Sunday, January 16, 2011
Yesterday I was so out of focus I could hardly pay attention. Housework? Walk in the snow? Nap? So I picked up New Selected Poems of Stevie Smith--a gift from a few years back--and poured myself a Coke. I'd been encouraged by an article in Salon to read long neglected/unread books from my shelf, the so-called TBR Pile Challenge (To Be Read Pile). I'd read the chapbook before but closer now this time. Smith's clever and biting (and funny and sad) poems were the perfect smattering for a jittery afternoon. I liked "To An American Publisher":
You say I must write another book? But I've just written this
You liked it so much that's the reason? Read it again then.
But I felt she spoke my heart in "My Muse":
My Muse sits forlorn
She wishes she had not been born
She sits in the cold
No word she says is ever told.
Why does my Muse only speak when she is unhappy?
She does not, I only listen when I am unhappy
When I am happy I live and despise writing
For my Muse this cannot but be dispiriting.
For breakfast, I stir-fried onions and spinach in olive oil and butter and then poured whisked eggs over the top for a scramble. Read the news and thought about health care, Rep. Giffords, and the cable segment yesterday on discourse in America with Arianna Huffington and Cornel West. Wouldn't it be great to hear Cornel West one night each week this winter? I would never tire of his reason and candor and expression.
It's NFL playoff Sunday so in a few hours the TV will be on. But for now, I have a new Avett Brothers CD and the book Atonement that I haven't read, another from my TBR stack. After finishing a novel last week that I thought was poorly written I can tell already from the opening pages that McEwan will be masterly.
Posted by Night Editor at 10:36 AM