paul's corner

rss RSS

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

  • Storm Season by Adrienne Rich

    I draw the curtain as the sky grows black
    And set a match to candles sheathed in glass
    Against the keyhole draught, the insistent whine
    Of weather through the unsealed aperture.
    This is our sole defense against the season;
    These are the things we have learned to do
    Who live in troubled regions.
    Adrienne Rich, "Storm Season" (1950)

  • I felt a Funeral, in my Brain --

    I felt a Funeral, in my Brain, 
    And Mourners to and fro
    Kept treading - treading - till it seemed 
    That Sense was breaking through - 
    And when they all were seated, 
    A Service, like a Drum -
    Kept beating - beating - till I thought 
    My mind was going numb - 
    And then I heard them lift a Box
    And creak across my Soul 
    With those same Boots of Lead, again,
    Then Space - began to toll,
    As all the Heavens were a Bell, 
    And Being, but an Ear, 
    And I, and Silence, some strange Race, 
    Wrecked, solitary, here -
    And then a Plank in Reason, broke, 
    And I dropped down, and down - 
    And hit a World, at every plunge, 
    And Finished knowing - then -

    Emily Dickinson

     

  • Election Day

    Spring and All William Carlos Williams

    William Carlos Williams, "To Elsie" or "The pure products of America / go crazy"
    from Spring and All (1923)

    The pure products of America
    go crazy--
    mountain folk from Kentucky
    or the ribbed north end of
    Jersey
    with its isolate lakes and
    valleys, its deaf-mutes, thieves
    old names
    and promiscuity between
    devil-may-care men who have taken
    to railroading
    out of sheer lust of adventure--
    and young slatterns, bathed
    in filth
    from Monday to Saturday
    to be tricked out that night
    with gauds
    from imaginations which have no
    peasant traditions to give them
    character
    but flutter and flaunt
    sheer rags succumbing without
    emotion
    save numbed terror
    under some hedge of choke-cherry
    or viburnum--
    which they cannot express--
    Unless it be that marriage
    perhaps
    with a dash of Indian blood
    will throw up a girl so desolate
    so hemmed round
    with disease or murder
    that she'll be rescued by an
    agent--
    reared by the state and
    sent out at fifteen to work in
    some hard-pressed
    house in the suburbs--
    some doctor's family, some Elsie
    voluptuous water
    expressing with broken
    brain the truth about us--
    her great
    ungainly hips and flopping breasts
    addressed to cheap
    jewelry
    and rich young men with fine eyes
    as if the earth under our feet
    were
    an excrement of some sky
    and we degraded prisoners
    destined
    to hunger until we eat filth
    while the imagination strains
    after deer
    going by fields of goldenrod in
    the stifling heat of September
    somehow
    it seems to destroy us
    It is only in isolate flecks that
    something
    is given off
    No one
    to witness
    and adjust, no one to drive the car