I know that as a bookseller, I should like to read poetry, but the truth is, I really don’t care to read it. Maybe there’s still some remnant of an ancient oral culture lingering in me, my Irish or Teuton ancestors perhaps, but I so much prefer to listen to poetry. I want you, especially if you are the poet, to read the poem out loud to me. Of course, not all poets read well. No, some read with such a sing song cadance that I want to cover my ears. But a poet who reads well is a joy, a treasure. And a poet who performs, in the way of the earliest poets, raising and lowering the voice, gesturing, enveloping the listener with the poem, is a rare genius. Martín Espada is one of the best poets writing and performing today. I know of no other like him. Here is a taste of Martín reading at the Co-op on Wednesday. Let his words wash over you. Posted by Suzy
From DK the British publisher of highly illustrated nonfiction for children and adults comes this very clever video on the End/Future of the book. Do watch all the way to the end.
Vera Pavlova’s newly translated book of poetry “If There is Something to Desire” is the best poetry I have read in years. I am speechless to try to describe it, and I doubt I could do it any justice if I did. So here are a few of the many poems that speak for themselves…
If there is something to desire,
there will be something to regret.
If there is something to regret,
there will be something to recall.
If there is something to recall,
there was nothing to regret.
If there was nothing to regret,
there was nothing to desire.
Another one of my favorites:
A beast in winter,
a plant in spring,
an insect in summer,
a bird in autumn.
The rest of the time I am a woman.
I am so glad this collection of 100 poems was finally translated from Russian into English (Pavlova’s husband was the translator). It’s one of those books that I just want to have with me at all times.
I love Suzy’s notes.