John Tang

Some Readings: Hass, Michals, Carroll, and Melville

Posted in Sketchbook by Jt's Item Roster on May 18, 2010

Some Readings

I read two poets today at my desk while writing my story. First, Robert Hass, then Nils Michals. My language has more similarities with Hass than Michals. A few descriptions of mine sound detached, almost, the way images stood alone; very similar to Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland. The problem with Michal’s work is that some phrasing sound awkward, yet in the sacrifice, there are some wonderful and refreshing usages of images coexisting with one another.

Robert Hass: “A house of old, soft, gray salt-lustered wood,/ Windows onto dune grass and a beach.

–From the poem “Domestic Interiors”

Nils Michals: “They snow the shop floor blind, anklefuls,/ silencing footfalls, corkscrewing blocks of sun-”

–From the poem “Stradivari, 1736”

Lewis Carroll: “The Caterpillar and Alice looked at each other for some time in silence: at last the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth, and addressed her in a languid, sleepy voice.”

–From Alice in Wonderland


Melville Fun

Melville’s Moby Dick definitely was refreshing read. I do not understand the force yet; to simply put it, he has energy. It is blend of life, of everything: Voice, setting and circumstance. Four chapters deep into the novel, Ishmael was trying to make sense of Queequeg according to the room, which he shared for the night. Concluding Queequeg was a cannibal, of a different culture, Ishmael grew afraid under the bed sheets. Until Queequeg arrived, amidst his midnight rituals before falling asleep, did Ishmael have a tough time in finding any logic and any comfort in those queer gestures. Slipping under the cover, Ishmael was caught, as he yelled for the owner of the inn to save his life.

–End (What excellent reads today)


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