Posts Tagged ‘Poetry’

h1

Words and Music

November 15, 2010

Music: Lately as I’ve been reading the daily papers (Toronto Star, National Post, NYT) I’ve been clipping items from the entertainment pages that contain ‘tinyurls’ which lead either to audio versions of songs or sometimes the opportunity to download them. Mostly I’ve remembered to hang onto them and when I have some time at the computer check them out. It did get me curious about tinyurls as I’ve really been out of the loop for a long time now and know nothing about them (God bless my tech challenged head.). Yesterday I came across a site strictly for songs and you can plug in a song title or artist / group and listen to it or share it via Twitter, Facebook or email. The main site is http://www.tinysong.com/ (We’ll see if it works here…. ahem, lemme see…) http://tinysong.com/rFWZ Ta-Dahhh!!!! This is the Johnny Cash song which accompanies ‘The Johnny Cash Project – an open source compilation of various artists works for an animated video of the song….. found here. (Be patient; it is large and takes a few seconds to load) http://www.thejohnnycashproject.com/. (Scroll down to watch the video.)

A few others – Neil Young’s new one ‘Walk With Me’ produced by Daniel Lanois. Scroll down to video screen. http://www.speakersincode.com/2010/09/jam-of-day-neil-young-walk-with-me.html

New one by The Cars – ‘Blue Tip’ http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=445115559565

The Decemberists – ‘The King is Dead’  video preview http://www.decemberists.com/

Tired Pony – The Place We Ran From – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sC68mAQYstE

(These are the pages which the tiny urls took me to.)

Words: So, since last time around I have read…

actually reread both Jeannette Walls ‘Glass Castles’ and Malachy McCourt’s ‘A Monk Swimming: a Memoir’.

A powerful memoir by David Sheff titled ‘Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction’. I have his son’s book on hold at the library which covers the same ground from his point of view… Nic Sheff – ‘Tweak’.

Bill Bryson’s ‘Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid; a memoir’.  I have a couple of his others on hold too…. ‘A History of Nearly Everything’ and; ‘At Home’.

I don’t typically read many novels but I was glad I bought this one at the library’s sale, ‘The Secret Lives of Bees’ by Sue Monk Kidd. Beautifully written… transporting.

A collection of Shel Silverstein’s poetry called ‘Light in the Attic’ which was as entertaining for his illustrastions as his words. (Also bought at the sale – a steal at $2) On the same trip I found a tribute album of Shel’s songs performed posthumously by a variety of artists, including Kris Kristofferson, John Price, Nanci Griffith and Lucinda Williams. It is called ‘Twistable, Turnable Man- A Musical Tribute To The Songs Of Shel Silverstein’.

I’m currently reading a mystery by Harlan Coben which helps pass the time until I make it back to said library.

Other news – Cousin BJ and I will see one another at the end of the month for the first time in 2 to 3 years. The occasion is a celebration for her father (my late father’s eldest brother) who is turning 90 years young. So, barring any screw ups in my work schedule we should get some face time.

Other, other news – Looks like (same proviso) long time blog friend Kel and I may have a face-to-face meeting along toward New Years. She and her hubby are celebrating Xmas on this side of the Pacific and doing a bit of a road tour which will bring them past our front door. This is one of those ‘once in a lifetime opps’, so count me in.

Must get on with the day, accomplish something, have a nap and then off to work for the night. Bye.

h1

Recent Readings

October 19, 2010

Alrighty then……. (drum roll) here we go. Not sure I have enough time for a lot of description or editorializing or rating what I’ve read during these last few months but we’ll see if I have time at the end for that. Right now I’ll concentrate on getting it down accurately.

First off a couple of books about writing – how to write properly; and the process of it.

– re-read Strunk and White’s “Elements of Style” – the sourcebook of choice.

Stephen King’s “On Writing” – wonder of wonders; well written!! (Ha,ha) Very accessible.

A couple from my ‘recommended list which I haven’t tracked down as yet but intend to read as and when I can. Anne Lamott’s “Word by Word”, Lawrence Block’s, “Spider Spin me a Web” and anything I can lay hands on by Natalie Goldberg (esp. “Writing Down to the Bones”). We have a good, well stocked library system but alas, no Natalie to be found.

Carrying on, this next list wouldn’t be here except for the interest generated in me by the two women at red Ravine, ybonesy and QM, who have written extensively about memoir. I used to think it was a fancy name for autobiography and have happily learned the difference. Onward!

“Glass Castles” by Jeanette Walls

“Drinking: a Love Story” by Caroline Knapp

“Liar’s Club: a Memoir” by Mary Karr; it’s sequel “Cherry”, and completing the tryptic “Lit’.

Roseanne Cash’s recently released memoir “Composed”. (Same trip I found her new CD “The List”. Woo-Hoo! Bonus!!)

Neil Peart (drummer and lyricist for the rock band Rush) “Traveling Music: Soundtrack to my life and times”.  {Robin – I think you’d like this. It’s not about band tours} I’m currently 100 pages into his previous memoir “Ghost Rider: Traveling the Healing Road” which describes the extended road trip he took following the deaths first of his 19 y.o. daughter, then of his wife 16 months later.

Autobiographies – Biographies – Tributes

Eric Clapton; an autobiography

Michael Moore; a biography by Emily Schultz

Michael Streissguth – “Always Been There; Roseanne Cash, The List & Spirit of Southern Music”

Crystal Zevon – “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead: the Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon” – interviews and anecdotes from bandmates, friends, producers, etc compiled in a chronologic fashion. Very interesting.

A tribute to life lessons learned from late husband Hunter S Thompson – “The Gonzo Way” by Anita Thompson.

Farley Mowat’s “Otherwise”.

Next on my list is Micheal J Fox’s “Always Looking Up” which marks 8 years since his first autobiography.

Next section is short and untitled but comes from the fact I needed a spiritual kick-in-the-ass as I recovered from my stepson Craig’s death back in June. Had a wee problem with this ‘power greater than myself’ – anger, resentment, etc – not a good head space. So I picked up one of Joyce Meyer’s many books – ‘The Secret to True Happiness’. No I didn’t expect to find my solutions between the covers of a book but it managed to at least begin the dialogue once again. God and I are on speaking terms again – I try to let him do most of the talking, then act accordingly.

Novels; I haven’t read very many and found a couple which I couldn’t get into lately. I’ll share a few I really enjoyed. First off, one recommended by cousin BJ – “Water For Elephants” by Sara Gruen. Excellent!! She has a just newly released book called “Ape House” which is also getting good reviews (edit: subject is a species of monkey called Bobobos). Another Canadian author is Elizabeth Hay. I really enjoyed both “Student of Weather” and perhaps slightly less “Late Nights on Air”. Great flowing prose, wonderful eye for detail. Hmmm…. another Canuck; a humorist by the name of Arthur Black, author of “Black is the New Green”. I like his satiric take on the everyday. (He works his surname into all his titles.) One novel that broke a lot of rules and that I liked is Reif Larson’s “Selected Works of T S Spivet”.

Is anyone excited about non-fiction?? In Stephen King’s “On Writing” he recommends reading more than you write; read according to your interests; and read great writers as you’re bound to pick up things useful to you for your own expression. Well, one of Canada’s greatest writers – prolific, varied, etc. – is Margaret Atwood. Over the years I’ve read some of her fiction and enjoyed it but I recently borrowed her “Moving Targets: Writing With Intent 1982 – 2004”. It’s a compilation of her essays, book introductions, speeches, reviews…. you name it. I started the book with some trepidation as she can be a sometimes daunting figure to approach. What I found was one of the singularly BEST collections of writing I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. Fluid, insightful, compelling… now wonder she’s Canada’s acknowledged ‘Lady of Letters’. She has written poetry, fiction – both in short story and novel, criticism, a couple of series of childrens books, taught at several universities, been writer in residence, etc….. it goes on and on.

Writing about her reminded me of another noted female Cdn author – Alice Munro. Noted short story writer and recipient of awards too numerous to mention… I read one of her collections a few months ago, Selected Stories (?). Highly recommended.

That’s all the time I’ve got right now. I’ll expand on impressions when I get a chance. Funny how I when from a very occasional reader to hard core in such a short time. Reading is a great diversion sometimes but this has also been an interesting and entertaining portion of my life lately.

h1

Night Sky II

July 10, 2009

Late rising moon, one night past full

tracking across the southern sky

Jupiter trailing just behind

h1

Poem Pre-empted

May 25, 2009

Over the course of the last few days a series of words have been floating about my brain, bouncing around gathering other ‘like-weighted’ words and forming up nicely. I wondered where they had come from and where they might lead me; thought I might be able to get them down in some form of prose. Things were starting to gel; chunky images, atmosphere, strings of sound and meaning…. Then, out of nowhere, the cadence suddenly reminded me of….

Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too, wouldn’t you?

(If you’d care to know more about it, click here)[courtesy of Wikipedia]

As I was growing up, every couple of years when my Dad was feeling good, kidding around and feeling goofy he would race through 2 or 3  recitations of what I had always thought was a nonsense ditty. It wasn’t until a couple of years before he died that he slowed it down one time and I realized it contained actual words. I was stunned after having heard it for over 40 years that it made some sort of sense.

Anyway….. now that I have this running through my mind I’m completely distracted and there won’t be another attempt at poetry tonight. Maybe for a long time. It’s as bad as when you get an ear-worm – one of those songs that sticks in your head all day.