Friday, September 3, 2010

Like Happiness

Day 207 of the "What are you reading, and why?" project, and I am reading Like Happiness, by Michael Hettich, a wonderful surprise in the mail!  I had just featured Michael's poems at Escape Into Life, so this was a sweet gift in friendship from a man I've only ever met through his poems, which are beautiful and endlessly amazing.

I happened to be reading the poem "Housekeeping" in my back yard, as I watched the big wind wave the trees hugely, revealing over and over the blue sky between the branches.  You should read the whole poem, but the parents are doing "ordinary chores" while the children sleep, and singing, and... we sing softly, across their dreaming bodies,
of happiness we haven't ever really known
but want to make possible for them, our children,

at least while they're sleeping, by singing these songs
whose words we make up as we sing, and whose melodies
we compose like the wind composes in the trees,
simply by moving our bodies.

The sweetness and innocence in Hettich's poems always amazes me, the sudden transformations into animals or trees, the frequent immersion in water.  Oh!  It's like happiness.

An excess of which I am fortunate enough to suffer.

Jeff and Lisa are soon to be reading What We Have, by Amy Boesky, an author in whose family the women tend to suffer and die from uterine cancer, and who is herself a breast cancer survivor, and the author of a remarkably uplifting memoir about it all.  Boesky will be their daughter's graduate advisor, and their own family has dealt with breast cancer, genetic vulnerability, the relentless survival of joy and hope!

And, in the Land of Coincidii, Housekeeping is one of my favorite films ever, based on the book by Marilynne Robinson, whom I admire for many reasons.

And for any of you who were worried about the Virginia Quarterly Review, here is rubble for thought at The Rumpus about it by Steve Almond, which I read thanks to a post by Nina Corwin at Facebook.  He holds the mirror up to poets & editors, and sees the complexity of it all, preserving sympathy for the men involved.


Kim said...

I love the word "hugely."

Kathleen said...

:) I was not even aware of having written it.

Which may be a problem for somebody who calls herself a writer. I could be hugely mistaken.