PES Friday: This Week’s Recommended Reads – 2/9/2018


Okay, pretty sure I’m putting this up on the correct day now…My apologies if there was any confusion regarding yesterday’s erroneous post. I wrote this a day early since I won’t have time to write it up on Friday (which to you, is today, but tomorrow for me, but you’re reading this today…oh, time, you crafty thing).

Guys, the writing has been kicking my butt the past two weeks. I’m still planning to post something on Sunday, but it may turn out that I have two or three projects wrapping up around the same time. At least that’s the hope. I had to take a break from the one I started working on last week and start on a fresh piece. I needed some head-clearing that I’m hoping will allow me to have an “Aha!” moment so that I can finish the damn thing! Through all my self-made drama, I’ve been keeping up my reading schedule. It was difficult to choose this week as I read a lot of great stuff, but here you go:

Poem

To a Child dancing in the Wind from Responsibilities and Other Poems by W. B. Yeats

I’m 100% sure that Yeats is a powerful enough poet to plant hundreds of important ideas beneath the surface, but what endears him to me is that he makes the surface its own beautiful thing. In the anthology I have, this is split into two separate poems, the first bearing the title you see here with part two titled Two Years Later. I think the distinction is important because it shows youth nearing the end of innocence woefully unprepared. My favorite lines in this poem:

I could have warned you, but you are young,
So we speak a different tongue.

Essay

Deciphering the Taliban in Stratfor (Aug 27, 2017)

I’m hoping you can read this without needing a subscription (I tested it in Chrome’s Incognito mode and it seemed to work). The beautiful photographs and compelling look at the cultural divide within Afghanistan really opened my eyes to the complexities of the ongoing U.S. and NATO war against the Taliban. There are a lot of parallels with what I see in my own country. I suppose it’s a classic problem repeated in different ways. I would have liked to see a deeper look at the thoughts and aspirations of urbanite ‘Kabulis,’ but overall, a good read.

Short Story

Amina from Great Horror Stories: 101 Chilling Tales by Edward Lucas White

I read this in another wonderful Barnes and Noble anthology. I would have loved to share a copy with you online, but I don’t believe it’s quite yet in the public domain (published in 1927).

The story centers around a group of American diplomats in the Middle East who are dealing with a local pest–ghouls. These grave-inhabiting, people-eating creatures of Arab mythology have a myriad of tricks up their sleeves to entice the innocent and unaware into the tombs in which they reside. Even ghouls have children to feed, after all. I really like how the story was framed too. Read it and you’ll see.

Happy Friday!

-Phillip

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