Monday, September 29, 2014
I've been knee-deep in reading some wonderful books recently. I had a buying splurge and bought a bunch of books I've been dying to read for ages:
Airmail: The letters of Robert Bly and Tomas Transtromer, Fauverie and Heart of a Deer by Pascale Petit, and the excitingly amazing African Folktales and Sculpture by Paul Radin.
Any Plath fan will recognise the Radin book which according to Ted Hughes had a huge influence on the poems Plath wrote at Yaddo. I've been wanting to pick up a copy of the book for ages and managed to get a second-hand ex-library copy. The book is huge and full of wonderful stories and large photos. It was exciting to come across The City Where Men Are Mended - a Hausa folktale, and see how Plath weaved the African mythology into her own personal mythology in her Poem for a Birthday.
I read Airmail very quickly, it wasn't quite as good as I was hoping it would be. Very much a friendship played out in letters and particularly good if you're interested in translation but otherwise I didn't find it to be particularly revelatory about either Bly or Transtromer's poetry.
It's so good to have Pascale Petit's new collection (with an absolutely gorgeous cover) and catch up with one of her older collections. I'm happily reading them slowly and continually and probably will be for the next while. Still also reading Roethke and Bhatt - which have become my staple reading and I don't see that changing for the foreseeable future.