I took the evening off yesterday to unwind from what has been a hectic work week and to just read and relax. One of the things I did was start reading Margaret Atwood’s last book of poetry, The Door. It was published in November 2007, and I have been wanting to get to it for ages. Adrienne Rich had to come first though. I just read a few poems and already I am in love. If you have never read any of Atwood’s poems, here is an excerpt of the first and last stanzas of “Year of the Hen”
This is the year of sorting,
of throwing out, of giving back,
of sifting through heaps, the piles,
the drifts, the dunes, the sediments,
a chocolate box with crayon ends
stored up for phantom children;
shoes with the grimy marks
of toes that once were mine.
Photos of boys whose names are lost
(posing so jauntily in front of chrome-
trimmed cars), many of them
dead now, the others old–
everything speckled, faded, jumbled
together like–let’s say–this bowl
of miscellaneous pebbles gathered
age after age on beaches now
eroded or misplaced, but scooped up then
and fingered for their beauty,
and pocketed, space-time crystals
lifted from once indelible days.
I am looking forward to reading even more. And, the book comes with a CD of Atwood reading a selection of the poems. How cool is that?
I have also have a potentially useful link for you. The Author Name Pronunciation Guide may come in handy sometime. It is meant for teachers and so the names on the list are of authors that tend to be taught in school or kept in school libraries. Still, you never know, when you might need to have to know how to pronounce Ibtisam Barakat (author of “Tasting the Sky: A Palesinian Childhood”).
The American Library Association is gearing up for National Library Week April 13-19. There is a fun little video called Reference Desk. It stars comedian Shad Kunkle acting as a library patron asking questions at a library reference desk. When the day comes that I am working at a reference desk, I will definitely keep a journal of the weird questions!
I hope everyone has a good weekend. If you find yourself in Minneapolis at the Public Library Association Conference, stop by the Central library downtown and say hi. I’ll be at the Welcome Desk from 10-noon.