“What are you Reading?” Big 5 Challenge

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATo answer  The Big 5 Challenge – “What are you reading?” is not really easy, simply because I’m reading oodles of things!  So I decided to narrow the question down a tad.

I’m reading Spoon River…again.  I’m originally from Illinois, which hasn’t really got anything to do with why I’m reading Spoon River, I’m also reading a book of short stories by Bradbury, ah, yes he’s from Illinois too…anyway…well, I’ve found that both authors in some mystical way do remind me of my childhood origins.  True, I lived in that State for about a total of maybe 4 years in all my 62, and never as an adult, however, it’s probably like having an  Italian or German background…the cultural remnants are in one’s make-up through the family.

I especially liked this poem:

Petit, the Poet

SEEDS in a dry pod, tick, tick, tick,
Tick, tick, tick, like mites in a quarrel—
Faint iambics that the full breeze wakens—
But the pine tree makes a symphony thereof.
Triolets, villanelles, rondels, rondeaus,
Ballades by the score with the same old thought:
The snows and the roses of yesterday are vanished;
And what is love but a rose that fades?
Life all around me here in the village:
Tragedy, comedy, valor and truth,
Courage, constancy, heroism, failure—
All in the loom, and oh what patterns!
Woodlands, meadows, streams and rivers—
Blind to all of it all my life long.
Triolets, villanelles, rondels, rondeaus,
Seeds in a dry pod, tick, tick, tick,
Tick, tick, tick, what little iambics,
While Homer and Whitman roared in the pines?

Anthology of Spoon River – Edgar Lee Masters

Here Petit laments how he’s wasted his art, following form and worn out imagery.  As a beginning poet, one wonders…are the forms actually necessary?  The rose is lovely, but isn’t there more to life than faded flowers?

I often get a little bored with love struck, star-crossed, faded rose poetry.  I don’t disdain any of it, but sometimes it’s so stale. I want to write something different, so I turn to the beat generation or slog through different forms, even from other cultures to find my particular voice. Problem is I don’t really know what I’m looking for.  I wonder, do I actually have anything in particular to say?  I see many who have great ambitions and I admire their ambitions.  I think my problem is, perhaps, that I don’t have any particular dreams or ambition.

The other day, I was going to write a post for a challenge about this.  About doing what one has always dreamt of doing.  And couldn’t.  My muse just absolutely refused to write that post!  I tried in short story form, using poetics and finally just in out-and-out non-fiction prose.  Nothing.  Couldn’t write it.  It’s not that I haven’t always dreamt of being a writer;  I have, as well as being an artist and a singer too.  However, the way I’ve lived my life has been…carpe diem.  Whatever presents itself, I try it.

Kind of a goofy way to live ones life I suppose, but it has been an interesting life.  So, I’ve sung, in choirs all around the world.  Nothing to become famous about…but I loved doing it.  I’ve participated in art shows and charity sales where my work has been present.  Again, nothing to make me famous…just something I liked doing and did it. Now, I write this blog.  The opportunity was there so I decided to play around whilst being published, in a way. Basically, I’ve found that it’s great fun!  But, It’s not what one would really call, publishing, is it.

I have to thank Sahm King  if I do have something actually published in a book of poetry.  A free book to be sure, an e-book as well  but still it’s a book.  Who knows if I’ll ever get around to reading, editing, retyping, formatting and publishing any of my own work.  Maybe…but first of all, I’d like to find something really worth publishing among all the stuff I’ve written…something distinctive, something that is original and is me.

So, here’s my reply to “What are You Reading?”.  Yes, Spoon River, but because of this particular book, I’m also reading myself.

And you, what are you reading?