It's interesting how I have such ridiculous feelings towards poetry: I hop onto Good Reads after I have finished Cooling Time, and I find a string of people have trod here before. How can this be? Reading this book was such a deeply private and glorious experience, secreted away like savoring good chocolate--how could it be that all of these Others have also read the book, most have loved it too? I thought poetry readers were declining, were withering away, and now there are all these kindred spirits I don't even know, I haven't even met. Shouldn't we gather more often?
Lately, my reading habits have been strange and sporadic. I have half a dozen books going at once, and my moods shift so quickly, I cannot keep up. I want to read the dense Russian novel, no--the nature notes, no--I must start an escape book, no--why haven't I finished the Dickinson biography? And on. And on. Ad nauseum. Is this what happens in winter light? Is this what stealing a set schedule does to a woman? My days and nights are returning back into their rightful compartments, though I am honestly tempted to clamor up those narrow steps to our bedroom, burrow into the down quilt, find myself lost in some strange world, fall asleep mid-day, leave the dogs to their own devices.
I return to campus in one week. It all seems so fast, and yet, being at university (and no longer teaching high school), I am spoiled with winter break. I need to remember though: double check the textbooks are ordered, revise last semester's syllabus to reflect this semester's goals, order in a few of those books my professors require that I don't have (strange to think this might be true, in a house weighted with books as ours is), email my poetry girl friends and demand we have a pow-wow and read cold poems to one another. Brr. January is an indoor month, though that generally doesn't apply--too much beauty has been found there (interesting how each of these is from Colville, and each from a different blog I have / have had).
Tracy K. Smith Visits Chinaby Harriet Staff
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