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About Paul

Unique selections of books from our book buyer Paul Ingram. He compiles great lists of books on varying topics.

If you have any requests for recommendations, send Paul an email at paul@prairielights.com

  • Paul's Corner: Poetry Month - Gwendolyn Brooks

    Blacks Gwendolyn Brooks

    The Children of the Poor

    1

    People who have no children can be hard:
    Attain a mail of ice and insolence:
    Need not pause in the fire, and in no sense
    Hesitate in the hurricane to guard.
    And when wide world is bitten and bewarred
    They perish purely, waving their spirits hence
    Without a trace of grace or of offense
    To laugh or fail, diffident, wonder-starred.
    While through a throttling dark we others hear
    The little lifting helplessness, the queer
    Whimper-whine; whose unridiculous
    Lost softness softly makes a trap for us.
    And makes a curse. And makes a sugar of
    The malocclusions, the inconditions of love.

    2

    What shall I give my children? who are poor,
    Who are adjudged the leastwise of the land,
    Who are my sweetest lepers, who demand
    No velvet and no velvety velour;
    But who have begged me for a brisk contour,
    Crying that they are quasi, contraband
    Because unfinished, graven by a hand
    Less than angelic, admirable or sure.
    My hand is stuffed with mode, design, device.
    But I lack access to my proper stone.
    And plenitude of plan shall not suffice
    Nor grief nor love shall be enough alone
    To ratify my little halves who bear
    Across an autumn freezing everywhere.

    3

    And shall I prime my children, pray, to pray?
    Mites, come invade most frugal vestibules
    Spectered with crusts of penitents’ renewals
    And all hysterics arrogant for a day.
    Instruct yourselves here is no devil to pay.
    Children, confine your lights in jellied rules;
    Resemble graves; be metaphysical mules.
    Learn Lord will not distort nor leave the fray.
    Behind the scurryings of your neat motif
    I shall wait, if you wish: revise the psalm
    If that should frighten you: sew up belief
    If that should tear: turn, singularly calm
    At forehead and at fingers rather wise,
    Holding the bandage ready for your eyes.

    --Gwendolyn Brooks

     

  • Paul's Corner: Poetry Month -- e.e. cummings

    100 Selected Poems e.e. cummings

    when god lets my body be

    From each brave eye shall sprout aa tree
    fruit that dangles therefrom

    the purpled world will dance upon
    Between my lips which did sing

    a rose shall beget the spring
    that maidens whom passion wastes

    will lay between their little breasts
    My strong fingers beneath the snow

    Into strenuous birds shall go
    my love walking in the grass

    their wings will touch with her face
    and all the while shall my heart be

    With the bulge and nuzzle of the sea

    --e. e. cummings

     

  • Paul's Corner: Poetry Month -- Adrienne Rich

    Collected Poems Adrienne Rich

    PROSPECTIVE IMMIGRANTS PLEASE NOTE

    Either you will
    go through this door
    or you will not go through.

    If you go through
    there is always the risk
    of remembering your name.

    Things look at you doubly
    and you must look back
    and let them happen.  

    If you do not go through
    it is possible
    to live worthily

    to maintain your attitudes
    to hold your position
    to die bravely

    but much will blind you,
    much will evade you,
    at what cost who knows?

    The door itself
    makes no promises.
    It is only a door.

    --Adrienne Rich