a dozen library books, a half written poem

a rainy friday. my classes are quiet, ill-attended, i guess it being a good day to cut. nevertheless, we have them; a good talk about the last paper, topics assigned. american lit is having a writing day; a day i’ve given them hoping they’ll use it to research their end-of-semester paper, a monstrously long heavily weighted literary essay, but knowing that most likely the day will be spent with their friends, in their dorms, maybe watching tv.

at least, i know i don’t see them there, at the library, quiet, vacant, just the dusty loneliness of ordered rows of books. i’m always a reader, with my nose in a book or two, typically a volume of poetry, a novel, and a collection of essays–i try to be well-rounded–but there are times that my book-hunger grows to ravenous proportions. and that is how i’ve been lately–i can’t get enough. the thrill of finding the poetry section–the slim, modern volumes, those names i recognize, plath and roethke and wright! i pile up a dozen to haul home.

for me, voracious reading and voracious writing always go hand in hand, and one spurs on the other. i’ve been editing and editing as of late; i recently discovered my “professional development” budget, to be spent by May, entirely on writing and writerly things, so i’m sending out to contests this year, more than i’d even hoped to be able to send to. my writing itself had slowed last month–i felt exhausted, just exhausted, with work, family, visitors, church, everything, i could barely lift a pen–and its recently gotten back on track. i’m always happy to have written; a dozen new poetry books to read and a half written poem in my journal–ah, such happiness! its days like this that remind me that despite all of the changes over the years–my long and happy marriage, the moves from state to state, motherhood, a professorship–i haven’t lost who i am, that girl that loves nosing around a library on a rainy friday afternoon…

my library findings::
Incandescence: 365 Readings with Women Mystics ed. by Carmen Butcher
The Need to Hold Still: Poems and The Private Life by Lisel Mueller
When One Has lived A Long time Alone by Galway Kinnell
The One Day by Donald Hall
Distances by Sarah Gordon
Cardinals in the Ice Age by John Engels
Evenings and Avenues by Stuart Dischell
On the Way to the Island by David Ferry
Meditations on the Insatiable Soul by Robert Bly
The Other Life by Andrea Budy
Navigable Waterways by Pamela Alexander
A Coast of Trees by A.R. Ammons
Farming: A Handbook by Wendell Berry

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