Quote of Inspiration

I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Atilla and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Whole Book of Poetry

November is coming to a close, and I haven't finished an entire book of poetry. I have one I have been reading, and it's lovely and wonderful and I enjoy it more than any other poetry I've ever read. It's an anthology entitled Good Poems and it's edited by Garrison Keillor (who doesn't love GK?). But it's long, and I'm only a third of the way through it.

So, the other day I thought: geez, I'll never finish in time. So, I got a slim little Lucille Clifton volume out and started reading that instead, which is wonderful too but isn't what I really want to be reading. I was just doing it because it's feasible and I could finish in a few days.

And then I thought: really, Amy? Really? You're competing with yourself and stressing out over reading a book of poetry, something that you should be enjoying and loving and doing in those few moments you have to settle down, sit with a cup of tea and relax?

So, the book of poetry will take some time. And I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that those of you who read this blog (are there four now?) aren't going to gasp in horror that it didn't get done "in time."


1 comment:

  1. Not only will I not gasp in horror I will suggest that if you are truly reading poetry in a way where you can let it sink in and be affected by it... you can't really read a book of poetry quickly. So it means you are doing something right for it to take a while. I love that collection edited by Garrison Keillor and have checked it out from the library a handful of times. Also, the only books of poetry I have read close to straight through are Pablo Neruda and Billy Collins.


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