Thursday, January 29, 2009

I can't help myself

Last night I was out with daughter number three searching for a birthday present for my dad. Barnes and Noble has the book he wants, but none of them were in very good condition (brand new books with wear marks and scratches on the cover---great marketing technique). After I discovered that, I spent some time wishing through their poetry section (back by the "Employee's Only" door). And when I decided I have too many books on my bookshelf waiting to be read, I ran from the store before the smell could drug me into a book-high.

Then I went to a secondhand bookstore, hopeful they'd have a classic copy of the book I was looking for. When I couldn't find that, I headed back to their poetry section (you know, just for kicks) and fell under the spell of T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets ($1.99; paperback) and Sappho's A Garland: The Poem's & Fragments of Sappho ($7.49; hardback), translated by Jim Powell (figured I'd pick up something short and old; that and I think the cover's interesting).

As I was walking, potential acquisitions in hand, to the register, I noticed another book on a bottom display shelf. Black and square, I bent to see what it was: Inscape: A Brigham Young University Student Literary Journal (Winter 1985). Thumbing through it, I noticed that AMV's own Patricia Gunter (now Karamesines) was a contributor: two poems, "Three Related Stanzas" and "Seventh River." And that sealed the deal.

A few minutes later, I walked from the bookstore with my books in a bag (though not the one I'd gone looking for) and a smile on my face because, hey, who's not happy when they find cool books (though I'm still a bit disconcerted that these bookstores shove poetry in the back corner---but that's another story).

Ah, sometimes, I just can't help myself.