Thanksgiving offerings: Poetrys seat at the table |

Thanksgiving offerings: Poetrys seat at the table

Barbara Perlman-WhymanSpecial to the Sierra Sun

Contrary to the belief for many in America that Thanksgiving means football, Thanksgiving is a time for reflection, for thought, for appreciation of what we have. Whether you will share your table with many or few, or perhaps you choose to dine alone, here are some poems, thoughts and proverbs to read, to think about and discuss at the Thanksgiving Table.

The face of the water, in time, became a wonderful book a book that was a dead language to the uneducated passenger, but which told its mind to me without reserve, delivering its most cherished secrets as clearly as if it uttered them with a voice. And it was not a book to be read once and thrown aside, for it had a new story to tell every day. by Mark Twain

I got out of bedOn two strong legs.It might have been Otherwise. I ateCereal, sweetMilk, ripe, flawlessPeach. It mightHave been otherwise.I took the dog uphillTo the birch wood.All morning I didThe work I love.At noon I lay downWith my mate. It mightHave been otherwise.We ate dinner togetherAt a table with silverCandlesticks. It mightHave been otherwise.I slept in a bedIn a room with paintingsOn the walls, andPlanned another day Just like this day.But one day, I know,It will be otherwise. by Jane Kenyon

As the leaves ofthe trees are said to absorb all noxious qualitiesof the air, andto breathe fortha purer atmosphere,so it seems to me asif they drew fromus all sordid and angry passions,and breathed forth peace and philanthropy. There is a severeand settled majesty in woodlandscenery that enters into the soul,and dilates and elevates it,and fills it with noble inclinations. by Washington Irving

Lord Whoever, thank you for this airIm about to in- and exhale, this hutchIn the woods, the wood for the fire,The light—both lamp and the natural stuffOf leaf-back, fern.and wing.For the piano, the shovelFor ashes, the moth-gnawedBlankets, the stone-cold water,Stone-cold: thank you.Thank you, Lord, coming forTo carry me here—where Ill gnashIt out, Lord, where Ill calmand work, Lord, thank you for the goddamn birds singing! by Thomas Lux

I went to the woods becauseI wished to live deliberately,To front only the essentialFacts of life, and see if ICould not learn whatIt had to teach, and not,When I came to die, Discover that I had not lived. by Henry David Thoreau

Library Tips of the Week:Food for FinesFrom November 6-December 31, library users can bring a can of food to the library in lieu of fines to help feed the hungry. The Incline Village Librarys food donations will be given to Project MANA to help feed local hungry families. Library users are asked to bring one can of non-perishable food for every overdue book. However, food cannot be exchanged for lost or damaged books and other items.Friends Membership DriveThe Friends of Washoe County Library is looking for new members and is conducting a membership drive through November 26th. The membership campaign is a local celebration of National Friends of Libraries Week.The campaign is especially important this year since the Library has been asked to trim over $660,000 from its annual budget. The Friends are an award-winning nonprofit, with over 1,000 members. Since 1991 they have raised over two million dollars to enhance public libraries.New members will be entered in a drawing to win one of a dozen magnificent baskets that include books autographed by authors such as Sue Grafton, John Lescroart, John McPhee, Jean Auel and more. In addition, membership provides an “OOPS” card for overdue book fine, discounts at area bookstores, priority entry to special activities like Booksale Bonanza and community recognition for your contribution.For more information, call (775) 327-8360 or pick up a Friends membership application at the Incline Village Library.Literary Birthdays This Week:November 16 – Chinua Achebe (1930)November 18 – Margaret Atwood (1939) November 19 Allen Tate (1899)November 21 Voltaire (1694)November 22 George Eliot (1819) For your Information: Its a Winner!Alice Notley, a prominent member of the eclectic second generation of the New York School, who has published over thirty volumes of poetry, and winner of several prominent awards including a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, has just been awarded the Lenore Marshall Prize for 2007 Most Outstanding Book of Poetry for her book Grave of Light: New and Selected Poems 1970-2005 (Wesleyan University Press). With the award comes a $25,000 cash gift.Good Reads List:Adults (fiction): A Man in Full by Tom WolfeYoung Adult (ages 13-17): Skybreaker by Kenneth Oppel Juvenile (fourth-sixth grade): Frindle by Andrew Clements Children (second-third grade): Mr. Poppers Penquins by Richard and Florence AtwaterAudio Book for Children; Marlo Thomas andamp; Friends: Thanks and Giving All Year Long produced by Christopher Cerf and Marlo Thomas (Warner Strategic Marketing) 2006 Grammy Award winnerBarbara Perlman-Whymans Good Reads column appears in the Sun on Fridays. E-mail

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