Posts

Showing posts from November, 2013

Poetry Wednesday: Thanksgiving

Image
Thanksgiving
Later, after dinner, we examine your uncle’s photos of trees, flowers, waterfalls, birds until I just can’t stand it another second. I am not at one with nature.Never was. Some of the people can be fooled all of the time, even when you yawn right in their faces.
Guests, or ghosts, have taken over the house, lounging in the living room, watching t.v. Ugly images of war and politics are all I see. Cancel the rest of the holidays, please, until this knot can be untied and our hearts released.
-- Terence Winch Courtesy Best American Poetry

Poetry Wednesday: The One Precious

Image

Review: The Dinner

Image
I remember the initial clamor over The Dinner. Radio hosts were gasping, "It's an incredible book!" So I picked it up — and found it tedious.

Then I did the only thing I could do: I gave it to my friend Carole, my Other Reading Self, to help me see if it was me or the book. When she handed it back, she said, "You have to give it another try."

Then I mentioned on Twitter that I was giving The Dinner another shot, Random House Canada told me this.

Now I tell you:


Paul and Claire meet Serge and Babette for dinner. What happens next: well, the minion said it all.

Books in translation often display a clumsy gait to me, especially books originally written in German or Germanic languages. (The Reader failed this reader before I even got to the pedophilia.) However, This translation was very smooth, allowing the undercurrent of the narrator's apparent awkwardness to knock the reader off-kilter.

And don't get sidetracked by the narrator's tangents. Don&#…

Poetry Wednesday: The German Ward

Image
The German Ward

When the years of strife are over and my
recollection fades
Of the wards wherein I worked the weeks
away,
I shall still see, as a visions rising 'mid the War-
time shades,
The ward in France where German wounded
lay.

I shall see the pallid faces and the half-sus-
picious eyes,
I shall hear the bitter groans and laboured
breath,
And recall the loud complaining and the weary
tedious cries,
And the sights and smells of blood and wounds
and death.

I shall see the convoy cases, blanket-covered
on the floor,
And watch the heavy stretcher-work begin,
And the gleam of knives and bottles through
the open theatre door,
And the operation patients carried in.

I shall see the Sister standing, with her form
of youthful grace,
And the humour and the wisdom of her
smile,
And the tale of three years' warfare on her thin
expressive face-
The weariness of many a toil-filled while.

I shall think of how I worked for her with
nerve and heart and mind,
And marvelled at her courage an…

In Honor of Veterans Day Never Forget

Image
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
      Between the crosses, row on row,
   That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
   Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
         In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
   The torch; be yours to hold it high.
   If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
         In Flanders fields.

Poetry Wednesday: Te Deum

Image
Te Deum

Not because of victories
I sing,
having none,
but for the common sunshine,
the breeze,
the largess of the spring.

Not for victory
but for the day's work done
as well as I was able;
not for a seat upon the dais
but at the common table.

by Charles Reznikoff
Courtesy poets.org


Review: Bossypants

Image
I wasn't sure what to expect from comedienne Tina Fey's memoir, Bossypants. She is so young, yet iconicand very successful. I wasn't completely disappointed with the memoir, but I also wasn't completely satisfied.
I thought she wrote some funny stuff in her book and I laughed out loud quite often. I like funny. But I've read consistently funnier memoirs by people who aren't "professionally" funny. (Caitlin Moran, anyone? Jenny Lawson?) I know, the curse of the comedienne is that she's always expected to be hilarious, which isn't fair — but only when you bump into her at the grocery store.

May I also ads: I have read more honest and revealing memoirs. At times she skated across the top, rather safely. That was disappointing.

I was a little surprised by what she chose to include in her memoir: some of it was a little out of left field (climbing a mountain at night) and some of it was unexpectedly personal and rather un-funny (wanting a s…