As a child, I loved poetry. My first experiences of it were via nursery rhymes and children’s books: Oranges and Lemons, Lynley Dodd’s Hairy McClary from Donaldson’s Dairy, A.A. Milne’s Winne the Pooh. I liked the way the words tripped off my tongue, the shape they made in the air, the fun of anticipating the next rhyme.
As a pre-teen, my knowledge of poetry expanded. I discovered the self-deprecating humour of Pam Ayres, the melodramatic imagery of Robert Frost and the nuggets of wisdom of Rudyard Kipling. I would memorise poems and recite them whenever I thought I could get away with it. I can still recite all of If from memory, and large chunks of The Walrus and The Carpenter, not to mention several others.
Then I hit high school and non-rhyming poetry and it all started to unravel. I was bewildered by this non-rhyming world. I didn’t understand how it worked, or – if poetry didn’t need to rhyme – what counted as not-poetry.
Poetry started to make me feel stupid. I remember being asked simple questions in English exams like ‘what is this poem about’ and not having the faintest clue where to start. There was poem with a line about a girl hiding behind the chrysanthemums, and I answered the question with something along the lines of ‘it’s about a girl in a garden’; it turns out the poem was about death.
And so I’ve left poetry alone for many years, consigning it to the mental ‘things-that-I-do-not-comprehend-but-vie
But this week, I came across a couple of lines from a relatively modern poet. Here they are:
should know you
by the lick of you
if I were blind
They’re from Hone Tuwhare’s Rain. It’s an old-ish poem, written in the 1970s I think, and very famous. Even I have heard it before, but I hadn’t truly registered it until recently, when some part of my brain woke up and said, ‘Huh, that’s beautiful’. I went and hunted down the rest of it, which is equally beautiful. The words resonated with me.
So I’ve taken this as a sign – a sign that I need to open myself up to more modern poetry and put away the childish reaction of ‘but if it doesn’t rhyme it’s wrong!’
- Current Mood: pensive
“We felt the book didn’t meet the criteria for what we put on our fiction shelf, that being because of the perceived pornographic nature of it.”
Now, I haven't read this book, but from my brief perusal of it on the shelf and my review reading, it looks dreadful for any number of reasons. Banning a book for any reason makes me mad, but banning a relatively light-weight, fanfic-based, badly written erotica novel for being pornographic is so frickin ridiculous I just sat here giggling for five minutes after someone linked me to a similar news article to the one above.
From the Oxford Dictionary Online:
- printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate sexual excitement.
As an exercise in curiosity I wanted to see what else the library that made the comment above (Florida's Brevard County library) stocked. Let's see:
- Green by Jay Lake, which contains lesbian bdsm and also bestiality (and this book is also dreadful, although not just because of the sexual content).
- Pretty much the entire works of Laurell K Hamilton, also known for their chapters upon chapters of badly-written porn, bestiality, rape and all-round fail.
- 246 pages worth of search results for the key word 'Harlequin' (admittedly not all of these will have explicit pornographic content, but a lot of them will). Have these people never taken a walk through the romance shelves? What do they think the very naked people on all the covers are doing? Yoga?
- Current Mood: amused
Recently I’ve been thinking about the elements of good and bad cover design, mostly because of a project I’m working on as part of my course. I’m not a designer so I don’t have any expert knowledge on the subject, but a lot of the things about cover design seem to be basically common sense. The rant below is me trying to put my thoughts in a logical and coherent order rather than me having world-changing insights on the subject.
The Purpose of a Book Cover
I think that a book cover has a dual purpose:
1. To attract the attention of people likely to buy the book.
2. To help convince people considering the book to buy it.( Read more...Collapse )
( Read more...Collapse )
An Example - Hit List by Laurell. K Hamilton
I've chosen Hit List as an example because the cover is simply so hilariously bad:
- Current Mood: bouncy
I hate love triangles. More accurately, I hate the poorly executed and overdone love triangles currently infecting the YA paranormal genre. If I could wave my magic wand and remove a single trope from the currently popular tropes pile it would be – well, actually it would probably be the jerkass boyfriend who’s only ‘virtue’ is his hotness, but love triangles would definitely make my top ten list of tropes-I-would-like-to-delete-from-YA.
I think a good part of the reason I hate love triangles so much is to do with the way they’re usually done. I’m sure it’s possible to do a good love triangle, but I think it’s a tricky thing to get right, and so they should be used only sparingly. The problems I have with love triangles include but are not limited to:( Read more...Collapse )
- Current Mood: drained
Although the fantasy genre is becoming increasingly popular and more mainstream, I’ve noticed there’s still something of a stigma attached to reading it in certain circles. Remarks from non-readers don’t particularly ruffle my feathers (I’ll clearly never understand them anyway), but frequently I’ve found myself forced to defend my preferred genre to other readers. Often this segues into a combined defence of the Romance genre (another one I also enjoy, particularly when combined with Fantasy). Defending Romance to I-only-read-high-brow-literature people is an even more challenging task than defending Fantasy, and when you combine the two it starts to seem impossible.( Read more...Collapse )
- Current Mood: apathetic
- Current Mood: hungry
- Current Mood: scared
This cartoon by Tom Scott after the injury of a key player (Dan Carter) describes what being in NZ for the last six weeks has been like quite nicely:
- Current Mood: aggravated
( Read more...Collapse )
- Current Mood: lethargic
( Read more...Collapse )
- Current Mood: frustrated