I am linking up to the Sunday Post hosted by Kim of Caffeinated Book Reviewer and The Sunday Salon (TSS) hosted by Deb Nance of Readerbuzz where participants recap our week, talk about what we are reading, share any new books that have come our way, and whatever else we want to talk about. I am also linking It's Monday! What Are you Reading? hosted by Kathryn of Book Date where readers talk about what they have been, are and will be reading.
I had hoped to dive into another collection of poetry this month (Nikki Giovanni's A Good Cry, which I have right here on my desk), but my readings have been more of the random variety, fitting a poem in here and there when I am able. I re-read some old favorites as well as explored new poems.
Maya Angelou has long been one of my favorite poets, inspiring not just for her words but by her life acts too. She overcame so much during her lifetime, advocated for others as a civil rights activist and a woman, and was a role model for so many. I have talked about her before on my blog as someone I admire and respect as a person and a writer. Some of my favorite verses from her poems:
The caged bird singswith a fearful trillof things unknownbut longed for still ~ "Caged Bird" by Maya Angelou
The race of man is sufferingAnd I can hear the moan,'Cause nobody,But nobodyCan make it out here alone. ~ "Alone" by Maya Angelou
You may write me down in historyWith your bitter, twisted lies,You may trod in the very dirtBut still, like dust, I'll rise. ~ "Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou
I am still relatively new to the works of Gwendolyn Brooks and look forward to exploring her writings further. She was the first Black author to receive the Pulitzer Prize and later to become a consultant in poetry to the Library of Congress, a role that would later become known as the Poet Laureate. Here is a sampling of verses that resonated with me:
I pass you my Poem! - to tell youwe are all vulnerable -the midget, the Mighty,the richest, the poor. ~ "Winnie" by Gwendolyn Brooks
Live not for battles won.Live not for the end-of-the-song.Live in the along. ~ "Speech to the Young" by Gwendolyn Brooks
I subscribe to Poem-a-Day service, which I admit I do not always keep up with on a daily basis. I often let the poems pile up and read them on the weekend or when I have some extra time. I have come across some great poems through the service.
One of the poems that particularly caught my attention this month was "On Time Tanka" by June Jordan. It holds a power all its own--it speaks to racism and violence. I was curious about the poet behind the poem and a quick internet search opened up a treasure trove of some of her other work. June Jordan was a bisexual Jamaican American poet, playwright, essayist, and teacher and was committed human rights and political activism. She wrote on issues of race, sexuality, and class among other things. Some of the standout verses I found that I thought I would share with you today:
I refuse to choosebetween lynch rope and gangrapethe blues is the blues!my skin and my sex: Deep duesI have no wish to escape ~ "On Time Tanka" by June Jordan
Even tonight and I need to take a walk and clearmy head about this poem about why I can'tgo out without changing my clothes my shoesmy body posture my gender identity my agemy status as a woman alone in the evening/alone on the streets/alone in the evening/the point being that I can't do what I wantto do with my own body because I am the wrongsex the wrong age the wrong skin [...] ~ "Poem about My Rights" by June Jordan
I am not wrong: Wrong is not my nameMy name is my own my own my own ~ "Poem about My Rights" by June Jordan
She planted her feetand finally she stood thereblooming from all the places that once withered. ~ from Sugar Sunday by Q. Gibson
Though I breakI bare my bones beforethe world and do not weepbecause the worldbreaks tooI have watched itample times crumbleand still find its wayinto tomorrow. ~ from Sugar Sunday by Q. Gibson
If you haven't already, I highly recommend checking out these writers' works.
Have you read any of these poets before? Have you read a poem recently that moved you? Please share!
What I Am Reading: Earlier this week I read my TBR Poll winner, The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins. I understand now why so many of you are singing the book's praises! Mouse and I also finished Sink or Swim (Whatever After #3) by Sarah Mlynowski, which we both enjoyed.
I made progress on my lunch read (which I haven't been reading just at lunch this week), Michelle Obama's Becoming, and will likely finish this weekend. I wish now I had been better about marking passages that stood out for me. It's easier to do when I am reading on my e-reader because I can just highlight the text. But my copy of Becoming is a hardcover and I didn't think to have post-its, paper, or a pencil handy from the start. Oh well. I am really enjoying it.
I am in the mood for a fantasy novel and have settled on my next read being The Gilded Ones (Deathless #1) by Namina Forna.
What I Am Watching: Last weekend we put Back to the Future on hoping to introduce my daughter to one of my husband's and my favorite oldie-but-goody movies. My husband and I enjoyed re-watching it. My daughter wasn't as into it. We will try again later.
Those of you watching WandaVision . . . Have you seen the most recent episode?! I hate having to wait until next week for the next one. It's torture.
We are very near the end of Season 6 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and are reading to start Season 4 of Angel. Willow is out for vengeance and Cordelia chose a higher path while Angel . . . well, he's not in a good place.
Off the Blog: What has been happening this week? Goodness. For a minute I was drawing a blank. Monday was a holiday for Mouse and me. It was a fairly uneventful day. We made a Starbucks run and re-watched a couple of the Disney Fairy movies at her request. Tuesday I got my second dose of the COVID vaccine. I am glad I had the foresight to warn my boss and arrange for coverage in case I had to be out from work on Wednesday. It wasn't awful, but I was definitely feeling the side effects: low grade fever, achy all over, fatigue, sore arm, and terrible headache. I spent the day sleeping and reading and not much else. Mouse was nice enough to make me hot chocolate to help me feel better. I really appreciated her thoughtfulness! By the end of the night, I was feeling a bit better. The fever carried over into the next day as did the headache, but I was able to be present at work Thursday without too much trouble. From talking to coworkers who had the same type of vaccine I did, we all had similar experiences in terms of the side effects. Some worse than others, but mostly the same.
Mouse had a shortened day of virtual school yesterday (although the independent work kept her busy like it was a regular day) because teachers needed the time to work on report cards. I hadn't realized it was that time already. On one hand it seems too soon to be the end of the trimester, but then when I think how it started back in November, it feels like forever ago.
There's talk of opening the schools for in-person classes in our district--but getting anyone to pinpoint a date is next to impossible. I heard the end of March then April--which, given schools break for the summer in May, seems a bit shortsighted. But that's just my opinion. Maybe for some any time in a classroom is better than none. Mouse will continue to be virtual through the end of the year regardless.
Other than that, it's been a fairly normal week for us. Dance, work and school.
This Past Week In Reading Mews:
- Weekly Mews: Annie News, Cat Tree & Valentine's Surprise
- Bookish Mewsings: Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder & Finlay Donovan Is Killing It
- Waiting to Read Wednesday: Sing Me Forgotten / The Rose Code / Old Man's War
- Where Is Your Bookmark? (Bookish Mewsings: A Glimmer of Death by Valerie Wilson Wesley / Connect 5: TBR Mysteries/Crime Fiction by Black Authors / BBHOP: Squeezing in the Reading)
Tell me what you have been up to! What are you reading, listening to and watching? How was your week? Do you have anything planned for this week?
I hope you all have a wonderful week! Happy Reading!
© 2021, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.