I'm not a true collector. At least not like my husband, whose collection of old bottles (milk bottles, soda bottles, medicine bottle), signed Yankees paraphernalia, and antique toys provide an endless source of conversation with clients in his office. Notice I said "in his office." Right, they don't come home.
I do like teapots and have about four or five of them. This is one of my favorites. It's hand-sculpted porcelain by Franz, Johnny Ho, Designer.
But I don't want many pieces or lots of other teapots. Just a little, a touch, a hint, so that I can appreciate the craftsmanship and savor the beauty.
The only thing I have more than a few of are books. I like old books, especially collections of poetry. Again, I don't have many and they aren't rare books, but they do have character. By that I mean they have tale-tell signs of a former reader/owner's presence. I like to find a book with the corners of pages turned down, with notes written in the margins, with highlighted sections and underlined phrases. I want to know how much someone else once loved these words.
This copy of Federico Garcia Lorca's Lament for the Death of a Bullfighter still has the faded dust jacket covering the blood red cloth cover. Inside, printed in red pen, the owner wrote her name, the date--October 21, 1954--and Paris, France. She also left her promotional post card in the pages. She could be contacted through the Actor's Equity Association.
Pressed between the pages of this 1971 edition of Anne Sexton's Transformations, I found a Bazooka Bubblegum cartoon.
The fortunereads: You will accumulate much knowledge by keeping an open mind.
This owner has character. Maybe he or she should be a character!
This library copy of How Does a Poem Mean? by John Ciardi is a favorite. Published in 1959 and bound by New Method Book Bindery, it reminds me of today's Bound to Stay Bound Books that will last forever, but don't have much pizzazz, at least on the outside.
The highlighted line says: A good poem is always better than one could have expected. Even on re-reading, and even on many re-readings, the truly achieved poem stays richer than one's best memory of it.
Thanks for joining me on this Poetry Friday. May your memories of these poems stay full, rich, collectible. Enjoy.