Happy April! March roared by, didn’t it? We had our first April shower this morning. Of course it came down in the form of snow but we didn’t get much and it has melted away already. We still have snow on the ground though. It takes a long time to melt that which has accumulated since November of last year. But it is going fast.

Love is also in the air. On my way home from work my bus stopped for a light and I looked out the window to see five boy robins and one girl robin in a tree. All but one boy seemed more interested in trying to chase the others away than getting the girl. The one robin focused on the girl did not make a good impression because as soon as he landed on her branch she flew away. You could see all five disappointed robin heads looking wistfully at her tail feathers disappearing through the trees.

Also in the air is poetry. Happy National Poetry Month! I have mixed feelings about poetry month. I love it because poetry. I hate it because poetry should be read and celebrated all year, not just in April. I’m going to celebrate the month by kidnapping Patrick Stewart from the Poetry and the Creative Mind Gala in New York on the 24th. I’ll be taking him to an undisclosed location also known as my basement where I will keep him prisoner and make him read poetry to me until his voice gives out or I get arrested whichever comes first.

Reading plans for April do involve poetry though. I started reading Landscape with Rowers last month. The book is a slim collection of Dutch poets put together by J.M. Coetzee. It has six poets and each poet is represented by one long multi-part poem. I am reading the book along with my friend Cath who lives in the Netherlands and I am very glad to be sharing it with her. She is an insightful reader who helped me make sense of Gerrit Achterberg’s “Ballad of the Gasfitter.” We will likely finish this book before the end of the month. I am not sure what poetry collection I will take up after that. Perhaps I will finally get to T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets.

I started reading A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin about the middle of last month and I am about halfway through. After the previous book in the series which was momentous event after momentous event, this one seems rather tame. But at the same time I am enjoying it immensely because many of the women in the series are making their own bids for power.

I am also still in the midst of Old Goriot by Balzac. I didn’t give it much time in March. I am blaming the unexpected review assignment I was given. All I can say is, I am enjoying it. I am reading it along with Danielle and bless her, she has been as distracted from it lately as I have so I don’t feel so very guilty.

New books I will be starting during the month include Francine Prose’s newest Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932. This is a review copy. Prose will be coming to Minneapolis in early May so I figured I’d read her book before I see her.

I also hope to read Don’t Let Me Be Lonely by Claudia Rankine. It is a mixed genre book of poetry, essay, and I think, memoir published in 2004 by the Twin Cities’ own Graywolf Press.

And finally, because I am so very greedy when it comes to just one more book to read, Bookman and I are going to read King Lear together. It will be a reread for me and a first time for him. And if I still have Patrick Stewart in my basement he will be forced to read some of Lear’s awesome speeches. After we finish reading the play we plan on watching a movie of it so if you have a favorite film version let me know!

That’s enough reading for April. I will be lucky if I get through half of it but I’m willing to give it a try.