Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I. Current favorite poem.
We read this poem in my senior creative writing seminar last semester, and for some reason, it popped into my head today and I went back and found it. It's long, so here is a link: "What I Do" by Ellery Akers. It's such an eclectic account of one person's life, in all the roles she fills, her fears, her experience of nature. And it's also a very reader-friendly poem because each stanza has a different personality and I think each reader would be drawn to a different one. My favorite lines are the super-personal ones, the ones you can tell she dug and dug to get out, lines like these:

"Sometimes I bolt awake at night, feeling a man is pressing on top of me, certain it's happening"


"I see my therapist, my words fill up the room, the past is enormous, I steer towards anger and practice anger as if it were Italian"

Current read.
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, about two closet intellectuals living in a fancy apartment building in Paris - the concierge of 47 years and the twelve-year old daughter of one of the families. The two protagonists narrate the story in short chapters - I'm about two-thirds into it and their paths haven't yet crossed. It's dense at times, but an interesting story with a very French feel to it (philosophical, cynical, with an emphasis on human mortality - those things feel French to me, anyway). As we all know, I'm a sucker for Zee French.

Favorite passage thus far:
"We have to live with the certainty that we'll get old and that it won't look nice or be good or feel happy. And tell ourselves that it's now that matters: to build something, now, at any price, using all our strength. Always remember that there's a retirement home waiting somewhere and so we have to surpass ourselves every day, make every day undying. Climb our own personal Everest and do it in such a way that every step is a little bit of eternity."


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