A Mild Confession

Boxes of books remain locked away in storage, remnants of our move across town, almost three years ago. Although I cleared out closet space and rearranged bookcases, as of yet I still have not claimed my volumes of prose, art history, and Western Civilization commentaries— often on weekends a sense of guilt rises. I make plans to visit the unit, but something always intervenes: papers to grade, sickness in the family, a party for Brendan to attend—perhaps, I tell myself as my hand writes out these confessions, perhaps this weekend will be different. Time will tell.

On my nightstand currently: seven books, mostly poetry, all at various stages of reading.

1. Jean Valentine, Break the Glass
2. Amanda Auchter, The Wishing Tomb
3. Sara Eliza Johnson, Bone Map
4. Melissa Studdard, I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast
5. Richard Jackson, Retrievals
6. Ron Starbuck, When Angels are Born
7. Karen Armstrong, Visions of God

This of course does not include the list of books stored on my e-reader.

1. William Faulkner, Intruder in the Dust
2. Seamus Heaney, Selected Poems: 1966-1987
3. Seamus Heaney, Sweeney Astray
4. Charles Bukowski, Mockingbird Wish Me Luck
5. James Joyce, Ulysses
6. Matsuo Bashō, Narrow Road to the Interior
7. J. R. R. Tolkien, Beowulf
8. Betsy Sholl, Late Psalm
9. Philip Schultz, The Wherewithal
10. Haniki Murakami,1Q84
11. Markus Zusak,The Book Thief
12. Barbara W. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror

I feel the need to schedule serious reading time.


  1. The plumber - yielding to building regulations and Health and Safety 'stuff' - is about to demolish the book-cased wall in the quiet sitting-room I (a bit ambitiously) call 'the library'. Behind the parana pine cases and the old books lies a jungle of chimney flues. I suspect he'll be ripping out the whole flue the entire stretch of its 5 storeys. But what it means is: the books go back into storage. Given it took years to get them out of storage I have a feeling that this will be the last time I see them... I can add even more guilt to the guilt of years of book-neglect... It's got so bad here that my old wardrobes are groaning under the weight of the piles of books lining their tops and I'm wading through books as I climb out of bed. I just read 'H is for Hawk'. Astonishing stuff that I commend to you - though only if you promise to feel no guilt if you can't get to it. Heaney is God. Was God. Is God. I can recite whole poems of his - and the only other writer I can do that with is Shakespeare. And we all know that he's Big God. It's good to be back with you. :-) X

  2. OUCH. Repairs and older houses. How old is your house? I envision something from the mid-Nineteenth century... or is that sounding too much like the Romantic poets? However, tomorrow, am visiting the storage unit. Need to find some resources for classes.

  3. This place was built in 1789/91 (took a couple of years to build the Row and it's hard to determine where they started - at 'my' end or the other...). Google 'Robert Owen' and 'New Lanark' - I stay in the village. It's a strange place and a weird house - 'rubble' built from undressed sandstone and with those tiny sash and case timber windows (23 of them-ugh!) - 5 floors - a converted millworkers tenement... But I love it.

    1. This is what I miss about living in the States. Everything here is so Modern and New. Up to the last second, fresh off the line. It's shoved so deep into our consciousness that we forget the sense of history behind current trends. Moreso here in Texas. In Missouri where I lived briefly I had an opportunity to purchase a condo that was constructed from residential dwellings for delegates for the 1904 Worlds Fair in Saint Louis. Beautiful antique woods and book shelves and fireplaces and windows. Ah well. Regrets and might-of-been.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts