Poetry for Pleasure, Fun Beyond Measure

My husband David and I spent the weekend either running around in the heat shopping for materials for a couple of easily-accomplished home improvement tasks, or dragging ourselves “into the cool” of the house to have a tasty beverage and recover our energy for a bit. Also, there was napping. It was a good weekend for that.

We managed to complete one little project day before yesterday, on Saturday. The guys that poured the driveway had left trenches down the side of the driveway where the wooden forms had been staked into the ground for the pour, and after looking at this for 2 or 3 weeks, we decided that it might look nice if we added some more gravel and some leveling sand and put in reddish-colored pavers. And it does look good, except where I stepped on the one side to “seat” them more fully and ended up knocking out of true a bit – we think there needed to be more backfilling there. Well, they still look pretty good.

And then yesterday, we were pretty sore, so limited ourselves to lighter duty stuff, harvesting tomatoes, and napping.

Today, we went off to Menards and then the Container Store to get some shelving – started with the “do it yourself” stuff at Menards, and then bagged it and went to TCS for the more expensive Elfa system stuff that David’s had good results with before. They’re good there about walking you through the design process and figuring out how many uprights you need and how many shelves, and how wide they should be. David struggled a bit with getting the hanger strip installed – actually, two of them end to end, but then putting the hangers and shelves up was literally a snap. So now a lot of the junk in the garage is up off the floor or arranged neatly on the new shelves, rather than being stuffed onto the smaller, less classy looking shelves we still have on either side of the new unit. We even cleaned off the “work bench” (actually, an old busted hollow-core door) to be ready for another little project this week.

While waiting for the shelving order to be filled, we went up to the “big box” bookstore for a while. I came home with three books:

The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within
This already feels like an old favorite, a property I love in a new book. Mr. Fry confesses to a Dreadful Secret: He writes poetry for fun.

I have written this book because over the past thirty-five years I have derived enoumous private pleasure from writing poetry and like anyone with a passion I am keen to share it. You will be relieved to hear that I will not be burdening you with any of my actual poems (except sample verse specifically designed to help carlify form and metre): I do not write poetry for publication, I write it for the same reason that, according to Wilde, one should write a diary, to have something sensational to read on the train. And as a way of speaking to myself. But most importantly of all, for pleasure.

This seems like a pretty auspicious beginning; I chuckled quite a bit over the Forward and the chapter entitled “How To Read This Book,” and so I think that I’ll be able to overcome my English major’s background (the dreaded “How do you respond to the daffodils?”) and give it a whirl. I always enjoyed writing comic verse but never gave myself enough of a leash to write a “real” poem. I’m feeling inspired enough to at least try some Blogon Poetry again just for fun, because the random nature of mining your own site statistics for weirdly disjointed phrases makes for some odd yet slightly interesting verse.

After that, I’ll be reading the next book in the “Harry Dresden” series, Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, Book 3). I’m still irked that they cancelled the SciFi Channel TV series, but the books are of course richer, deeper, darker, and sexier than they could have put on American TV, even on a cable channel.

It’s really annoying to be a citizen of a country founded by several dozen boatloads of religious cranks, you know? A lot of us have gotten over this, but still that stubborn Puritan streak keeps showing up in the way we react to news or entertainment or public servants who get caught in an improbably wide stance in an airport men’s room. This reminds me of a visual gag, now that I’ve been reminded of it by re-reading about Mr. Fry’s brilliant career in British television. Sadly, Stephen Fry wasn’t involved in “Blackadder III,” appearing in only one episode, although he returned as General Melchett for the whole run of Blackadder Goes Forth (BBC Radio Collection)

How’s this for a wide stance, Senator Craig? And in wigs and knee pants, too! That’s Hugh Laurie in the middle as Prince George, son of Mad King George and about the thickest git in three counties. That’s a manly stance, now!

widestance2.jpg

There, I feel better. That joke won’t get old for a good long while yet.

Anyway, after reading the Jim Butcher book(s), I’ll be starting this:

I like Neil Gaiman’s stuff, and Stardust seems like a natural. We’re going to try to see the movie before it scrolls off the local megaplex screens.

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