Whatever you do, avoid catching this so-called cold. I came back from band practice feeling worse, and now this morning I can't tell how I feel . . . maybe the same, maybe better. If I had a doctor in this town and if it weren't Sunday and if I didn't have to drive to Vermont tomorrow to bring the boy back to college, I'd probably call her up and ask for antibiotics. As it stands, however, my choices are hot beverages and positive thinking. So I will declare, "I feel great!" and blame the New York Times for false reporting. That should work.
I've been rereading Aracelis Girmay's stunning poetry collection the black maria, and now I'm about to start Jacques Rancourt's Novena. Jacques was an intern at the Beloit Poetry Journal when I was working there, and I'm so excited about his book. It makes me happy to know he's doing so well, writing so well, getting the attention his work deserves. Sometimes things work out the way they should.
I also want to recommend another book, one that everyone in our doll-house has become enamored with: Ancient Land, Sacred Whale: The Inuit Hunt and Its Rituals by Tom Lowenstein. Last week Paul bought it on a whim at the used book store. He knew nothing about it but wanted to learn more about the Inuit. Turns out that the book is a strange and magical amalgam of poetry and ethnography: a mixture of translations and commentaries centering around the myth and the actualities of the Tikigaq people's annual spring bowhead hunt. The prose is beautiful and evocative and instructional, and it's no wonder that Ted Hughes, of all people, refers to Lowenstein's Tikigaq translations as "works at once of detailed scholarship and high poetic achievement." Reading it is kind of like reading Moby Dick and kind of like reading The Golden Bough and kind of like reading Njal Saga. It's enchanting.