Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Breakages + meme for Ms. Box Elder

I am taking a wee break from blogging because I am having a lovely almost-spring spate of new poems. Also, I ought to be in a dragon-biting gunpowder mood because two of my books are going out of print at once (the Penguin/Firebird paperback editions of The Curse of the Raven Mocker and Ingledove--better get one now or never), and I might just be in that bad mood later on so may as well vanish till I'm over it. However, at the moment I am being of great good cheer because I'm placing a lot of stories and poems and what is even better, having that grand lyric gush of poems. Every now and then I get a flood of the things, and it's the most wondrous pleasure.

See you later! And may you have much happy April fooling! But be sure that this, though possibly written by an April fool, is no fooling . . .

Despite much cheerful tagging, I rarely get around to doing a meme... This one from Box Elder sticks in memory because I actually dredged up the name of the book when Lucy posted her quote.

The rules for Lucy's meme go like this:

1. Pick up the book you are reading, or else the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).

2. Open the book to page 123.

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the next three sentences

5. Tag five people.
If you're reading this and have a blog and the funny feeling that I mean you, consider yourself tagged.
No, it was the chirping of birds, which landed like gray shot on open umbrellas, for here I was offered real German canaries from the Harz Mountains, cageloads of goldfinches and starlings, basketfuls of winged talkers and singers. Spindle-shaped and light, as if stuffed with cotton wool; jumping jerkily, agile as if running on smooth ball bearings; chattering like cuckoos in clocks--they were destined to sweeten the life of the lonely, to give bachelors a substitute for family life, to squeeze from the hardest of hearts the semblance of maternal warmth brought forth by their touching helplessness. Even when the page was almost turned, their collective, alluring chirping seemed to persist.
Photograph: The literary mosaic picture is courtesy of http://www.sxc.hu/ and Christa Richert of Berlin, Germany. Now see if you can put any of these little shards of word into a larger mosaic.

27 comments:

  1. Wishing you much joy from the lyrical gushing of poems...and may it assuage the sad news from the publisher.
    'Til then, penguin!

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  2. So happy that you're in the flow, Miss Marly. It's a good season for it. Now, some days I might be able to handle your Frostian erudition and suchlike, but not today, still in a fog as I am. I read your words, marvel at them, know they'd more than repay a closer read, but no can do. They'll still be here when my intelligence ( I do have some, somewhere) returns. Many congratulations on all of your achievments.

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  3. zephyr,

    Thank you, my wafty, wavery little breeze!

    Laura,

    No worry. Probably one shouldn't talk about poems in detail because one will just end up being plagiarized by lazy college students.

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  4. this is a fun little meme

    I have been reading a night stand book for several months now. I will read a few lines and have to close my eyes, this book is not a pice of literature or anything its called Mistress of Blackstone Castle

    I had a few min free so thought I would play

    Honestly it would have to be a cheese scene

    "His mouth covered mine, and my head bent back as he scooped me into his arms. I pressed against him, only then realizing how constrained I had felt in the house and how watchful I had been of touching him since his injury."....hahahaaa the third sentence is almost to cheesy to share but it is my cross to bear that this touch of Lydia would be my chosen book of now compared to that amazing sentence you posted, "Heather, he said, as he lifted his head, his kisses dusting ocver my face."

    oh, I also debuted a new hat yesterday that you musnt miss. I think the pot boy would wave a spoon to it.

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  5. It's terrific to hear about the poems. THe out of printness may pass when someone finally makes a movie out of one of your books and all of them subsequently get reissued! THen maybe you'll come out to California, and we can hang out.
    RE: the meme, I'm game. I'll go do it right now, if you promise to come see.

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  6. Susanna,

    That is very ludicrous and cheerful. I am wondering exactly where his injury might be...

    Where are the new old hats coming from, anyway?

    Robinka,

    I've sold movie rights once, but they couldn't raise enough money. Never count on such things is my advice!

    Yes, I'll come by later. Right now I am all worn out by the antics of evening--5th-grade night at the middle school, etc. Senior play starts Thursday, so there is much (bit too much) going on around here.

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  7. Thank you for doing the meme, and I am very flattered to see that the humbel box elder tree gets a label at the palace, doubtless alongside many a luxuriant and exotic specimen of magnolia, catalpa, paulinia, arbutus...

    I don't know what the escerpt is from but it sounds terrific.

    You will be missed but your spring burgeoning of creativity sounds fab. Hope to partake of some of the results...

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  8. Lucy,

    Your box elder is flourishing quite nicely!

    I'll post the answer later. Maybe somebody wandering by will nab it.

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  9. the mistress of the relm has been quiet lately, all is well? taxes done an all?

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  10. Taxes almost mailed...

    I'm just buried in the senior play (just over--my "Teddy Brewster" got lots of compliments!), trips to colleges for my senior (last one coming up), various events, not to mention all the usual stuff I have to do for my children.

    But I also am having a run of poetry, so I'm saving my shreds of time for poems. I'll be back later.

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  11. Hey Marly,

    Sounds like you've been busy too. Me too.

    I actually got to read this week at the arts council for National poetry month. I read Elizabeth Bishop's "One Art." and a couple of my poems. It was fun. I also cold read a friend of mine's poems. Had not seen either one, but did a bang up job of reading. Impressed the locals at the arts council.

    I've written two new poems, neither one fit for anything yet, both in revision stage, but I'm writing anyway. Can't wait to read some of yours.

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  12. Forgot to say I did the meme at my blog too.

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  13. I would play if I understood the fifth step. Now off to give the Pot Boy a response...

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  14. Hello all--

    Just returned from two nights at The White Inn in Fredonia (http://www.whiteinn.com.) I find college visits rather exhausting...

    Amanda,

    Just leave off the fifth step. I did--left it to anybody to pass it on.

    A "tag" means that the person who is "tagged" is invited to do the meme on their own blog.

    Donna,

    Will drop by anon. Hurrah for the poetry reading!

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  15. Hey Marly,

    Hoping all is well with you, and yours.

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  16. Donna,

    Sorry to be so lax! Though it's not true; I've been working hard on taxes and many other dutiful projects. I will visit people soon... I have been out of town on a longish college-visit trip, and I have been overwhelmed with things to do related to my three and more.

    But I also have still been on a mad fertile spree of poem-writing, very long and delicious and not over yet.

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  17. Hope the wind blows well for you all and that we will get a master piece here to see soon!

    Has the snow gone yet?
    Typical April showers here.

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  18. See you soon and lots of lovely creating !

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  19. Robert,

    It snowed on the flowers last week... See you at Dorset Sculpture!

    Jan,

    Thanks--now that I'm getting so many new poems, I am wholly behind in everything. See you later...

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  20. gurl,
    you just got to update and bring some magic back to the blogosphere

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  21. Hey there, Miss Susanna--

    Thank you for that sweet note! I really don't know what I'm going to do--I don't even know if I am coming back to the web except as an occasional poster-and-visitor. Right now my life is ferociously busy--though part of that will culminate with graduations from elementary and high school at the end of June. So far eleven people are descending on us.

    I am also getting a great deal of writing done, and that is making difficulties with navigating the other parts of my life. Children's desires and needs are always pressing... But I need an amanuensis, a house-cleaner, a chaffeur, an occasional babysitter, and a gardener. I could throw in a caterer and party-planner for the end of June. I am splintered into all those things and more, as well as being mother of three and writer. (We all know that children don't need a writer in the house--they just need a mother!) So I just don't know but will think about it when life slows down a little bit.

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  22. Many happy over-busy-nesses to you! Similar and ditto here, but not quite at your degree of family overload. Stay well and have fun...

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  23. Looking forward to seeing you soon and hope all the writing progressing well.

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  24. Thanks, Lori!

    Jan,

    Yes, it is, although I've taken the last few days off to garden madly--must have the back spiffed before graduation.

    I'm in a what-does-the-world-need-with-another-blogger mood...

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  25. I put up some pictures of the inside of my Eastern Star chapter room, well just one really, if you need some bizzar distraction. I know you are interested in that type of thing :o)

    happy memorial day

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  26. Need? Oh, I don't think there's an answer to that sort of question. But you are definitely missed!

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  27. Miss be-hatted Susanna L.,

    I shall take a peek at your mysterious life soon... Today is N's birthday, and madness has seized hold. He has a double-header, and then we are off to laser tagging, gem panning, scooter riding, mini-golfing.

    MB,

    Greetings! Oh yes, you are right. The Wisdom of MB. And it is pleasant to be missed. Perhaps I will be back after the formidable graduation events to come at the end of June.

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.