For Kim

– who asked for pictures of my books/bookcases

P1140604I do not think Mrs Woolf would have appreciated it, but it is the truth, and I’d better tell you: There is no door into my new study. Its an open attic, everyone can enter – whenever …

At the moment I’m focusing on learning how to write poetry, and on my desk right now are several instructional books

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Mary Oliver: A Poetry Handbook, Stephen Dobyns: Best Words, Best Order, Kim Addonizio: Ordinari Genius. There is also the wonderful book of poems called  A Village Life by Louise Glück and a book called Geography of Home by Akiko Bush.

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My favorit reading space is here by the window. In time I will replace this little tray-table with a Block with room for books, plants and a mug.
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On the shelves nearest to my reading chair I keep books I have yet to get to know, new books, and older stuff I’d like to re-read.
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12 Comments

  1. this is a lovely post – thank you for doing this!
    i am actually going to write down a lot of titles of the books you have laying around. there’s a copy of ‘how fiction works’ by james wood standing in your bookcase, isn’t there? i just finished it, i loved it. i’m not sure if you will learn something new but i certainly did. (it helps he writes like a lover of books, it shimmers through his writing.)

    your room of your own looks beautiful and i think mrs. woolf would have been very jealous of your view..
    again – thank you for sharing.

  2. Sigrun, you may benefit, in your poetic quest, in your beautiful new open-doored study, by reading Robin Skelton’s trilogy on the craft, “The Practice of Poetry”, “A Poet’s Calling,” and “Poetic Truth”. They are all available on <> Robin was a true poet and what he had to say was at times the best that anyone has ever said. Now, that being said, the best way to write poetry is to write it. Poetry is Dicht. Man dichtet aber man schreibt die Poesie. Sie sind hnlich, aber night gleich. One draws it down from the skies. Robert Bringhurst has written strongly about this, arguing that poetry is a function of the universe; its form in words is a human expression of a force that also gives sparrows its song. Both Robin’s and Robert’s world views do not start from the point of view that poems come from either words or human tradition, but start with the world. In that sense, your walking is great poetic practice. Here’s a poem Robin and I wrote together 5 years after his death in 1997. You may sense some of his Wiccan sensibilities in it…

    Facing the Light

    for R.S.

    They say were born, or born again,

    born in the wrong time, or not my son,

    my daughter, or must be adopted,

    the way we carry on, or born too soon,

    came out backwards, caused too much pain,

    or refused to come at all and were cut out

    and brought like that into the world

    we say is born again in every minute

    and is our birthright. We say that, too,

    it is our birthright, hoping to make new again

    what has grown old and stale. We bring

    ignorance into the world and nurture it, praying

    that it will remain ignorant of what we do

    and we have done, that the world weve lost

    will stay with them who we have borne

    and birthed and brought to face the light

    we all must face that the world is lost

    and we are all that we can face

    praying that some day a world we can touch and feel

    may be born from that, facing us at last

    to ease us from fear into knowledge,

    knowledge into wisdom, wisdom into ignorance.

  3. Your room with a view but no door is inspiring. Just the view is fascinating. Glad you’re sharing all these so we too can get a glimpse of what you’re seeing. All the best in 2013 for a rewarding year of reading, writing, and living.

  4. That’s a wonderful stack of books – many I’d like to read – and I’m happy to see “Thaliad” among them, and a book by Donald Hall, practically a “local poet” when I lived in Vermont.

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