Mailbox Monday #355

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links.  Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

Falling for You by Jill Mansell from Anna for Christmas — Thank you!

As a teen, Maddy Harvey was a bit of an ugly duckling. Luckily she’s blossomed since then, and Maddy thanks God for this small miracle when a tall, handsome stranger comes to her rescue one starry summer’s night.

Instant attraction turns to disaster-in-the-making when Maddy learns the identity of her superman: Kerr McKinnon. Of all the colorful residents of the small Cotswold town of Ashcombe, why did it have to be him? Because as family feuds go, the Montagues and the Capulets have nothing on the Harveys and the McKinnons.


The Arranged Marriage: Poems by Jehanne Dubrow from SantaThing.

With her characteristic music and precision, Dubrow’s prose poems delve unflinchingly into a mother’s story of trauma and captivity. The poet proves that truth telling and vision can give meaning to the gravest situations, allowing women to create a future on their own terms.



The Emperor of Water Clocks by Yusef Komunyakaa from SantaThing.

“If I am not Ulysses, I am / his dear, ruthless half-brother.” So announces Yusef Komunyakaa early in his lush new collection, The Emperor of Water Clocks. But Ulysses (or his half brother) is but one of the beguiling guises Komunyakaa dons over the course of this densely lyrical book. Here his speaker observes a doomed court jester; here he is with Napoleon, as the emperor “tells the doctor to cut out his heart / & send it to the empress, Marie-Louise”; here he is at the circus, observing as “The strong man presses six hundred pounds, / his muscles flexed for the woman / whose T-shirt says, these guns are loaded“; and here is just a man, placing “a few red anemones / & a sheaf of wheat” on Mahmoud Darwish’s grave, reflecting on why “I’d rather die a poet / than a warrior.”

Through these mutations and migrations and permutations and peregrinations there are constants: Komunyakaa’s jazz-inflected rhythms; his effortlessly surreal images; his celebration of natural beauty and of love. There is also his insistent inquiry into the structures and struggles of power: not only of, say, king against jester but of man against his own desire and of the present against the pernicious influence of the past.

Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg, which I got from SantaThing for a second time.

The prophetic poem that launched a generation when it was first published in 1965 is here presented in a commemorative fortieth Anniversary Edition.

When the book arrived from its British printers, it was seized almost immediately by U.S. Customs, and shortly thereafter the San Francisco police arrested its publisher and editor, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, together with City Lights Bookstore manager Shigeyoshi Murao. The two of them were charged with disseminating obscene literature, and the case went to trial in the municipal court of Judge Clayton Horn. A parade of distinguished literary and academic witnesses persuaded the judge that the title poem was indeed not obscene and that it had “redeeming social significance.”

Thus was Howl & Other Poems freed to become the single most influential poetic work of the post-World War II era, with over 900,000 copies now in print.”

Emma got me this great bag for Christmas too!  Thank you!

What did you receive?