Monday, December 31, 2007

traveling mercies

I finished my first book since school got out about a week and a half ago. I read Anne Lamott's Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith. The book made me laugh out loud, and it was a great book to pick up in the post-semester haze that makes reading anything hard for a bit. Lamott's stories moved and created space for deeper thought, reflection, and insight into one's own life in a memoirish type manner, but without the typical evangelical language and coziness of a more reformed framework of Blue Like Jazz. The short stories that make up Traveling Mercies both worked together, yet had enough differences to not become redundant. And it was funny, really funny at times, like I'd laugh out loud on the plane, or in the doctor's office, or just sitting on the couch (or sometimes toilet). I loved it, and it was just the right book for the holidays. One of my favorite things about the book was the interspersed poetry, whether by Lamott, or most-often quoted from others.

I was also reading over on the McCarty's blog, and saw the most recent poetry post by Kristen with funny picture to boot, and I thought that this would be as good a time as ever to ask for some recommendations on some of your favorite poets or books of poetry. I try to keep a book of poetry open throughout the semester, but would love to make some new poet friends through their work. Any recommendations? I'd love to hear who you are reading, or who you think I should read...


april said...

i feel like i can never go wrong with W. S. Merwin. "The Second Four Books of Poems" is my favorite collection of his.

but of course, "leaves of grass" and TS Eliot are always standbys. better than the bible, i often (or always) think.

Stephen said...

I was thinking of trying ELIZABETH BISHOP: THE COMPLETE POEMS this year. Poet Judith Valente recommends her - Judith is a good poet as well and is on NPR. She and her husband, Charles Reynard, have a good book of poems: TWENTY POEMS TO NOURISH YOUR SOUL. I'll probably try to read that one as well. Have fun!