Slim Volumes of Joy

I love poetry. I love reading it, I love browsing the poetry shelves in stores, I love the titles. Poetry books often have great titles. Fiction and nonfiction do as well, but perhaps not with as much frequency as occurs with poetry. In anticipation of the March book theme of art/music/dance, I’ve been checking the poetry shelves for potential titles. (Honestly, the theme anticipation is just as much fun as the theme reading itself!) I found 16 poetry books that could reasonably fall within this theme. I won’t read all of them, but it’s nice to have so many to choose from. Here are some of my favorite titles:

  • Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, William Blake
  • Music and Suicide, Jeff Clark
  • A House Waiting for Music, David Hernandez
  • Across the Windharp, Elizabeth Searle Lamb
  • Drawings of the Song Animals, Duane Niatum
  • The Humming Birds, Lucinda Roy
  • Birdsong, Rumi
  • Cocktails with Brueghel at the Museum Cafe, Sandra Stone
  • Coming Late to Rachmaninoff, Richard Terrill
  • The Singing, C. K. Williams
  • They Tell Me You Danced, Irene Willis
  • Waiting For Beethoven, Laurel Yourke

To be honest, the Blake, Rumi, and Williams books made the list more because I really want to read them than their titles in particular. But I will most likely start wtih either Waiting For Beethoven, Coming Late to Rachmininoff, or Cocktails with Brueghel at the Museum Cafe becasue I absolutely love those titles.

Have you ever bought a book just because of its title? I have certainly bought a book because of its cover (though the inside has to appeal as well), but I’m not sure if I’ve ever bought a book because of its title.

Most of the poetry book titles I found related to music (rather than art or dance) which surprised me a little bit. In contrast, in nonfiction, art is much more prevalent. Some of the titles I’m most interested in:

  • The Art of Hunger, Paul Auster
  • The Art of Travel, Alain de Botton
  • The Art of Living, Epictetus
  • The Art of Peace, Morihei Ueshiba
  • Art in History, Martin Kemp
  • The Ransom of Russian Art, John McPhee
  • Art & Physics, Leonard Shlain
  • Artful, Ali Smith
  • Vermeer in Bosnia, Lawrence Weschler

But then also, Sonata for Jukebox, by Geoffrey O’Brien and The Singing Wilderness, by Sigurd F. Olson. These volumes aren’t quite as slim as the poetry, but they still provide plenty of joy.

It will be a month of heady reading!


One thought on “Slim Volumes of Joy

  1. My favorite title: Sonata for Jukebox.

    Not a surprise, perhaps, One of my favorite albums is Sandy Bull’s Jukebox School of Music.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s