What is It All but Luminous: Notes from an Underground Man by Art Garfunkel

Sometimes we can discover a weird but special relationship a person can have to certain music that affects us on levels that maybe we were never consciously aware.  Sometimes those lines of connections make the songs even more special than they were before. I grew up on early rock and roll.  I was raised on Elvis Presley, … Continue reading What is It All but Luminous: Notes from an Underground Man by Art Garfunkel

Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings by Shel Silverstein

Ah, the memories...! It's been more than 30 years since I last read the poems in this book.  Back in elementary school, it was an old favorite for the entire class.  Today, I find it an easy an accessible means to re-engage with poetry on my own terms.  It's weird and somewhat astonishing to discover … Continue reading Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings by Shel Silverstein

Sky Above, Great Wind: The Life and Poetry of Zen Master Ryokan

This 2 1/2 hour audiobook is bookended with an hour long biography of Zen Master Ryokan and 15 minutes of anecdotes.  In between are his simple Zen "poems that are not poems."  Ryokan was a Buddhist monk, a Shinto temple keeper, and by most accounts a very unkempt and dirty individual.  You'd never know it … Continue reading Sky Above, Great Wind: The Life and Poetry of Zen Master Ryokan

Complete Poems and Selected Letters of John Keats

Thanks to Tim Powers' The Stress of Her Regard (aka the best vampire novel ever written), I've gotten sucked (no pun intended) into the writings of Keats, Shelley, Byron, and their ilk, as well as their interconnected biographies. I used to abhor poetry, feeling like I was on the outside of something pompous and overblown … Continue reading Complete Poems and Selected Letters of John Keats

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Simon Armitage

The translator's introduction is invaluable for getting across the exact point of what this version is all about. The medieval version of this poem is alliterated, and rather than directly translate the words to modern English for the sake of the story, liberties have been taken to recreate the poetry of the alliteration and verse … Continue reading Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Simon Armitage