Tuesday, August 30, 2011

August Poem of the Month

Sheesh, how long has it been since I've done a poem of the month? MAY?! Way too long ago. This month, I'm choosing "Rain," by Raymond Williams, an interesting and fantastic poet who I studied in a grad school class at BYU. Here's the poem (and the pic is of Sweetie out with her umbrella during one of our early August monsoons):


Woke up this morning with
a terrific urge to lie in bed all day
and read. Fought against it for a minute.

Then looked out the window at the rain.
And gave over. Put myself entirely
in the keep of this rainy morning.

Would I live my life over again?
Make the same unforgiveable mistakes?
Yes, given half a chance. Yes.

I remember doing this. You know, prekids, postmarriage when I had a drudgery job and called in sick just to read all day in bed. I like Williams's move from the small (big?) decision to live how he wants on this morning to a reflection of his life decisions and seemingly "unforgiveable" mistakes.

It might seem a little strange that I would choose a poem about rain when this August we've experienced record heat here in the desert. But I thought about this poem for 2 reasons: first, last weekend J and I took turns getting up in the night with the fevered H, and so I spent some quality time in his room. Also spending quality time in his room is the noise machine, which is sometimes set for "waterfall" and sometimes for "rain." When it's set for rain, I can picture in my mind and feel throughout my body how it was to sit in a rocking chair for hours with Mister when he was a baby and when we lived in Massachusetts. I remember that rain. I remember that little baby boy who is now 8. I remember that peace. And I want to hold onto it.

Second, this poem is also about reading. And I have spent a relaxing summer with a nightstand full of books. Having been in a doctoral program for 8 years, followed 6 weeks later by the birth of a challenging baby, I haven't done a lot of consecutive, just-for-fun reading. This summer I indulged myself. My summer books read include the following:
  • Here If You Need Me: A True Story
  • Battle Hymn of a Tiger Mother
  • The Lost Hero
  • The Chosen One
  • Love Walked In
  • Wolves, Boys, and Other Things that Might Kill Me
  • A Discovery of Witches
  • Back When You Were Easier To Love
  • Entwined
  • Hex Hall
  • Demonglass
  • Girl with a Pearl Earring
  • A Hopeless Romantic
  • Lighten Up: Love What You Have, Have What You Need, Be Happier with Less
  • edited to add one that I forgot and that I really liked: The Hourglass. Darn those books that are the first of a series though . . .
and I'm sure some others that I can't remember right now. Of this list, I think my favorites were Here if You Need Me and the Hex Hall/Demonglass series, maybe because both surprised me. I don't usually read nonfiction since I read plenty of nonfiction in the form of scholarly books on composition or literacy or feminism, but I loved this book. It made me think, feel, and laugh. The Hex Hall books surprised me because the premise for the book (witches, vampires, blah blah blah) made me think, been there, done that. But I really liked the main character. The plot was thoroughly decent too, but the main character brought it home for me. (Added note: For anyone--like my sisters!--who wants to read something from my list, A Hopeless Romantic has sex and swearing in it--a little too much of both for my taste, and Love Walked In is beautifully written but also has a lot of swearing in it. Just to forewarn you . . . )

Alas, my summer of relaxing reading has come to an end. The last 2 weeks, I've buckled down and finally finished revising the article I sent off for submission last March to Computers and Composition. They sent it back in May for revisions but I let the lure of fun reading draw me off track. That and I can't stand revising. Very painful. I finished up my revisions this afternoon and sent off the article. Yay! But I have another waiting for me. If the kids are working, I need to get working too. Hopefully, I can find a better balance between the all-or-nothing approach of the past.


draeves said...

I knew there was something I liked about you--your book list made me smile, since I read many of the same books this spring and summer (Entwined, Wolves, Boys, and Other things that may Kill Me, Hex Hall, Back When You were Easier to Love, and Demonglass). A lot of them were recommendations from my sister--but I met the authors of Entwined, WBOTKM, and Back When You Were Easier to Love at the writing conference I went to this Spring.

Madsen Family said...

Where was this post earlier in the summer so I could have spent less time SEARCHING for something good to read???? Now it's too late because I've somehow acquired a LARGE fine at the library that I'm too cheap to pay. I guess it's officially time to move. I have to add one for you that pleasantly surprised me: The Art of Racing in the Rain. Great book. And I adore reading in my bed, with my robe on, after a hot shower, during a rainstorm. I can think of few things I enjoy more.

bluestocking mama said...

Rosalyn, I probably got a few of those from your good reads list! I'm not sure, but I do try to remember the books you recommend. How fun to meet the authors.

Jessy, thanks for the recommendation. And I hate library fines. You'd think I'd be responsible enough by now to get the books back in time, but I always have fines on my tab.