Friday, July 27, 2007

Poetry Friday

Since I'm on a kick with poems I loved in highschool, this Friday's poem is Skunk Hour by Robert Lowell. All the angst in the world seemed to be summed up in those two lines:

I myself am hell,
nobody's here--
Read the whole poem here.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Spoiling Harry Potter and beyond

There's been some interesting discussion over at the Horn book blog about the uproar over the NY Times reviewing Harry Potter before its release. I kind of love that Roger Sutton warned against creating "a willfully infantilized culture of suspense junkies." Now I am a HP fan. I have been since I read the first three books in college. But I think if people are honest they'd agree that they are the type of reading that does not require deep analysis. Rowling likes to fully explain everything, repeatedly. I still like the books, but I can admit that's the type of reading they are.

This article, however, put me over the edge. Don't click on it if you don't want to read spoilers. And while you're at it. Stop reading here.

Now, are we really so unimaginative, so incapable of creative thought, that we need an encyclopedia to tell us every little detail that Rowling couldn't fit into the epilogue! I think this exactly the "willfully infantilized culture of suspense junkies" Roger was talking about. Can nothing be left up to the reader. Are we really such babies that we can't be trusted to imagine what the world of HP might be like 19 years after the book! I mean it's not as if Rowling needs more money. No, this takes not trusting the intelligence of the reader to a whole new level. And somehow, this links to my mind to the standardized testing in our schools. It's the same sort of killing of creativity. The same idea that there can only be one right answer, one way of interpreting things, and anything else is wrong.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Poetry Friday

This weeks poem is by Sharon Olds, because I love her.

Rite of Passage
by Sharon Olds

As the guests arrive at our son’s party
they gather in the living room—
short men, men in first grade
with smooth jaws and chins.
Hands in pockets, they stand around
jostling, jockeying for place, small fights
breaking out and calming. One says to another
How old are you? —Six. —I’m seven. —So?
They eye each other, seeing themselves
tiny in the other’s pupils. They clear their
throats a lot, a room of small bankers,
they fold their arms and frown. I could beat you
up, a seven says to a six,

Link to the whole poem here.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Teenage Sex Could Kill You!

A while back I posted a rant about the portrayal of sex in YA books. I was annoyed because the book I was reading at the time pulled the whole 'fade to black' thing where just when things heat up the girl becomes so overwhelmed everything gets blurry and...fade to black. Oh right, I forgot girls aren't supposed to ever express sexual desire. My bad. Well, I bring it up again because I just read this great article: Let's (Not) Get It On by Amanda MacGregor. MacGragor says everything I wanted to but it's all much better researched and written. I warn, it is a PDF file but it's worth the annoyance. Really anyone interested in feminism, should read it.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Poetry Friday

I saw the new Harry Potter movie last night. I am so impressed with how the movies have really created this universe. Oh and Snape! I have such a literary crush on Snape. Mr. Darcy, Mr. Rochester, and Snape...I love those brooding, slightly mean characters. My new Harry Potter theory is that Snape is Harry's real father. Before anyone gets up in arms, I KNOW it's not true, but wouldn't it make the story a bit more interesting?

As for poetry this Friday, I am posting a poem by another children's fantasy writer. I love the last two lines in this poem. Not as much as I love Snape...but almost.

Fat Is Not a Fairy Tale by Jane Yolen

I am thinking of a fairy tale,
Cinder Elephant,
Sleeping Tubby,
Snow Weight,
where the princess is not
anorexic, wasp-waisted,
flinging herself down the stairs.

Read the rest of the poem here.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

A bit late for Poetry Friday but let's give it a go

This weeks poem is Travel Advisory by Michael Dumanis. You can read the poem here. No particular reason for picking it other than the fact that I like poems that boss me around. Seriously. Ever since my high school English teacher Mr. Haness had us read David Wagoner's Staying Alive, I've had an affinity for bossy poems.

Anyway, in other news, I went with Josh and his buddies to see the new Transformers movie. Now, as low as my expectations were, and let me assure you they were pretty low, that movie was disappointing. It wasn't funny enough to laugh at, there wasn't enough action to keep my mind sufficiently numbed, and it was full of offensive stereotypes. I should have known better when the 18 year old page at the library warned me it was bad. I mean, if a teenage boy hated the movie then really there's not much hope. I thought I had nothing better to do but really ANYTHING would have been better.