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Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: To a Skylark by Percy Bysshe Shelley

January 19th, 2018 (06:00 am)
determined

Current Mood: determined
Current Song: crushcrushcrush by Paramore

We look before and after,
And pine for what is not:
Our sincerest laughter
With some pain is fraught;
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.

Yet if we could scorn
Hate, and pride, and fear;
If we were things born
Not to shed a tear,
I know not how thy joy we ever should come near.

Better than all measures
Of delightful sound,
Better than all treasures
That in books are found,
Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground!

Teach me half the gladness
That thy brain must know,
Such harmonious madness
From my lips would flow
The world should listen then, as I am listening now.

- selected lines from To a Skylark by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Read the poem in its entirety.

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: the idea of shrinking is hereditary by Rupi Kaur

January 12th, 2018 (06:00 am)
determined

Current Mood: determined
Current Song: Peek-a-Boo by Red Velvet

trying to convince myself
i am allowed
to take up space
is like writing with
my left hand
when i was born
to use my right

- the idea of shrinking is hereditary by Rupi Kaur

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: The Day by Robert Lowell

January 5th, 2018 (06:00 am)
determined

Current Mood: determined
Current Song: Law & Order: SVU score music

It's amazing
the day is still here
like lightning on an open field,
terra firma and transient
swimming in variation,
fresh as when man first broke
like the crocus all over the earth.

- the opening lines of The Day by Robert Lowell

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Little Willow [userpic]

Best Books of 2017

December 31st, 2017 (08:02 pm)
determined

Current Mood: determined
Current Song: Parks & Rec theme song

Total number of books and scripts read in 2017: 252

Here is my list of the best books of 2017, containing titles released and read in that calendar year. Please note that a title's placement within a category is not an indication of rank of any sort; titles are typically listed in the order I read them. Click on a title to read my review.

Fiction
Ararat by Christopher Golden

Young Adult Fiction
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
Once and For All by Sarah Dessen

Juvenile Fiction
Totally Crushed by Kristen Tracy (the sequel to Project (Un)Popular)
Real Friends by Shannon Hale (graphic novel)

Additional highlights

Into the Woods libretto and score written by James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim - This was not the first time I've read this, and it won't be the last!

I re-read Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr in honor of its cinematic adaptation.

I discovered the play The Secret in the Wings by Mary Zimmerman.

Check out my year-end booklists from previous years:
Best Books of 2016
Best Books of 2015
Best Books of 2014
Best Books of 2013
Best Books of 2012
Best Books of 2011
Best Books of 2010
Best Books of 2009
Best Books of 2008
Best Books of 2007
Best Books of 2006
Best Books of 2005

I also post a list of my favorite books every month, and I have curated dozens of other booklists filled with titles for different audiences, a wide range of genres, topics, and ages. Enjoy!

Little Willow [userpic]

Best Books of December 2017

December 31st, 2017 (07:06 pm)
content

Current Mood: content
Current Song: Wake Up With Me by Gabrielle Aplin

December: 43 books and scripts read

This month's highlight was the screenplay for The Big Sick. Written by Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani and inspired by their real-life story, it was funny and well-plotted, with realistic characters and reactions. I read the screenplay before I saw the movie, which I also enjoyed. The film was extremely true to the screenplay, down to some of the smallest details.

Stay tuned - my list of the Best Books of 2017 will be posted tonight!

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: Foundling by Megan Levad

December 29th, 2017 (06:00 am)
awake

Current Mood: awake
Current Song: My Favorite Wife score music

Before the earliest flute
was carved from a vulture’s wing,

before we - what few we were -
bowed to the moon,

the balmy, secular night,
you were coming.

Snug in the great throat of a glacier.
Still as a wish, until its sighing end.

I like to think you waited years
for us, one shoulder greening in the damp,

the other burnished by long leaves
of wheat, before we called it wheat.

Or was it loess, the wind's fine veil,
polished you so bright we would know you at first sight?

- selected lines from Foundling by Megan Levad

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: The Crocodile by Lewis Carroll

December 22nd, 2017 (06:00 am)
awake

Current Mood: awake
Current Song: Doctor Who score music

How doth the little crocodile
       Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
      On every golden scale!

How cheerfully he seems to grin,
      How neatly spreads his claws,
And welcomes little fishes in,
      With gently smiling jaws!

- The Crocodile by Lewis Carroll

Scroll through my Alice tag for additional posts related to Alice in Wonderland and/or Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson).

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: A Well Runs Out of Thirst by Jane Hirshfield

December 15th, 2017 (06:00 am)
grateful

Current Mood: grateful
Current Song: Magnificent (She Says) by Elbow

A well runs out of thirst
the way time runs out of a week,
the way a country runs out of its alphabet
or a tree runs out of its height.
The way a brown pelican
runs out of anchovy-glitter at darkfall.

A strange collusion,
the way a year runs out of its days
but turns into another,
the way a cotton towel's compact
with pot and plate seems to run out of dryness
but in a few minutes finds more.

A person comes into the kitchen
to dry the hands, the face,
to stand on the lip of a question.

Around the face, the hands,
behind the shoulders,
yeasts, mountains, mosses multiply answers.

There are questions that never run out of questions,
answers that don't exhaust answer.

Take this question the person stands asking:
a gate rusting open.
Yes stands on its left, no on its right,
two big planets of unpainted silence.

- A Well Runs Out of Thirst by Jane Hirshfield

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Little Willow [userpic]

Support and Save Sheltered Animals

December 14th, 2017 (07:00 am)
accomplished

Current Mood: accomplished
Current Song: I Can Do Better Than That as sung by Lauren Kennedy

'Tis the season of giving. Why not give an animal a home - not just for the holidays, but for life?

There are many cats and dogs in local animal shelters who would love to be a part of your household. If you want to and are able to share your home with a pet, please save an animal who desperately needs a home. You'll have a friend for life.

When choosing a pet, please do not let age be a factor. Yes, baby kittens are adorable, but so are older pets. The adoption rate of adult cats and dogs is much lower than that of the newborns and toddlers, so to speak. Just because a shelter pet is older doesn't mean it has had a hard life; perhaps he had a great life until his owners discovered their child was allergic to dogs. Just because a shelter pet is older doesn't mean she is ill or bad-tempered; perhaps she is the very picture of health and manners, but hasn't found the right human yet.

Perhaps that human is you.

You'd be shocked by how many people think non-humans are disposable. They aren't. I value all forms of life. A cat isn't a dog and a little girl isn't a bunny, but they are all animals. People are animals too. Don't forget that.

If you have some spare change, consider donating it to a shelter - especially a no-kill shelter. You'd be surprised how little it takes to save a life.

If you cannot adopt pets or do not have the funds to make a monetary donation, you can give them attention and love by donating your time and being a volunteer. You will bring some light into their lives, and they will do the same for you. Call your local animal shelter and ask if there is a volunteer program or donation system in place.

I also encourage you to donate your blankets to shelters. Such a simple gesture, easy to make, yet not often considered. Think of how cold it gets at night. Be thankful if you have a home and a bed to sleep in, because you're luckier than many others. If you have a heater, a thick comforter, and warm clothing, you're luckier still. Just because an animal has fur doesn't mean he or she is warm. Many animal shelters do not have adequate heating. Many do not have enough beds to go around, let alone blankets. Kitties won't mind if there are cartoons on their sheets, and neither do hounds. Neither will people, for that matter. If you find you have an abundance of old bedclothes, donate some to an animal shelter and some to a shelter for displaced persons. (Please wash your old blankets before donating them.)

One last thing: If you have pets at home already (or after acting on the recommendations in this post), please do me a favor and pet them for me.

This post is in memory of my cats. I miss you!

Related Post:
Adopt-a-Senior-Pet Month and National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week

External Links:
Help the ASPCA
ASPCA video with Sarah McLachlan
The Pedigree Adoption Drive
Shelter Stories from Patrick McDonnell
One of Patrick's comic strips

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: Unwind by Guy Garvey

December 8th, 2017 (06:00 am)
hopeful

Current Mood: hopeful
Current Song: Unwind by Guy Garvey

Can I picture us in skyline scene
Can I see your face like a waking dream
Can I hear your heart
Can I hang my hat
Can you risk your time on a whim like that

Could you take my hand
Could you leave your phone
Could you let me lead you away from home
Can I hear your heart
Can I hang my hat
Can you risk your time on a whim like that

Can I see my years folding into yours
Can I see myself walking in your door
Can I hear your heart
Can I hang my hat
Can you risk your time on a whim like that

Could you take my hand
Could you leave your phone
Could you let me lead you away from home
Can I hear your heart
Can I hang my hat
Can you risk your time on a whim like that

Can I picture us in skyline scene
Can I see your face like a waking dream
Can I see my years folding into yours
Can I see myself walking in your door

- lyrics from the song Unwind by Guy Garvey

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.