Sunday, September 8, 2013

Summer Reading

New Brunswick Public Library Service
This is the library closest to me.
It is at Honour House Court, Riverview.
 
 
Summer reading has been summer studying.  I've switched from writing for hours a day to reading for hours a day over the past six weeks.  I'm studying the poetry I admire, to learn about how and why it works. 

Of course, I'm reading initially for enjoyment.  But when I see a poem or rather feel a poem reverberating within me, I go back to it to discover the why and how of it.  Every poet has a style and a voice, sometimes many; often changing over the span of their work.  I'm searching for those whose works have resonance with my life, my voice, my style, my work; or I with them.  And, too, exploring those different from mine.

After the initial burst of recognition and pleasure with a read, the studying begins.  It is quiet, sometimes lonely work and limited, as I don't know what I don't know.  I learn what I am able to learn and pay attention to what new areas the learning opens for me. 

I am lucky that there are generous writers and poets in my world, who have shared lists of poems and poets helpful to them in their own learning processes.  Lists have introduced me to work by my favourites writers, previously undiscovered work, and to new writers; not always new but new to me.  For that guidance, I am grateful.

Most of the books recommended are available through the New Brunswick Public Library Service.  The few which aren't, I am searching for in a store that sells used books.

At one time, when I was still working at paid employment, I would have methodically searched out these books and bought them, as funds permitted.  I love books and enjoy owning copies to remove from my shelf and read again and again.  But that extravagance is no longer possible and the library system will allow me to borrow books as often as I need.  The hunt through used book stores is a delightful tour of well loved books given up by other readers.

The summer has been about reading poetry and studying poetry.  It has been about learning to live lightly on this earth and giving up the need to own every book I read. 

It is also about the joy of discovering the intricacies and hard work that go into creating really fine poetry.  And discovering that people, whose poetry I admire to the point of feeling intimidated by their talent and craft, their hard work, are generous and kind in offering suggestions and reading lists, and their thoughts on my work.

I am thankful for these poets, for the library and for used book stores.  I have learned from each of them.  And while I will continue to read each day, it's time to return to my writing.

Thank you to every person who has helped me along the way.  You know who you are.

6 comments:

Rambling Woods said...

It is wonderful how generous people can be with their time... Michelle

Carol Steel said...

It is truly so, Michele. People have been generous with time and advice, comments and suggestions. I feel quite shy about asking as they are so much farther along the writing and publishing trail than I am, but then I remember they had to learn at some point too.

Margie said...

I am a true patron of the library.
That is a beautiful that you have.

Happy reading :)

aspiritofsimplicity said...

I love libraries and second hand book stores. It's always an adventure. I tend not to buy as many books now because I just don't have the room for them. I'm going back to school in my mid-life and am doing a lot of writing!

Rambling Woods said...

Carol...I wanted to let you know that several species of birds cache seeds. Chickadees, nuthatches and blue jays will all tuck seeds away for the winter and then remember mostly where they put them. I go through a lot of sunflower seeds at this time of year as the birds take them to save...Michelle

Carol Steel said...

I feel fortunate to have a library so close at hand. They are so helpful to me.