What are you reading? unpacking edition
As you might expect, unpacking our boxes of books is reminding us of all the things we haven’t read yet or could read again. DN and I are both book hoarders, so there are entire syllabi of books from sophomore years of college (and so on) to be consumed. Should I see how Marcel Proust fares for me now compared to when I was 21? Should I select a volume from DN’s entire shelf of Evelyn Waugh? Should I ever read the seventh Henry James novel I ambitiously purchased while reading for comps?
With great bookshelves comes great responsibility (or something).
Well, starting small is always a good method. So the other day I did at least flip through my favorite Rilke collection, Sonnets from Orpheus.
Breathing, you invisible poem!
World-space in pure continuous interchange
with my own being. Equipoise
in which I rhythmically transpire.
whose gradual sea I am;
of all possible seas the most frugal,–
windfall of space.
How many of these places in space have already
been in me. Many a breeze
is like my son.
Do you recognize me, air, full of places once mine?
You, once the smooth rind,
orb, and leaf of all my words.
A bit Whitman-esque if you ask me!
*The painting is “Reading” by Pierre Bonnard