Friday, January 1, 2010

Favorite lines from favorite poems

Twitter: I was just thinking of this: favorite lines from favorite poems. Here they are:

"The Red Wheelbarrow" by William Carlos Williams
so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white

Had to set down the entire poem. I had such fun with this poem as an English teacher in another life. I used it as a basis for descriptive writing.

"Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking" by Walt Whitman
I was mesmerized by the beauty of Whitman's word choice for this poem I read for an assignment in college. That memory is one permanently etched in my mind like the day of JFK's assassination.

OUT of the cradle endlessly rocking,

Out of the mocking-bird’s throat, the musical shuttle,

Out of the Ninth-month midnight,

Over the sterile sands, and the fields beyond, where the child, leaving his bed, wander’d alone, bare-headed, barefoot,

Almost any Emily Dickinson poem:
Here's one stanza:

There's a certain slant of light,
On winter afternoons
That oppresses, like the weight
Of cathedral tunes.

"Mending Wall" by Robert Frost

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast. 

"The Waste Land" by T.S. Eliot (my favorite poem)

APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain.
Just the first few lines of this long, convoluted, historical, symbolic, archetypal poem will suffice to introduce a rich rich poem in the pantheon of American literature. (although Eliot was an expatriate).

A continuing post...

New Year's Resolutions

A common theme has run throughout my life: aloneness, sometimes accompanied by loneliness, sometimes by bitterness, sometimes by frustration. It seems I've always been alone. I'm the wallflower that you didn't know. On the outside I smile and flit here to there. Her lonely? No way! She's too bubbly. Only on the outside. Sometimes inside. Mostly alone.

I always wanted to be a writer until I discovered I have no story in me, except this one: A young woman, so desparately alone, is finally committed to a rest place, an asylum, a sanctuary, free from being pulled apart, to begin her real life--found in books. Isn't that sad?

Instead, I have words and put them to use in writing about other people, at least until I started blogging. Now all kinds of personal stuff boils out of me, mainly because I know not many (any?) people read my blog. I feel too sorry for myself. Where's my joy?

So, New Year's resolutions! Make any? I never do because it is all so futile.

1. Pray again. Be spiritually connected again. I have such childish views of God. My mother doesn't attend church because she is so hard of hearing. It would all be just buzz in a church, so she watches church TV every Sunday. One week a pastor fervently asked his audience to pray, really pray for one special thing, a very personal, special thing to prove that God answers prayers. My mother is a voracious reader and was gradually losing her eyesight to cataracts. Her doctor would not perform that surgery until her blood pressure went down. For two LONG years she struggled with medication, diet, rest, exercise, everything, but it remained too high for him. When she prayed for her surgery, that's when she had us call another doctor, who saw her, and promptly set the date for the first procedure, then the second. Now it is done and she sees again! No doubt, God answered her prayer or set things in motion for it to be answered!

So, I've been saving my special prayer until I knew exactly what would be special for me. Here it is: a new job. No more children. No more lesson plans (which I don't write anyway). No more discipline (a problem I utterly hate dealing with). Just a new job that pays the same meager amount I'm making now. That's my prayer--a new job, having nothing to do with schools.

2. Unclutter. Been working on it. Seems I get nowhere, but I'm so far from where I started that I know I have accomplished so much. So far yet to go.

3. Diet and exercise. The age-old problem of gaining weight and not exercising. When spring comes again, I can work in my yard, hauling and lifting, digging and carrying on in the yard. Great exercise! Diet by eating properly and proportionately!

4. Force myself to keep in contact with people. I am becoming a hermit.

5. That's a good start. That's enough.

A favorite souvenir

A favorite souvenir
These are my two girls from Ireland!

Judy's shared items

Books on my very ambitious TBR list (*denotes read)

  • *Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever by Mem Fox
  • The Odd Women by George Gissing
  • The Zen of Fish by Trevor Corson
  • How to Get Your Child to Love Reading by Esme Raji Codell
  • The Cod Tale by Mark Kurlansky
  • In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden
  • *Joan of Arc by Mark Twain
  • Dag Hammarskjold by Elizabeth Rider Montgomery
  • The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet by Rabbi Michael L. Munk
  • Children of Strangers by Lyle Saxon
  • Spiritual Writings by Flannery O'Connor
  • Nightmares and Visions: Flannery O'Connor and the Catholic Grotesque by Gilbert H. Muller
  • The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O'Connor
  • Flannery O'Connor's South by Robert Coles
  • Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor
  • Sylvanus Now by Donna Morrissey
  • *Vincent de Paul by Margaret Ann Hubbard
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
  • A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking
  • The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel
  • Readicide by Kelly Gallagher
  • *Ruined by Paula Morris
  • Say You're Not One of Them by Uwem Akpan
  • Wandering Star by J.M.G. Le Clezio
  • Silence by Shusaku Endo
  • *The Assault by Harry Mulisch
  • Kari's Saga by Robert Jansson
  • *The German Mujahid by Boualem Sansal
  • Western Skies by Joseph Conrad
  • *The Giver by Lois Lowery
  • *Imperium by Ryszard Kapuscinski

School Library Journal - NeverEndingSearch


A semester course in one book about the Soviet Union. Click on image for my review.