"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.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Booked Up, 2021, Part 4--Soul Food, Poetry and Art


Poetry and Art, bottom, top
I suppose books on art, and poetry, should be considered non-fiction for the most part, but I separate them because they're special to me. 

I think that's true even of Whitman, His poetry touches parts of us that are as real as our heart beats. This past year I've been through about 10 such books, not counting Walt, whom we turn to often even for a few lines and memories.

ART: Other than those reread, posted earlier, there have been two more. The most recent art book is one we bought in October, visiting Susan's favorite town, Truchas, on the high road to Taos.

  • Truchas, Sally Delap-John. We stopped in her gallery years ago and bought her first book, and couldn't pass up another chance to view her paintings of Northern New Mexico. We will eventually buy one, but this time settled for her little book with great painting of my favorite mountains, the Truchas, on the cover.
  •  The Art of Noticing, 131  ways to Spark Creativity..., Rob Walker. A book Austin Kleon recommended, and full of ideas to push me out of ruts and find inspirations for painting.
POETRY: “Read poetry every day of your life. Poetry is good because it flexes muscles you don’t use often enough."--Ray Bradbury

There were only four poetry books  I read in these six months, but they brought life and honesty and sense into this pandemic world.

Poetry is a tradition in our marriage. We have more than one shelf of thin books of poetry in our front room, many by people I know, others  I've found at the Western Heritage Awards at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. And, Susan usually buys me a poetry book or so on either our anniversaries or Valentines days. They also are usually poets I've never  heard of.

So it was in October, we walked into the smaller, a "boutique" bookstore in Santa Fe, Gunstock Hill Books, with more than 8,000 books. Owned by a retired doctor from New Hampshire, it is packed with first editions and signed books of all sorts. As we got ready to leave to go across the street to eat, Susan cam e up with three poetry books, all first editions: 
  • Turquoise Land, Anthology of New Mexico Poetry, 1974, New Mexico Poetry Society, 99 pages of poetry plus bios of the poets.
  • Leonard Cohen, Poems and songs, 1993, 234 pp.
  • The San Franciso Poems, Victor di Suvero, inscribed. 1987. 63 pps.
Closer to home:
  • In The Days of Our Resilience, Nathan Brown. 2021, www.brownlines.com The fourth  in his Pandemic Poetry Project, a poem a day since May, 2020, poems  written on prompts from sponsors, including one from me. 287 pps. Brown is former Poet Laureate of Oklahoma. Reading his books is like taking a journey back in time through the last almost two years of turmoil in the U.S. They exercise and stretch the senses and mind, with wit, compassion and insight.

1 comment:

  1. I always love to see what you are reading.
    Happy New Year to you and your wife.


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