The Book I Read: Works Unfinished, Finishing the Appalachian Book of the Dead, and a Prayer for October

Listen to the Podcast version of this blog entry here! True confession: I often abandon books before I finish them. Sometimes I go back, sometimes I never do. The reasons for the abandonment vary–but rarely, is it because I am disinterested. Only a couple of times have I ever stopped reading because I thought theContinue reading “The Book I Read: Works Unfinished, Finishing the Appalachian Book of the Dead, and a Prayer for October”

#356: Another Triolet for Moby Dick

Almost seven years ago today, I wrote a triolet about not being able to finish Moby Dick by Herman Melville. Here I am, in the same boat, so to speak, in 2020. A double poetic feature today: first, the triolet from 2013 (with some minor revisions), then today’s triolet. What’s a triolet, you ask? On Trying toContinue reading “#356: Another Triolet for Moby Dick”

#92: On Reading The Wake Out Loud

I’ve written before how it’s been impossible for me to finish Moby Dick and now I’ve once again picked up another formidable tome, Finnegans Wake. This one, too, I’ve tried many times before and failed but nevertheless keep coming back to it, a glutton for punishment. But with neither Moby Dick or the Wake doContinue reading “#92: On Reading The Wake Out Loud”

The Power of Retreat

The truth of the matter is I didn’t read a single word of Moby Dick. I remain today on the same page I was on a week ago. Thanks to the generosity and kindness of my wife and son, I have been on retreat for a week at St. Mary’s College in Moraga for theContinue reading “The Power of Retreat”

#50: On Trying Again To Read Moby Dick (Again)

I’m not reading again, but instead, trying again to read for the first time, the problem being, as I’ve said before, not one of starting but of finishing, which, I fear is, but hope is not, a general pattern in my life. Call me Ishmael. What a great first line. I read it twenty timesContinue reading “#50: On Trying Again To Read Moby Dick (Again)”

#23: On Trying to Read Moby Dick Again (A Triolet)

Moby Dick has become my white whale, not that it’s bitten off my leg, but that it haunts me, taunts me, torments me, because this novel by Herman Melville has the distinction of being the ONLY book I truly love that I have not finished reading–after repeated attempts! It baffles me, because every time IContinue reading “#23: On Trying to Read Moby Dick Again (A Triolet)”