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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Reader's Diary #251- John B. Lee: These Are The Days Of Dogs and Horses (up to "Forgive Me")

(I'm trying to keep this short. Internet access or not, blogging is not for vacation!)

An image in the very first poem, "Two Ways of Visiting The Beach", really stuck out to me:
Setting a book down, open, half read,
spine up, sheltering its print.
I really love this book as a tent image. Obvious physical similarities between a book in this position and a pup tent are easy. The idea of words camping out, or even hiding in there- sometimes with us readers as company- safe from the outside world and its distractions is powerful. The "spine up" choice reiterates the vulnerability of the words, as the book lies in a prone position, doing what it can to shelter us all underneath.

In this particular poem of course, with the act of putting the book aside, the implication is made that the reader himself was not safe from distractions. Still, there is a comfort in knowing that after beach has lost its allure, its novelty, the book is still open to him. They're such unassuming sorts, aren't they?

7 comments:

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I think the author is trying to tell you to put the book down and take your kids to the zoo already.

John Mutford said...

Actaully, I'm in Ottawa and my kids won't join me until Sunday- we leave for San Diego on Monday. But I'm getting some much needed shopping done, spending time with my cousin and family, and yesterday I went to the National Art Gallery. Asides from being astounded seeing the group of seven paintings and other favourites like Alex Colville, they were having an exhibition of Ron Mueck's works which gobsmacked me beyond all recognition. I think I have to go a second time. So yes, books and blogs aside, I am taking advantage of the city life. Might do Ethiopian food tonight!

Sam Houston said...

Have fun, John. I know how quickly a person's blog becomes like a member of the family, demanding attention of its own, not to be ignored even on a vacation trip. I experienced that last June when I found myself drawn to the keyboard last thing every night no matter where I was or what I'd done all day. I quit trying to fight it after the second night. :-)

Allison said...

I have to agree with Sam's comment about how quickly a person's blog becomes like a member of the family.

I too thought you were in the States already. Well, welcome to my neck of the woods, sounds like Ottawa is treating you fine. I do enjoy the National Art Gallery, I've only been twice, but there exhibits are always tops. Mueck's work sounds very interesting!

John Mutford said...

Ah the anonymity of the web. I could really be anywhere. Maybe I haven't even left Iqaluit. Or maybe I've never lived there. Maybe I'm really Corey Hart.

John Mutford said...

I'd compare blogging more to coffee than a member of the family.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You know how to do a trip, John! NAG sounds fantastic. Sam, you are so right about a blog needing constant feeding. It's sort of like the family dog in that way.