As the western world turns a judgemental eye on the ‘beach bodies’ of the world, I’m reminded of this wonderful poem by Joyce Sutphen. Sadly I am not sunning myself on a beach here or abroad but I have been conscious of how much strain I’ve been putting my body under this year. I am conscious, mostly, because my body has been sending me gentle reminders that I am not superhuman – it need sleep and fruit and much more movement than it currently experiences on a weekly basis.
Another busy month, another singular book added to the Read Shelf. I really don’t know what I’ve been doing with all my time to be honest.
This poem has cropped up again and again in both my professional and personal lives, and every time it makes me stop and think and soak it all back up again.
A sign of a busy month, just one lonely book finished this month, but my goodness what a book.
This was one of the first poems I came across when I began working at The Reader, it was read during a group as part of my initial training, and it felt serendipitous.
Again, another interesting pairing to read so soon in succession. The Glorious Heresies and The Scarlet Letter are divided as much by time and geography as any moral high ground and yet there were still comparisons to be made and similarities to be noted. I haven’t embarked on this year’s reads with any kind of academic or philosophical considerations in mind but, much like in life, these things have presented themselves anyway.
Robert Frost is my home boy.
He was quite the handsome chap in his day and the words which he penned in his time never fall short of beautiful. The Bear is the perfect example of his tendency to the rural in landscape and the sardonic in undertone, but even on the face of things there are beautiful words and turns of phrase to delight.
Both of this month’s reads were chosen collectively by the Book Club I’m part of and although it wasn’t an entirely conscious decision, we couldn’t help but read one with the other in mind.
My introduction to the glorious Maya Angelou came at the hand of my A Level English teacher who included individual hand picked poem in our leaving cards. I was quite surprised at just how perfect the poem in question was for me. It felt as though my teacher had pinned me down in literary verse, something she did for each individual in that class.
Over the years I’ve written about countless bands, reviewed numerous gigs and albums, traced the climb of rising stars and chronicled their fall from grace but I’ve long since given up ambitions of becoming a music journalist.