Today, March 21, is World Poetry Day. Started in 1999 by UNESCO, World Poetry Day is meant to celebrate linguistic diversity. I actually didn’t realize this was a thing until yesterday, so I don’t have any recent poets to talk about. I do, however, have a copy of T. S. Eliot‘s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats on loan from the library at the moment! I actually did not know until very recently that Cats, one of my husband’s absolute favorite musicals, was based off a book of poetry! It seems that many, if not most, of the songs from Cats are almost direct lyrical pulls from the poems. If you haven’t seen Cats or read the book, well, first, FIX THAT! (I can’t seem to get the entire thing to embed, but you can follow this link to the playlist of the entire musical.)
The book is tiny, only about 50 pages long. It’s a fun little read about different cats, from the obstinate Rum Tum Tugger who only wants the opposite of what you’ve offered him, to the lazy Gumbie Cat who sits around all day but teaches the mice manners at night. There’s our badass alley cat Growltiger, and the magical, mysterious Mr. Mistoffelees. If you’re a cat lover, you’ll enjoy the poems. They’re cute.
And then there’s this twitter thread I ran across today that I was amused by – and it eventually mentions my T. S. Eliot book!
Are you reading anything for World Poetry Day?
“And I don’t understand why I sleep all day
And I start to complain that there’s no rain
And all I can do is read a book to stay awake
And it rips my life away but it’s a great escape
Escape, escape, escape”
Oooo I identify with this. I’m hypothyroid, and despite being medicated, I still have bad fatigue days sometimes. Sometimes that means I can’t pull myself out of bed to go do things I’d planned to do. I tend to write and schedule a bunch of blog posts on my good days, so even if I have a bad fatigue day, something still posts on the blog here. So this is my book today – it’s taught me a lot about my condition and what I can do to mitigate it.
“It’s tearin’ up my heart when I’m with you
But when we are apart, I feel it too
And no matter what I do, I feel the pain
With or without you”
So here’s an interesting tidbit I’m not sure I’ve mentioned: I’m polyamorous. That means my husband and I have multiple romantic relationships at the same time. We’ve been married ten years (on the 11th!) and he has a girlfriend of 3 years. I do not yet have a boyfriend, though there have been a few flirtations over the last few years. (We opened up shortly before he and his girlfriend started dating.) So this lyric made me think of something he’s said about poly – that no matter who he’s with he’s always missing someone, so it’s kind of bittersweet.
So I’m posting More Than Two today, which is a magnificent, and fairly recent, addition to books about polyamory.
Other excellent books include Opening Up, The Ethical Slut (though I’ve found that to be more about ethical non-monogamy than poly – it’s a small difference but significant – often more casual sex involved) Polyamory in the 21st Century, and The Jealousy Workbook, for people that struggle with that. (Which I do sometimes.)
The 90s in July Index post can be found here.