Tuesday, May 3, 2011

who is rich?

I sat down with a new book; Reading My Father

Had you been here, you'd have seen me stick my nose deep in the pages for that first whiff of ink on new paper.  Ah...  Then I'd do it again.  And again.  Probably again. 

For me, the smell of a new book ranks second only to puppy breath. 

Reading My Father is a memoir by Alexandra Styron, daughter of the famous novelist, William Styron.  Yet it wasn't her father's familiarity (favorites being Sophie's Choice and Darkness Visible) that made me want to read her story.  It was the cover photograph.  Does she miss her dad, too?

I came to explore the wreck.
The words are purposes.
The words are maps.
I came to see the damage that was done
and the treasures that prevail.

Adrienne Rich
Diving Into The Wreck

With this opening, I sense where we're going and I can't wait.  I reread the quote.  I smell the book again.

Thirty pages later, I place an Il Tesoro label inside, marking the page.  It's a small one from the stack of wine bottle labels I use as bookmarks, often leaving them in library books as gifts for others to find.  I go to bed wondering about Adrienne Rich. 

The following afternoon passed at my desk, cleaning files, clearing memory cards.  I check my blog.  Is anyone reading?  Just the usual number, with a new reader in Slovenia, another one in Lithuania.  How do they happen upon 3906?  Will they return?

Sipping a second cappuccino, I catch up on a couple of food blogs I like; No Recipes, then Orangette.  Orangette is talking about Adrienne Rich and Diving Into The Wreck.  What?!?! 

I lean in as if proximity will help me process what I just read.  Orangette is talking about Adrienne Rich and Diving Into The Wreck!

It's unnerving. 

In a span of just a few hours, two writers have introduced me to a forty-year-old book by a poet I've never read.

I did read E E Cummings, a line still vaguely remembered about the medicine (cure) being in her long, unbraided hair (as braids were let loose in bed).  I read some classics.  But when Diving Into The Wreck came out in the early 70's, songwriters were my poets.  I guess that's how I missed Adrienne Rich.

I rushed to place Diving Into The Wreck on my library list. 

There must be a purpose. 

It must be a map.

I have to explore.

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