Sunday, November 15, 2020

There You Go, October Part 1

 Five books in October. An okay month, but I'm still going to have to haul eyes to make my goal of 59 books by the end of the year.

1. Poets In Their Youth - Eileen Simpson. Memoir. Eileen Simpson was married to poet John Berryman, and they were acquainted with other poets, troubled in various degrees: Delmore Schwartz, Robert Lowell, Randall Jarrell and Theodore Roethke. Because Berryman couldn't/wouldn't agree to a normal family sort of life, Simpson gave up the idea of having children and trained to be a psychotherapist. Eventually, she left Berryman, but remained on civil terms with him and his friendly rivals. As a result, Poets In Their Youth is less a gossipy tell-all than a compassionate, forgiving examination with an extra remove of having been written well past the time that she and the poets of the title were acquainted. Although she wasn't a poet, novelist and short-story writer Jean Stafford, who was married to Robert Lowell, is a fascinating presence.

2. Who Is Ruth Bader Ginsburg? - Patricia Brennan Demuth. Biography. I sought this out and read it shortly after RBG's death, and it tore me up. Ended up reading it twice. I even had a dream in which I popped in on Marty Ginsburg, and he was composing the most beautiful sonnet for RBG for their anniversary. Even in dreams, everyone is ardent about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and why not? She was ardent about people and expressed it so clearly and lucidly through changes she made in unjust laws, not just for women, but for everyone. It will be a long time -- but please, not too long -- before the law is in such good, capable hands again.

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