Dear reader, I am up with the birds stealing a few moments at my desk. My desk which I will likely not see again until August. It will be a summer of transience—some time at my parents’, some at my aunt’s and uncle’s, maybe some camping(?)—as we wait to get into our new house, do a bit of necessary work, then finally move in.
The thought of this for a homebody such as myself is a bit overwhelming. But books and blank notebooks have a way of saving us (me), so I have sent some ahead to be kept out of the moving van and storage. Let’s not think now about how I will have to haul them hither and yon all summer as we make our wanderings from place to place.
The books that have been saving me this week are these:
I have always loved early C. D. Wright (Translations..). The Poet, the Lion &c. is brand new, and I feel it should be required reading for all human beings. You could say it’s a poetic poetics. You could say it’s one, long ars poetica. You could say it’s a road map for how to live.
Here are some lines that have kept me going this week, from “Concerning Why Poetry Offers a Better Deal Than the World’s Biggest Retailer”:
That the poems we snatch from the language must bear the habit of our thinking.
That their arrangement strengthens the authority on which each separate line is laid.
That they extend the line into perpetuity.
That they enlarge the circle.
That they awaken the dreamer. That they awaken the schemer.
That they rectify the names.
That they draw not conclusions but further qualify doubt.
That they avail themselves of the shrapnel of everything: the disappearance of cork trees and coral, the destroyed center of Ramadi, the shape of buildings to come, the pearness of pears.
That they clear the air.
That they keep a big-box sense of humor at the ready (like an ax in a glass case).
That they bring the ship nearer to its longing.
That they resensitize the surface of things.
That they will not stand alone.
This is our mind. Our language. Our light. Our word. Our bond.
In the world.
And now I’m off to gather bed linens and take them to the laundromat for washing (because I cannot even with the thought of used bedsheets of teenaged boys sitting in an un-air-conditioned storage unit all summer).
I don’t know when I’ll be back here, but I’ll check in when I can. Meanwhile, read on, write on. Meanwhile, let’s remember: You can quit anytime. Why quit now?