Book reviews

Of life and friends

Meet Rilke.

I discovered him this week.

At the last book sale I found this book with his wartime letters and it was instant love. But I´m the child who cried wolf (always in love with her latest book). You should believe me, cause Heather and I were reading some of his poems, and I cried.

We both loved this poem in particular,


Sometimes she walks through the village in her
little red dress
all absorbed in restraining herself,
and yet, despite herself, she seems to move
according to the rhythm of her life to come.

She runs a bit, hesitates, stops,
half-turns around…
and, all while dreaming, shakes her head
for or against.

Then she dances a few steps
that she invents and forgets,
no doubt finding out that life
moves on too fast.

It’s not so much that she steps out
of the small body enclosing her,
but that all she carries in herself
frolics and ferments.

It’s this dress that she’ll remember
later in a sweet surrender;
when her whole life is full of risks,
the little red dress will always seem right.

I had to get some of his poems, and Heather his letters. And he was reading The Hyperion (oh, yet another book I want to read).

And she shared also a new loved poet, Seamus Heaney.

We are still looking for a favorite poet. I have a Spanish favorite poet, but I have room for another poet who cuts through my being the way some psalms do.

I found yet a third copy of Moby Dick. It’s the number 48 in that Britanica Great Books. They manage to make an almost 500 pages book look thin. The print is not crowded. It’s now the one I am reading from. Easier on my wrists. Who would have thought Moby Dick to be this funny, witty, clever, and beautifully written?

Much of my school days were destined to ruin the view of classics and to build up biases against the liking and disliking of many books. I always thought Moby Dick to be a boys book, and a bore. Wow. I’m so glad to be mistaken.

I finished and enjoyed Flatland, and I’m profiting much from Great Books by Denby. Sherlock and the Needle’s Eye I’m half way. It’s a past title I had to have two years ago, and this year my goal is to try not to abandon books and read from what I have (but that’s not working that great for I’m still buying new titles.)

I also finished Past Scents. I recommend it. I yet have to show you my drawing of the galls and dragon fly, and share some of the books highlights.

My youngest found this dragon fly already dry and this intact trapped in a grove of the pavement outside the church building.

Heather and I painted it along with oak galls she picked and found at the sanctuary park weeks ago. I was with her and we had no clue of what they were. And this week’s Handbook of Nature Study’s reading section was galls.

 Left handed people are adorable.


Aren’t these dishclothes the brightest and prettiest you have seen? I’m going to have to learn to crochet.

They are a gift of beautiful Linda. My girls and I think they are too beautiful to be used as dishclothes, so for now they are decorating this shelf.


 Meet Bravest Duck. He’s Brian’s favorite soft toy. I find him adorable.

Flowers from the girls past garden party that ended up being a tea party. I loved having those children at home. They all came dressed in their best, and they ate and chatted and performed in style. And it all came from them.

With the girls, for the May bookclub, we read this wonderful book, Island of the Blue Dolphins.

Currently we are loving Johnny Tremain and The Number Devil. My youngest and I were re reading The Magic Pudding (free for Kindle, though you must have an illustrated copy for this one, tee hee). So, language-food-adventures-book lovers, pamper yourselves with this title. You’ll thank me for it.

My mother’s day present, a Juniper bonsai the girls aptly named Ithaca Greenleaf.



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2 thoughts on “Of life and friends”

  1. Moby Dick was my oldest son's (who is now 32 years old!) favorite book while being home schooled. I have forgotten how many times he read it, but it was many. He always found something new and wonderful each time he read it. 🙂
    Have a lovely day, my friend.


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