Saturday, February 25, 2006

the book boon continues

A new set of giveaways. I’ve forgiven myself for the sin of greed. I will take as many free books as I desire. I will presume many years of living in front of me and just as many hours for reading.

Here’s last week’s treasure:

EMILY DICKINSON’S POETRY, Robert Weisbuch - looks like an interesting read; sample chapter heads: “Anti-Allegory,” “Typology of Death.”

INTRODUCTION TO EMILY DICKINSON, Henry W. Wells - another interpretation; sample chapters: “Angel of Death,” “Genius and Abnormality.”

BOLTS OF MELODY, edited by Mabel Loomis Todd & Millicent Todd Bingham - I am most excited about this collection of previously unpublished “scraps” of ED’s poetry kept in a camphor wood chest by MLTodd, Dickinson’s first posthumous publisher. It was Todd’s daughter,. Millicent, who ultimately edited and published this collection in 1945. The book contains images of Emily’s writing and about 300 verses. Here’s from the preface:
Many are written on the backs of brown-paper bags or of discarded bills, programs, and invitations; on tiny scraps of stationery pinned together; on leaves torn from old notebooks (one such sheet dated “1824”); on soiled and mildewed subscription blanks, or on department- or drugstore bargain flyers from Amherst and surrounding towns. There are pinks scraps, blue and yellow scraps, one of them a wrapper of Chocolat Meunier; poems on the reverse of recipes in her own writing, on household shopping lists, on the cut-off margins of magazines, and on the inside of their brown-paper wrappings.
The description of her process reveals a color and flesh and emotion that isn’t always paralleled in ED’s writing.

EMILY ELIZABETH DICKINSON, James P. Wood - a biography that emerges from a traditional introduction portraying the accomplishments of Dickinson’s male forbears. Not sure it’s going to appeal but it’s helpful as a reference.

EREWHON - EREWHON REVISITED, Samuel Butler - Erewhon is a three-syllable name; a series of essays and vignettes completing a fantasy philosophy that intrigues me; chapter title samples: “Malcontents,” “The Musical Banks,” “Concerning the Rights of Animals,” and “The Rights of Vegetables.” **Note: I have a copy of The Way of All Flesh, by Butler, illustrated by Dali.

REFLECTIONS ON A GIFT OF WATERMELON PICKLE, Dunning/Lueders/Smith - an anthology of verse for young readers. Very silly title but some recognized names: W. C Williams, John Updike, Roethke, Wm Stafford, Belloc and lots of unknowns.

more to come .. gotta go!


Lyle Daggett said...

"Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle" was one of the first books of poems I read. It was 1968 in the fall, I was 14, and I'd written the first poems I'd ever written within the previous couple of weeks. (Not counting a couple I wrote as school assignments in grade school. These were the first ones I wrote on my own.) I enjoyed the book, found quite a few poems that provoked me to write more.

Watermelon pickles, incidentally, are one of my favorite foods. My grandmother made them when I was young, she canned them at home by the old home canning method, in mason jars.

Ann said...


That's a great memory to have - the poems are diverse - and I like quite a few. Here's one:

To Look


Any Thing

To look at any thing,
If you would know that thing,
You must look at it long:
To look at this green and say
'I have seen Spring in these
Woods,' will not do - you must
Be the thing you see:
You must be the dark snakes of
Stems and ferny plumes of leaves,
You must enter in
To the small silences between
The leaves,
You must take your time
And touch the very peace
They issue from.

--John Moffitt

There are several Crow poems that I enjoy too... it's really a small treasure.