Monday, 31 October 2011

Mmm… Monday: Charles Bukowski, Part the First

Last week was absolute murder. I was putting in overtime at work, which meant I came home later than usual, more tired than usual and pretty much just had enough energy to eat and go to bed. I tried reading Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev, but kept falling asleep a few paragraphs in, so I just gave up reading all together. The weekend was busy as well, and it really feels wrong not reading – like I’m stuck in this boring world which consists of me working, eating and sleeping on repeat.

I’m supposed to go see Pina in about an hour (if I’m able to leave the office, that is), and so there’s probably no one to better fit my frame of mind right now than Charles Bukowski.

And I base that on absolutely nothing.


Are You Drinking?

washed-up, on shore, the old yellow notebook
out again
I write from the bed
as I did last
year.
will see the doctor,
Monday.
"yes, doctor, weak legs, vertigo, head-
aches and my back
hurts."
"are you drinking?" he will ask.
"are you getting your
excersise, your
vitamins?"
I think that I am just ill
with life, the same stale yet
fluctuating
factors.
even at the track
I watch the horses run by
and it seems
meaningless.
I leave early after buying tickets on the
remaining races.
"taking off?" asks the motel
clerk.
"yes, it's boring,"
i tell him.
"If you think it's boring
out there," he tells me, "you oughta be
back here."
so here I wam
propped up against my pillows
again
just an old guy
just an old writer
with a yellow
notebook.
something is
walking across the
floor
toward
me.
oh, it's just
my cat
this
time.


It’s taken me about two hours to squeeze in reading this poem and now I’m posting it, silently repeating the lines

I think that I am just ill
with life, the same stale yet
fluctuating
factors.

And I can't put into words how much I love those last two sentenses of the poem. They pretty much sum up everything that I am right now.

Except I don't have a cat. 

Ah well, less than two weeks till my long weekend break to Berlin. Time can’t move fast enough.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Quote of the Week

"Tell me what you read and I'll tell you who you are" is true enough, but I'd know you better if you told me what you reread. 

- François Mauriac

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Player One by Douglas Coupland (4/5)

The back says: A real-time five-hour story set in an airport cocktail lounge during a global disaster. Five disparate people are trapped inside: Karen, a single mother waiting for her online date; Rick, the down-on-his-luck airport lounge bartender; Luke, a pastor on the run; Rachel, a cool Hitchcock blonde incapable of true human contact; and finally a mysterious voice known as Player One. Slowly, each reveals the truth about themselves while the world as they know it comes to an end.

I say: This is the first I’ve read by Coupland (for some inexplicable reason), but definitely not the last.

I’m not quite sure how to write this review because, to me, there are two sides to this book. On the one hand we have the actual story and the way it’s written, and on the other hand we have all of the issues that Coupland brings up.

If we start with the story itself, I found it intriguing. I rarely pay attention to the concept of "real-time" since I sometimes read fast and sometimes slow – also I didn’t read this in one go – but I can see why Coupland chose to write it as such; it illuminated what he was trying to say. Or, my interpretation of what he wanted to say. The way that all of these characters changed within the space of these five hours is amazing, mostly because it was so subtle for some of them. I really liked the fact that we got to be in each character’s head and see what they thought about each other and their situation and how that came to relate to themselves.

One thing that I didn’t like was the narration of Player One. At least not until the end. Prior to that it simply felt like Player One was rehashing what we already knew and then adding bits of information that was about to happen. I mean, it literally says ”what will happen next is” (p.42) and then there was an outline followed by us being brought back to the story and those exact things happening.

”I’m actually more of a ghost than a soul, but it remains to be seen when I got here and how it happened.”
– p 42

Having found out who/what Player One was I still see no reason for those little interceptions.

And on to the other hand, which was all the issues that Coupland brought up. I’m not even going to begin to discuss them (I like having those discussions in a forum where I can get a reply, rather than just typing them up) as I could go on for days and still not be done. What we’re dealing with is hardly anything that hasn’t been dealt with before and Coupland doesn’t really bring anything new to the table, but I do like the way he did it. Of course (very presumptuous of me) we’re dealing with religion, society, identity, etc. and the most interesting thing in the novel (for me, at least) time – the very concept of time.

This is the type of novel that I rate higher due to the fact that it makes me think, rather than the storyline. Thus not saying that there was anything wrong with it, it’s just that I know that what I will remember about this are the problems/issues brought up and how I relate to them.

Favourite character was most definitely Rachel and her desire (or was that obsession) to prove that she was human.

Also, I liked the dictionary at the back of the book - it had a lot of useful (?) terms.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Mmm... Monday: Daniel Beaty, Part the First

I thought I'd post a video of a poem today instead of just the words, and I felt like sharing this because it's so powerful and always makes me cry.



His voice. 

I get chills every single time.

And the line

"Papa come home cos I decided a while back I want to be just like you, but I'm forgetting who you are."

Heartbreak.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Quote of the Week

"You should never read just for "enjoyment." Read to make yourself smarter! Less judgmental. More apt to understand your friends' insane behavior, or better yet, your own. Pick "hard books." Ones you have to concentrate on while reading. And for god's sake, don't let me ever hear you say, "I can't read fiction. I only have time for the truth." Fiction is the truth, fool! Ever hear of "literature"? That means fiction, too, stupid." 
 

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho (1.5/5)

The back says: Veronika has everything she could wish for – young and pretty, with plenty of attractive boyfriends, a steady job, a loving family. Yet Veronika is not happy and one winter’s morning she takes an overdose of sleeping pills, only to wake up some time later in the local hospital. There she is told that although she is alive, her heart is now irreparably damaged and she has only a few days to live…

This story follows her through these intense days as she starts to question all her ideas about life. Soon she comes to realize that every second of existence is a choice we all make between living and dying. This is a moving and uplifting song to life, one that reminds us that every momentin our lives is special and precious.

I say: Ok, so before I start this review I have to point out that there’s this blog that I read regularly (no need to mention names) where the authors all have some form of issue with Coelho. I had never read anything by him, but after one of them gave his name as reply to a question that went something along the lines of “if you go home with someone (assuming after a night out), what one book/author on their bookshelves would make you turn around and leave?”

Obviously, I was intrigued.

Note: I have known about Coelho for years, but just never felt the urge to read anything by him. So when I came across this at the charity shop I thought “I might as well.”

Although, I really shouldn’t have.

I’ll come right out and say it: I genuinely hated this. Really just hated it. I had to force myself to keep reading, and not just because I kept falling asleep out of boredom, or rolling my eyes at the inane language, or having to retrieve the book after flinging it across the room, but mostly because I hate leaving things unfinished.

And also because my friend told me that she liked the twist at the end.

The twist that I figured out somewhere around page 40 and kept hoping that that wasn’t what she meant because it’s not a twist if you can see it coming – it’s just a very prolonged turn.

Now, to make this a little more constructive I’ll tell you exactly what made me hate this.

The first thing occurred on the very first page where Coelho namedrops himself.

In third person.

I mean, come the hell on!

I’ve never understood why authors do that in a work of fiction. “Oh hey, look at me. I’m so full of awesome that even the people I invent love me.”

Stupid.

Then I thought that perhaps he was retelling a true story that he was a part of, which made me think even worse of him because why write it in that manner?

The second thing was the reasons Veronika wanted to end her life. Now, far be it for me to decide why people should or shouldn’t kill themselves, but really? Yes, Coelho was trying to point out how pointless Veronika’s reasons were, but just ugh.

The third reason was Coelho namedropping himself again, and talking about how his parents had him put in a mental hospital.

“Paulo Coelho wanted to know all the details of what had happened, because he had a geniuine reason for finding out about Veronika’s story.

The reason was the following: he himself had been admitted into an asylum or, rather, mental hospital as they were better know. And this had happened not once, but three times, in 1965, 1966 and 1967. The place where he had been interned was the Dr Eiras Sanatorium in Rio de Janeiro.” – p 16


Why are we being given this information? What does this have to do with the story? Who cares about Paulo Coelho being in a mental hospital?

And this self-lovefest ends as such:

“So let us allow Paulo Coelho […] to leave this book for good and let us get on with the story.” – p 17

Just...

*sigh*

This is where I just gave up on the thing altogether and merely kept reading to find the twist that never was, and it pained me to keep going. The prose was just so grating; the characters were such dull simpletons with no discernable depth; not to mention all these really inanely pseudo-insightful sentences here and there that made me cringe, and then throw the book across the room.

Repeatedly.

I know I already mentioned that but it bears repeating.

I’m still going to read The Alchemist when it’s available at the library, and we’ll see how that goes.

So yeah, 1.5/5 because there were a few interesting questions in here, I just didn’t like the way they were presented or dealt with.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Det är Bara Gudarna som är Nya av Johannes Anyuru (4/5)

Bokus säger: Johannes Anyurus debut är en flödande lyrisk diktsvit, där han använder Iliaden som ram och resonansbotten för sin skildring av storstadsförorten och det samtida Sverige. Som i ett enda, laddat andetag sträcker sig dikten från den första sidan till den sista. Det är starkt, vackert, angeläget, gör ont och glöder.

Jag säger: Det var länge sen jag läste en svensk bok – och ännu längre sen jag läste svenska dikter, och det känns väldigt sorgligt när det finns poeter som Anyuru. Det var någon på biblioteket som nämnde denna och det var nog mest pga titeln som jag plockade upp den, och glad är jag för det.

"Hjälten, dödsdömd och envis, förblir
densamme.

Det är bara gudarna
som är nya."
s. 31

Förortskille skriver dikter om förortsliv – det är något med det där som annars hade fått mig att rygga tillbaka; jag kommer inte från förorten så jag kan inte relatera, mina fördomar och erfarenheter säger mig att detta kommer att bli jobbigt. Och det var det. Fast inte på grund utav förorten, utan på grund av livet – det där hårda, sorgsna och kanske lite smått trasiga liv som Anyuru beskriver. Den sorts liv som jag gärna läser om så länge etiketten inte är ifylld.

"det som ges ett namn ges också
ljus och tyngd och möjlighet
att falla"
s. 47

Det är tydligt att Anyuru kan sitt språk och använder det med aktning. Det är många vackra meningar, men ibland dyker det upp en och annan svordom, lite slang, ett citat och en stänk engelska. Detta känns som en observation – men om jag blir medtagna på en resa genom den här s.k. förorten eller bara genom Anyuru är svårt att urskilja.  

"Himlen kommer förmodligen
stå på hela natten
utan någon kanal ordentligt inställd"
s. 38

Jag har inte läst Iliaden, så kanske var det referenser här i som jag missade, men jag tror inte att jag förlorade något på det – snarare att samlingen blir djupare när jag återkommer till den efter att jag läst Iliaden. För återkomma gör jag definitivt.

"när man skär i dikter blir de större,
när man skär i människor
krymper de."
s. 67

Det är bara synd att jag inte hittar den i någon handel (lånade den från biblioteket).

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

The Tiny Wife by Andrew Kaufman (4/5)

The back says: A robber charges into a bank with a loaded gun, but instead of taking any money he steals as item of sentimental value from each person. Once he has made his escape, strange things start to happen to the victims.

A tattoo comes to life, a husband turns into a snowman, a baby starts to shit money. And Stacey Hinterland discovers that she's shrinking, a little every day, and there is seemingly nothing that she or her husband can do to reverse the process.

Can Stacey and the other victims find a solution before it is too late?

I say: Oh my, what a delightful little read this was. I picked it up because Scott Pack said it was great, and if Scott Pack says that something is great then… well, it’s great.

Almost always.

But enough about that and more about The Tiny Wife. As strange as the synopsis makes this out to be it doesn’t really capture how wonderfully quirky this is. I had no idea what to expect, and found that once I started reading I couldn’t get over trying to figure out the why’s and the how’s and the huh’s. I have a theory, but I’m still not sure that it’s correct and may have to read this again to make sure;

and I absolutely love that about this.

This isn’t really criticism as such, but it just sort of felt like the stories were a bit rushed. I wish it was longer – which is actually a good thing, me wanting more of the same – because Kaufman created such wonderfulness that I wanted to explore far more in depth. I obviously knew it was going to be short when I started reading, I just didn’t expect to want to dive into this world and stay lost in there for a while.

In a way it’s a love/hate thing: I love that we are only given these glimpses of what happened (the stories are being (re)told by Stacey Hinterland’s husband – who didn’t witness the robbery), but also hate that we’re not being told everything.

Aside: I’m actually really annoyed that my nieces don’t know enough English (and are maybe a tad too young) for me to be able to read this to them, because I just want to share the magic.

This is one of those fables that you can take from as much as you want - and I want a lot.

So yeah, a 4/5 because I wanted more – and I made the library buy this, so now I’ll have to go and get a copy for myself.

And I almost forgot to mention that there are several wonderful illustrations in here.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The Misfits by James Howe (5/5)

The back says: Sticks and stones may break our bones, but names will break our spirit.

I say: I absolutely love and adore this, and all the more because it was one of those books that I just bought because of the title (ok, also because it was on sale).

This is coming-of-age at its best and the reason why I keep reading YA novels.

To be honest, the misfits are your stereotypical school kids; we have Bobby the shy and overweight boy, Addie the tall, intelligent and very opinionated girl, Joe the effeminate gay, and Razzie the young Elvis/James Dean wannabe. What’s special about these guys, or rather what made me fall in love with them, is their personalities and the way they interact with each other and those around them,

and that wasn’t stereotypical at all.

Together they decide to start a new political party for the student council elections with a platform that bans name calling.

In a way I think that anyone who’s ever been called a name or stood outside of the popular crowd will be able to relate to this in some way – I know I did – and there’s a point at the end (I don’t want to say what it is because that will be too much of a spoiler) where it gets really intense for a while and it actually culminated in me crying.

I’m talking proper I-can’t-see-the-words-because-of-all-these-tears-and-this-is-so-sad-and-so-beautiful-at-the-same-time-and-I-really-hope-nobody’ll-come-in-and-find-me-in-this-state-and-sniff-sniff.

Or something...

This is the first I’ve read by Howe, but I think it’s safe to say that I will pick up more of his work. The plot kept surprising me; just when I thought that it was going to go the way of so many other YA novels it changed direction and kept me interested. More than anything I think I loved this because we were inside of Bobby’s headspace and he had an amazing way with words and this random thought process that went spiraling out of control, but in a genuine and convincing way.

I would hang out with him.

I also loved how they’d meet at a diner after school and Addie would take minutes of their meetings – their conversations were so funny and endearing.

A clear 5/5 and I already know I’ll be re-reading this several times in the future.

Oh, and to this novel also inspired the GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) to start an annual No-Name-Calling-Week (that link contains spoilers) which I think is amazing. 

Monday, 17 October 2011

Mmm... Monday: Dorothy Parker, Part the First

For some reason I started thinking about Dorothy Parker just before lunch (I think it may have been something to do with a comment that I was quiet today and I thought of her and how she somewhat resented being thought of as a wisecrack all the time). So I thought I should post one of her, in my opinion, really poignant (but still a tad airy) poems:

A Fairly Sad Tale

I think that I shall never know
Why I am thus, and I am so.
Around me, other girls inspire
In men the rush and roar of fire,
The sweet transparency of glass,
The tenderness of April grass,
The durability of granite;
But me- I don't know how to plan it.
The lads I've met in Cupid's deadlock
Were- shall we say?- born out of wedlock.
They broke my heart, they stilled my song,
And said they had to run along,
Explaining, so to sop my tears,
First came their parents or careers.
But ever does experience
Deny me wisdom, calm, and sense!
Though she's a fool who seeks to capture
The twenty-first fine, careless rapture,
I must go on, till ends my rope,
Who from my birth was cursed with hope.
A heart in half is chaste, archaic;
But mine resembles a mosaic-
The thing's become ridiculous!
Why am I so? Why am I thus?

Maybe I love this so much because I can relate to it; especially this

They broke my heart, they stilled my song,
And said they had to run along,
Explaining, so to sop my tears,
First came their parents or careers.


In a way, this is "fairly sad" - if I may be so silly - but in all the sadness still lies the fact that she's an incurable optimist that will continue to try and try again.

And those last four lines are just absolute perfection.

Quote of the Week (a day late, and a dollar short)

"Read, read, read."

- William Faulkner

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (4/5)

The back says: Anna Karenina is one of the most loved and memorable heroines of literature. Her overwhelming charm dominates a novel of unparalleled richness and density.

I say: First things first; I abhor Anna Karenina - the character, not the novel. She is the most grating female character I have ever encountered

- and do note that I have read both Twilight and Tess of the D'urbervilles.

When we were first introduced to her I didn't really have that much of an opinion of her, but that quickly turned into slight annoyance, which then descended into absolute loathing. I don't think I have ever wished for a character to "just die already" as much as I did Anna.

There was just no sense in anything she did.


So much shilly shallying, game-playing, moroseness, and just stupid decision-making it made me violent. If she had been a sixteen year-old girl she would have been Bella Swan wouldn't have irritated me as much, but she was a grown married woman, with a child.

But enough about her because, thankfully, the novel isn't only about her.

One of the things I really like about Tolstoy is the way he describes the surroundings; not just the physical, but the emotional, political, and social ones as well. What I really found fascinating about this novel was the juxtaposition between life in the city and that in the country; the different issues the characters bothered themselves with depending on where they were. Tolstoy really brought both of these settings to life and, although I generally don't really like third person-narratives, I was glad for it due to the way her showed the different characters' views on them.

There's a lot of critique in there - of course (and a lot of romanticisation, if I may, as well) - but I'm not going to bother myself or anyone else with that.

What I am going to bother with is one of the things I don't like about Tolstoy, which is his ability to go off-topic and just ramble on and on about something I couldn't possibly care less about - and that is totally irrelevant to the plot. As nice as it is to learn more about how Levin manages his land, to read more than five consecutive pages on farming is not why I picked this up. The same applies to the whole voting scene that took place, and some other random things that I feel are just Tolstoy's own desire to show his own proficiency (or just moan).

Too lenient, Mr editor.


Far too lenient (as always).


All in all it was a really good read; some parts I loved and some I hated. I fell in some sort of love with Levin and later on Kitty, and was towards the end only wanting to read more about them (when I wasn't hoping for fate to have its cruel way with Anna - spoiler: she did not get her just deserts, in my not so humble opinion). As soon as I get over my complete vexation with Anna (history tells me it'll be a while) I'll be able to better look back at the beauty and oftentimes humorous parts of this novel.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The Last Summer (of you and me) by Ann Brashares (2.5/5)

The back says: The long, hot summers spent on Fire Island have always been the highlight of the year for sisters Riley and Alice. Not least because it is there that they always see Paul: their next-door neighbour, Riley's best friend in all the world, and the only boy Alice has ever loved. Then Paul goes to university, and he leaves them both behind him. 

Three years later, as Alice in turn prepares to start college, Paul returns. The trick, he tells himself, is to have what he had without destroying it. But their world will change irresistibly, wonderfully and tragically, with every breath they take.

I say: The first novel I read by Ann Brashares was My Name is Memory, and although I loved the premise and most of the storyline, one of my problems was with the writing. I assumed that it was because it was a YA novel, but apparently I was wrong, since I had the exact same problems now.

Or maybe problem is the wrong word - I just didn’t like it.

Although I can’t say that I was expecting too much considering what type of novel it was – and I did choose it because I thought it would be a quick, easy enough read. However, the plot was too predictive to be interesting, the characters were too one dimensional to incite any form of attachment, and in the end I was just reading for the sake of it.

I have to say that I’m not sure why this is classified as an adult novel since I feel it had all the elements of a YA novel; first love, lots of brooding, that whole coming of age thing - perhaps because the characters were 21 and 24, but what do I know.

It wasn’t all bad, though. There were a few lines in the novel that really stood out and that I loved, most of all this:

"She'd already ripped him apart; he wasn't going to let her pick through the bits to see which ones she still wanted." - p 193

 

Monday, 10 October 2011

Mmm… Monday: Robert Frost, Part the First

I woke up with this in my head:

Reluctance
 
Out through the fields and the woods
And over the walls I have wended;
I have climbed the hills of view
And looked at the world, and descended;
I have come by the highway home,
And lo, it is ended.

The leaves are all dead on the ground,
Save those that the oak is keeping
To ravel them one by one
And let them go scraping and creeping
Out over the crusted snow,
When others are sleeping.

And the dead leaves lie huddled and still,
No longer blown hither and thither;
The last lone aster is gone;
The flowers of the witch hazel wither;
The heart is still aching to seek,
But the feet question "Whither?"

Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?


I first heard an abbreviated version of the last stanza in an episode of The Golden Girls (Miles to Go) where Rose reads out

Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To
[…]
bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?”

and I feel in deep, reverent love with it. And so, as with most things in life, every time I read it a different part catches me, and today it is

The heart is still aching to seek,
But the feet question "Whither?"

Perfection.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Quote of the Week

"The best of a book is not the thought which it contains, but the thought which it suggests; just as the charm of music dwells not in the tones but in the echoes of our hearts."

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The Book of Human Skin by Michelle Lovric (4.5/5)

The back says: 13 May, 1784, Venice: Minguillo Fasan, heir to the decaying, gothic Palazzo Espagnol, is born. Yet Minguillo is no ordinary child: he is strange, devious and all those who come near him are fearful. Twelve years later Minguillo is faced with an unexpected threat to his inheritance: a newborn sister, Marcella. His untempered jealousy will condemn his sister to a series of fates as a cripple, a madwoman and a nun. But in his insatiable quest to destroy her, he may have underestimated his sister's ferocious determination, and her unlikely allies who will go to extraordinary lengths to save her...

I say: I can’t even know where or how to begin to describe how much I loved this because it came in so many layers. So I’m going to try to split it up and we’ll see how it goes.

First of all this consists of five characters telling their own version of the same tale in the form of diary entries, if you will – all with a different font.

Minguillo Fasan: the evil brother, who was constantly addressing the audience, which I liked for the most part (some of it was a bit over the top, but then again, he was some kind of crazy). I liked reading his parts simply because it was chilling to see how far down the path of crazy he descended. Just when I thought that he would let things be, he went to stir up more and more trouble. His font was extremely small and quite the strain on my eyes, but we managed.

Marcella Fasan: Minguillo’s sister; the good and innocent one; constantly suffering for the sake of others. I really liked her, and it was disturbing to follow her thought process at times because she was such a martyr.

Gianni delle Boccole: a servant in the Fasan home, whose parts were written in vernacular (which I hate) and it took me a while to understand some of the words. He was the archetypal big, strong, and kind oaf sort of person, who did play an integral part in the plot, and I liked him, he was just not that exciting.

Doctor Santo Aldobrandini: his parts were somewhat repugnant at times when he went into great detail about skin diseases (his biggest interest) and his accounts of what he did as a doctor while on the battle field. He also went into medical detail about Napoleon’s various maladies, which was far more information than I ever wanted to know.

Sor Loreta: the crazy nun, who went on and on about how good she was and what sinners everyone else were; completely obsessed with martyrdom, and various canonized nuns, she made my skin crawl. The way that she spoke of seeing angels, hearing voices and the lengths she went to prove her love of god were downright disturbing.

I’m not sure that I can claim to love the way Lovric writes since it was five different styles, but my word is she talented. The way she weaved all these lives together is ridiculously impressive; especially since it took a while before they all came together in a poetically just end. I must also mention that I’m not sure why, but there’s something about adding real characters into a work of fiction that somehow enhances the reading experience for me. Like knowing that there are nuns that really do disfigure themselves like Sor Loreta; that the saints mentioned were real; and also the integration of Tupac Amary II in the plot.

At one point in the novel Minguillo comes across a copy of a book that is said to have been bound in the skin of Tupac Amaru II, and he later becomes obsessed with finding more of its kind.

Needless to say, I was hooked all the way through reading this, and even “had to” read while I was volunteering at the indie cinema, completely ignoring my customers.

It happens.

To sum up this almost ludicrously long review, I loved this. The only reason it gets 4.5 instead of the full 5 is because of the vernacular in Gianni’s part, the sometimes annoyingly over familiar way Minguillo addressed the audience (his tiny font) and some ridiculous things that happened near the end of the novel.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Mmm… Monday: Dylan Thomas, Part the First

A friend called me at 09:00 just to let me know that she had just purchased a copy of some kind of biography of Dylan Thomas for 1 Swedish krona (which is like 10 cents in Euros; a little under 10p in Sterling). My immediate reaction was to tell her not to “go gentle into that good night”, which she didn’t get and thus made me look pretentious when I had to explain that it was from Dylan Thomas’ perhaps most famous poem (which shouldn’t make me sound pretentious because it was in Dangerous Minds, for goodness sake).

So yeah, it’s quite obvious what today’s poem is;

Do not go gentle into that good night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.


And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.


Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


Aside: Now I’ll be singing Gangster’s Paradise all day.

Fun.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Quote of the Week

“Being rich is not about how much money you have or how many homes you own; it's the freedom to buy any book you want without looking at the price and wondering if you can afford it.”