Saturday, January 27, 2007

Feeding the Muse

In Zen in the Art of Writing, Ray Bradbury talks about ways to 'feed your Muse.' He says you should read some poetry every week. So I've been reading Anne Carson's The Beauty of the Husband (she's stunning), a Gerard Manley Hopkins collection, and Leonard Cohen's latest, Book of Longing. Regarding the latter, I am so with him in "My Time."
My time is running out
and still
I have not sung
the true song
the great song
I'm also reading this brilliant and beautifully written non-fiction book called Spoken Here by Mark Abley. It's about endangered languages (and, by no coincidence, endangered peoples) including Manx, Mohawk, Yiddish, aboriginal Australian tongues, and many more. The book is tragic, funny, lyrical, idealistic, thought-provoking, worrying. Montrealer Abley is not a linguist per se but a world traveller, writer, and humanist. So much better than Bruce Chatwin whose ego, I felt, always blocked my view of the peoples he was writing about. Postscript: hah, three of the five writers I have named here are Canadian.

1 comment:

robyn bright said...

I was stumbling around having coffee last year and found an anne carson book (new) for $3! What a treasure!!!
For my birthday last week (robbie burns day!) I bought (inspired by your books) the brian froud tarot cards, and 10 hardcover poetry books-the classics.
it was like a deep sigh of relief to open up pages of poetry and realize that there are always, somewhere, beautiful words being written. sorry to post so much I find your blog really inspiring.
cheers!
Robyn ( I feel like a blog stalker !)