Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Reading Poetry and Other Projects I Don't Have Time For...

I currently have three poetry books on my list for The Classics Club, and as it stands, almost no hope of actually ever getting to them. The way I'm currently reading (i.e slowly and whatever the mood takes me to read), they will languish at the bottom of the list, unread, forever. So I'm taking on another project. I will aim to read one poem a day, every day, until these books are done. It shouldn't be too difficult - after all poems aren't very long, and while one book is by an author I have a difficult relationship with, one I have no experience at all of, the last one is T.S Eliot, the greatest of all the greats, so that shouldn't be a problem. These are the books I have to read:

My plan is to alternate, so that I read from Ariel one day, Kid the next, and finally from T.S Eliot. I also plan to share the poems which really strike me here. For those who are curious, Armitage is the author I have no previous experience with. Somehow I managed to miss out on studying him both during GCSE and A Level English Lit (we did Carol Ann Duffy instead. Blergh.), and Plath is my turbulent relationship. It took me until the third year of my degree to admit that the woman can actually write. Up until that point I was so consumed by how self-obsessed she is that I just couldn't get past it. NO, WOMAN, YOU CANNOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO THE PEOPLE WHO SUFFERED DURING THE HOLOCAUST! Argh.

Anyway. I'm trying to have a better relationship with her, and I'm hoping that putting her next to Eliot will have a positive effect. We shall see.

Here's a list of the poems I've read so far (linked to the poem online, if you want to read):

Morning Song by Sylvia Plath (about motherhood, so quite resonant...)
Gooseberry Season by Simon Armitage 

And then we hit this, which is such a beautiful poem that I wanted to put it up here, but it's really long, and to be honest I'm pretty sure a lot of people aren't as geeky about poetry as I am, but if you are you should hit the link and read it because it's awesome. And if you're super geeky, read it aloud. Makes it better. 

The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock by T.S Eliot

So, poetry aside, there's a couple more things I've decided to do recently. Because obviously I need more to do - looking after a small baby all the time while attempting to not let my house become the pit of desolation and ensure clean clothes/dishes/dinner exist is obviously not enough, but there we go. I'm the kind of person who isn't happy unless they've taken on far too much. Obviously. 

After two years of sitting on my bum watching stuff about it on TV and listening to other people blog about their experiences, I finally got motivated and signed up to be a giver for World Book Night. I say got motivated - today was the last possible day for signing up, but still, I did it! Have to wait till February to find out if I get to do it but I feel better for having applied, even if I don't! And if I don't I'm thinking I'll do some kind of giveaway or something to celebrate anyway. (While we're on the subject, I'm still selling books in aid of the National Literacy Trust & doing a 10k in March for them too. Sponsor page is here!). Part of me really wants to launch yet another project to read all of the World Book Night books from the last three years, but I'm actually making progress with my challenges so far and I think that adding to my reading list would just be an incredibly bad idea. Especially since everytime I go to the library to get books which are actually from my list, I pick up something else that isn't which just looks really good....

And finally, I discovered Coursera this week when Sam blogged about how she was taking a course with them (for which I thank her profusely!). I've been looking for somewhere to study something for the past two years, but failing dismally as all of the local adult education places around here refuse to acknowledge either literature, history, or film as valid subjects. Obviously these are the subjects that I want to study. Anyway, I got all over excited the other day and have signed up for a course on the Ancient Greeks starting in March. There's a fair bit of reading for it so I hope I'll be able to keep up! I really wanted to do the Greek & Roman Mythology one that they run, but there was definitely too much reading for that! :-( Maybe next time. 

So that's my pile of crazy. If you read till the end, have a cupcake :-) 


  1. *munches on cupcake* Look at youuuu with all your stuff! I did sign up for World Book Night today, but I'm not too optimistic about my chances considering that I put about 3 minutes into coming up with answers... But I do feel good about having done it too, so there's that!

    And, ahhh, poetry... I kind of have a love/hate thing going on with it (mostly hate) but I do binge read Emily Dickinson when the mood strikes me! (Not that often. But still.) Also I totally want to read some of Sylvia Plath's poems because OMG The Bell Jar... That book makes me feel things!

    1. Yeah I have to admit I didn't spent *that* long on answers but I like to think they were profound anyway!

      And yes, weirdly I really liked The Bell Jar, despite reading it right in the middle of my serious Plath hating phase. I am a person to whom logic has no application, clearly.

      Also, because I haven't had a chance to say it on your blog yet, I am SO JEALOUS of you Harry Potter readalonging guys. Wish I didn't have all the other things to read :-/

  2. Oh, we are so similar. I am working full time, running Year 6 SATs prep outside of school hours, reading War & Peace, buying a house and taking 2 courses on Coursera. I am only happy if I'm ridiculously busy!

    I love Plath, but then I was a bit emo/self obsessed as a teenager so I got where she was coming from :P
    (Obviously not on the Holocaust comparisons).

    Enjoy the Ancient Greeks!

    1. Thanks :-)I think I just really don't like to be bored, and since I'm not always in the mood for the same thing I like to have lots on the go at once! Enjoy your courses!

  3. I like the poetry idea. I started doing that once with a big anthology I bought, but I kept forgetting about it! I ought to dig it out and start again, because I did enjoy it. I can't just read straight through a book of poetry, especially by the same writer - I end up going stir crazy.

    Go you for the education/WBN stuff! I had a list of the previous WBN titles to read through as well, but I quickly realised that some of them were never going to get read for a reason, and the rest were books already on my radar anyway so it's not like I don't know about them. Pressure lifted! ;)

  4. First of all, thanks for tweeting happy birthday!

    I'm not a huge fan of poetry, so, if I didn't have lots of time, I would not choose poetry. Great you do and challenge yourself ;)