Tuesday, July 1, 2014

book phone box reads: poetry of 3000 years & a true diary, or: smallworld + #readwomen2014

The books I read this week... were chance reads, brought by the phone book box again. After the luck I had there with books the last time (finding "The Lake" by Banana Yoshimoto, and a new edition of timeless essays, here's more), I went there again to bring some own books. And again, I was lucky and found 2 interesting books - a poetry collection that covers 3000 years, and an autobiographic paperback:

Poetry Collection .. #readwomen
The poetry collection is just perfect for the #readwomen2014 theme: the title of it is also its concept "Gedichte von Frauen aus drei Jahrtausenden" - "Poems by Women written during three thousand years".  It covers all regions and epoches, and leads from Sappho (Greece) to Emily Dickinson (US), and from Ono Komachi (Japan) to Adelia Prado (Brasil) and Amrita Pritam (India), and on and on...

This will be a summer companion book for me, to read at a slow pace of 2 or 3 pages / poems a day.

A short poem that touched is from Rose Ausländer, on the beauty and challenge that words can be: the labyrinth and the door they present: "In Wonder"

I lose myself
in the jungle of words
Find myself again
in the wonder
of the word.

... here's a webpage that features a set of Auländer's poems, with the German and English version next to each other: Rose Ausländer Links & Poems

(and nice to find another poet with the almost same name, one i know... hello, Rose Auslander)

back to the phone box books: here's the open page with the German vesion of Ausländer's poem, and beneath it, a poem by Zuzanne Ginzanka...


Ginzanka is a poet i havn't know, from Poland. Born in 1917, she had to face the world war, and died at 27. It's a small solace that at least her words remain. here's more about her, and a translated poem, in the literature section of the Polish magazine biweekly.pl: Something of Other - Portrait of Zuzanna Ginczanka (interesting article that also is about the difficulty of translation).

..more to come from this book in a future book post. i think this might be not only a slow read, but an interconnected read, one that makes me google more about the single poets. i also think it's great that this anthology is so international.


the other book is a German version, but I guess the title is easy to read anyway:

"The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie
When I saw the book, I remembered that I heard of it somewhere, and picked it - and later, when I added it to my Goodreads book list, I noticed a book review by fellow blogger Jessie Carty, who wrote: "'I'd highly recommend this one and I'd love to teach it someday because there is so much to discuss regarding race, poverty, thinking as a creative person, and simply on how to be good to others.... This is another great example of a young adult novel that will be a fanststic read for an adult (review link)."

I can only second that, and today, after having finished the book, I looked for a youtube clip with Sherman Alexie - in the book, he's a schoolboy, living in a Res(ervat), and trying to find his way - which for him means, to cross the border to the next town, and go to school there. The book includes illustrations, which also point at a young style. Such a surprise to play the video and see the grown-up author he has become:

Another thing I learned: Alexie also writes poem. Here's his page at Poetry Foundation.

And to close the circle... here's a poem by the other Rose Auslander, on the magic and difficulty of words:
Your spine unrolls
and flattens
my heart.
We have no words
for this...
The full poem is online here: THIS - it is published in Referential Magazine, which is edited by Jessie Carthy (the one who wrote about Alexie). The world sometimes is a box of unexpected connections. 


Currently Reading + More Reads:

For 2014, i didn't join a specific reading challenge, but i try to read books / authors from different countries and continents, and also follow the “readwomen2014” initiative. Here’s more about it: 2014 - year of reading women

For more reading notes in this blog, click here: life as a journey with booksand a reading list by regions is online at: World Reads by country

Other book blogs and their current reads: It's Monday! What are you reading? (join by blogging and adding your link)


Anonymous said...

Dorothee--I love this :-)

Jessie Carty said...

I do love these little connections as well and how you write about them :) Alexie came to speak at a school about an hour away earlier in the year and I so wanted to go, but I couldn't get a ride. I'm sure I would have been a socially awkward fan girl anyway. He is simply amazing.

Can't wait to see what else you find in your book box :)