Friday, August 31, 2007

Reading is Fun!

After reading James and the Troublesome Trucks or Percy Covered in Chocolate for the millionth time, sometimes I need a little break. That's when this former English major drags out her dog-eared, espresso stained, worn and battered second edition of (drumroll please) The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry. Love, love, love this book. All 1865 pages. I don't have my college diploma, my parents have that (as well they should, they paid for it!) but I have this book. If you think you're not into poetry, read Amanda Barker by Edgar Lee Masters:

Henry got me with child,
Knowing that I could not bring forth life
Without losing my own.
In my youth therefore I entered the portals of dust.
Traveler, it is believed in the village where I lived
That Henry loved me with a husband's love,
But I proclaim from the dust
That he slew me to gratify his hatred.

In just these eight lines Miss Amanda becomes a real person. I can hear her voice. I know what she looks like. I can see her spirit leaning against her gravestone telling her story to anyone who passes by.

Class dismissed for now. It seems that little star has fallen out of the sky and Dora must get her back to her friend the moon. Rapidamente!

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79 comments:

  1. its lovely...and I still have that book!

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  2. i love that last bit! i knew exactly what you were talking about! and that was a beautiful poem =)

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  3. Oh Dora...I know her well. Have you met Kai-Lan? She is IT in our house right now.

    Still, I reserve the right to pick the bedtime books and I try to split evenly between children's classics and kid books. We just finished reading The Wizard of Oz (classic "chapter book" version), now we're reading Belly Button Book for several nights in a row while I go out and get a copy of A Wrinkle in Time. I don't know exactly how old your kids are, but our oldest is 5 and he actually loves reading the chapter books with me.

    It might be worth a shot-too much Dora makes you twitch. I should know.

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  4. I love reading to! It's a time to escape from reality!

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  5. this reminds me. i have to catch up on my reading! i've been slacking off the past few days now. a little poetry is what i need!

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  6. i dont think i have ever owned a book with that many pages. perhaps i should go check one out. going into my 30s - i want to broaden my horizons.

    hi from SITS. id love to hear from everyone. im a newbie =)

    happy monday all!!

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  7. Goodness! I hope I can write something that inspires that kind of reaction some day.

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  8. beautiful...absolutely beautiful...happy monday from SITS :-)

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  9. I too love reading....although my bio sons are 15 and 17 I still read many many children books to my other children.
    Loved this post

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  10. What a great poem. (Not that there's anything wrong with Dora) Enjoy your SITS day.

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  11. OMG, I was a former English major, too! I have Norton Anthology's classical masterpieces book, which does have some poetry in it. Like you, I did it out when I need a break from Harry Potter or Charlottes Web. And like you, I didn't get my diploma either, but I cling to my Norton Anthology...just like you! Thanks for sharing, it's nice to see a fellow blogger that I have so much in common with!

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  12. I loved literature so much I became a high school English teacher. My multiple and various Norton anthologies are also well-worn. Happy FB day!

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  13. What a very powerful snippet. I'm not a fan of literature but find myself actually wanting to read 'Amanda Barker'.

    Thanks for Sharing ~ Sandy (SITS)

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  14. LOL! That's hysterical. Glad you enjoy reading books that you can pick & and put down not too long later. (Shhhhhhh...that sentence didn't sound grammatically correct...don't kill me!)

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  15. I am guilty of saying "I am not into poetry" this however is a good passage, thanks. I am also guilty of hiding the "Thomas" books and heading to the library. I find thomas and his friends pretty annoying :)

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  16. I have that one too! I LOVE poetry! :) Stopping by from SITS!

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  17. I missed out on Dora the Explorer - should I be grateful? LOL

    Not much into poetry, I'm sorry to say, but that is simply lovely.

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  18. It sounds lovely. Not a poetry fan myself but then if we were all the same the world would be boring !

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  19. Beautiful lines indeed. Now vamanos back to Dora!

    Happy SITS Day!

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  20. It's nice to know there is literature beyond Good Night Moon

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  21. I have never heard or read that but it is great!

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  22. Great job on the book - sounds like a long one to get through!

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  23. I have a love/hate relationship with poetry. When I like it, I like it a lot.

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  24. That's a beautiful poem! Happy SiTS day!

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  25. Oh, that's good. Really, really good.

    I was never into poetry until I met my husband. He loves Wendell Berry and wooed me with his poetry. I lapped it up.

    I now have a quote from Frost engraved in my wedding ring... I think that's the bomb.

    Happy FB day! You go girl! I look forward to getting to know you!

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  26. Reading books that don't talk about basic manners is something I long to do, but where do you find the time?

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  27. I've never read that before. Hmm.. Thanks for the share :)

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  28. New book to me. Have a great SITS day...

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  29. That is an awesome poem...I'm a pot myself...just came out with my book of poetry. Great site you have!

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  30. This post reminded me of my "to do" list.
    I've promised my daughter I would sew her a Reading Pillow.

    Thanks for the good post and the unintentional reminder. :-)

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  31. Thanks for putting me up on something new. I love to read but I never thought about poetry. I am up for any thing new.

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  32. The older books are so well written!

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  33. Cool poem. But you've got to branch out sister. LOL

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  34. I still have a couple of Norton's that I couldn't bear to sell back too. That's an awesome poem!

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  35. that poem can be interpreted ways and now I'm so confused ;-)

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  36. I still have many of my college books. I jsur couldn't fork out all that money and not keep them. None of my are as great as yours though!

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  37. I have that book too:) Happy FB day from SITS!!!

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  38. Through the years I have given away or thrown away all the old college texts. I have found (through the years) that there is so much more which is so much better than that of the dictated structural world of my college years.

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  39. Thanks for the recommendation. Happy SITS day!

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  40. Never read it but I will now! Thank you for the reccomendation!

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  41. Wow, what a strong poem! Amazing! Thank you so much for sharing it. I really miss my classics, but move over Jane Eyre, make way for Goodnight Moon.

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  42. Oh my. I am a fellow English major, but we do not share your love of Norton. The Norton Anthology of English Literature was my archenemy from 1997-2001. Now, Bevington's "The Complete Works of Shakespeare" is a different story...

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  43. Thanks for sharing that! If it weren't for you, I'd have never read those incredible words...

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  44. always wanted to do English in college but that wasn't "practical" enough. Sigh. However, big poetry lover I am not. Gripping novels, head my way. So maybe I wasn't cut out for an English Major anyways. *L*

    Happy Feature day on SITS!

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  45. Happy SITS Day! I love the last little part!

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  46. Ah, the Norton anthologies! I have several, I don't think I have any poetry, though. This sounds like a juicy one!

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  47. My fav is Robert Frost. I love poetry.

    Happy SITS day!

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  48. Wow! That was a very powerful piece! Better than Dora!!!!

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  49. Love the quick switchback to "Dora".. Vamanos!

    Congrats on your SITS feature!

    Mindy
    Adopt a 'Do - Cute Girls Hairstyles

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  50. Gotta love Dora! Happy SITS day!

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  51. I have so enjoyed helping my son learn how to read, but I do miss reading my OWN books too.

    Check out our blog post today about an adorable custom kids gift! May be just right for your little ones or for your next kids birthday party gift.

    Congrats on your big day today! Your blog is great and I am now a Follower :)

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  52. I don't read much poetry anymore, but thanks for sharing that. It really does paint a picture!

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  53. Nice passage - might have to check that out!

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  54. Love the poem...reminds me of "My Last Duchess" or "Porphyra's Lover." Stopping by from SITS.

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  55. I'm not really into poetry... but I kinda like that.

    happy FB day

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  56. Sometimes, I forget to read for weeks at a time and when I finally pick up a book and read, I remember how amazing it is. Thanks for the reminder!

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  57. it's so easy to read read read to my boys and then not even want to pick up a book by the time I actually get the chance, but once I do, I realize what I've been missing. Wow, that poem was emotional; you could actually feel her saying those things.

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  58. Wonderful poem. I still have all my Norton Anthologies - from being an English major a long, long time ago.

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  59. My kiddo loves books, but she never wants me to read the ones I like. Nope, she wants to read about Christmas in July or about sign language that we DON’T USE. I guess I will give her a break – she’s just 20 months! And after all, you’re right – reading her what she loves helps her grow and makes her happy, and reading myself what I love keeps me sane and somewhat adult! ;)

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  60. Hard to believe there are other reading materials out there besides Thomas and Clifford!!

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  61. Reading to my son is some of the best memories I have of his childhood. I know it can get old though. I used to have "Where the Wild Things" memorized, I read it so much.

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  62. I'm impressed you have a book from college still. I do too, but I'm pretty sure it's only because the bookstore wouldn't buy it back that semester and I definitely don't read it for fun :)

    http://lifeasag.blogspot.com/

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  63. Reading is definitley one thing i want to instill in my kids! Great post!

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  64. lovely poem- good for you for knowing where your "big-people" books are hiding... I can't seem to find anything with pages thinner than the side of a cereal box around here! You've inspired me. Hooray for English Majors!

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  65. Great poem.

    I didn't have that book but I did have The Norton Anthology of English Literature. And my English Lit class had a fantastic teacher. Good memories. :)

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  66. I like to read, but poetry wasn't my thing in college - more of a womens utopian society gal!

    Great post though! Happy SITS!

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  67. Great poem! Powerful!

    I LOVE to read! But, I can't remember the last time I picked up a "me" book. I've got all my son's books memorized... my brain has been reduced to mush...

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  68. Too funny, I remember that poem! I still have all my Norton anthologies from college, those are some of my favorite books. :)

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  69. AH!! I about choked when I read that you are a poetry reader too! I have poetry books and no one in my family/friends circle understand why. I love to read poetry, especially authors like e e cummings and Langston Hughes. So cool!

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Thanks for commenting!