Thursday 24 April 2008

End of The World

Did not continue with Anne Sexton, too much depression /talk of suicide in it.

Read some Mary Oliver (slim volume) last night, Dream Work (1986, The Atlantic Monthly Press). I'd read a poem of hers about roses some time ago and found it overdone, chintzy. This is better.

Today checked out what poetry there is at the local library (Ngaio) and found one volume (slim) of Curnow's poems - The Bell of Saint Babel's - lovely title - Poems 1997 - 2001 (2001, AUP) with neat cover illustration - a detail of a painting by Stanley Palmer entitled Bell - Manaia (1991), the bell is small and held up high by a rickety structure, against a mottled blue sky (diagonally half the cover) with two small clouds, and a rise of massive rocky mountains to one side.
Upon reading: so far, too many cards turned down, unrewarding. Maybe clearer for born-here Kiwis?

In the poetry/literature section, also found a book entitled The End of the World, (1997, L.H. Lapham, ed., with P.T. Struck, St. Martin's Press) beginning with an excerpt from Gilgamesh (3000 BC) by writers through the ages, including at the end the rantings of a nutter predicting the end of the world in '92, '93, 94, with (Biblical) chapter and verse in support, over and over, the last words of the last paragraph being: his predictions are "100% right".
I have a friend who might enjoy this.

Here is a quote, it's the entire thing, entitled Epitaph, the obituary to the Heath Hen, an indigenous bird of Martha's Vineyard, last seen alive on March 11th 1932:

"We are looking upon the utmost finality which can be written, glimpsing the darkness which will not know another ray of light. We are in touch with the reality of extinction."
by Henry Beetle (sic) Hough, editor of the island's Vineyard gazette.

The book also includes a section from Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. I thought, ah, but her predictions are true, and wondered - am I right?

BBC doco recently: 90% of bees have disappeared in the US, they import them from Oz. In NZ, many are sick too. In China, a region exists where orchard pollination is carried out by hand.

I'll read this book bit by bit.

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