Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What I Bought Today: A Safe Purchase

When things aren't going well we all have our therapy rituals to heal and restore. I do enjoy retail therapy, running, and red wine, but one of the most soothing practices I have is reading poetry. It's a little known fact, but sometimes it's words from long ago from no one I know, that give my soul the most nourishment. Break ups, bad work days, rejection letters, arguments, etc. all have been made better by turning to poetry.
One of my favorite poets is ee cummings. I love Modern Literature and I think Cubism is comforting in that while it seemingly does not make sense, the words still convey a meaning through the feeling behind them, as opposed to syntax. Cummings describes things in a way no one else would, and yet, I know what he means when he says it; I know the feelings he is talking about.
My dad gave me an gift card and I used it to purchase this used edition of cummings complete works. I got it through friends of a library in Kansas so that funds go to helping the library improve and grow. I love the smell of the old shelves, the sticker on the sleeve with typewriter print and call numbers, and this cute library book mark they left inside for me. In this age of Kindles and books on tape there is so much more that I love and appreciate about an actual book and the library itself. I feel like I can actually breathe the poetry in when it comes from dog-eared pages. I dont think technology can ever offer that, nor make us feel close to those writers we run to for solace. But a book offers that love; poetry offers that warmth, that knowing.
J.D. Salinger once said "There's no safety in poetry." I agree with him so often, but I love this quote because I whole-heartedly disagree. There is no safety in writing poetry because it exposes so much; but in reading it there is immeasurable safety, comfort, and strength.

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