Poetry Books: Goldenrod and The Book of Love, and More

The title poem of Goldenrod by Maggie Smith reminds me of my time as a very novice student of nature last year. And I’m not purposely or only picking gold-colored things for the blog :), but I won’t outright deny a gold-colored thing for variety either. My brief reflection of the book:

Goldenrod by Maggie Smith (2021): Its philosophy’s most clear when the poem speaks aloud and the author seems to let it happen, more like driving a horse-drawn carriage though than rabid horses running free ;). In this way, I found the whispers in this book most meaningful.

It’s also great how this collection makes a landscape known: here it’s Ohio and the midwest, certain landscape features connected with human life and slight confessions lead my favorite poems in this.

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I’ve been finding so many mentions of “Ohio” with new poets, artists, authors I’d come across in recent days. It is kind of like the state of Ohio says hi to me, and when I try to picture this state of Ohio, I have no picture come to mind.

Reading through the book again today, I paid attention to the landscape: pale yellow curls, many of them, broad fields, abandoned ‘ghost’ gardens throughout other nearby cities named, and great meadows with wildflowers.

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I have read 3 books by the poet Rumi, a writer who’s evoked an endearing response from me over time, one of the first poets I’d found myself without a classroom, and this book:

Rumi: The Book of Love (2002) translations by Coleman Barks has been my favorite of the word-based poetry books of Rumi’s I’ve seen. It contains his love poetry with interesting word/line placement and a very consistent, forward and strong, yet humbled, and deeply in love voice, along with very simple zen ink brushstroke art scattered between the poems. (An art I’d write on this blog sometimes, the digital keyboard symbol version of it 😉 just before I got this book.)

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As I’ve found my feelings toward this classic 800 yr old poet very much like ones from a proud, protective older sister (and I am about more than 700 yrs younger than Rumi), I have also written of how I’ve been careless with this dear poet at times and have unintentionally forgotten him or major details to include when writing posts of appreciation for him. And then it was as if he finally got to play a joke on me!

I was excited to read a poetry book of his I’d ordered, and I thought the package I’d had been holding with me awhile without yet opening contained his book. I waited to open it. I then sat down and opened the package, smiling, when out falls my little pocket daily face lotion for sensitive skin, and out falls the second identical lotion I’d also bought: just two little identical herbal blend pocket lotions, and no Rumi…

But the book(s) did come. And when I took the fantasy novel I am moving through almost more than mid-way now, the one I will read tonight called Uprooted by Naomi Novik, with a fairytale cover and a classic, caught in the woods-storybook feeling, I noticed a little book on my shelf, not yet read shelf and thought, Wow, I forgot all about this Rumi! Oh no!

But it is fine as poetry books last as long as you’d like, and I’m looking forward to reading this fourth collection I’d bought and have yet to read called The Unseen Poems, a perfect finale for poetry books by Rumi on my shelf now; the poet celebrates a birthday this month, September, the 30th.

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Speaking of pocket-sized things, you must see that I’ve just wanted to sketch with my pencil these days, on the go! with my pocket sketchbooks, and I like having a modest, but ample collection of a variety of sketchbook sizes and paper. This has been a very warm comfort to my attention.

This weekend was my cousin in law’s wedding and a trip not too far, but a night away, and I was full of energy, full intensity dancing the whole time, and my husband joined me too.

Somehow I’d lost my favorite pajamas 😦 on the trip, but the dress I’d found to wear to the wedding has the air of an antique dress, and I want to wear it again. I found a special thing traveling then that warmed my heart from the start and simply exudes love; that too, you’ll see.

Jade

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