16. Steal It Back — Sandra Simonds
17. Further Problems with Pleasure — Sandra Simonds
18. Ariel — Sylvia Plath
19. My Ariel — Sina Queyras
week fifteen — 66.0
To date: 630 KM
It’s National Poetry Month. Why April, you may ask? I did. Seems it was started when in 1996 some members of the Academy of American Poets gave away copies of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land outside of a New York post office. Canada NPMed two years later, making this the 20th annual celebration of April cruelty. I’ve celebrated by reading less poetry than I have since I started keeping track of my annual failure to read 95 Books in one year. I’ve followed Sandra Simonds on social media for a while. The other day she suggested to me on Goodreads that I might like her new collection Orlando and I thought that maybe I should read some of her already published stuff so I picked up Steal it Back and Further Problems with Pleasure, both of which, I should add, come with five-star reviews on Goodreads from Simonds herself. Who am I to argue? As it happens, I like both very much. Last fall one of my favourite people I’ve never actually met Sina Queyras AKA Lemon Hound released My Ariel, which Coach House described as “a poem-by-poem engagement with Sylvia Plath’s Ariel” so I decided that I should revisit Plath (whom I haven’t read since undergrad a lifetime ago) and also decided (since no one could have possibly thought of this before me) that I would read Plath and then the corresponding Queyras, which lasted all of three poems since Coach House are liars. Not to take anything away from Queyras; these poems are pretty great. These aren’t happy poems, but neither are the referral materials.
Don’t call it a resolution but this year I wanted to at least try to once in a while be a bit social and over a quarter into 2018 I haven’t done a very well so I decided this week that I would join the Vancouver Running Co. Thursday night Flight Crew run which sets out at a very reasonable 6:15 p.m. from 1886 West 1st Avenue (which is a very reasonable 2.5 KM jog from my place), for a very reasonable 10 KM weekday evening run. Except that I got Translinked on Thursday and didn’t get home until 6:10 so I missed out. Except that I should have remembered from the two or three other times that I’ve ever joined a social run that social runs never start when they say that they are going to, as Strava let me know later Thursday evening that the Flight Crew took off closer to 6:30. So maybe next week. This week’s long run I did some reconnaissance on the second half of the BMO half and finished feeling very confident that I will new or near my PR on May 6. Less encouraging is that Garmin dropped for the second time in as many weeks. I believe in second chances, which is why I believe it may be time for a replacement.
20. Men Explain Things to Me — Rebecca Solnit
21. Lemon Hound — Sina Queyras
this week — 34.48
to date — 300.11
I didn’t plan for the one-two punch of you should really read some Virginia Woolf that came with reading Rebecca Solnit’s collection of essays followed by Sina Queyras’ poetry collection but I have the two literary black eyes to show for it and I don’t mind. I don’t have any excuses. None come to mind except that I just haven’t bothered to yet. I will probably rectify the situation in the near future. I’m not quite sure how I managed to avoid Woolf so completely throughout my undergraduate degree in English literature. I also didn’t know that Lemon Hound was a book of poems before(?) it was the formidable force in Canadian/feminist poetics that is the (sadly, defunct) blog lemonhound.com though the blog started in 2005 and the book was published in 2006. Defunct isn’t the right word, either, since the site is still alive, though with no new material since May 2015. I recall reading Queyras’ to social media announcing that she was moving on to other endeavors and the wave of ugh that swept through the community. It left a hole that has yet to be filled that I’m aware of at least. Maybe I’m out of touch. It happens.
I’ve been trying to keep my running interesting by mixing up my routes but it’s not really working all that well since I really only have two routes and they’re approximately the same distance but with dramatically different scenery and my decision to turn left or right is usually decided by the position of the sun in the sky when I leave my building. With Daylight Savings on the near horizon about to push the sun away from its horizon that could change, but for now it’s left for the lit path if the sun sets before I finish, and right if it’s a morning or midday run. They look like this.
This one takes me over the Burrard Bridge the then down (up?) Cypress Street connecting to the Seawall path at the Maritime Museum then around Science World and back to English Bay. It’s a nice, flat run with the exception of the climb to the middle of the bridge, and it’s lit from the bridge all the way back to English Bay (except for that part through Vanier Park). I have a headlamp for the short dark section from the north side of the Burrard Bridge to Bute Street that has garnered me a couple “TOO BRIGHT!” comments. I highbeam people. I’m a jerk.
This is my lit-by-the-sun option. Although I have said headlamp, I prefer to use it sparingly. Not glaringly? [groan…] This route is straight down Barclay and then under West Georgia and onto the Stanley Park Seawall. I like this run, and it’s probably my favourite especially in inclement weather when the Seawall is mostly deserted. The one part that I still find slightly deflating is when rounding Brockton Point under the lighthouse and seeing the Lions Gate Bridge way off in the distance. It looks a lot farther than it is.