexie’s life. He wrote the book while grieving for his mother, and much of it revolves around her, but much of it (especially the poetry) is about grief itself. Another big topic is a brain surgery he had a few months after his mother’s death. So much of the book comes across as the author reflecting on his life as it is now rather than telling the story of where he’s been. To the extent it’s about where he’s been, information about his childhood is scattered throughout the book, while everything after that is even more partial and fragmented. Or maybe it’s just that the information about his adult life didn’t answer the questions I had: he mentions only in passing that he struggled with alcoholism as a young adult, causing him to change colleges, but writes an entire chapter about how the laundry room in his current home was extremely cold until he finally bought some curtains for the basement.

Meanwhile, I have little appreciation for poetry, particularly free verse, which much of Alexie’s poetry is. If there’s something to be said for free verse, it’s that it is a recognized format in which to briefly encapsulate a moment, a thought or a feeling. But this is a large book; I didn’t want brief. And I didn’t want fragments. This book is made up of fragments, which is a deliberate and valid artistic choice: Alexie writes about how much of his history – personal, familial, and cultural – has been lost, and leaving holes is his way of representing that. For me though, the effect was to leave me disconnected from the work, which lessened the impact of the artistic choices.

All that said, this is in no way a bad book. It is well-written and engaging. It is raw and personal and feels emotionally honest. I zoomed through it in a few sittings, not only because bite-sized chapters are addictive but because it is so personal and emotionally intense. It certainly provides some cultural education for the non-native reader: the author grew up on the Spokane Indian reservation, where much of his family still lives, and writes about his Native American identity. Although it left me somewhat dissatisfied, I am glad I read this book and wouldn’t discourage others from reading it, particularly those who enjoy poetry.

(As an aside, a brief mention in this book alerted me to the danger of indoor radon, so who knows, Sherman Alexie may have saved my life.)

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url 2017-10-10 19:24
Interview with Christine Cutajar Artist of Art of 4 Elements
Art of 4 Elements - Nataša Pantović Nuit

Art of 4 Elements: Discover Alchemy through Poetry (Alchemy of Love Mindfulness Training Book #1)

The Art of 4 Elements is a Spiritual Poetry and Art  published by Artof4elements.

Art of 4 elements spiritual poem by Natasa Pantovic Nuit about Spiritual Evolution

The poetry, written by Nuit, acted as an inspiration for the work of other artists. The  represents the element of Earth, that is the Mother of all we know and experience, that within its womb carries Spirit going forth into the magic of manifestation. Jason's paintings represent the element of Air, that has no shape and is incapable of a fixed form. It is a symbol of thoughts. Christine's element is Fire that is boundless and invisible, and is a parching heat that consumes all. Within its highest manifestation Fire becomes Divine Love. Jeni's element is Water that carries within: a Rhythm of Creation, and a strength of Tantric flow. Water symbolizes the world of emotions.

Source: www.artof4elements.com/entry/199/interview-with-christine-cutajar
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text 2017-10-08 17:13
Reading progress update: I've read 1201 out of 1344 pages.
The Complete Works (Oxford Shakespeare) - William Shakespeare,John Jowett,Gary Taylor

Cymbeline's sons have been living in a cave in Wales...

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