Sunday, June 19, 2016

June 19: Father's Day, Sonnet Stress, Classic Saint Marty

Happy Father's Day!

Currently, my lovely teenage daughter is waiting impatiently to get her hands on my laptop.  It is almost 10:15 p.m., and I have been working on a few writing projects for a while.  My laptop is the only computer in the house, so my daughter seems to think it belongs to her.  Ah, the joys of being a parent--disappointing your children.

My assignment for today was finishing up a sonnet that an editor requested from me about a month ago.  It has taken me a long time.  I am at the point where I'm not sure what's good and not good.  I've been working on it for far too long.  So, I just typed up the poem and e-mailed it to the editor with a request for mercy and kindness.  We shall see what he says.

I do have an episode of Classic Saint Marty for my two Constant Readers this evening.  It first aired about a year ago, when my life had just started to unravel a little bit: 

June 23, 2015:  Read Aloud, Novels and Poetry, Louise Gluck, "A Work of Fiction"

In the way that the inn, set up on a slight incline, was surrounded by woods, so were Mrs. Parsons' guests, gathered in the sitting room, surrounded by a fine and very old library of books.  Because there was not much else to do in the evenings, except to sip brandies and watch the fire, Mrs. Parsons, in the tradition in which she had been raised, would hobble over to a stately chair and, in a voice that was remarkably strong and in a manner that was theatrical, read aloud selections from certain volumes.

Ives and Annie take a trip to the British Isles in their old age.  They stay at an inn near Sherwood Forest.  It is a time of healing for them.  Reconnection.  Ives and Annie rediscover their passions, for art, literature, and each other.  One of the great pleasures of their sojourn is the innkeeper reading to them from Charles Dickens' novels.

I love hearing people read aloud to me.  I also love reading aloud.  I think that's why I became a poet.  It's the oral/aural part that appeals to me most.  Novel reading is a solitary endeavor for the most part.  One person sitting in a comfortable chair, building a relationship with the author, page-by-page.  Poetry, on the other hand, is more immediate, sort of begs for something more communal.

I've been getting rides to work from a friend every day since my car's been out of commission.  This afternoon, on the way home, I opened up a collection of poems by Billy Collins and started reading to her.  It was a great ride home.  She was laughing.  I was laughing.  When we got to my driveway, we sat there while I finished reading Collins' poem about 9-11, "The Names."  By the time I was done, I was crying.  My friend looked at me and said, "Isn't that a great thing?  That a person can use words and create something that moves you so much."

All Saint Marty could do was nod and smile.

A Work of Fiction

by:  Louise Gluck

As I turned over the last page, after many nights, a wave of sorrow enveloped me.  Where had they all gone, these people who had seemed so real?  To distract myself, I walked out into the night; instinctively, I lit a cigarette.  In the dark, the cigarette glowed, like a fire lit by a survivor.  But who would see this light, this small dot among the infinite stars?  I stood awhile in the dark, the cigarette glowing and growing small, each breath patiently destroying me.  How small it was, how brief.  Brief, brief, but inside me now, which the stars could never be.

Dickens made a butt load of money giving public readings

1 comment:

  1. Well, that explains why I prefer writing novels to poetry - fewer people to deal with ;-)