Over the years, I have accumulated a fair amount of books that await to be read, taking up a whole bookshelf in my house. A few arrived in the form of gifts (most people are afraid of giving me books, something I don’t understand since they are my favorite thing in the world), most I brought from Spain, some I bought here. At any time in my life I’m reading several books: at least one poetry book, a light narative one I carry when I go out to read on buses and coffee shops, the big novel by my bed and the literary theory/critic book on my desk. At this point in my life, they come in all sizes and colors, and both in English and Spanish. Now that being pregnant gives me a great excuse to rest during Little Pb’s nap, something I will never do again once I have my third boy, I’m set to go through at least part of that bookshelf. And I may blog about it. Since I’m better at reading than at blogging, I’m not going to make big promises. But I would love to write a bit about each book I finish. I don’t intend for it to be serious critic, although my career, in perpetual hiatus, is literature. I will just write my impression of the book.
I will start with something light, like Tennyson. This book was given to me by my husband at least six years ago. I know because it was purchased from my beloved and extinct Borders. He gives me a poetry book for every birthday and Christmas, and it doesn’t matter what comes with the book, be it an IPhone, hat or bag, I will always like the book better. It is a beautifully done little pocket anthology, with no introduction or editor notes. Pure and simple poetry. Reading it aloud, in the hopes that the baby on the belly is listening, has helped me appreciate the craft needed by older authors to try to achieve perfection according to the standards of their times. Normally, having to abide to the rules of rhyme affects the feelings transmitted by the verses, as form trumps content. Just a few authors can maintain a balance between the two, and Tennyson is one of them. With his beautiful language games, he can transport you to gardens and battles of other times, and make both equally appealing. And although I normally favor raw, blunt contemporary poetry that cares more about the punch than the rhyme, I really enjoyed reading this classic.