"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Pandemic poetry and prose

Pandemic poetry and prose in three months
Positive effects of the pandemic and quarantine do exist.
for me, it was a chance to begin reading many books, some of which I should have already read as a repentant English major.
I usually read pretty fast, but when you tackle more than one book at a time, some of these took longer than usual. But, in the past 10 weeks, I've managed to read 11, with two more underway.

  • Yes,  even though I skipped around, I did read both of them completely. First was Mary Oliver's Devotions, uplifting and thought provoking. Second and most recently completed, was  a Valentine's gift from my wife Susan, was Charles Bukowski's Betting on the Muse,  a sometime dark and extremely.  honest book of stories and poetry about through side of living.


  • Erik Larson's Isaac's Storm, about the 1900 Galveston hurricane...brilliant journalism and writing.
  • David McCullough's Brave Companions, short portraits of some well know and not well know people in history...terrific writing.
  • Neil H. Suneson's Roadside Geology of Oklahoma, one I won't read all the way through, but more than half, about areas of the state I'm interested in.
  • Paulo Coelho's Warrior of the Light, an inspirational book  of page long essays about accepting failure and living.
  • Victor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning, a re-read from years ago, makes you look inside yourself, and give a new perspective to living in a pandemic.


  • Willa Cather's My Antonia, a book I should have read long ago...what description and story telling.
  • Wendell Berry's That Distant Land, another book of shorter stories set in a fictional rural town, full of insights and writing that makes you laugh, and cry it is so real.
  • Richard Adam's Watership Down, from the stories he told his kids, about rabbits...delightful writing.
  • Anton Chekov, Selected Stories, because I'd never really read him, what characters and short portraits of real life in working Russia.
Still underway:
  • John Grisham's The Guardians, a thriller as usual, which I started in mid March, and just put down as I tackled these others.
  • Herman Melville's Moby Dick, a classic I may never have read, started two weeks ago, and it's slow going, at 600 plus pages.
Ps: Eight of these books were purchased at Best of Books in Edmond, two I found on our shelves, and one came from elsewhere.

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