When I understood space
I understood poetry.
I had the idea for this post a week or two ago, when I happened to be sitting outside in the objectively lovely Santa Barbara, CA. I like reading, but I also really like existing next to nature while I’m doing solitary activities, so I decided to put in a little legwork and add to my already decent list of nice outdoor places to enjoy a book in Santa Barbara. Someone has probably done this before, but I honestly just got too excited about the idea to pass it up.
I have had a long relationship with this particular book. It’s not a short volume, with three originally separate novels back-to-back in the same volume, totaling about 1313 pages. My only comment, for people daunted by this number, is that the endeavor is entirely worth it.
So I’ve been interested in Huda Shaarawi since I first came across a small reading section about her life and work in our Arabic textbook in college (Al Kitaab fi ta’allum al-arabiyya vols. 1 & 2 in the second edition, and Alif Baa for the alphabet, for those of you who are nosy). But the story of how she and another Egyptian woman dramatically unveiled when disembarking from a train in Cairo station upon returning from a conference in Rome really struck me for some reason.
I know a girl
who is quiet
She has a smile like an old lightbulb
burning low and uncertain
before firing into fearless brilliance.
Her eyes are wild and dark
and she makes me feel so many things
I have not felt before or since.
But I think that sometimes
inside her vibrant smile
and below the fathoms in her eyes
are wants she will not say.
I hope that one day she will find
the strength to call out for them.
And I hope on that day,
I will be there to give them to her.
Notes:Every few weeks or so we get tacky poetry posts, which are extremely fun to write. – B&C
As if I didn’t have enough nice things to say about Miss Don’t Touch Me, I at the same time came by a copy of Hubert & Kerascoet’s Beauty.
Quick summary: A plain girl makes a wish of a fairy to be beautiful, with unforeseen and dire consequences for her and everyone around her (essentially, there’s so much more but I’ll get to that).I have a couple moments during this review when I dont-quite-spoil but do discuss events or themes in the book that you wouldn’t know at outset. Be warned!
Disclaimer: I’m not an artist, illustrator, or anything near learned on art, comics, graphic novels, and the like. I just read a lot of them in my spare time. This is kind of out on a limb from what I’ve reviewed before, but I’ve been screaming at anyone and everyone who may get it about this one (and another by the same creative team) for weeks.