Day 49 of the "What are you reading, and why?" project.
Paulette is reading Break of Day by Colette, and it is just now, as I compose, the break of day. There was a full moon last night, and life is beautiful.
A young man on spring break, soon to graduate with a wildlife biologist degree and a poetry habit, is now reading Charles Olson, who believed that poetry was a "high energy construct," poets taking energy from various sources and projecting it onto the page via thought, breath, heart, words...."projective verse."
(My hidden stand-up self cannot help but imagine projectile versifying.)
(That's why it's a hidden self.)
But now I must confess to some 1) impulse buying based on 2) synchronicity. Susan commented here earlier on synchronicity, cool coincidences, Carl Jung.
I was reading Midwest Eclogue by David Baker (see earlier entry), the poem "Melancholy Man," and the note on it at the back of the book referring to Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton. Having written recently on melancholy, I was struck by that coincidence and then further stricken by the desire to read the Burton book. Fortunately 1) I was home and thus nowhere near a bookstore and 2) when I accessed the Babbitt's search page, we didn't have it.
But I came into work yesterday, to do my lovely how-the-heck-am-I-going-to-make-a-living-as-a-poet job of typing books into the store database, and there it was, newly discarded by a library, The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton, in the All-English translation (no more Latin) edited by Floyd Dell and Paul Jordan-Smith. You know what happened next.
One of my jobs during how-the-heck-am-I-going-to-make-a-living-as-an-actress stage of my life was to work in Special Collections at the Newberry Library in Chicago. They have a fabulous Floyd Dell collection, so I learned a lot about him there. That's when I realized Edna St. Vincent Millay had also worked as an actress in Chicago, before heading off to Greenwich Village. And, yes, behind me on the bookshelf is the huge biography of Millay, Savage Beauty, by Nancy Milford, Christmas gift from my mom and dad back in 2001, deeply enjoyed. My mother introduced me to "Renascence," Millay's long passionate poem about coming back to life, as a verse reader on the high school speech team, and I've been in love with her ever since. Likewise, Emily Dickinson. Their fat biographies sit side by side, in fact, a fine coincidence in my random organizational system based on love.