Monday, January 3, 2011

Thrilling Men

Day 329 of the "What are you reading, and why?" project and Ted is reading The Universe in a Single Atom, by the Dalai Lama, because his daughter gave it to him for Christmas.  "He's reading it because I gave him the book," says Kim, "knowing he is interested in the science but thinking it would expand his horizons to read something by the D.L.  He said it is interesting, and he mixes reading it up with reading some mystery/spy thriller.  Just for balance because he, too, is a Libra, like me!"

Men and their thrillers!

I woke up thinking about men...pause*...and how they are so often the ones who buy serious stacks of poetry from me at Babbitt's. Women do, too, of course, and you'll recall the recent Sylvia Plath extravaganza, but I realized in bed this morning...pause*...that it is very often young men, some of them graduate students, doing some combination of private study and university project, who buy a series of books by one poet or a set of related poets.  (I see this as a local coincidence, not a gender fact.)

For example, Jeffrey, yesterday, bought books by William Everson, Kenneth Rexroth, and Robert Creeley.  I think Robinson Jeffers would have rounded out the trio, but Jeffrey probably already has Robinson Jeffers, a California poet like Everson and Rexroth, though Jeffers is connected to Carmel and Big Sur, while the other two are connected to San Francisco.  Jeffers died in 1962, but the others were writing through the 1950s and 1960s, and snapping along with the Beat poets.  

Brief Dalai Lama connection.  Everson converted to Catholicism and became the monk Brother Antonius.

But Brother Antonius left monkery to marry a woman and later studied and edited Robinson Jeffers!

Robert Creeley was from New England and is associated with Black Mountain College in North Carolina and Black Mountain Review, another strand in the poetry of the 1950s and 1960s, but he intersects with Allen Ginsberg, which brings us back to the Beats.  So there are thrilling connections here, though I think of Ginsberg's long "Howl" and Creeley's compression as a thrilling contrast in poetic styles.

*pause to giggle, muse, whatever you like, but I was just thinking, and then I got up and made coffee.

Oh, and did I mention the tall, handsome former body builder buying books yesterday on health and fitness?  We had a conversation about yoga and the common sense wisdom of many health writers of the past.  He was buying a book on body fitness first published in the late 1800's.  Wisdom in the past!  What a thrill.


Kathleen said...

If you click the atom, it will move! Thrillingly!

Sandy Longhorn said...

Yes, thrillingly!

Maureen said...

Now by what magic did you get those atoms to move?

I realized yesterday I had not been following your blog and while I can't make up for all the posts past, I can begin (and do) with today's and look forward to those yet to come.

I did not know Everson had been a monk.

If you get a minute, could you send me an e-mail at ? I have a question that I'd like to ask off-line. Thanks.