Monday, June 29, 2015

Two Good Books

In the last few days I have come across two good books.

One is Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World by Jane Hirshfield. This is not a book to be read quickly but mused over and savoured. Hirshfield tells us that 'muse' comes from a Latin word that means 'to carry in silence', and this book also has many portals through which the reader is stopped in his or her tracks and then plunged into silence.

On a lighter note, there is Catherine Fox's Unseen Things Above, which is an affectionately satirical novel about the foibles of the inhabitants of an imaginary C of E diocese. This is the second in a series, but stands on its own. It is a twenty-first century Barchester, wildly funny. A good book for the beach.


Anonymous Alison said...

Maggie, recently I heard Iain McGilchrist speaking about his work on left and right brain hemisphere differences in perception, as discussed in his book, "The Master and his Emissary", (which I've yet to read. It struck me that his work has many interesting things to contribute to thinking about the cataphatic and apophatic and contemplation. I am wondering if you have read his work and what you make of it. Thanks. Alison

10:38 am, July 04, 2015  
Blogger Maggie Ross said...

Dear Alison,

Yes, I know McGilchrist's work and McGilchrist himself. I cite him in my new book, Silence: a User's Guide. Although Hirshfield doesn't cite him, she is definitely on the same track.



12:28 pm, July 04, 2015  
Anonymous Alison said...

Jane Hirshfield? I don't know another. As her published work is, I think, all poetry, what have I missed where she might cite him? Thanks. Alison

4:01 pm, July 04, 2015  
Blogger Maggie Ross said...

Alison, She doesn't cite him but clearly is thinking along the same lines. Her two books about poetry are the one mentioned in this post, Ten Windows, and the earlier one, Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry.

6:16 pm, July 04, 2015  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just reading Catherine Fox. She always makes me laugh especially after the marvellous but also fairly bizarre service of consecration of my friend Alison White as Bishop of Hull. A joyous occasion but as a Quaker ex Anglican I find all those people parading about in fancy dress as if it were whom I ask? 5% of the population. But Alison will be a gift to the people of Hull
Susan Sawtell

4:20 pm, July 08, 2015  

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