Summer is for reading

So you’re already lying on a patio chaise or, better yet, a hammock, reading something with which you’re planning to torture undergraduates in the fall? Yes, me too.

I hadn’t read The Wild Iris by Louise Gluck, though I know that’s the favorite among her collections. So, I’m reading it now, educating myself on the work of this new Nobel laureate. Her book A Village Life had inspired me when I read it in grad school, and I have clung to it as my model for what a book should be. It’s not nearly as dark as this.

Just bruising, like the way she calls us idiots in the first line of “Scilla.” Do I love this pissed-off poet? And she even pretends she is not calling us idiots. I think that’s what I like here: a veiled taunt. A challenge to rise above our daily and universal idiocies to claim the scent of the flower as our own.

If you want to make… a rhubarb-strawberry-hibiscus pie

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