When I come across a poem I love, I will write it in my journal. “A Timbered Choir” by Wendell Berry is a poem I never want to forget. I think it is my all-time favorite poem if I had to chose one. Forgive my little scribbles and messy handwriting but I felt it more fun to share this way then to just type it out here. But if you really want to experience this poem, please scroll down to the link below to hear Berry read it for himself!
Wendell Berry himself reads his beautiful poem in the video made by Laura Dunn posted in the link below. The video is the trailer for the film “Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry”. The film itself is beautifully made and relaxing and an interesting portrait of the author and farmer’s life. Do have a listen to the trailer, you won’t regret it:
Look & See Trailer by Laura Dunn on Vimeo
After watching it, I am sure you understand why this poem has been echoing in my mind lately. The cadence of his voice and the powerful images in the video are captivating, important, real, and stopped me in my tracks. I’ve listened to his voice read “The Timbered Choir” over and over. I intend to read a lot more of Wendell Berry’s work.
Do you want to know why I am a really bad librarian? Well, other than the fact that I quit my library job… I have always been a bad librarian because I said for years that I “hated classics.” *everyone gasps* Yup. I said it. But now, in my older, wiser (ha!) years, I have decided to turn over a new leaf and give the classic literature another go. Perhaps it’s because I am at a different phase in life, or perhaps it’s because I am not forced to read these books in ridiculously large page amounts per night as an assignment, or perhaps because I am not tediously picking apart every passage to write a paper…I will say that classics are not so bad at all. I don’t think I hate them anymore. Rather, I think I love them. And I think I have been missing out all these years. Maybe we just started with a really good one? I say “we” because at the beginning of August, one of my best friends inspired me to start reading the classics. Because she is a good librarian (really, she is), she has been reading and enjoying classic books all along. I saw her reading Great Expectations one day, and I thought, “really, I ought to be reading that too” and thus the idea was planted in my mind that we should read the classics together to make it more fun for me. We decided to start with Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca, because my good librarian friend was already in the midst of it and enjoying it. I picked it up from the library, dove right in, and thoroughly enjoyed it too! To my great surprise, it was a page-turner! I really liked it! I finished it quickly and it got me hungry for more classics. So I read through Anne Bronte’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. While not as enthralling as Rebecca in my opinion, it was still a very good read and kept me interested. I will admit, I did have a little hiccup last week with Wuthering Heights. Sorry Emily Bronte… but I just couldn’t finish it. The characters were so unpleasant I truly wanted them out of my mind. I should finish it eventually but I needed a break. So my friend and I settled on Persuasion, my first time reading Jane Austen ever. I’m finding it a bit more difficult to get into then the other three classics I’ve read so far, but I’m only on the 3rd chapter. I’m feeling positive about it though. I log my reading materials on goodreads which is an easy and fun way to keep track of what I’ve read and still want to read. I also love giving books ratings from 1-5 stars. Rebecca was 5 stars. The tea party we had to watch the Hitchcock movie version of the story was also 5 stars 🙂 And if a movie producer happens to come across my blog (ha!) please, make another version of Rebecca. It would be such an awesome movie. Not that I didn’t like the Hitchcock version, but one in color with awesome music and a beautiful setting would be so amazing. Come on movie producers…
Whenever I say I want to visit a library, people look at me with a measure of surprise. “Don’t you work at a library?” they ask. Yes, I do spend most of my days at a library. Yet working in a library and being a patron at a library are two very different things. So that is why, every month or so (I wish it were more) I will visit another library in our consortium and just be a patron. Browsing the stacks is one of my favorite things to do- and oftentimes, I go a little overboard. Here’s what I picked up Monday night:
Field Guide to Birds: Eastern Region” by: the National Audubon Society. We have so many interesting and pretty birds twittering around our house, and I want to get more familiar with them.
Howard’s End is on the Landing by: Susan Hill. The author takes a trip through her own personal library- she only reads books she already owns for one year- and discovers many things.
Daybook: the Journal of an Artist by: Anne Truitt. This is a deeply personal and beautiful journal of Anne Truitt, who was a sculptor. She writes of what it means to be an artist- when does one actually become “an artist”? A question I have been pondering of late.
Poems of William Wordsworth. I want to familiarize myself with the great poets. I started with Wordsworth… well, for no particular reason. Sure to inspire though!
The Watercolor Artist’s Bible by: Marylin Scott. I want to peruse various watercolor techniques. I will post about watercolors one of these days.. I’m getting very into them!
French Women Don’t Get Fat by: Mireille Guiliano. The art of eating for pleasure- I love that! The way the French view dining.. ahh, I love it.
Red Bird by: Mary Oliver. Oliver is becoming one of my favorite poets. She is very inspiring. Her poems are the perfect mix between beauty and readability. If you are not familiar with her work, pick up one of her books soon!
Still Points North by: Leigh Newman. A memoir about growing up in Alaska? I’ll take it.
The Country Diary of Garden Lore by: Julia Jones and Barbara Deer. With a title like that, how could I resist??
A Trail Through Leaves by: Hinchman. A guide to nature journaling, with text and drawings.
Well, that’s quite the stack I got for myself. I’ll be hard pressed to read them all in 3 weeks. I usually read them all at once, which is probably not the best method. Pick one up, put it down, try another.. repeat, repeat…
I am foreseeing needing a few renewals on this stack 🙂
What are you reading lately?
Sometimes it feels like I have too many interests. Too many books to read. Too many projects. But on a snowy afternoon like this, I love having all these little odds and ends to choose from:
The green scarf is for Ethan. It’s my “sampler” scarf that Tammy at my work is helping me with. She taught me to purl, which has opened up a variety of new patterns and designs for my knitting. The embroidery is a pattern from an old Dutch sampler, I’m doing it in all one color to get the hang of it, but hopefully more colorful embroidery will happen in the future. Although, I’m loving the red on ivory contrast, I can thank @soulemama for her inspiration. Along with all the projects, I am wading through piles of books that I keep compulsively checking out of the library- crewel embroidery, Home Economics (vintage home care- a gift from Morgan), Aesop’s Fables, the Nature Notes and Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, The World of Downton Abbey (season 3 is coming up so soon!!!), the complete poems of e.e. Cummings, and A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar (Library Journal rated it the best historical fiction novel of 2012, so I had to give it a try). Keeping me company amongst all these pursuits is a warm peppermint latte in my favorite mug. Here’s to a snowy Sunday afternoon~ enjoy yours too! x C