Things I’m Reading Thursday #7

I’ve been reading the works of all these ladies for my thesis this week, but since they’re all well-known — and since I’ve ranted on about them all on numerous occasions before — I thought I’d post some of their poems rather than my waffle. Enjoy!

(Anne Sexton’s voice is so beautifully eerie.)

What are you reading this week?

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8 Responses to “Things I’m Reading Thursday #7”

  1. Katja Says:

    I’m reading Invisible Man by Ralp Ellison (heavy reading, that), War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells and What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami.

  2. David Says:

    Cool recordings :-)

    I’m reading Charles Simic, though I should be reading Daljit Nagra!

    D x

  3. Gareth Says:

    Have been reading quite a bit this week — ‘On The Road’ (Jack Kerouac) and The Ladies Of Grace Adieu (Susanna Clarke) for prose; for my poetry fix — some more Ginsberg, some Sylvia Plath and yesterday I started reading an anthology called ‘Emergency Kit’ — recommended to me by David — which I’m loving so far.

    Shall give those videos a go as soon as I get home from work methinks! :)

  4. charlotte g Says:

    i think this is the first TiRT that i’ve been reading multiple things and enjoying them, rather than listing textbooks!

    i’m reading charlotte lennox’s the female quixote, which is an optional text on my reading list for an essay i have to hand in at the beginning of next term, but i’ve gone for it because it is just so much fun. it’s about a girl who was brought up in isolation and read way too many romances, so is convinced that she should act like cleopatra or Artemisa, or all these classical heroines who killed men just be acting displeased or whatever. and then her cousin falls in love with her despite her acting completely insane most of the time… and yeah. i’m enjoying it a lot, it’s actually funny.

    i’m also reading tom stoppard’s the invention of love - i saw a production of it last term and really liked it, so wanted to read it. it’s making me want to read some more housman and like, horace and stuff. but i don’t really have time.

  5. Claire Says:

    Katja — War of the Worlds is amazing, isn’t it? Love that book. I might have to read it again now you’ve reminded me of it!

    David — Charles Simic wrote a brilliant poem called ‘Bestiary for the fingers of my right hand’, which is one of those damn-I-wish-I’d-written-that poems. Absolute genius. Can you recommend any collections by him? So far I’ve only read snippets from anthologies.

    Gareth — is this your first On The Road experience, or a re-read? And I’ve often looked at Emergency Kit on Blackwells bookshops and toyed with the idea of getting it. Worth the money?

    Charlotte — Hooray for an escape from academia… however brief! Stoppard is awesome :) And I know the ‘if only I had time to read more books’ feeling OH so well. I’m looking forward to retirement already!

  6. David Says:

    Hey Claire,

    Emergency Kit is brilliant and I’d recommend it to anyone - for Charles Simic - his selected poems at the moment is published by Faber and is half-price on the waterstones website as part of their Faber firesale. Individual collections that I’d recommend are “A Wedding Dress in Hell” and “Austerities” but I’m assured everything he’s ever written is pretty much top notch!


  7. Gareth Says:

    It’s my first time. I loved it initially; now I’m not so sure — there certainly are some magnificent images and lines though, and I’m finding it very easy to read. Still have a little bit to get through.

    I’ve not read that much of ‘Emergency Kit’ yet, but based on what I have, I’d go with David — ’tis fairly awesome!

  8. Col Says:

    I’ve read a couple of autobiographical books by poets. The first is ‘A lie about my Father’ by John Burnside. I can’t really recommend this book enough. Whilst in paperback at least it’s packaged like all those true life books about abusive parents, and I suppose it is about that, however, it rises above the rest with such amazing prose. To quote Hilary Mantel from the back cover blurb, who sums it up, “It is a book by a master of language, pushing language to do what it can…” Best of all you can get it brand new in hard back on eBay right now for just £2.64, inc. delivery. I’m looking forward to reading Burnside’s next book of autobiography Waking up In Toytown, which I just brought.
    The other autobiographical book was ‘Cutty, One Rock’ by August Kleinzahler. Though in fact this is really a series of vignettes, with a couple of essays thrown in. There’s reminiscences on growing up in Jersey and having gangsters for neighbours, a trip on a bus in Detroit, an essay on Eros in poetry, an afternoon spent with Ginsberg (these last two only in the paperback edition) but best of all the title piece about his brother. In many ways I wish that this section had been the whole book, I wanted more about this short and tragic life, because it is so beautifully written. But still, the book is highly recommended.
    Poetry books: I read ‘Tell Me Lies’ by Adrian Mitchell, which is patchy. Some poems excellent, but some really shouldn’t have been included. Also ‘ A Scattering’ by Christopher Reid. Which is a book of longer linked poems dealing with the death of the poet’s wife. They are remarkable and utterly moving.