From March 22, 2014
"I can't remember the title, but the cover was pink" display
From April 12, 2014
A display for National Poetry Month and Poem-in-Your-Pocket Day
(This year, Poem-in-Your-Pocket Day is April 24th. Here are my posts about it from 2012, 2012 again, and 2013.)
Poems in the basket are by poets featured at the Albany library.
The one I got is "Bird, are you still" by Jack Marshall.
There were also others from the Poem-in-Your-Pocket book, I think.
The book I picked up today on reserve was One-Way Street and Other Writings by Walter Benjamin, translated from the German by Edmund Jephcott. Somewhere I read that One-Way Street was an interesting mix of street signs and directions and words pulled from advertising, in addition to being a kind of collection of essays. It is possible there was a reference in Georges Perec's Thoughts of Sorts, last week's book, an amusing and interesting collection of essays by the Oulipian. (I seem to have returned that book too soon.)
One section, called "Construction Site" discusses how adults get themselves all worked up trying to invent educational toys and "visual aids" for children, when children are happy to scavenge from the leftovers generated by adult projects and create their own world from the abandoned parts. There's a bit more to it than that, but I think it is a fascinating premise. It was written in 1925-26 and even more relevant today. (Although he doesn't specifically say "cardboard box," that's probably what we are all thinking.)
There are a few misses for me, such as when he gets overly dramatic about love or revolution, but there are enough fresh thoughts and images to keep the reader engaged. The humorous titles create interesting contexts as well.
And humor is why I'm enjoying the displays at our library.
I will leave you with an extremely short, shaped note from Walter Benjamin about writing that taps into our senses, titled "CAUTION: STEPS":
Work on good prose has three steps: a musical stage when it is composed, an architectonic one when it is built, and a textile one when it is woven.