Tuesday (Ouch!) Musings

I had my flu shot a few minutes ago, so my arm is sore. I’ve always been a little sensitive to shots but I figure it is worth it to avoid getting sick this spring or over the holidays. Last year I had this horrible combination of strep throat and bronchitis. It was terrible. I suspect that I contracted it from one of my students who was hacking awhile for two weeks while handing in his papers. It’s hard to avoid germs entirely but at least I can prepare for them.

In other news, the crunch is on for my manuscript. I’m working away on my preface and need to get another draft to Brian before Thanksgiving. Also, I’m still fiddling with the order for the actual book, so that’s always fun. The ideal date for my committee to have the thesis is Dec. 5, so the end is in sight. As is the case with most major projects, I don’t start to feel the pressure until the end. Yesterday, while I was working on my preface I had the impulse to throw it out and start again. Fortunately, I resisted that impulse.
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This is from an article that appeared WJHG the local news station that targets Okaloos, FL where parents are trying to ban the book Kite Runner:
Parents also have the right to request a substitute book for their child.
That’s why Principal Charlene Couvillon feels one complaint shouldn’t dictate a district-wide ban.
“I think as a parent I have the right to say I don’t want my child to read that book but I don’t have the right to say that for your child.”
While the content in The Kite Runner is disturbing, I think it is ridiculous to say it isn’t appropriate for high school students. To assume that these students do not have the intellectual capacity to deal with rape, which seems to be what the parents are saying, is strange considering they see depictions of it everyday on tv, in movies, and in music. More to the point, you cannot sheild your childrent from ugliness forever. They need to confront it, learn from it, and move beyond it.

This is a little late, but here is a review from the San Francisco Chronicle concerning Toni Morrison’s new novel, Mercy.
I recently subscribed to Poetry. I’ve been meaning to do this for about two years, but kept forgetting. This particular issue I’m particularly taken with several poems (the Levine I posted yesterday) so here is another one for your reading pleasure:

Zeus to Juno

He
You saw the way her body looked at me
all address
calling me down
she was so
well-turned
curve and volume
her body presented itself–
Clay–
I could mold it

She
You were taboo
not totem–
covered her
though your wing gave no shelter

Your pale plumage
became shadow
Your beak caught
in the net of her hair

He
When I entered her
her death became my life
in her death swoon
she fell away from me
the more she fell
the deeper I pursued her
the deeper I went
the more lost she became
her body
became a forest of echoes
hills and valleys
echoing each other, a language
I didn’t know–
surrounded alone

She
The discarded body
lies in long grass
Flies and wasps
fumble there–

on a summer day
the lost girl hums–
Kelly, Sarah, Joanne changed
into parable

Prodigal hair
flung out
body agape
like a question

The scavenger crow knows–
she’s beautiful,
outgrowing her name
in the noon heat
Fiona Sampson


Monday (Love your Body!) Musings

Today is officially “Love Your Body Day.” I like this idea. I fall into the same trap as many women who get down on themselves because of the way they look. I’ve recently (and by recently I mean like a week ago) decided that I need to get over it. I go to the gym and I eat pretty healthy but I need to stop freaking out when I have a piece of chocolate or eat some french fries. The reality of the matter is we live in an imperfect world, so to try to be perfect is ridiculous. I’m over it. Health is what is important. Thanks to SB for bringing this to my attention.

Here is a link to the site and lots of neat information.

I’m ordering these for my office:

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Here is your autumn poem for the week. I’ve decided that at the end of October I’m going to move onto another “theme.”

Hornworm: Autumn Lamentation
Since that first morning when I crawled
into the world, a naked grubby thing,
and found the world unkind,
my dearest faith has been that this
is but a trial: I shall be changed.
In my imaginings I have already spent
my brooding winter underground,
unfolded silky powdered wings, and climbed
into the air, free as a puff of cloud
to sail over the steaming fields,
alighting anywhere I pleased,
thrusting into deep tubular flowers.

It is not so: there may be nectar
in those cups, but not for me.
All day, all night, I carry on my back
embedded in my flesh, two rows
of little white cocoons,
so neatly stacked
they look like eggs in a crate.
And I am eaten half away.

If I can gather strength enough
I’ll try to burrow under a stone
and spin myself a purse
in which to sleep away the cold;
though when the sun kisses the earth
again, I know I won’t be there.
Instead, out of my chrysalis
will break, like robbers from a tomb,
a swarm of parasitic flies,
leaving my wasted husk behind.

Sir, you with the red snippers
in your hand, hovering over me,
casting your shadow, I greet you,
whether you come as an angel of death
or of mercy. But tell me,
before you choose to slice me in two:
Who can understand the ways
of the Great Worm in the Sky?

Stanley Kunitz

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Some of the “Best of…” from Poetry Out Loud.

Toni Morrison’s new novel to coming soon…