Saturday, May 16, 2009

For Pleasure (Spring 2009): Danger on Peaks, Gary Snyder's 2004 book of poems from Shoemaker Hoard, which immediately and maybe eccentrically became my favorite. It begins with a wonderful pairing of old and new poems about Mt. St. Helen's and our human power and apparent passion to destroy the world and ourselves, with a wise symmetry that continues throughout. Short, late poems and a group of recent poems with prose contexts are also wise and a joy.

I've also been re-reading William Irwin Thompson, preparing to review his latest. I read for the first time his book with David Spangler, Reimagination of the World (Bear & Co.), and Thompson's autobiographical riffs in that volume sent me to his only novel, Islands Out of Time (also Bear & Co.), his sci-fi allegory of the New Age set in Atlantis. I don't know enough about the New Age scene of the 70s and 80s to get more than his own more familiar obsessions, but I enjoyed the novel as a novel. A guilty pleasure was another in the Winston juvenile s/f series, and one I know I read as a pre-adolescent, Trouble on Titan by Alan E. Nourse. Although I remember reading it from the title I didn't remember the story, so it was new, and pretty good. It's this kind of book I like to read as I'm dropping off to dreamland. This spring I even read one of the Flash Gordon novels--terrible but a great giggle.

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