Posts Tagged ‘Poetry’

BOOK: The Uses of the Body by Deborah Landau (2015)

January 12, 2016

usesofbodyI read a lot of poetry, but rarely review collections here, partly because I tend to dip in and out, rather than sit down and read them cover to cover, and partly because it can be hard for me to characterize a collection of poetry in a way that seems useful or satisfying.

Aside from the word “astounding,” I often find it difficult to explain why something resonated with me, and without a theme or plot, something many collections lack, I’m not sure what else to say.

In the case of this book, though, not only can I apply the word “astounding,” but I can also describe both the collection and why it got to me. The Uses of the Body tells the story of a marriage, from wedding to childbirth, from stumblings to “Borderless, and the open days go on –.”

It’s a short collection, but every line packs a wallop, and that’s despite the fact a good chunk of them involve motherhood, something I have no personal experience with (my grief and her joy collided spectacularly somewhere around page 35; I’m pretty sure the whole neighborhood could feel it).

The rest, however, I know very well: aging, loss, romance ebb and romance flow, ch-ch-ch-ch-changes (RIP, Starman). Astounding is certainly what it is. You may wish to pick this book up. While you’re deciding, I will leave you with this:

One summer there was no girl left in me.
It gradually became clear.
It suddenly became.

In the pool, I was more heavy than light.
Pockmarked and flabby in a floppy hat.

What will my body be
when parked all night in the earth?

Midsummer.
Breathe in. Breathe out.

I am not on the oxygen tank.
Twice a week we have sex.

The lithe girls poolside I see them
at their weddings I see them with babies on their hips
thickening I see them middle-aged.

I can’t see past the point where I am.
Like you, I’m just passing through.

[POETRY]

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National Poetry Month (30/30!!): Thunderstruck by Erik Larson

April 30, 2012

Thunderstruck by Erik Larson

True story about
The crossed paths of a mad man
And an inventor.

(Fascinating!!)

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And thus ends National Poetry Month this year!  I’m out of town at the moment, but when I return, I will be selecting and reposting some of my favorite reader contributions (from the blog and from Facebook).  And THEN!  I will pick a WINNER!  That that WINNER will win a PRIZE!

Oh, I know.  It’s VERY exciting.

So, see you all in May, when I will be back to post the winning haiku and, GET THIS, a new Boyfriend of the Week at long, long last!  Get ready, people.  May is going to be the rulingest month of all.

National Poetry Month (29/30): Sorcery & Cecelia in 5-7-5

April 29, 2012

Sorcery & Cecelia OR The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Steverner

“Epistolary”
Means written in letter form.
“YAY!” means I liked it.

(This is a super-fun book and the best part is that the two authors, close friends,  started this project by pretending to be the two main characters, actually writing letters to each other just for fun.  When they were done, they knew they were onto something clever, so they spruced it all up and published the letters as a novel.  I love that idea so much!  And though this isn’t heavy, brilliant literature, it’s a VERY entertaining little adventure!)

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(Participate in National Poetry Month! Add your own haiku in the comments, and I’ll post my favorite reader contributions in May!)

National Poetry Month (28/30): A Vow of Silence in 5-7-5

April 28, 2012

A Vow of Silence by Veronica Black

The Sister Joan books
Are wonderful mysteries
I dig clever nuns.

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(Participate in National Poetry Month! Add your own haiku in the comments, and I’ll post my favorite reader contributions in May!)

National Poetry Month (27/30): In a Sunburned Country in 5-7-5

April 27, 2012

In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson

Australia houses
The world’s deadliest spiders
AND snakes. No thanks, mates!

(Note, I pronounce it “Aus-trail-ya” not “Aus-trail-i-ya.”  Just so’s you know.  Though, in real life, I just call it “Oz,” because my brother-in-law is from there and he talks funny like that.  By the way, this book is hilarious.)

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(Participate in National Poetry Month! Add your own haiku in the comments, and I’ll post my favorite reader contributions in May!)

National Poetry Month (26/30): Little House on the Prairie in 5-7-5

April 26, 2012

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Even before the show,
I always pictured Ma as
Looking like MY Ma:

Long, dark, wavy hair,
Beautiful face with kind eyes.
Smart, loving, and fun.

(Love you,  Ma Wood.)

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(Participate in National Poetry Month! Add your own haiku in the comments, and I’ll post my favorite reader contributions in May!)

National Poetry Month (25/30): Catch-22 in 5-7-5

April 25, 2012

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Major Major is
The ultimate symbol of
Total nothingness.

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(Participate in National Poetry Month! Add your own haiku in the comments, and I’ll post my favorite reader contributions in May!)

National Poetry Month (24/30): My Family and Other Animals in 5-7-5

April 24, 2012

My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

My mother read this
To us when we were all kids.
I’ll never forget.

Bonus haiku!

Memorable scene:
The scorpion mother writhes,
Covered in babies.

(EEP!)

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(Participate in National Poetry Month! Add your own haiku in the comments, and I’ll post my favorite reader contributions in May!)

National Poetry Month (23/30): Howards End in 5-7-5

April 23, 2012

Howards End by E. M. Forster

I loved the movie,
But the book has such power.
“Only connect”: yes.

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(Participate in National Poetry Month! Add your own haiku in the comments, and I’ll post my favorite reader contributions in May!)

National Poetry Month (22/30): Into Thin Air in 5-7-5

April 22, 2012

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer

Books about climbers
Are riveting and also
Make me roll my eyes.

(YOU PEOPLE ARE CRAZY!

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(Participate in National Poetry Month! Add your own haiku in the comments, and I’ll post my favorite reader contributions in May!)