Friday, April 20, 2007

Poetry Friday: "we are embracing our mourning"

Several poetry-related items today.

R and I, after discussing creativity and discipline and our own work, have decided to start giving each other poetry assignments and writing a poem a week the way we did in college. The poems are due on Mondays, and we trade off on developing assignments. If I like the poems I write I may share them here; I will share the assignments.

Last week's assignment was rather baroque (and was thus obviously mine):
Our first assignment is based on a poem by Hanna Andrews which appeared in Diagram. Read the poem and her author's note and write a poem in three sections. The first section must be written in full sentences, be at least 14 lines long, and include a primary color, a medical professional, and the name of a tree. The other sections must reinterpret, revise, or translate the first, using only words which appeared in the first section. The third section cannot be more than three lines long and must use only words which appeared in both of the other sections.

Next week's assignment is more simple, but equally challenging:
Write a poem using 12-syllable lines throughout, and somehow incorporating or responding to a favorite quote from another poet.

Yesterday night I went to a reading by a Basque poet, Kirmen Uribe. His book is the first book translated directly from Euskera into English without a detour into Spanish. The poems were simple lyrics, not really my thing, but it was lovely to hear such a melodious and fascinating language spoken.

Lastly, and importantly, Nikki Giovanni speaking on the events at Virginia Tech.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Reading patterns, season shift

After three weeks of travel, some distressing, some energizing, I'm back in Mpls for a while. I shan't say "to stay," because I'm starting to become geographically unstuck, waiting for news on jobs and possibilities, and rethinking where I want to be and how I want to live (eg, I desperately need to have a garden). Things are stable at home, thanks for asking.

I'm still studiedly not thinking about my dissertation. I'm not at all ready to come back to it. Another week, maybe? I'm also studiedly not seeing my advisor, who wants to set a new schedule asap. I have an interview this week with the one job that actually requires me to have this degree, so how that goes could also energize me to want to finish.

My reading habits are changing a bit as well. I always think I can find solutions, or at least solace, in a book. Before I left for Detroit I was reading tons of career books and find-your-passion books. I think I've pretty well found my passion(s) by now and am reading Staying on Top When Your World Turns Upside Down. Also, I've been reading the YA blogs like crazy, so I'm reading everything folks have recommended. This is not new, but since I'm not attempting to write this week I can inhale teen vampire novels like popcorn. I'm also super excited that the 5th book in Garth Nix's Keys to the Kingdom series, Lady Friday, is out. I just picked it up at the library.

There is a lilac bush in my front yard. Things are looking up.