Emily Dickinson on Poetry

“If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only ways I know it. Is there any other way?”-Emily Dickinson 

A couple of Emily Dickinson books

A couple of Emily Dickinson books

Your poetry certainly passes this test, dearest Emily! Happy birthday.

[Alternative Muses] Birthday Mashup: Randall Jarrell/Orson Welles

“A poet is a man who manages, in a lifetime of standing out in thunderstorms, to be struck by lightning five or six times.”-Randall Jarrell (born 6 May 1914)

Orson Welles, press interview following the WAR OF THE WORLDS broadcast, October 31, 1938

Orson Welles (born 6 May 1915), giving a press interview following the WAR OF THE WORLDS broadcast, October 31, 1938.

A Reading List a Mile Long: Daedalus Books Summer Preview 2016

If I’m not reading, I’m adding books to my to-be-read list. That list is monstrously long–maybe not a mile, but getting there!

Here are some of my newest additions, courtesy of the Spring Preview 2016 Catalog from Daedalus Books.

  1. Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia Highsmith by Andrew Wilson (#60392). $4.98.
  2. The Bohemians: Mark Twain and the San Francisco Writers Who Reinvented American Literature by Ben Tarnoff (#60993). $5.98.
  3. The Calvin Handbook Edited by Herman J. Selderhuis (#60437). $6.98.
  4. Zaida Ben-Yusuf: New York Portrait Photographer Contributions by Frank H. Goodyear, Elizabeth O. Wiley & Jobyl A. Boone (#41026). $6.98.
  5. Charles Dickens’ Favorite Daughter: The Life, Loves, and Art of Katey Dickens Perugini by Lucinda Hawksley (#51293). $5.98.
  6. All the Poems by Stevie Smith (#69176). $27.95.
  7. The Roosevelts: An Intimate History by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns (#60819). #12.98.
  8. The True Benjamin Franklin: An Illuminating Look Into the Life of One of Our Greatest Founding Fathers by Sydney George Fisher (#54011). $4.98.
  9. The Poetry of William Carlos Williams of Rutherford by Wendell Berry (#53435). $3.98.
  10. Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper (#54592). $4.98.
  11. Queen Anne: The Politics of Passion by Anne Somerset (#54294). $6.98.
  12. The Dragon Throne: China’s Emperors from the Qin to the Manchu by Jonathan Fenby (#61060). $5.98.
  13. The 1900s: Britain in Pictures Edited by Paul Richardson (#54183). $5.98.
  14. The 1910s: Britain in Pictures Edited by Paul Richardson (#54184). $5.98.

What Are You Reading in April?

What is on your reading list this month?

Do your reading habits change with the seasons, or are you at all times equal opportunity?

I haven’t finished one book this month, although I am quite close to finishing the first two. My list is unusually light, and skews almost exclusively towards film history and criticism. I’ll likely add at least a few more books to April’s pile before the month is through.

Here’s what is on my reading list this month:

  • The First King of Hollywood: The Life of Douglas Fairbanks by Tracey Goessi
  • The A to Z of Italian Cinema by Gino Moliterno
  • Silent Stars by Jeanine Basinger (I’ve read this before)
  • A Woman’s View: How Hollywood Spoke to Women 1930-1960 by Jeanine Basinger (I’m pretty sure I’ve read this once before, as well)
  • The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth by Robert Graves (I’ve read several other books by Graves, but not this undeniable classic)
  • Elizabeth Taylor: A Passion for Life: The Wit and Wisdom of a Legend by Joseph Papa

What is your favourite book this month?

Which book on your list do you most look forward to reading?

Please share with me in the comments!

Happy reading.