Thursday, February 18, 2016

Arting, reading, writing and baking

First, I want to invite you to stop by this evening and check out the Impressions in Nature's Elements exhibit. I'm one of the five collaborating poets, so, depending on when you arrive, you may, or may not, have a chance to hear me read a couple of my poems, including one that was a Popular Choice winner a couple of years ago at the North Woods Art & Book Festival in Hackensack, MN.

one of several rapidly filling bookcases
a rapidly filling bookcase
Photo by J. Harrington
Second, I'd like to share with you a recently grown list of books I want to read this year (in addition to those I already have in my unread stack), based on reviews I've skimmed during the past few weeks. You may want to check out one or more of these for your own edification and entertainment.
  • This World - Teddy Macker - poetry - Orion magazine, November | December 2015

  • Rain: A Natural and Cultural History - Cynthia Barnett - nonfiction - Orion magazine, May | June 2015

  • Think Like a Commoner - David Bollier - nonfiction - Orion magazine, March | April 2015

  • A Country Called Childhood - Jay Griffiths - nonfiction - Orion magazine, March | April 2015
There are almost always other temptations for readers in the book reviews found in each issue of Orion, but those listed above top my list from the past several issues. YMMV.  To them I have to add Annie Dillard's latest, The Abundance, to be published next month. To go with this list, I'm really looking forward to reading under a shining sun and a blue sky held up by warm Spring or early Summer air. I've had as many of the "it's cold and windy and a good day to stay inside and read" days as I can stand for now. On the other hand, as our economist friends would say, this Winter weather is prime for baking home-made bread, which is on tomorrow's agenda.I've already fed the sour dough starter today. Bread and books, food for the body and the soul.

Rain at Reading

By Rachel Wetzsteon

We had gathered under a tent in the park
for some words before lunch and after separate mornings,
and when—twice—the poet said “capital,”
the lightning bolts that followed the noun
had me bolting too; I’d always suspected
God’s communist leanings, but now I regretted
how few exchanges we know
between craft and climate:

imagine a rhyme inciting a rainbow,
blood feuds bruising the sky,
hymns of forgiveness bringing a soft
new light to the faces watching the last act,
waltzes and songs and declamations—
this would be capital entertainment!—
locked in a clinch with open air.

But the lightning was as quick as it was loud.
The clouds dispersed,
and then so did the crowd.


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