Sharon Creech, Can You Forgive Me?

Posted on February 7, 2018. Filed under: Book review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

HATE THAT CAT.  I did not say that.  Some kid named Jack seemed to have negative feline feelings toward a big, black, cat.

Sharon Creech:

  • author
  • unusual style author
  • award-winning author
  • my new, favorite author…

…based solely on my reading of “HATE THAT CAT.”

My apologies, Ms. Creech, for taking a lifetime to know that you and your creations even exist.

In my defense, my interest in the field of poetry has been for my own edification (the classical works from the last century…  better make that the last TWO centuries.  Time does fly.)

Consequently, my reading has been confined to books found primarily on library shelves (which were way too expensive for me to buy) and more along the lines of science, science fiction, historical violence (you know, warrior epics), and other fiction, including almost all of Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan novels… I don’t think I ever read a western novel, though.

And, as mentioned, poetry.  It was, I think, the rhythm of its meter that lent music to the words, putting me in sync with the poet’s feelings or the heartbeat of its story.  That rhythm made it easier to retain the words and emotions conveyed by the writer.

Until now, Carl Sandburg had been my lone introduction to non-standard poetry.

But, enough about me.  I came upon the evidence of your existence quite by accident while unpacking storeroom boxes from a recent move.

Sorting through the heretofore unknown contents, I came across a stash of my grandson’s collected items.  The red book cover printed with the title HATE THAT CAT marked it as part of his school memorabilia.  I tossed it into a bin for later return to him.  (He had graduated high school recently and was embarking on his own adventure in Life.)

For several weeks, things got unpacked, thrown away, reconsidered, and repacked as I settled into my new hermit digs…  and, that infernal red cover kept materializing before my eyes. I, too, was starting to HATE THAT CAT.

Finally, in a lull between thinking about all that unpacking and actually unpacking, I again saw that red cover on a stack of other stuff.  It was on a table within my reach, so, what the heck, let’s see what the kids are reading these days.

How do I describe this?  Going from my predilection for predictable poetry into this wilderness of seeming chaotic and halting expression was a bit like going from bright light into a dark room filled with unseen objects: once the night vision kicks in, everything resolves itself into orderly and disciplined revelation.  What a joy!

You, Ms. Creech, are billed as a writer of children’s books.  Do second childhoods count?  I feel I am compelled to WALK TWO MOONS to further my Sharon Creech experience.

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Digressions: Where No Foot Has Trod

Posted on July 2, 2012. Filed under: General Interest, MIM4.5a, Philosophy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Your word for th daymuse = someone who is a source of inspiration

The old Greeks had them. Muses, I mean.  In earlier posts, I touched on them, even if somewhat irreverently.  For the Ancients, they explained what moved that most remote recess of Self, the mysterious Psyche, to elicit from it the creative urges and even the dark manifestations that we call the  human spirit.

For most of my life, I didn’t have a Muse.  But, I had a love of poetry, so I guess you could say that Erato was my nominal, default Muse.  In verse, I could take “the road less traveled,” and “rise with eagles” to “touch the face of God.”  By finding reflections of my own inexpressible feelings toward this torture we call Life, it gave comfort that I had fellow travelers on a journey I just knew would, somehow, end badly.  But, what the heck…   eat, drink, and be merry…   right?

In spite of the Muses, in spite of the poetry, not all that emanates from the Psyche is definable.  There is the unexplained, a pathos that darkens the soul, a heaviness that ensconces the heart making its every beat a Herculean task.  An aching that surges to unbearable fullness, then ebbs, only to surge again; a vast emptiness that hovers just beyond feeling, where echoes fade like  diaphanous whispers into infinite nothingness. 

A poem I memorized decades just a few years ago often surfaces during my own musings.  The third verse of Each in His Own Tongue by William Herbert Carruth (1859-1924) captures that feeling; at least, it has for me:                     

Like tides on a crescent sea beach, when the moon is new and thin, into our hearts high yearnings come welling and surging in;  come from the mystic ocean, whose rim no foot has trod.  Some call it longing, and others call it God.

Yearning.  Longing.  A deep, aching feeling devoid of anything that could define it.  When all is said and done, is this the total eulogy that Life will intone for each of us?

Next up:  MIM4.5a

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