Tuesday, January 19, 2010

clover, bee, and reverie: yes, I am signing up for a challenge

Let's just say that one of my hard-and-fast book blog rules is "no challenges." Thus far, I have been tempted by many, but have always come to the recognition that I am not cut out for book challenges. Too much pressure. I know this about myself and my reading style.

Ah yes, my brain whispers to me. But what about poetry? Haven't you broken your self-imposed, if admittedly soft, "no memes" rule for poetry already?

Damn you, brain.

Okay, so yes. Lu and Jason have come up with a poetry challenge and I am about to join it, due to prodding from brain and a little bit of encouragement from @Nymeth. (By which I mean, she was like, "hey, did you know about this?") It's a new year, time to try new things, I say. But this is it. One challenge. No more challenges.

This is my first challenge, and I'm not sure how it will go, so I'm going to start small. Really small. Smallest, in fact. I am officially aiming for the Couplet level - two books of poetry by the end of December. I have enough books of poetry that I'm excited about reading to aim for Limerick at least, but no pressure, kiirstin. No pressure. If I manage Couplet I can upgrade, right?

The two books I am thinking of are:
  • Eunoia by Christian Bök, which we have had on our shelf for a long time and which, ten years ago, I read parts of but never read completely. Added bonus, he's Canadian.
  • The Autumn Wind: A selection of the poems from Issa, translated by Lewis Mackenzie. Haiku. I am not sure I'm going to be able to get this book, but I'm going to try. I'm also not entirely sure whether or not I can read an entire book of haiku at once, but I've got nearly a year, so that's less than one poem per day of the 250 in the book. That means I will have to buy it, since the library won't let me keep it for 250 days...

Other possibilities include more Michael Ondaatje, if I can get my hands on a collection I haven't read yet; W.H. Auden is also on my radar and would be a new poet to me. Tennyson, perhaps, or Yeats. I have been wanting to read Allan Ginsberg's Howl again -- that was a favourite in my early university days. Perhaps Sylvia Plath or Margaret Atwood, since I notice this list is extremely female-light, or Emily Dickenson, whose work inspired the name of this challenge.

If this is what challenges are supposed to feel like -- really exciting -- then I'm going to be in trouble. 'Cause I'm liking this feeling.


Ana S. said...

Ha, I like your brain :P This will be fun, you'll see!

Unknown said...

My brain says to tell you that it appreciates your support. ;)

I'm really looking forward to it, although that book of haiku is going to be very hard to find. I figure I can always switch to something else, though. Not like I have a dearth of ideas for books to read!