Books & Love

Today is my first ‘official’ Sunday poetry feature post and I’d been thinking throughout the week on which poem I’d feature but then… a booksale came along today, so now I want to talk about all my new books too! (No, I don’t think that kind of thing can wait until tomorrow!) Nevertheless, I think I will stick with the poem I intended to post, I enjoy throwing a variety of things into one post, although I’m not sure if others like reading that sort of thing…?

This week Joan from flowers and stripes has been posting wedding poems she ended up not using at her wedding, and that reminded me of this one, that I didn’t use either and wish I had. (But at least those really are the shoes my husband and I wore at our wedding!)

The Archipelago Of Kisses | Jeffrey McDaniel

We live in a modern society. Husbands and wives don’t
grow on trees, like in the old days. So where
does one find love? When you’re sixteen it’s easy,
like being unleashed with a credit card
in a department store of kisses. There’s the first kiss.
The sloppy kiss. The peck.
The sympathy kiss. The backseat smooch. The we
shouldn’t be doing this kiss. The but your lips
taste so good kiss. The bury me in an avalanche of tingles kiss.
The I wish you’d quit smoking kiss.
The I accept your apology, but you make me really mad
sometimes kiss. The I know
your tongue like the back of my hand kiss. As you get
older, kisses become scarce. You’ll be driving
home and see a damaged kiss on the side of the road,
with its purple thumb out. If you
were younger, you’d pull over, slide open the mouth’s
red door just to see how it fits. Oh where
does one find love? If you rub two glances, you get a smile.
Rub two smiles, you get a warm feeling.
Rub two warm feelings and presto-you have a kiss.
Now what? Don’t invite the kiss over
and answer the door in your underwear. It’ll get suspicious
and stare at your toes. Don’t water the kiss with whiskey.
It’ll turn bright pink and explode into a thousand luscious splinters,
but in the morning it’ll be ashamed and sneak out of
your body without saying good-bye,
and you’ll remember that kiss forever by all the little cuts it left
on the inside of your mouth. You must
nurture the kiss. Turn out the lights. Notice how it
illuminates the room. Hold it to your chest
and wonder if the sand inside hourglasses comes from a
special beach. Place it on the tongue’s pillow,
then look up the first recorded kiss in an encyclopedia: beneath
a Babylonian olive tree in 1200 B.C.
But one kiss levitates above all the others. The
intersection of function and desire. The I do kiss.
The I’ll love you through a brick wall kiss.
Even when I’m dead, I’ll swim through the Earth,
like a mermaid of the soil, just to be next to your bones.

This picture too is indirectly a sign of love, this once a year booksale we went to today is housed in a big tent with tables covered in boxes of books everywhere, stacked on top of each other. My husband helped me look for books I was interested in first, carry the books I found, move boxes and find a place to sit down when I got too dizzy to keep looking. The stack on the left is mostly Canadian books, as I said I’ve been meaning to read more Carol Shields, plus Clara Callan, set in the ’30s and won some Canadian book prize, another book by Ethel Wilson, who also wrote Hetty Dorval which was published by Persephone Books, and Rilla of Ingleside, the last Anne of Green Gables book and my favourite (set in WW1 with Anne’s daughter).

The middle stack has a few somewhat silly Jean Plaidy books I couldn’t resist (at $1.50 a book!), about Marie Antoinette and Queen Victoria! Then I must confess, I have a secret interest in both spy stories (this is due to the excellent BBC miniseries Cambridge Spies) and the age of sail! Hence Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and a few of the Master & Commander books. Also I’m interested enough in the Josephine B. thing to pick up two.

Lastly my beloved British books, as I’ve taken to calling them. Daphne du Maurier, Agatha Christie, Margaret Drabble, Sarah Waters, Penelope Lively, Angela Carter, Iris Murdoch, Anita Brookner and my own copy of I Capture the Castle.

Now I just have to find a place on my shelves for all these!

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16 thoughts on “Books & Love

  1. Claire (The Captive Reader) says:

    What a great haul of books! Great to see all the CanLit (including one by Jane Urquhart, if I’m not mistaken, who is a personal favourite). Happy to hear that you now have your own copy of I Capture the Castle, a book that no library should be without!

    • Carolyn says:

      Yes, that is Jane Urquhart, The Underpainter, I’ve been curious about her for a while. I just wish I’d noticed the copy I grabbed was bitten and chewed at the corners before I bought it!

  2. Penny says:

    What a great stash of books! We love lots of the same authors, but I have to comment on Rilla of Ingleside. I read it in my teens, during my school summer holidays. When the news came about Walter’s death, I went into the hall cupboard to sob and sob. I sobbed for days. It was a personal loss as I’d watched him grow up from a baby through all the previous books about Anne’s marriage. My eyes are full of tears as I write this!

    I am about to set up a new blogroll for book blogs and will be putting yours straight on!

    • Carolyn says:

      Thank you Penny! I actually created a scrapbook for a high school assignment of an imaginary family and what life was like for them in WWI. I was partly inspired by Rilla of Ingleside and even found a picture of a soldier that I imagined looked like Walter and included part of his story in the scrapbook. Later in university I wrote a short play about a WWI soldier, so the book’s had a long term impact on my life too. šŸ™‚

  3. Joan Hunter Dunn says:

    What a fantastic poem. My favourite lines from this poem

    Oh where
    does one find love? If you rub two glances, you get a smile.
    Rub two smiles, you get a warm feeling.
    Rub two warm feelings and presto-you have a kiss.

    I would love to be a guest at a wedding with this poem. Great shoe shot! Really looking forward to your Sunday poetry feature.

  4. Nymeth says:

    I absolutely love that poem! Thank you so much for “introducing” us šŸ™‚

    I’ve been meaning to get my hands on Clara Callan – I’ve been told it’s not only set in the 1930’s, but also epistolary. How could that go wrong for me?

    • Carolyn says:

      I’m glad you liked it, I found it on an online poem sharing community, so it’s only right I keep passing it along.

      Yes, that does sound like my kind of book too and I hope you do read it, it would be nice to see a Canadian book on your blog!

    • Carolyn says:

      It forces me to constantly purge the older books I know I won’t want to reread and take them to the secondhand shop to get credit for something new! So as much as I once wanted to have a big perfect library in a big old house (complete with leather armchairs and roaring fire!), it’s nice to have an edited down one that’s a bit less overwhelming in terms of reflecting what I actually want to read now.

    • Carolyn says:

      No, they’re not Manolos, just a cheap imitation, but thrilling you would think so, even though I’m not a shoe person! I had to practice walking in those ones!

      I was thinking of you when I picked up the Angela Carter and how you compared it to a good wine. šŸ™‚

  5. Linda P says:

    Rilla of Ingleside – I thought I had all the Anne books so thank you for mentioning this one. (We nearly named a daughter Marilla as I loved Anne’s adoptive elderly ‘mother’
    but ended up with Miranda, another literary character, instead).

    • Carolyn says:

      You’re welcome, Linda and thanks for coming by! It feels a little different from the other Anne books, partly since it’s about Rilla her daughter (that is their shorthand for Marilla, since Anne and Gilbert named their last daughter after her!) and because it’s darker in tone with WW1. But as I say, long before I learned about WW1 in school, I was fascinated by this book.

  6. Becky (Page Turners) says:

    Hahaha, your partner sounds lovely!! Mine hates reading, but he is still kind enough to come to book fairs with me and follow me around carrying my books so I can look. Sometimes I love him so much šŸ™‚

    You have got a pile there too! I have always wanted to read Margaret Drabble and got my first Drabble book yesterday. I love your taste in books.

    I got 50 books yesterday for free from a woman who is moving overseas, and I have been trying to reorganise my bookshelves all morning to fit them in. I hope you have better luck than me!

    By the way, I only just found your blog and I love it! I have added you to my blog roll and I will definitely be back šŸ™‚

    • Carolyn says:

      Hi Becky, it’s nice to meet you. šŸ™‚ My husband likes reading and books as much as I do, we actually met while working in a bookstore together! So that is very handy when all I want to do is go to a bookstore every weekend.

      50 books for free, that does sound nice. I have managed to fit all my new books in, but it means some of the old ones will be off to the used bookstore, where I can pick up something I like better! It’s a never-ending cycle…

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