Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Poetry Books that Changed My Life by Patricia Furstenberg - Guest Post for the As Good As Gold Blog Tour

Today, I'm re-featuring author and poet Patricia Furstenberg. You may have seen Pat on my blog before, when I reviewed her children's novella Joyful Trouble and her children's poetry collection Puppy: 12 Months of Rhymes and Smiles.

Today, I'm featuring her newest poetry book As Good As Gold as part of a blog tour with an exclusive guest post on the poetry books that have changed Patricia's life.

Poetry Books that Changed My Life by Patricia Furstenberg
(Exclusive to Nadaness In Motion)

“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.”- Robert Frost

We belong to a generation of readers, me, writing this guest post for wonderfully talented and supportive Nada Adel; you, reading it - a generation I am happy to be part of.

The world had seen the Lost Generation of the World War I and the G.I. Generation of World War II, followed by the Baby Boomers and Generation X (that’s us!), then the Millennials and the iGeneration (my children!). But did you know that our generation, Generation X, was without a name for 30 years? We are to thank a photographer (Robert Capa), a musician (Billy Idol) and two journalists who wrote a book - for giving us a name. The book that sealed the deal was written "to get young people talking about their hates and hopes and fears."

But isn’t this what reading is about?

Poetry as well.

What I love about poetry, WHY I love poetry is that it lends itself to interpretations. Very much like art does. If I look at a painting or listen to a piece of music - my brain will perceive the colours in a different way (different shades) than yours; the music I hear will be transmitted through my middle ear and will create a response in my brain - yet a different one than in yours. Because we are unique individuals, each one with a unique genetic code that, furthermore, has been differently and exclusively shaped by our individual, life-long experiences.

Yet we are all readers, a Generation of Readers. J

For today, I have chosen five poetry books from my bookshelves. Five books that, I feel, have shaped me.

1. A book of Shakespearean sonnets.
These were some of the very first “grown up” poems I read as a teen and I still remember the feeling of awe and revelation. How many times I’ve read them and how close to perfection I thought they were. I still do.

“Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove”
(William Shakespeare, Sonnet 116)

2. Poems by Emily Dickinson and Emily Brontë- Please do not make me choose. I enjoy them both for their ecstasy and insight into soul and nature. It was only natural that I would read their poems after devouring their prose. And repeat. This is why classics are at the top of my reading list; one can enjoy their writing time and time again, each life stage revealing yet another layer of their writing.

"Hope’ is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
(Emily Dickinson - ‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers)

3. Poetry by Robert Frost - of course “The Road Not Taken” so intensely brought to life in “Dead Poet’s Society”.  I love Frost’s poetry for vigour and sense of direction and for its metaphors. I love the way he conveys great significance to simple objects. Here’s how Frost describes the way a poem comes to life: “It begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a loneliness. It is never a thought to begin with. It is at its best when it is a tantalising vagueness.”

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
(Robert Frost - “The Road Not Taken”)

4. Poems by Maya Angelou - for her strength as a woman, first, and for the electricity that springs out of page when reading her poetry.  Maya’s poems, especially her work on love and struggle, bubble with positive energy and power. Her poetry is so close to a life performance, it almost reads by itself!

“I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.”
(Maya Angelou, Phenomenal Woman)

5. Poetry by Ana Blandiana, one of the most outstanding, leading contemporary Romanian poets. Romania is my home land, so reading Blandiana’s work is like going back home. Ana Blandiana has grace and charm; her poems are like honey on your tongue. Her work is both visual and auditory, it pulls at the strings of your heart and it surrounds you. Allow it to.

“That sense I had, when I dreamed what I would be
Before I came to earth, altered long ago
Into hope forgotten. Now, it wells in me,
Changing all order, makes me a witness, grows -
A chain of mystery deferred, living”
(Ana Blandiana, Self-Sufficiency, Translation by Paul Scott Derrick, Viorica Patea)

Now for the book, meet As Good As Gold, a book with an enormous heart for readers of all ages, it includes 35 poems and haiku accompanied by expressive portraits of our canine friends.

As Good as Gold synopsis

As engaging as a tail wag!
Celebrating the simple things in life as seen through the eyes of our old time favourite furry friends, As Good as Gold is a volume of poetry revealing the talent and humour we always knew our dogs possessed.

Dogs are full of questions, yet they are famed sellers of innocence especially when it comes to explaining their mishaps and often foolish effervescence through ponderings such as “Why IS a Cat Not Like a Dog”, “As Brown as Chocolate”, “Silver Stars and Puppy Tail” or, best yet, “Dog or Book?”

 Add As Good as Gold on Goodreads

About Patricia Furstenberg
Patricia Furstenberg came to writing through reading. She always carries a notebook and a pen, although at times she jots down her ideas on the back of till slips or types them on her phone.
Patricia enjoys writing for children because she can take abstract, grown-up concepts and package them in humorous, child-friendly ideas while adding sensitivity and lots of love. What fuels her is an exhilarating need to write and… coffee: “How many cups have had this morning?” “None.” “Plus?” “Five cups.”
Between her books you can find the beloved Joyful Trouble, The Cheetah and the Dog, Puppy, 12 Months of Rhymes and Smiles.

She is a Huffington Post contributor and pens the Sunday Column for MyPuppyclub.net as well as dabbing in freelancing. After completing her Medical Degree in Romania she moved to South Africa where she now lives with her husband, children and their dogs.

Purchase As Good as Gold by Patricia Furstenberg via Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon Canada

Connect with author Patricia Furstenberg via her Author Website Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and find her books on Amazon UK / Amazon US / Amazon Canada

Keep up with the rest of the blog tour for exclusive guest posts, interviews, and book reviews via Patricia Furstenberg's website.

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