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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Purchased: Carl Sandburg "Honey and Salt"


Tell me this cover is irresistible and I'll say "I know." Because I know. This cover is a beautiful example of 1960s style. What a gem.

It's an artifact of a time period and I'm in love. The bookstore owner asked me why I didn't get the collected works because it was right there on the shelf next to it and I said because I like this one better. I like the little paperbacks that say things on them like "50¢ slightly higher in Canada." And that feature cutting edge graphic art. Can you see the butterfly in that line drawing? It's too good to be true.

This collection has a poem that goes like this:

"Love is a door we shall open together."
So they told each other under the moon
One evening when the smell of leaf mould
And the beginnings of roses and potatoes
Came on a wind.

Late in the hours of that evening
They looked long at the moon and called it
A silver button, a copper coin, a bronze wafer,
A plaque of gold, a vanished diadem,
A brass hat dripping from deep waters.

"People like us,
us two,
We own the moon."
That poem is called "Moon Rondeau" and it was the first one I read when I found the book on the shelf. I bought it for the poem, which I really enjoyed, but also because the cover is so great. I paid four dollars for it. Can you believe that? I could have saved three-fifty if I'd been alive in the sixties and bought it then. THAT'S why they'll never invent time machines. Because then you can get around inflation and the government won't have anything to do with that.

One more thing. This collection features a poem with these line that I'm sure are famous, somehow:
Love is a deep and a dark and a lonely
and you take it deep take it dark
and take it with a lonely winding.
From the poem "Love Is a Deep and a Dark and a Lonely." Beautiful. For some reason, I think it's true. Love IS a deep and dark and lonely. But not just dark and lonely, A dark and A lonely. They're things that deserve articles because they're not just adjectives here. They're nouns.

Sometimes language baffles me and so I'm not entirely sure that adjectives can't take articles. Usually they don't. Usually articles only go with nouns. I think. Don't quote me on that. This isn't a grammar blog, this is more or less a bull shit blog. As in full of b.s.

So anyway. I really like buying books.



p.s. Not all poems in this collection are love poems. I just happened to find both of them first off because I'm a love magnet.

p.p.s. HEY! When did they take the cents symbol OFF the keyboard? Oh, right, when anything less than a dollar became an artifact of inflation. Or maybe it's never been around on keyboards? I don't remember.

6 comments:

JodieKash said...

I write all day for the paycheck and for the passion, and an often stuck on grammar, reaching for the Strunk and Wright. I could never go on "Jeopardy" and choose "Grammar" for $200, Alex, because I don’t know what a dangling participle is.

And don't care really.

That is a book cover I would frame and put on the wall. It’s a wondrous as the original movie poster for “Viva Las Vegas”.

sgt said...

Nikki, good job. I love Carl Sandburg's poetry and used to read it all the time, especially in the late '60's. That cover is SO familiar to me, I'm sure that I have seen it before. As for the cents symbol, I think it used to be on keyboards, or typewriters for sure, because I am always missing it. Love you girl, can't wait to get my arms around you.
One week tomorrow night!!!!

Aries327 said...

Jodie -- Sometimes I engage in hyperbole. I enjoy language to the extent that I think it's good to know the rules enough to know how to break them when it benefits me. But often I'm just lazy. I figure that once I say "articles don't go with nouns" and feel pretty certain I'm right, someone will prove me wrong. And I'm too lazy to research it to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I'm right. So I count on my instinct.

So, I edit for my income as well. I do a decent job. But I'm not scientific about it like some people I know. Ha ha.

I'm glad you like the cover as well. It IS nice.

SGT -- I love learning new things about you. I only knew that you read Whitman. You're such a literary person. So well read. You're one of my heroes. Thanks for backing me up about the cents symbol. Four days till you're here! Maybe we can buy some books together.

Lima said...

I have a copy of that book. It is now frayed at some edges but I still re read the poems there every so often.

Aries327 said...

Thank you for the comment Lima! A frayed book means that it's been loved and that's a good thing, in my opinion. The edition I have is in good shape, but it's used and old and I like that about it. It makes it more real.

London Still said...

Honey & Salt is one of my favourite collections, and Sandburg by undisputed favourite poet. His straightforward simplicity makes his thoughts so focused and "clean," if you will, and his early Americana reserved but swelling emotions so clear.

Enjoy the book with it's stunning cover!

PS) Have you tried his Chicago poems? Also, Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology has a similar tone and you hunt out their1960's covers you will not be disappointed.

PPS) Great blog!