Sunday 11 May 2008

Of barking dogs and The Price of Petrol in NZ

Finished Saramago, the last sentence is also the first - "The next day nobody died." A surprise ending. The first 2/3 of the book keeps going smoothly, one's attention stays focussed, but he has trouble finishing the thing off. All his writing is familiar from his previous books, and the faltering ending is familiar too, though it falters less than many of his other books, and surprises more. It is still a wonderful read.
I have yet to meet in the flesh anyone else who enjoys him. I have lent my copy of Death at intervals to a friend, full of hope.

I've read more Simenon, and admired how he leaves space for the reader to imagine things. It is a relief : I struggled to get a character into a room, portraying him knocking on the door, waiting for an answer, opening the door, going in, when in fact all that was needed was, He knocked and went in, or even less, just start describing the other person in the room whose voice he had just heard, A young man was sitting at one of the desks...However, too much Simenon is depressing.

I still have a book of poems by Allen Curnow. I never did finish Bashevis Singer, read 3/4 of the book, then found it too long, enough already.

Went to the meeting of the online poets yesterday at Whitireia. I am glad I went and met some of the other people on the course, as well as the teachers.

I need to write poems for the face-to-face course - about two a week if I want to have forty by the end of the year. I realise as I write this that I am not sure whether that is the the correct number required, it may be less. I have another 4-5 weeks of the online course, and then life should be easier, though I shall miss the stimulation.

Lynn D said, I find it helpful [for the writing] to read poetry. I was comforted that she needs to do this too.

Today I was supposed to write poetry, but have not been able to, various reasons. Tomorrow.

I want to buy that Billy Collins book and learn the barking dog poem by heart

I could hear the dog barking, barking,barking.
and something like -
he could imagine...
the dog sitting in the wind section ...the rest of the orchestra turned to look in admiration at the dog performing the famous solo for dog, for which Beethoven's genius is justly recognised,
- better words than this, but wonderful humour, in verse.

Here is a joke I heard yesterday, a sign of the times:

A woman said to her husband, Take me out - to somewhere expensive, for a change.

So he took her to a petrol station.

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