Butterflies had me searching tonight. First, for one obscure article on Margaret Laurence’s children’s fiction and then again when I encountered this word: lepidopterist. It seems Vladimir Nabokov knew butterflies well. Tonight as I search for more articles on Margaret Laurence, I’m wondering how much of a writer’s world does the reader need to know? How much does the reader need to know about what goes in to a novel or a poem to enjoy it/not enjoy it? Should there be more to the relationship of the reader/writer through the text? Like a word we don’t know, should we search for every detail to make the story complete?

My first experience

…being on TV today. It wasn’t live, and it wasn’t rehearsed–although it wouldn’t have hurt–but all in all I think my less than 15 minutes of fame was fun. I don’t know yet what it looks like, or how I’ll sound, and I don’t know if I want to– I recall trying to listen to a radio show with only myself as the guest, and I couldn’t listen to the whole program. I believe I listened to only a few minutes of myself and then switched me off. It’s a bit odd to listen to my own voice, and I can’t imagine how critical I will be if I have to look at myself. But, then again, there’s nothing better in life than dissing yourself.

One essay done…

and I’m no closer to the finish line than the tortoise when it started–the tortoise and the hare? Or in my case, hair. Ha! My next essay is much more frightening as it involves Hegel’s dialectic, history and contingency in Richard Howard’s “Fallacies of Wonder” from his book Talking Cures. The poem deals with literary history, or more accurately, tradition, the tragedy of 9/11 and the individual. It seemed so simple of an idea. If there are any Hegel experts out there talk to me!


… is something I’m trying to do more of, and something I haven’t done enough. A friend recently remarked he’d like to be a rockstar/poet. I don’t think this is a new idea. (I think some rockstars think they’re poets but not many poets think they’re rockstars). Maybe I simply need to listen to poems differently, listen to the sound of the words rising from the page to understand this rockin music.

I recently found out

… about Stanley Burnshaw’s death in September of this year. (He was 99). September was about the same time I found a first edition copy of The Poem Itself at the local used book store. It’s a marvelous book of translations of 45 modern poets–pre 1960’s modern–along with “interpretative discussion” on each poem. Some of the poets included are: Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Mallarme, Holderlin, Rilke, Brecht, Lorca, Neruda, and many I haven’t heard of, nor read, but that I’m eager to read. It seems like the thing to read as the sky blows snow at the house, again and again, piling it like poems at the back door, waiting for translation.

Let them eat cake

Writers seem to have a thing for cake. Chocolate cake, miniature jelly roll cake, and chocolate rum cake were some of the assorted desserts to be found at Saskatchewan Book Awards Shortlist Brunch. It was held in the elegant ballroom of the stately Hotel Saskatchewan . The readers today were Sandra Birdsell, Maggie Siggins, Kathleen Wall, and John Chaput. They were wonderful, amusing and enjoyable. (The rest of the food was great too!)

In search of ancient ritual

While researching my history essay topic–ancient women’s health–I found myself gravitating toward the poetry section of the bookstore. Sure, I know I won’t find much about Ancient Egyptian medicine in the local bookstore, but the searching is ritualistic, an impassioned quest for something surreal, abstract or concrete. Essays make me want to read poetry. Instead of finding ancient women, I found someone modern and real.