A Poem for Runners

Today in the Boston area it’s Marathon Monday, my favorite day of the year. I’ve talked a little before about how I love cheering for all the runners and what the marathon means to me, so today I’ll just share a poem by Irving Feldman called “The Runners.” I especially like these last lines:

“…your hidden heart rejoicing that the quick heel
won’t soon, won’t ever, be overtaken,
although you, as you have longed to, suddenly
disburden yourself and follow follow.”

Click through to read the whole poem, and have a safe and happy Marathon Monday!

Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, everyone! I’m especially psyched that it’s Friday because Monday is Patriot’s Day, aka Marathon Monday, and the Boston Marathon is my very favorite sports-related event. (Okay, pretty much the only sports event I care about.) Let’s get the weekend started with a little look at what I’ve been reading and writing in fifteen words or fewer.

ReadingBoxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang
Beautifully constructed look at a dark moment in Chinese history. Honest but hopeful.

Writing: “Do you think you could fight a coyote?” “What do I look like, a roadrunner?”
Things happen on a road trip.

A Poem for Tax Day

Sometimes you realize that you need to get something mailed immediately. Sometimes you end up at the post office without realizing that it’s Tax Day. Sometimes you make mistakes.

Okay, it didn’t end up being all that bad. (The post office had four people at the front desk, which is three times the usual number.) But it did get me thinking about my favorite poet/financial worker, T.S. Eliot, and his poem “The Waste Land.” A poem that begins with the line: “April is the cruellest month” totally gets what it’s like to be in the post office on Tax Day. Also, these lines:

“A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.”

So “The Waste Land” isn’t exactly about standing in line at the post office, but that’s one of the great things about poetry–even when you’re feeling annoyed at bureaucracy and your own inability to remember the date, you can connect it with something much more literary and thoughtful. Poems aren’t just for pouring over in English class–they’re part of our everyday lives, if only to keep us amused while we’re standing in line with a few dozen other unlucky people.

Feel free to share your favorite lines/poems for random life events in the comments!

Links Galore

Sorry for the blog silence over the last couple weeks! Here are lots of good links I’ve been hoarding:

April is the Coolest Month

I’m thrilled it’s April and not just because it brings us in Boston one step closer to warm weather. April is also National Poetry Month, which is a great excuse to share favorite poems and celebrate all things poetry-related.

When I was a teen, we’d get to the poetry section in English class, and my teachers would talk about how special poetry is and how we were going to examine all the words and lines and phrases so carefully. As a fiction writer, I’d get all defensive and want to argue that stories take a lot of care with word choice, too, and what was so special about poetry, anyway? Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to read and write more poetry, and now I fully embrace National Poetry Month. Poems are cool, guys!

Know what else is cool? Bill Murray. Apparently he’s all about the poetry. He’s a video of Murray reading a couple of Wallace Stevens’ poems (including one of my favorites, “A Rabbit as King of the Ghosts”) as part of Poets House’s 17th Annual Poetry Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge:


Click through for more of Murray’s poetry reading skills, and feel free to share your plans for National Poetry Month in the comments!

Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, guys! It’s the last Friday in March, and although we’re ending with a little more lion than lamb, I’m psyched to get closer and closer to real spring. In the meantime, let’s kick off the weekend with a little look at what I’ve been reading and writing.

ReadingBlackbringer by Laini Taylor
Adventurous faeries plus Taylor’s lush writing equals the cure for drab winter.

Writing: “I keep reaching for light switches that aren’t there.”
From my latest hanging story up at the Hanging Garden, about the sea and selkies and rescuing yourself.

Links Galore

A few cool links for your Thursday: