February 3, 2021 @ 10:12 am | Filed under:
Me in my blue coat crouching in a field of crocuses, grinning at my husband who is taking a picture of me taking a picture

My first encounter with our local crocus patch, Feb 4, 2018

In the neighborhood:

• The snowdrops and crocuses are blooming, and the daffodil stems are getting tall. It’s time to visit the nearby park that becomes a field of purple and yellow crocuses this time of year. Most park-goers here seem to be good with masks, so hopefully we can safely meander along the paths.

In my reading life:

• Our Wrinkle in Time readaloud is getting to the exciting part. Yesterday, Huck and Rilla (along with Meg, Calvin, and Charles Wallace) got their first glimpse of the shadow blotting out a swath of stars. Things are about to get intense!

• Library books keep expiring on my Kindle before I get through them. This is poor patronage on my part! (Given the hefty prices libraries pay for e-books, which have a finite number of check-outs and then must be repurchased.) The blessing of rabbit-trailing is also its curse: I encounter more books than I can possibly read, ever, ever. Currently in progress: Good Habits, Bad Habits by Wendy Wood; Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari; The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner; The Cave Painters by Gregory Curtis; and (oh the irony) Start Finishing by Charlie Gilkey. Oh, and Grace Lin’s The Year of the Dog, for which I’ll be writing a Brave Writer Dart this month.

• Oh but of course there are hard copies in my hands too! My friend Michelle reminded me of Christian McEwen’s World Enough and Time, which I bought a year ago but hadn’t begun. If you’re a Patreon subscriber, you know I have now begun reading it at last, and I’m adoring it. Am also midway through a reread of Liz Gilbert’s Big Magic.

• The poets I find myself reaching for most often at present are Ross Gay, Ilya Kaminsky, Louise Gluck, Basho, Olav K. Hauge, and Julia Hartwig—and the title of her book gave me a good chuckle just now, considering what I was just saying about my library books: In Praise of the Unfinished.

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4 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Stephanie Elms says:

    Did you know that if you don’t leave the book, you can continue reading after the library loan has expired? It basically turns your kindle into a single book because you can’t close out of it, but it does give you a bit more time to get through it (ask me how I know!)

  2. Susanne Barrett says:

    Hi Stephanie!!

    Yep, as long as I don’t sign onto WiFi, I’ve found I can keep the book, too. I’ve had the same issue with library books as Lissa. I think I have six “overdue” books on my Kindle at the moment.

    Susanne 🙂

  3. Susanne Barrett says:

    Hi Lissa!

    My dear poet friend Kathryn Huff studied with Ilya Kaminsky while working on her MFA in Poetry. She said he was an amazing teacher, especially one-on-one. He went through one of the poems in her thesis with her, asking her to justify every line. She said that at first she couldn’t even talk because she was so nervous to show him her work, but he was kind yet firm, and by the end of their meeting, she was chatting with him as if they were old friends. She also worked with Marvin Bell, another incredible poet.

    It’s nearly spring, so my thoughts turn to cummings, Wordsworth (especially “Tintern Abbey”), and Hopkins. They are unfailingly my spring poets, just as TS Eliot is for summer (esp “Prufrock”), and Poe for autumn (esp “The Raven”), and Frost for winter (no pun intended, esp “Stopping by Woods”), along with carols galore, each its own Christmasy poem. I wish I liked modern poetry more, but few give me the joy of the classics. 😉

    Susanne, who drove up to Pine Valley today to see my elderly poet friend (elderly in body, youthful in spirit) and admired her brightly blooming daffodils, despite small piles of snow still lurking in a few very shady nooks around town. I miss Pine Valley even though I can hear the surf at night here at my parents’ place in Pacific Beach.