Monday, October 17, 2016

The Beauty

I first found the poems of Jane Hirshfield in Poetry magazine, and was immediately captured by her quiet, pleasing, very specific poems. She is a kind of modern day Emily Dickinson, with poems like

My Species

a small purple artichoke
in its own bittered
and darkening
grows tender,
grows tender and sweet

patience, I think,
my species

keep testing the spiny leaves

the spiny heart

Not all her poems are so short, there are some of a more medium length. And some are very short little poetry magic tricks, like

Two Linen Handkerchiefs

How can you have been dead twelve years
and these still

I guess I should buy a copy, since as I thumb through it again, I find myself not wanting to have to return it to the library. Sometimes I worry that good poetry doesn't get written anymore, and it is a comfort to find a book like this.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

All Things Alice

This is something of a novelty book -- a random collage of things to do with Alice in Wonderland: excerpts from the book, letters from Lewis Carroll, trivia, quotes, influences, descendants, popular culture, and even recipes. Everything is presented in a full-bleed artistic format, so it makes for a fine coffee table book, nice to leaf through. It has no continuity at all, and so fittingly, like a dream, I find it impossible to remember anything that I read in it.