Tuesday, March 23, 2004

I went to the library the other day to look for a book, and as often happens (particularly when I do not find what I want), I ended up checking out three books. I wanted to read a few volumes of poetry. One of these was Things of This World by Richard Wilbur, which won the Pulitzer and National Book Award in 1957. For some reason I had trouble getting into the book. I'm not entirely sure why. Possibly I was more distracted in reading than I have been in the previous weeks when reading poetry. Perhaps there were allusions I didn't get and that threw me. I thought at first that I was bothered by how formal most of the poems were, but actually one reason I have liked Wilbur at other times is his mastery of form. I guess that some of the poems felt dated. But that's no excuse. I think I should give the book another chance eventually. I started to get into it more toward the end (another reason that I think I may have been a bit distracted).

A poem that stood out to me was "Boy at the Window." I don't know that I "got it," but I liked the picture of the boy looking out sadly at a snowman and the snowman looking back sadly at the boy. (Just noticed that this poem is included in The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart. Interesting.)

Don't know that I'll get to the other two books. Still reading the Merton book and have also gotten another Merton book via interlibrary loan. We shall see.

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