For Thursday, a Favorite Poem

Here’s some exceptional fiction I’ve read recently:

  • The Piper’s Son, by Melina Marchetta. Realism, 328 pages. Told from the alternating perspectives of Tom Mackee and his aunt Georgie. (Tom was one of Frankie’s friends in the book Saving Francesca, and if you haven’t read Saving Francesca, well, I couldn’t recommend it more highly; it’s one of my all-time favorite books.) The Piper’s Son comes out in Australia in March; I don’t know when it’s coming out elsewhere, but if I find out, I’ll tell you. (Here’s a little more info about the book, from Marchetta’s site.) ETA 3/10/10: It’s coming out in the USA in March of 2011. Yeesh! That’s far away!
  • Lyra’s Oxford, by Philip Pullman. Fantasy, 64 pages. A story about Lyra and Pan which takes place in Lyra’s Oxford not too long after the events of the His Dark Materials trilogy; plus, other things. (If you haven’t read Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy… how can I put this? An Australian newspaper once asked me to choose five books that changed my life. The final book in Pullman’s HDM trilogy, The Amber Spyglass, was one of my choices.)
  • Once Upon a Time in the North, by Philip Pullman. Fantasy, 112 pages. This one tells the story of how Lee Scoresby and Iorek Byrnison met, many years before the events of the HDM trilogy; plus, other things that made me happily tearful.

I’ll be in New York this weekend, so Monday’s post might be delayed. For anyone interested, I have an event with Thalia Kids’ Book Club at Symphony Space on the Upper West Side on Sunday afternoon — go here for details and to buy tickets!

Below is a poem I’ve loved since the first time I read it in my daily planner years ago.


Dying Wish of Seventy-three Year Old for Her Far Distant Future

When I die
I want to have a black thumbnail
From where the hammer missed
And a web of scratches
From pruning the roses that day
-Phyllis Mayfield