Since yesterday was a holiday here in the U.S. and the weather was fine and Bookman had the day off too, I decided to take a day off the blog as well. Part of my holiday involved going to a bookstore. No surprise there! It turned out to be a poetry-licious shop. Here are the yummies that I brought home with me:

  • Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot. I haven’t read so very much of Eliot, “The Wasteland,” “The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock,” and the “Cats” poems. That seems like a lot but it isn’t. And Eliot keeps popping up in books I am reading. Obviously the book gods are trying to tell me something. I have been politely ignoring them but they only put up with that for so long before they take drastic measures. In order to circumvent whatever drastic measures those might be, I availed myself of this lovely little edition. It is a slim little thing but the first lines of the first poem tell me looks are deceiving:

    Time present and time past
    Are both perhaps present in time future,
    And time future contained in time past.
    If all time is eternally present
    All time is unredeemable.

    Not a very comforting thought.

  • The Word that Causes Death’s Defeat: Poem of Memory by Anna Akhmatova. I love her poetry. I did not know this book existed. Bookman discovered it on the shelf. My eyes had passed right over it. I owe Bookman big time.
  • The Collected Poems of William Carlos Williams, Volume One 1909-1939. This is a well-thumbed secondhand book but the pages are unmarked. I do like Williams very much and somehow don’t have a single volume of his poetry. Well, now I have fixed that! And I will follow his directions in a poem I randomly flipped to “A Foot-Note”:

    Walk on the delicate parts
    of necessary mechanisms
    and you will pretty soon have
    neither food, clothing, nor
    even Communism itself,
    Comrades. Read good poetry!

    I would have gotten volume two as well but they didn’t have it. Something to be on the lookout for.

  • Murder in the Dark by Margaret Atwood. Bookman also found this one. I had never heard of it before. It is a slim collection of short fictions and prose poems and the back of the book describes it as “beautifully bizarre.” It is a 1994 Virago publication with an original copyright date of 1983. It seems like I may have read these pieces collected elsewhere but I can’t be sure. And even if I have, it is fun to have them in this small collection.
  • Through the Window: Seventeen Essays and a Short Story by Julian Barnes. I like Julian Barnes very much but I might have passed this one by if it weren’t for Nish’s recent review of it. It’s always nice to be able to blame someone for a book purchase as though I had no say in the matter. In this book Barnes writes about the British, French and American writers who have influenced him. Looks good and if it turns out we don’t get along I can just blame Nish for that too. But I suspect there won’t be any trouble.

Now, if only the bookstore also had extra time for sale too.

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