Of Books and Bookshops

July 30, 2017 at 10:33 PM | Posted in Books | 1 Comment
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I just finished reading Neil Gaiman’s American Gods last week and I’m sort of looking for a new book to read. I wasn’t supposed to buy a new one because I still have several books piled up in my collection waiting to be read. But there were two books I’ve been meaning to buy for years but kept putting them off, so I convinced myself that I just had to have them.

I’m a big fan of Anne Rice, so when I learned that her famous Vampire Chronicles will have a continuation, I got excited. It had been my intention to buy her 2014 book, Prince Lestat for years and I finally did this weekend. I cannot wait to revisit my beloved vampire characters again in the book, especially Lestat and Louis, and find out what they’re up to now. I know Anne Rice has two more recently released books about Lestat, and I’m also looking forward to read them.

The second book I bought was Memories by Lang Leav. I kept hearing about Lang Leav for years and how popular she is so my interest was piqued. Out of curiousity, I checked out some of her poems and was surprised that they were really good. I’m a sucker for heart-wrenching poems and Leav certainly captured that in her work. And it’s only recently that I finally decided to get a copy of one of her books.

My recent trip to several bookshops this weekend has got me pondering about the state of books these days. When I entered the bookshops, I was saddened to see that the books have become limited. There were hardly books in the stores; all I could see were rows and rows of art and school supplies and standard textbooks. There used to be a time when bookshops were packed with books in many genres. Today, with the advent of mobile devices such as Kindle and smartphones where people can just read books in digital form, bookshops now only sell limited titles.

Times are changing and I know that there are advantages of digital books, but I’m an old-fashioned book lover. I’d rather read a book in printed form than in digital form. For me, the experience I get in reading printed books is different. It’s more personal and intimate that way. It’s just not the same when reading digital books.

Unwritten

November 19, 2014 at 11:48 PM | Posted in Musings, Writing | Leave a comment
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Sharon Olds poem

I recently came across this poem by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Sharon Olds and it struck me as both poignant and relevant. This particular line of the poem spoke to me like it was talking about my life. As an introvert, I am never the type to put my heart on my sleeve. Whatever my opinions are, whatever I feel I usually put it in writing – either on this blog, in my private diary, or on social media. I can be a really keen observer, especially when it comes to people and situations. I might not be very vocal about it, but I form opinions in my head. I am like Charlie in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I write what I observe. Perhaps some of that you can read on my blog or on Twitter but some are kept in private, away from prying eyes.

The poem also reminded me of my previous attempt to write my own autobiography. Given my past and present experiences, I have a lot of stories to tell. Some of them I’ve already divulged to my close friends but others are still waiting to be written. Maybe someday I will eventually write about them or maybe not. There are things in life that are better left forgotten, unspoken or unwritten.

Poetry in Notion

April 8, 2011 at 2:25 PM | Posted in Books, Writing | 2 Comments
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Just came across a new book today through Goodreads.com. Beautiful and Pointless is a guide book about the dying art of poetry. It shows readers how to approach and appreciate the beauty of poetry. I would love to read this book (as soon as I finish the ones I’m reading now). For me, poetry is not pointless. It is an outlet for pouring emotions – whether positive or negative. It inspires you and can give you insight about anything and everything.

I like reading poetry, especially the classic ones. Though I also read contemporary poetry. I myself have written a few poems through the years, mostly about personal stuff. Two of my favorite contemporary poems are Sylvia Plath’s “I Am Vertical” and Pablo Neruda’s “The Saddest Poem.” I know they are sad poems but there’s just something about the way they were written and the emotions that they evoke which make them appealing to me. Below are the two poems courtesy of neuroticpoets.com and poemhunter.com.

 

I Am Vertical

By Sylvia Plath

But I would rather be horizontal.
I am not a tree with my root in the soil
Sucking up minerals and motherly love
So that each March I may gleam into leaf,
Nor am I the beauty of a garden bed
Attracting my share of Ahs and spectacularly painted,
Unknowing I must soon unpetal.
Compared with me, a tree is immortal
And a flower-head not tall, but more startling,
And I want the one’s longevity and the other’s daring.

Tonight, in the infinitesimal light of the stars,
The trees and the flowers have been strewing their cool odors.
I walk among them, but none of them are noticing.
Sometimes I think that when I am sleeping
I must most perfectly resemble them —
Thoughts gone dim.
It is more natural to me, lying down.
Then the sky and I are in open conversation,
And I shall be useful when I lie down finally:
Then the trees may touch me for once, and the flowers have time for me.

————————————————–

The Saddest Poem

By Pablo Neruda

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.

Write, for instance: “The night is full of stars,
and the stars, blue, shiver in the distance.”

The night wind whirls in the sky and sings.

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

On nights like this, I held her in my arms.
I kissed her so many times under the infinite sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her.
How could I not have loved her large, still eyes?

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
To think I don’t have her. To feel that I’ve lost her.

To hear the immense night, more immense without her.
And the poem falls to the soul as dew to grass.

What does it matter that my love couldn’t keep her.
The night is full of stars and she is not with me.

That’s all. Far away, someone sings. Far away.
My soul is lost without her.

As if to bring her near, my eyes search for her.
My heart searches for her and she is not with me.

The same night that whitens the same trees.
We, we who were, we are the same no longer.

I no longer love her, true, but how much I loved her.
My voice searched the wind to touch her ear.

Someone else’s. She will be someone else’s. As she once
belonged to my kisses.
Her voice, her light body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, true, but perhaps I love her.
Love is so short and oblivion so long.

Because on nights like this I held her in my arms,
my soul is lost without her.

Although this may be the last pain she causes me,
and this may be the last poem I write for her.

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