Monday, 7 July 2008

Discipline

Monday morning, first day of the holidays. I've finished Right as Rain, a book by Maartje Quivooy, who emigrated here from Holland in the late forties. I found it deeply moving.

The description of leaving one's homeland and family behind, of meeting them again later and the acute knowledge that they are dear and irreplaceable, missing them at important moments in one's life... she portrays that very well.

Her writing is good, except for the odd Flemishness - "she howled", from the Dutch huilen, when "she sobbed" would have been better, even if she did cry out loud. A child may howl, but in this case the person was mature and in deep grief. I don't think she meant howling like a wolf either. She is - I believe - a Whitireia graduate.

I get too caught up with prose: I have decided to read poetry every day from now on, in the evening. An hour at a time, with discipline, con brio. I have not managed the free-flowing writing more than one day in three so far, so the habit has to be reinforced. I aim for daily, bar Shabbat. This month will be bad, as I will be away, and computer-deprived, for all of next week.

1 comment:

Myrthe said...

I have never heard of Quivooy. Is the original in Dutch or in English? From your comments, I gather it's in English. If so, I wonder if this book has ever been translated into Dutch. I'd love to read this (in either language).