I have finished reading all of the essays for one of my classes. Tomorrow I move on to rough drafts of research essays for another class. But the end is in sight.
Tonight Michael and I are going to watch "Persuasion". Tomorrow Laura and I are going to Riches at Rimsky's, which promises lots of crafts by local women artists. I may not buy anything, but I like the Rimsky-Korsakoffee house, and sometimes craft fairs are fun!
I have downloaded all of my Christmas music on to my IPOD, exactly 134 songs. I like the song "Love's What You're Getting for Christmas" by Bobby Sherman, just for its nostalgic appeal. When I was a kid we had a compiliation of Christmas music, that I believe was put out by a gas station chain, and that song was on it. I think I've mentioned childhood memories a few times lately - it must be something about the holiday season.
I am very eager to read something that is not a student essay. However, I have discovered that requiring freshman comp. students to use semi-colons and dashes and colons in an essay actually does give their writing more sophistication. It's like making someone write a sestina - interesting things happen! So, even in freshman composition, form shapes content.
Right now I'm burning votive candles and listening to Cecelia Bartoli sing something from Don Giovanni.
Should I ask for the collected letters of Robert Lowell for Christmas? Or would I not find his letters all that interesting? I don't read him much anymore, but I like reading poet's letters. A.K. Weatherhead, my favorite English professor from my undergraduate days, always had great stories about Robert Lowell. And I can still remember the way Weatherhead would recite the last line of Lowell's "Skunk Hour": "and will not scare." I have the letters of Elizabeth Bishop, but I've only read parts of them. I've read all of Anne Sexton : A Self-Portrait in Letters, more than once. I think I almost like her letters better than her poetry.
Okay I just found this excerpt from a letter Lowell wrote to Ezra Pound, and yes I believe I do want to read more:
I am 19, a freshman at Harvard, and some relation, I don't know what, to Amy Lowell. All my life I have been eccentric according to normal standards. I had violent passions for various pursuits usually taking the form of collecting: tools; names of birds; marbles; catching butterflies, snakes, turtles etc; buying books on Napoleon. None of this led anywhere, I was more interested in collecting large numbers than in developing them. I caught over thirty turtles and put them in a well where they died of insufficient feeding. I won more agates and marbles than anyone in school, and gradually amassed hundreds of soldiers; finally leaving them to clutter up unreachable shelves. I could identify scores of birds, at first on charts, later it led me into nature. Sometime overcome by the collecting mania I would steal things I wanted.
Next week new poems will be finished - I can feel it in the air.