Tuesday, March 6, 2012

One With Others Pairing

I've been fortunate enough to join a poetry group via a few friends on Twitter. In two short months, I've read poetry collections that have buried themselves in my soul. C. D. Wright's One With Others is a what the writer herself defines as a "hybrid form." Wright artfully and gracefully weaves news reports, interviews, stories, and personal experience into a collection that breathes the history of her mentor, V, and the Civil Rights movement in Arkansas. I don't know that I will ever read a book that will move me more than this one. In the video below she talks a little about One With Others and reads a few of my favorite passages:

In arriving at the section in the book detailing the students walking to the all-white school and bravely linking arms together while singing "Like A Tree Planted by the Water," I stopped to google the song because I couldn't recall ever hearing it. After listening to the video below, I sat in silence with an aching yet hopeful heart. There are so many things we never learn in history class, and I am forever grateful for C. D. Wright and her poetry that articulates "the cruel radiance of what is."

What is the most important book you feel you've read in your life and why did it touch you as it did?


  1. The collection that has had the greatest impact on my emotions is teh late Raymond Carver's "All of Us" that was published after his death by his wife, Tess Gallagher. It is full of regret, hope, confession, love, life. Hard to pick a favorite, but this one has to be close...

    My Daughter and Apple Pie
    Raymond Carver

    She serves me a piece of it a few minutes
    out of the oven. A little steam rises
    from the slits on top. Sugar and spice -
    cinnamon - burned into the crust.
    But she's wearing these dark glasses
    in the kitchen at ten o'clock
    in the morning - everything nice -
    as she watches me break off
    a piece, bring it to my mouth,
    and blow on it. My daughter's kitchen,
    in winter. I fork the pie in
    and tell myself to stay out of it.
    She says she loves him. No way
    Could it be worse.

    1. That certainly is a poignant collection, Danny. Thank you for sharing this poem as well.

  2. I'm not sure if it's the most important, but the only book that I still go back to and read again is Jane Eyre. And every time I do, even if it's years between readings, I always, always take something new from the story. So, yes, I guess any book that can do that would be very important in so many ways to me, as a reader and as a writer.

    1. Thanks for your feedback, Joanne. Jane Eyre is one my mom is very passionate about as well. Have you seen the illustrated version? http://us.penguingroup.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780142005149,00.html

  3. Hi Andrea,

    Nice to hear that. ..you met some of the great poetic groups. .yeah poetic touch give us a new perpective to look @ things from a diff angle...if we have a picture and we want to write poem on it and after reading some poems. .on it. .i was amazed by it.

    P.S: how you doing? long time. .how is everyone back home.
    I m back though i'm finding tough to keep pace with blogosphere. ..due to busy job schedule and in coming next week i will be joining new company so lots of formalities. ..

    1. All is all with me, Vivek. Thanks for asking. Best of luck with your transition in the coming weeks!

  4. In high school I read James McBride's book The Color of Water. That book spoke to me so profoundly it felt like McBride had written that book just for me =)

    I also love The Autobiography of Malcolm X. About a year ago I wrote a reflection about it here: http://underlinedandbold.blogspot.com/2011/02/autobiography-of-malcolm-x.html

    Also- Thank you for all the lovely comments Andrea!! It's been wonderful reading your thoughts! And as usual- love your blog!

    1. Feeling as if a book was written for you is an incredible feeling. I appreciate your comments as well as your link. I enjoy your blog too, Abigail!

  5. I had a lovely, visceral reaction to the work of Jane Hirshfield the first time I read her poems. Come, Thief was the first volume of poetry I bought for myself, that made me enjoy it on its own merits and not merely read because intellectually I know that poetry is Important. I felt her work, its peace inspires me.

    1. I relate with your reaction. I began with her "After" and quickly moved on to "Come, Thief." Her work does bring peace, a calm to the heart and mind. Here are three poems from "After:" http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12207306
      Thanks for sharing!