Saturday, April 29, 2017

24-Hour Readathon: Opening Survey

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

I am reading from Delhi, India

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

Mary Oliver's poetry books...

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Rice munchies and tea...

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I am a school teacher. I teach English to Class 12. That is, 17-18 year old girls.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

I have been participating in the readathon for a long time now. So it is going to be pretty much same as others

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros

Every Tuesday Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros to share the first paragraph sometimes two, of a book that she’s reading or planning to read soon.

Why I Wake Up Early
by Mary Oliver

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who make the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and crotchety–

best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light–
good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.

Top Ten Things That Will Make Us Instantly NOT Want To Read A Book

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

I read much of everything but I can't stand books related to the following:

1. Self Help

2. Fantasy

3. Super males/Super Girls

4. Werewolves

5. Chick Lit

6. Alpha Males

7. Serial Killers

8. Women Abuse

9. Animal Abuse

10. Child Abuse

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Friday 56/Book Beginnings on Fridays

Welcome to Week 320!|

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your 
(If you have to improvise, that's ok.)
 *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. 
*It's that simple.


The Wren From Carolina by Mary Oliver (Why I Wake Early)

Just now the wren from Carolina buzzed
through the neighbor's hedge
a line of grace notes I couldn't even write down
much less sing.

Now he lifts his chestnut colored throat
and delivers such a cantering praise -
for what?
For the early morning, the taste of the spider,

for his small cup of life
that he drinks from every day, knowing it will refill.
All things are inventions of holiness.
Some more rascally than others.

I'm on that list too,
though I don't know exactly where.
But every morning, there's my own cup of gladness,
and there's that wren in the hedge, above me, with his

blazing song.


Why I Wake Early
by Mary Oliver

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who make the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and crotchety–

best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light–
good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.


Booking Through Thursday

btt button
What have you been reading lately?
I have been reading Romances lately. Nothing much to write about. I read the romances and forget the stories, if we call them that, promptly and then go to the next. Sometimes one just needs mindless stuff, and this is one of those times!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Poetic Book Tours: Among The Lost by Seth Steinzor

Among The Lost by Seth Steinzor 

Back Cover:

Among the Lost, set in the modern American rust belt, is a meditation drawn from Dante’s Purgatorio. To Dante, Purgatory was the mountain where souls not damned went after death to cleanse themselves of sin in preparation for entering Paradise. What, Steinzor asks, are we preparing ourselves for, having lost the fear of hell and the hope of heaven, in the course of our daily urban existence? And whatever that is, how do we go about preparing for it?

My Review:

Hindu Religion is about attaining Nirvana, where the cycle of rebirth is broken. One strives to attain that highest status where ones soul merges with that of God. The soul stuck in mid way is in fact, how we are. We do not even realize it and that is what is terrifying. When we follow the right path then Nirvana is not as difficult as it seems.

I won't say that this book of poetry was a revelation for me. I liked the narration. The way he describes the mundane everyday life and is very near to the cycle of birth and death, being in a hospital. I always found that it is only place which levels us. We are forced to contemplate our own mortality. It is how we deal with it, is the question as well as the answer.

Lost love need not be saddening. It gives us the confidence and capability to love. However, we are lost in the maze of life and think, why me, why me....

I found the poems rhapsodic, melodious and very touching. The beauty of words cannot but touch the soul, that very soul, which wants to attain the highest state. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Essential Readings & Study Guide: Poems about Social Justice, Women’s Rights, and the Environment by K.V. Dominic


“K. V. Dominic Essential Readings” gathers for the first time the three most important works of poetry from this shining new light of contemporary Indian verse in English: “Winged Reason,” “Write Son, Write” and “Multicultural Symphony.” A fourth collection of 22 previously unpublished poems round out a complete look at the first 12 years of Dominic’s prolific and profound verse. Each poem includes unique Study Guide questions suitable for South Asian studies curricula.
Written in free verse, each of his poems makes the reader contemplate on intellectual, philosophical, spiritual, political, and social issues of the present world. Themes range from multiculturalism, environmental issues, social mafia, caste-ism, exploitation of women and children, poverty, and corruption to purely introspective matters. From the observation of neighborhood life to international events, and everyday forgotten tragedies of India, nothing escapes the grasp of Dominic’s keen sense of the fragility of life and morality in the modern world.

My review:

This poetry book is one of those which stays with you long after you finish reading the poems. The poems deal with the real issues of our present society and have been written in very beautiful language. The poems deal with real emotions too, arising out of those issues.

Women's issues, cultural values, globalization, its impact, all these have been dwelt with strongly and hit us hard. We are aware of what is going around us yet we turn a blind eye. The poems in this book brings us back to those and we are forced to confront.

I recommend this poetry book to all those who the world to change for the better...
Sharing here one of the poems....
Pleasures and Pains

Pleasures and pains;

two sides of a coin.

We toss it early morning;

majority gets the pains side.

Pleasures come like sprinkle,

while pains fall like deluge

and continue like monsoon.

Happiness is a mist

while sorrows shower like snow.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Hassan El-Tayyab's Composing Temple Sunrise


Composing Temple Sunrise: Overcoming Writer's Block at Burning Man is an inspirational coming-of-age memoir about a 26-year-old songwriter looking to refuel his creative energy. Trigged by the Great Recession of 2008, Hassan El-Tayyab loses his Special Education teaching job in Boston and sets out on a cross-country adventure with a woman named Hope Rideout, determined to find his lost muse. His journey brings him to Berkeley, CA, where he befriends a female metal art collective constructive a 37-foot Burning Man art sculpture named "Fishbug." What follows is a life-changing odyssey through Burning Man that helps Hassan harness his creative spirit, overcome his self-critic, confront his childhood trauma, and realize the healing power of musical expression. 

My views:

All of us are plagued by one issue or more, at any given point of time. The way we deal with those is what shapes our lives. Some deal it with inner strength, a few seek help. But Hassan deals it with it by travelling. He is determined to find himself and his muse.

He is drifting aimlessly, yet is not ashamed to write about it. He has no aim, no goal as such except maybe for coming in terms with himself. Meeting people, and interacting with them, along with the Burning Man stuff, all these help him in one way or the other.

Personal issues intermingle with creativity and that makes the memoir worth reading. I usually don't read memoirs but I am glad I read it. That too at a time, when I myself seem to going nowhere. Drifting directionless....

Loved the honesty and the almost, self derision. Maybe simple living is the answer. I wouldn't know. I am not that adventurous to give up my creature comforts. Everything said and done, I recommend it for those who are in dire need of finding themselves....

I must mention one of the quotes in the memoir that called out to me...

As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people's ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life. 

~~Amy Poehler.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Poetic Book Tours: Field Guide To The End Of The World by Jeannine Hall Gailey

Book Description:

Field Guide to the End of the World, winner of the 2015 Moon City Poetry Award, delivers a whimsical look at our culture’s obsession with apocalypse as well as a thoughtful reflection on our resources in the face of disasters both large and small, personal and public. Pop-culture characters—from Martha Stewart and Wile E. Coyote to zombie strippers and teen vampires—deliver humorous but insightful commentary on survival and resilience through poems that span imagined scenarios that are not entirely beyond the realm of possibility. The characters face their apocalypses in numerous ways, from strapping on rollerblades and swearing to taking notes as barns burn on the horizon. At the end of the world, the most valuable resource is human connection—someone holding our hands, reminding us “we are miraculous.”

TitleField Guide To The End Of The World 

Author: Jeannine Hall Gailey
ISBN:  978-0913785768
Publisher: Moon City Press/2016

One things sticks out when you read Gailey's poetry. That she has deep knowledge about science. She touches War in all its forms, Disappearance of Bees, and Natural Disasters. Pondering about all these should stop us on our tracks and it does. 

Field Guide To The End Of The World is dark. Yet the humour makes the dark bearable. The way she makes us think is like keep changing channels for our favourite programmes. We want to watch it all at the same time. Same with her poems. We want to savour the poems all at the same time.

In the poem In Case, it starts with matter of voice but gets fanciful when we reach the middle. 

We were taught in grade school different lessons of survival:

In case of nuclear attack, hide under your desk.
In case of chemical attack, buy duct tape.
Buy a rape whistle.Learn a martial art

I read old fairy tales, wolves lurking behind trees

and parents ready to kill children.Magic mirrors,
dragons, spells that charm and protect.
Burn this herb to banish ghosts.

Sometimes I imagine afterlife, puffs of pink
clouds and unicorns, or gold harps, or glass cities
with streets made of Emerald. The whole earth
spinning like a child's marble below, pitiful.

We are told to vaccinate, o educate, to warn.
Traffic tickets, parking signs: bureaucratic safety nets.
Our governments promise safety in exchange for....
I will light a candle, listen to the solar-charged radio for a sign.

Introduction to the Body in Fairy Tales

The body is a place of violence. Wolf teeth, amputated hands.
Cover yourself with a cloak of leaves, a coat of a thousand furs,
a paper dress. The dark forest has a code. The witch
sometimes dispenses advice, sometimes eats you for dinner,
sometimes turns your brother to stone.
You will become a canary in a castle, but you’ll learn plenty
of songs. Little girl, watch out for old women and young men.
If you don’t stay in your tower you’re bound for trouble.
This too is code. Your body is the tower you long to escape,
and all the rotted fruit your babies. The bones in the forest
your memories. The little birds bring you berries.
The pebbles on the trail glow ghostly white.

I have the following poetry books by Gailey and loved those 

The Robot Scientist's Daughter by Jeannine Hall Gailey and
Becoming the Villainess by Jeannine Hall Gailey

But Field Guide To The End Of The World is one of her best till date. It has been divided into sections and each one reaches out. As I understand Rocket Science only too well, these poems touched the scientist in me....

The poems makes an impact, changes us in subtle ways, and make us wish to reach out and touch the words. Need I say more? May be yes...may be no....I must mention here I am no fan anything apocalyptic or of zombies or vampires. Despite that I couldn't put down this book of poetry.

In short, I am going to read more of Gailey's poetry....

Wish I had the print copy of this.....

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Poetic Book Tours: You're the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened by Arisa White


Angular, smart, and fearless, Arisa White’s newest collection takes its titles from words used internationally as hate speech against gays and lesbians, reworking, re-envisioning, and re-embodying language as a conduit for art, love, and understanding. You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened works through intersectional encounters with gender, identity, and human barbarism, landing deftly and defiantly in beauty.

My views:
The first thing I felt about "You're the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened by Arisa White" is that it is very liberating. Each and every poem is about love. Not the fairy tale kind but the everyday kind which sustains. I won't say these are spiritual but are visceral, the kind which touch the gut. The poems are like songs of set to tune. Those soulful songs we all love to listen to, in certain moods. With deep feelings, these poems take us to that realm of deep thoughts. We sit back and contemplate. It ceases to matter what kind of relationship. Love is love, irrespective of who loves whom...the race, gender, social ladder is irrelevant. Eroticism is not something which has to be hidden. It can be flaunted subtly, sensually and is to be celebrated.
Tenderness touches the loneliness, a paradox in itself but isn't that how it works? 
I loved the following poems....
I will read Arisa White again and again....

There are little words
that can fit in little places
if you say them small enough.

To fit a song into a pore
you have to be prepared
for the day it will sweat.

If words could stick on people,
if spoken, they would become
a different creature.

Blinded and you’re turned
five times around. Nothing
in you knows what it knew.

It’s the best part of the game:
Prick the girls you like best
while pinning on the donkey’s tail.