Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, guys! It’s been a week of ups and downs, but I’m trying to keep the good stuff in mind–like flower-y raincoats and good friends and long walks and pups and, of course, books. Let’s head into the weekend with a few book reviews in fifteen words or fewer.

The Light Fantastic by Sarah Combs
Aka “Writing So Beautiful It Makes Annie Cry in Panera.” Combs = contemp YA feels.

The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett
A lovely send-off to Tiffany Aching books. Terry Pratchett, I wish I’d known you sooner.

Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
A touching novel in verse about family and art and grief and home.

Friday Fifteen

Today feels like a good day to share a couple lines of poetry, in slightly more than fifteen words. From “Poetry as Insurgent Art [I am signaling you through the flames]” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

“What are poets for, in such an age?
What is the use of poetry?

The state of the world calls out for poetry to save it.”

Read the whole poem here. Other poems I’ve been reading recently include “A Song on the End of the World” by Czeslaw Milosz and “Good Bones” by Maggie Smith.

Keep writing, keep fighting.

Quote of the Day

Photo by Marjory Collins, Jan. 1943

For election day, from “Ghazal: America the Beautiful” by Alicia Ostriker:

Imagining amber waves of grain blowing in the wind
purple mountains and no homeless in America

Sometimes I still put my hand tenderly on my heart
somehow or other still carried away by America

It’s been a hard election cycle, but seeing so many friends talk about voting with hope and love gives me a lot of hope for tomorrow.

If you need a little more poetry today, also check out “Let America Be America Again” by Langston Hughes and “Election Day, November, 1884” by Walt Whitman. And rock that vote!

Links Galore

A few links to get you through the middle of the week:

 

Quote of the Day

Since we’re in Jewish Book Month, it feels right to share another great poem from The Dream of the Poem: Hebrew Poetry from Muslim and Christian Spain, 950-1492 by Peter Cole (translator). This one is by Meshullam DePiera, who was writing in the thirteenth century.

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I love the intensity here–it makes me feel both cautious and powerful. Words matter, people.

Quote of the Day

From “The Battle of The Pen and the Scissors” by Shem Tov Ardutiel (Santob de Carrión):

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I recently read The Dream of the Poem: Hebrew Poetry from Muslim and Christian Spain, 950-1492 by Peter Cole (translator) and I loved coming across poems about the act of writing. Like in the one above, even though they were written literally hundreds of years ago, it was so cool to see how writers face the same frustrations and challenges.

So take it from Shem Tov Ardutiel–tomorrow’s writing doesn’t matter today. Focus on getting the work done now.