PES Friday: This Week’s Recommended Reads – 2/2/2018

Given that I spend every day reading and studying poetry, essays, and short stories (from here on out, I’ll annoyingly refer to them collectively as PES), I thought it would be fun to post a small blurb each Friday about my favorites pulled from the prior week. Really, just another excuse for me to stay relevant on my own blog. 🙂

Poem

Faces from Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

I’m going to come right out and say that poetry is a new medium for me. I’ve only started reading it since August of last year. I understand the basics of meter and feet, rhyme patterns, and lyric vs narrative (all thanks to this excellent book). But the symbolism, the reasoning behind word choices and enjambment…these are all things I’m still struggling with as I read some of the reputed poets (especially someone like Yeats — holy moly, I need a masterclass in Irish mythology).

Faces is the first Whitman poem I’ve read. Wow. I have A LOT to look forward to. Walt could see so much of a life in every face he contemplated. As a writer, I’m in awe of his powers of observation. Reason enough to continue reading the man’s work.

Essay

The Comprachicos by Ayn Rand

Not a lot of people care to read Rand. She’s a polarizing figure, to be sure, and characteristically uncharitable. I don’t agree with everything she believes, but there is a lot that’s prophetic in this 1970 essay. It does a fair job of clarifying the root behind a lot of what we see these days regarding anti-free speech Berkleyites and the overreaching political correctness that has seen some on the left side of the aisle eat their own (see Bret Weinstein). A longer essay, but well worth a read.

Short Story

The Coronation of Mr. Thomas Shap in Gods, Men and Ghosts by Lord Dunsany

One of the reasons I love used bookstores is all of the long-forgotten gems one comes across. Gems that you would otherwise never see through online browsing or at your local Barnes and Noble. I was intrigued by the cover of this book that was lying on the ground. Apparently, Dunsany was a popular writer in his day, having written hundreds of short stories, novels, poems, and essays.

This particular tale will resonate with my fellow writers and daydreamers. I don’t want to spoil the story, but if you read anything from today’s list, this is the one. It’s short. You’ll love it.

Happy Friday!

-Phillip

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