Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Essential Books (and other sources)

There's a post over at Ron Silliman's blog that looks at Peter Davis' editing of the first volume of Poet’s Bookshelf and some of the 81 poets' responses to his request for a list of 5-10 books that have been most “essential” to them as a poet. Some of the responses are quite interesting.

I liked this idea.

I'm curious to know what books (or other sources) have been most essential to you, the readers of this blog, in your life, in whatever field is of greatest interest to you. I'm going to post two lists, one for my life as a writer and one for my life as a curious observer of human life.

Selected Poems of Robinson Jeffers
Shakespeare, Plays and Sonnets
The Book of Nightmares, Galway Kinnell
The music of Human Drama
The paintings of Pablo Picasso
Howl, Allen Ginsberg
The Essential Rumi, edited and translated by Coleman Barks
The music of Maurice Ravel
The New American Poetry, edited by Donald Allen
Zone Journals, Charles Wright

Life and Such:
The Bible
The Complete Works of Carl Jung
Sex, Ecology, Spirituality, by Ken Wilber
Letters to a Young Poet, Rilke
The Siskiyou National Forest in Southern Oregon (especially Mt. Grayback)
When Things Fall Apart, Pema Chodron
Integral Psychology, Ken Wilber
Spiral Dynamics, Don Beck and Chris Cowan
The Sacred and the Profane, Mircea Eliade
Various relationships with other human beings

What does your list look like? Please leave your thoughts in the comments.


Anonymous said...

Classic Poetry - Rumi and Kabir

Modern Poetry - Wistawa Szymborska

Classic Novel - Jane Eyre, by Emily Bronte

Current Novel - Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, by Lisa Lee

Artist - The Paintings of Cezanne

Classical Music - Johann Sebastian Bach - St. Matthews Passion a favorite

Other Various:

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Satchidananda

The I Ching workbook by R.L. Wing

The I Ching Book of Changes by C.G. Jung, H. Wilhelm & R. Wilhelm

Feng Shui, A Practical Guide for Architects and Designers, by V.M. Smith

william harryman said...

Hi Helen,

Great list -- thanks for sharing this. I'm a fan of Wistawa Szymborska, as well.