January 20 – Organize my bookshelves

There’s something about a long weekend Sunday that just makes you want to to get things done. You don’t feel like you’re “wasting” a weekend day on cleaning because there are three of them! So, I finally got around to doing a much-needed organization of my bookshelves and general sprucing up of the apartment. I decided to organize the books by category, starting with my unread non-fiction:

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Yes, those are two copies of The Wordy Shipmates you see. And, yes, I did buy both of them. Then I added in my poetry:

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Obviously I need a little bit more poetry to fill up that empty space.

Then, I got tired of taking pictures of each stage. I’m sorry I don’t have photographs to document it, but I organized the rest into unread BEA/nonrequested galleys, unread requested galleys, and unread fiction. Unread fiction was organized into want to read in the next few months, want to read sometime in the next few years, and unsure if I ever want to read.

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Here’s the finished unread shelf. The books I’ve read are stored in the shelves that are underneath the desk. As you can see, I stack my shelves back pretty deep, so if I don’t know where everything is, it’s easy to forget about books. (Hence the double copies of The Wordy Shipmates.) I’d really like to have the review copy quadrant (upper right) cleared out by BEA this year, so I’m going to try and plug away at that slowly but surely. Other than that, though, I’m just going to enjoy a bookshelf that is actually organized in some way and read what I want, when I want.

I’ve been thinking about doing a rotating library book, review copy, purchased copy, ebook, just to get through everything I have. It won’t be firm or anything, and pretty lenient since I read multiple books at once, but I tend to ignore certain parts of my shelves in favor of others. So, that’s something to think about. Maybe I’ll give it a try and see how it goes!

How did you spend your Sunday?

Poetry Project December – Mid-Year Reflection

Happy December, poetry readers!

We started this project, in its most recent incarnation, six months ago and it’s time to take a moment to look back at what we’ve done and think about how we’d like the rest of the year to go. For this month’s Poetry Project, if you’re so inclined, answer the questions below.

As always, you can link up to any post from the month of December, as long as it is about poetry. Post about your favorite holiday poem or share with us any poem that strikes your fancy, holiday related or no.

1) What has been the most rewarding aspect of The Poetry Project so far?
2) What is your favorite post from a fellow Poetry Project participant this year?
3) What is your favorite poem that you have read because of The Poetry Project?
4) What are some poetry-related goals you’d like to set for the coming year?
5) Do you have any suggestions for The Poetry Project in 2013? What would you like to see happen?
6) Share with us one line of poetry that you think we need to read.
7) Is there a new poet that you have discovered through The Poetry Project?
8) Anything else you would like to share?

As always, thank you all for participating! This time of year is all about remembering what we’re thankful for and so incredibly thankful for everyone who has taken time out of their day to post about poetry and then share it with us.

Please link up to your December poetry posts in the linky below.

Surprise snow storm!

Though some forecasts were predicting snow for the Northeastern US, no one was predicting quite this much snow. I left the office around 5:15 and there was a light slush on the ground. I got out of the subway around 6:30 to about 2 inches. It’s still snowing now a few hours later and it’s still accumulating. So much snow! Anyway, it’s late in the day, but I thought I’d throw up a quick Poetry Wednesday to celebrate (?)  this early snow storm. (I’m trying to channel my inner Lorelei Gilmore here, but I really dislike the snow.)

This is an excerpt from the poem “Falling Leaves and Early Snow” by Kenneth Rexroth. You can read the full poem at the Poetry Foundation.

In the afternoon thin blades of cloud
Move over the mountains;
The storm clouds follow them;
Fine rain falls without wind.
The forest is filled with wet resonant silence.
When the rain pauses the clouds
Cling to the cliffs and the waterfalls.
In the evening the wind changes;
Snow falls in the sunset.
We stand in the snowy twilight
And watch the moon rise in a breach of cloud.
Between the black pines lie narrow bands of moonlight,
Glimmering with floating snow.
An owl cries in the sifting darkness.
The moon has a sheen like a glacier.

Poetry Project October Roundup

I apologize for a month of slacking off and being a few days late to the party on this one. October is one of the more stressful months we have at work and most of the days this month I just came home and read silly YA. I posted a few poems, but not a lot.

I also am trying to ignore the fact that October is over. It moved so fast! Here is the round up of all the amazing Poetry Project participants for the month of October! I hope you had a spooktacular poetry reading month. (Everyone’s allowed to say spooktacular seriously once during the whole month of October.)

Amy @ New Century Reading posted a fabulous Ted Hughes poem called “Wind.” You know that Ted Hughes is one of my favorite poets, so get over to Amy’s blog and read read read!

Kristin @ Matched posted the Christina Rosetti poem “Goblin Market,” which works for this month’s theme and our Christina Rosetti month in January!

Nancy @ Simple Clockwork posted about a collection of Cebuano poems, specifically the poem “Images (of Life) by E. Gadiana Cabras. Cebuano, Nancy’s native language, is spoken in the Phillipines. Her post includes the poem in its original Cebuano and the English translation. She also posted another Cebuano poem called “The Monster of Old” by Canuto C. Lim. Finally, for All Souls’ and All Saints’ days she posted the poem “Cemetery by Marra PL. Lanot.

Madeleine @ Scribble and Edit wrote about the poem “The Hag” by Robert Herrick and Tim Burton’s “Nightmare before Halloween.” She also shared two original Halloween haikus!

Mona @ Infinity Books posted about an Edna St. Vincent Millay (one of my favorites!) poem called “Journey.”

Snowball @ Come Sit By the Hearth posted about how she believes that we’re all, in some way, “haunted.” It’s a lovely musing! She also posted the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem “Haunted Houses.”

Kaye @ the road goes ever on posted samples of the Edgar Allen Poe poems “The Sleeper,” “Annabel Lee” and “The Raven” and a list of her favorite Poe poems. She also posted an excerpt of the Poe story “The Pit and the Pendulum.”

Gavin @ Page 247 posted the poem “All Souls’ Night” by Hortense King Flexner.

This month’s theme is “War Remembrance” and Kelly is hosting the Mr. Linky. Remember, you don’t have to follow along with our monthly themes to participate. All you need to do is post about poetry during the month of November! If you posted during October and you don’t see your post here, please add it to the November Linky and we’ll include it in November’s round up!

Poetry Project October – Spooky poems!

October is here! There’s a chill in the air, though the days are still warm. I have two tiny pumpkins sitting on my table, reminding me that October is here. October happens to be my favorite month. When I was younger, school was still exciting and new, the weather is getting cooler and the leaves are changing. I always loved when the leaves would fall and my great-grandfather would rake them up into a pile and I would dive in with my dog again and again.

Now that I’m older, October is the end of a busy summer. It’s the time when I can finally relax and enjoy the season. I can start to wear tights and bake things and really enjoy stew and all the foods I love best. Sure, I love watermelon and fresh corn on the cob, but give me a hearty stew or a roasted butternut squash soup any day. It’s also one of my favorite times of the year to read, with spooky stories. And let’s not forget the yearly viewing of Hocus Pocus. A completely necessary tradition.

But we’re not here to talk about all those things, we’re here to talk about the best thing about this October: spooky poetry for The Poetry Project. Whether you want to go with a classic Edgar Allen Poe poem or you want to branch out and see what contemporary spooky poetry is like, this is your chance!

There are several great resources for spooky poetry:

Poems tagged “Halloween” at the Poetry Foundation
Poems tagged “Halloween” by the Academy of American Poets
A digital collection of poetry by Edgar Allen Poe

But other than spooky poems, there are also a lot of poems written about October and fall. I hope you’ll read some of those as well. This is a good time to completely immerse yourself in the season. Enjoy the cooler air. Take a poem with you. Then, tell us about it and sign up with the Mr. Linky below. Here’s one to get started:

October by Robert Frost

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.

This week in…

blogging. 

This week was BBAW and it was one of the most heart-warming, sentimental (in the best way!), happy-making BBAWs that I can remember. It was all about loving your fellow book bloggers and just saying thank you. What an amazing week. I posted about how I have met a few bloggers this past year and I want to meet more, an interview with Bernadette Davis, and about how much the connections I’ve made through book blogging have meant to me.

Some of my favorite posts from this week:

Last week, I also blogged about a very informal readalong that I’m hosting in October. I’d like to have Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern read by October 31st. Will you join me?

reading. 

I have thrown myself into RIP VII full force this week. I read Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley, and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. I didn’t mean to read Where Things Come Back for RIP, but after I started reading it, I realized it is kind of RIP-y. I started reading The Seance by John Harwood.

Also, things you should know about these books:

  • All four feature characters with the name Alma or very similar to Alma (Amma in Sharp Objects.)
  • Two of them feature ornithologists prominently (Where Things Come Back and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children)
  • All of them feature missing, murdered, or dead children
  • All of them are creepy

I’m a little ornithologist-Alma’d-missing kid’d out. I’m going to finish The Seance, but I need to read something totally different ASAP. Hopefully something still very RIP-y, but not so weirdly similar as these four.

poetry.

Poetry took the back burner for BBAW this week, but there was a really wonderful poem sent out as part of the Poets.org Poem-A-Day email. It’s called “Big Game” and it’s by Brenda Shaughnessy. My favorite lines:

Now, in grownhood, I call the ghost
to my fragile table, my fleshy supper,
my tiny flame.

As a reminder, this month our theme is “classic” poetry. You can sign up for this month’s Mr. Linky on Kelly’s blog.

crafting.

So, my sisters want crocheted things for Christmas, because I am broke (student loans!) and I have a huge stash of yarn that I need to use up. (So I can spend the money not spent on student loans on new yarn. Who needs to eat?) I started making my sister’s shawl and, thanks to some help from Heather, found a matching hat. She requested a black scarf and hat set to match her red coat. I chose this shawl I found on pinterest:

 

 

You can purchase this shawl pattern here. The hat that Heather found to match is perfect and my sister really likes it, too, which is all that matters. You can see the hat here.

And aldjfpwoeuroaughghghghghghhhh. As I was writing up this post, I really looked at the photo and compared it to my shawl and it looks different. I realized that I read the pattern incorrectly and did the flower part wrong. I was wondering why mine didn’t look as good, and now I know. So all the work I’ve done! I’m going to have to rip it out. This is my sad face.

Anyway, my goal today is to find a hat and scarf pattern for my younger sister. She wants to be surprised, but my other sister is “supervising” the decision. That’s all for me this Sunday. I hope you have a fabulous week!

Poetry Project – Read a Classic in September

Ah, September.

The leaves will soon start turning color, the sun is setting sooner, the nights are cooler. The days may still be in the 80s, but school has started and it’s really starting to feel like fall is around the corner. What better way to celebrate getting back to the books than with a classic poem? I hope you’ll join us in reading any classic poem or just in posting about any kind of poetry

“Classic” is such a subjective term and I hope you’ll play around with the meaning, but for the purposes of this recommendations post, I’m going to take “classic” to mean anything published more than 50 years ago. Feel free to twist and turn what classic means to you, just like Snowball did for the Pulitzer Prize theme last month. One good thing about adhering to the “more than 50 years ago” rule is that a lot of the poetry can be found in the public domain.

I got a little excited when I was writing up this post and I found it almost impossible to narrow down. It was hard not to jump up and down and squee about ALL THE POETS. There are hundreds of years of poetry for you to explore, so use this list as a jumping off point, or ignore it entirely. Unfortunately, my list ended up being very focused on the Western canon. If you have other suggestions, please list them in the comments or write your own post!

Let’s Go Waaaaaay Back

Sappho (~615BCE-~550BCE) – We don’t really know much about Sappho, other than the fact that she was born on the island Lesbos in Ancient Greece and much of her poetry has been lost; she was a teacher and poet and was famous, as her bust can be found on statues and her likeness on coins from Ancient Greece. You can read Sappho’s poetry here. (Source: poets.org)

Homer (8th century BCE) – If you want to get really ambitious, why not read the Illiad or The Odyssey? You would be a hero among Poetry Project participants. Bonus! They’re available online: here (Illiad) and here (The Odyssey).

Chaucer, Shakespeare, Donne!

Geoffrey Chaucer (1343 – 25 October 1400)- Just because a class on Chaucer is what caused me to give up MY English major, please don’t be scared! I’m just kidding – I just happened to be enrolled in a very difficult Chaucer class when I became a Spanish major instead, but I’m disappointed I missed out on reading his work in depth. Also, I just found the coolest website ever. You can read The Canterbury Tales in the original Middle English, Modern English or side-by-side. So cool!

William Shakespeare (26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) – We’re celebrating Shakespeare over an entire month in July 2013, but that’s forever away. Get a head start by reading some of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Read them here.

John Donne (1572 – 31 March 1631) – Reading John Donne in high school is one of my favorite reading experiences. I connected with Donne’s poetry in a way that I didn’t really think was possible of a poet so old. His poetry is accessible, but so nuanced. You could spend a lifetime reading Donne, or enjoy his poems on one read. Check out John Donne’s Poetry Foundation page to read a collection of his poems.

Skipping A Whole Bunch of Years to the 19th and 20th Century!

WB Yeats (13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939) -I’ve always been interested in the poetry of Yeats, but I’ve never spent quality time with him. When I was putting together my list of poetry to read for Jillian’s Classics Club, I knew that he would be high on the list. The Poetry Foundation has a collection of 58 poems by Yeats.

Walt Whitman (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) – Reading Walt Whitman is like reading nothing else. If you haven’t read him yet, I highly recommend it. Walt Whitman’s Poetry Foundation page.

Emily Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886) – With the possible discovery of a new photograph of Emily Dickinson, this poet has been in the news a lot the past few days. Emily Dickinson is, in my opinion, a must-read. Here are her Complete Poems.

I lost a little bit of steam there at the end, because it was really hard to think of who to include. There are hundreds more that could have gone on this list, but these are the poets I am most familiar with and the ones that I think you might get the most out of reading. Of course, this list is entirely subjective. I encourage you to create your own list. Take this month to read one “classic” poet or read a smattering of poems from various poets. I look forward to reading your posts!

Unless otherwise noted, my source for dates is Wikipedia.