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…
I have a nice little stack of books going on at home lately, so I wanted to share some of the titles I’m currently perusing. As yesterday’s post conveys I am completely enjoying the coziness the autumn season brings, and my book choices of late reflect my feelings.
Prompted last week by finishing “The Art of Tasha Tudor” by Davis, I was inspired to request many of the books she illustrated (I have library visit in quotes because I didn’t actually make a special library visit, I requested the books to come to the library I work at. I know, took the easy way out. And the less fun way). I absolutely love Tasha Tudor’s illustrations. They evoke New England life and country life and simple life so beautifully, I want to jump right in one of them and live there. So I requested “Around the Year”, one of Tasha’s picture books which show children appreciating all of New England’s varying seasons. I also requested “A Child’s Garden of Verses, which was written by Robert Louis Stevenson and illustrated by Tasha Tudor. I wanted to take that one out because I too dream of illustrating poetry someday. Next I requested “The New England Butt’ry Shelf Almanac: being a collation of observations on New England people, birds, flowers, herbs, weather, customs, and cookery of yesterday and today” by Mary Mason Campell and illustrated by Tasha Tudor. What a gorgeous little book! I’m reading it a little bit each day on my lunch break. Finishing off the current Tasha Tudor obsession, I also requested “Drawn from New England” which is a portrait of Tasha in words and pictures by her daughter Bethany Tudor. Inspirational stuff.
Lately I’ve also been inspired by English gardening and architecture so in that vein I requested “Arts and Crafts Master: the Houses and Gardens of M. H. Baillie Scott by Ian Macdonald-Smith and “English Cottage Gardening for American Gardeners” by Margaret Hensel. I know I’m far away from gardening, and even farther away from an English manor house, but I still enjoy getting drawn in by the lovely photographs. Lastly, I got the book “Architectural Graphics” by Francis D.K. Ching. I thoroughly enjoy designing houses and drawing floorplans, so I want to learn some of the more technical (correct) ways to draw plans.
Well that rounds out my book selection for this week, what are you reading?
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