Reconnecting with Old Loves

by Guest Blogger August 05, 2009

by Stephanie Walker

[O]ver the weekend, I moved into a new apartment, and once again realized that 60% of my possessions are books . . . In the effort to trim down that comes with every move, I sorted through, trying to sell/donate whatever I could part with. I found a number of books that I had TWO copies of, quite a few reader's copies I'd accumulated from conferences and the like, and some that I had to be honest with myself about and admit that I wasn't ever going to read them. The best part, though, was rediscovering books I love and re-adding them to my "to be read" mountain by my bed. Among these were Tony Hoagland's poetry collection What Narcissism Means to Me, Cheryl Strayed's novel Torch, The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales, and a smattering of poetry books by the likes of Anne Sexton, Philip Schultz, and Linda Gregg. I also rediscovered a number of old issues of Ruminate, and it was so fun to flip through and be newly amazed at the art, the beautiful layout, the wonderful stories, and of course the poems. As one of the poetry readers for Ruminate, I'm usually pretty familiar with each of the poems that get published, having read and discussed them many times. It's so wonderful, then, to read these older ones now and to find new things to love about each of them—things I may have missed the first time. In honor of their 25th Anniversary, Coffee House Press recently produced a beautiful commemorative broadside, which I think sums it up: "There are books that are so alive that you're always afraid that while you weren't reading, the book has gone and changed, has shifted like a river; while you went on living, it went on living too, and like a river moved on and moved away. No one has stepped twice into the same river. But did anyone ever step twice into the same book?" —Marina Tsvetaeva What books do YOU keep stepping into?




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