What Inspires Me: Anne Sexton

A writers life can be a solitary undertaking but it doesn’t mean you are alone…

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A Witch’s Life

When I was a child
there was an old woman in our neighborhood whom we called The Witch.
All day she peered from her second story
window
from behind the wrinkled curtains
and sometimes she would open the window
and yell: Get out of my life!
She had hair like kelp
and a voice like a boulder.

I think of her sometimes now
and wonder if I am becoming her.
My shoes turn up like a jester’s.
Clumps of my hair, as I write this,
curl up individually like toes.
I am shoveling the children out,
scoop after scoop.
Only my books anoint me,
and a few friends,
those who reach into my veins.
Maybe I am becoming a hermit,
opening the door for only
a few special animals?
Maybe my skull is too crowded
and it has no opening through which
to feed it soup?
Maybe I have plugged up my sockets
to keep the gods in?
Maybe, although my heart
is a kitten of butter,
I am blowing it up like a zeppelin.
Yes. It is the witch’s life,
climbing the primordial climb,
a dream within a dream,
then sitting here
holding a basket of fire.

 

 

What Inspires Me: Second Hand Book Stores

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It was Virginia Woolf who in her essay “Street Haunting” said:

“Second-hand books are wild books, homeless books” 

Well they can come home with me and be tamed because I absolutely love second hand books – they have so much character!

When I have the chance I like to peruse though second hand bookstores.  Due to my addiction to books,  I rarely ever leave a second hand book shop empty handed.

I especially love coming across books with dedications at the beginning of the book as well as personal annotations on the side of pages which highlight some important point to the reader.  I find these even more precious the older they are and it makes me wonder why and how these books with so much personal attachment to them, made it to me.

If you can, visit your local second hand book store and rescue a wild book!

(C) T. Altman 2016

 

 

 

 

Melbourne Rare Book Week & Rare Book Fair

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Melbourne Rare Book Week commenced in 2012 as a partnership between ANZAAB, the University of Melbourne and eight other literary institutions. In 2015, over 44 free events were held at libraries, literary and historical societies and bookshops throughout Melbourne, attracting local, national and international visitors. Melbourne Rare Book Week is now well established in the City of Melbourne’s event calendar. It is a major attraction for book collectors, librarians and all who have a love of words, print on paper and literary heritage.

The 2016 Melbourne Rare Book Week is from July 14–24, 2016.

For more information:  Rare Book Week

As a side note The 2016 Melbourne Rare Book Week will culminate with a ANZAAB Australian Antiquarian Book Fair (Melbourne Rare Book Fair), held in the University of Melbourne’s historic Wilson Hall on the 22-24th of July.

For more information:  Rare Book Fair

 

What Inspires Me: Alone by Poe

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Shared the following poem by Poe with a fellow creative and it touched her so much it brought tears to her eyes.

I wanted to share with her how succinctly Poe described feeling detached and separate from the world.

Its always been a favorite of mine as Poe was my first literary love and the first writer I became obsessed with.  He wooed me with his words of  romantic melancholy and showed me that the written word could evoke multitudes of emotions.

“Alone”

From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were—I have not seen
As others saw—I could not bring
My passions from a common spring—
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow—I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone—
And all I lov’d—I lov’d alone—
Then—in my childhood—in the dawn
Of a most stormy life—was drawn
From ev’ry depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still—
From the torrent, or the fountain—
From the red cliff of the mountain—
From the sun that ’round me roll’d
In its autumn tint of gold—
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass’d me flying by—
From the thunder, and the storm—
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view—
By Edgar Allan Poe

Inspiration: Ancient Egyptian Love Poem

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Birds of a Feather

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Was chatting to a friend about poetry and novels and our love for them recently.  During our conversation, she gave me one of the best compliments I have received in a long while….

“When I talk with you about writing or read your posts about writing, you remind me of Jo March from Little Women – Genius Burns. Strong fierce beyond talented and stubborn – but always a lady.”

Thanks Apryl…you have no idea how much these words mean to me 😀