Thursday, March 5, 2015
THE MITZVAH PURCHASE
As you know we have devoted a good section of the library to poetry. This morning, I acquired three more books, including the chapbook featured above: SPINE STILL HOLDING by Bonnie Long (Finishing Line Press, 2015). It's a publication I might not have purchased, were it not for the coincidence of her entering the bookstore where I was perusing shelves. Since it's a small store, I couldn't help but overhear her conversation with the bookseller -- that she hoped it would sell, etc.
Now, it's difficult for poetry books to sell. I also knew from coincidentally reading the article on her this morning that it's her first "book" publication. So I purchased a copy, to her delight. Since I didn't know her poems (yet), this is called a mitzvah, or an act of kindness (per Judaism). Son, you must always be kind to poets if you ever stumble across them in situations where they are trying to sell one of the least marketable objects in existence: a poetry book.
I only wish now that I'd shown this poet what else I was buying -- I think she would have liked the company in which her chapbook found itself:
RESURRECTION by Nicole Cooley (Louisiana State University, 2006)
NEW COLLECTED POEMS by Eavan Boland (Norton, 2008)
Son, we hope you come to understand poetry enough to not just enjoy it but treasure it.
Mom and Dad