Friday, April 17, 2009

If you read the New York Review of Books, check out W. S. Merwin's poem "Why Some People Do Not Read Poetry." I am not, on the whole, a Merwin devotee; yet I think this poem hits the mark.

I am very much enjoying my current foray through Ford's The Good Soldier, particularly its accumulating physical details: what people wear, how they comb their hair, how many suitcases they own, what they keep in those cases. Ford introduces these items so slyly yet relentlessly that I hardly realize how manipulative he's being. Yet before I know it, I'm the shallow observer who judges people on their exterior appearance. It's an extraordinarily clever handling of unreliable first-person narration.

Off to eat lunch, hang laundry, and dig dig dig. With any luck I'll be setting up pea fence and planting radishes and spinach before the day is done. On Sunday we're on our way to Massachusetts for a couple of school-vacation days in the bustling southland, where very possibly my mother has daffodils in bloom. I look forward to finding out.

Dinner tonight: baked ziti, wild greens.

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