accidental poetry

From a metacritic review of the new Zelda: Skyward Sword.The line breaks are mine, everything else is Beppeoioi‘s. Discovery credit to mpb the elder.


After waiting so many months
Skyward Sword Zelda, after
reading so many articles,
see movies and read
rumors, even I
would give this game
Then he came out,
I bought and tried and
it is at this point that came
the disappointment.
I quickly realized that
so much praise, so many high scores
were just advertising.

I am an expert player of Zelda,
I played three times
and finished
Zelda Twilight Princess and I would have expected much more
from Skyward Sword.
Grainy graphics, controller goes
crazy when you look off the field, the controller
is not precise, enemies in spite of
the above
the new Motion Plus controller,
are killed simply shaking the controller.
And then the most important thing,
the story,
missing the magic,
the soul is lacking,
there is no involvement, few dialogues.
It looks like a game
made in a hurry
to go to meet
business needs, putting together
the pieces of the previous Zelda,
yet they have had 5 years of time.
I’ve played now for 20 hours
I hope that
going forward
you change something.

Playing catch-up, part 1.

Here’s a list of lots of things I’ve seen, read and thought about over the past few weeks.


  • A girl reading Arthur Ransome’s Secret Water in the crêperie near my apartment. This made me really happy.
  • A Daunt’s book bag identical to the one I’ve got, slung over the shoulder of someone walking past the store where I work.
  • Multiple copies of Franzen’s Freedom being read on the T, in coffee shops and outside, when it’s sunny.

What I’ve been reading:

  • Kurt Vonnegut’s The Sirens of Titan, C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters, Murial Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Dan Simmons’ Hyperion (in the middle of this one), Shakespeare’s Henry IV part I, Nicole Krauss’ Great House, Bernd Brunner’s Moon: A Brief History (in the midst of this as well), Best American Essays 2010 edited by Christopher Hitchens, and some dabbling about in different collections by David Sedaris.
  • J.K. Rowling on “The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination,” poet Don Paterson (whose new book, Rain, contains some really beautiful poems, especially the title piece) on Shakespeare’s sonnets, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on metaphysics, and various pieces from recent New Yorkers.

Posts I’ve thought about writing but haven’t:

  • A post about dialogue and conversation, spurred by the fact that I think Shirley Jackson writes conversations really, really well, capturing the way speaking to other people can really be just a part of a full-scale psychological guessing game.
  • A post about characters in mystery series, spurred by reading Margery Allingham, who seems really gifted at creating characters in a line or two. In mysteries, character is often subservient to plot. There is usually only one fully developed character: the detective. And the detective’s character development is usually arched not just through a single book, but through the series as a whole. The other personages in a single book all function as parts of the game the detective is trying to solve, as suspects, red herrings, and distractions. So they get to be 2-dimensional, but often in flamboyant, deeply suspicious ways, and I thought this was interesting. Maybe I’ll come back to it.
  • Forthcoming: some thoughts on Nicole Krauss’ Great House and other contemporary fiction.
  • Multiple posts apologizing for the general lack of posts…

Spotted: Wuthering Heights

While stuck in exit traffic at the Newport Folk Festival this evening, I spotted a girl reading Emily Brontë’s classic novel, Wuthering Heights. We were stopped in a completely motionless car queue for more than an hour, and when I walked ahead to see if I could make out where the line ended (or began…depending on which way you think about it) I saw a young (16 years old?) girl in a blue ZipCar painting the pages of Wuthering Heights with pink highlighter.

I read Emily Brontë’s masterpiece when I was in high school, and last year at a book sale I came across a really nice edition with cool full page illustrations for a dollar or two. It’s on the top of my To Be Read stack, waiting for me to indulge in a glorious reread.

Sadly, there are still a lot of books in between now and then…but at least there’s this memorable Kate Bush song, also called “Wuthering Heights,” to help me pass the time.  It was a huge hit in my twelfth grade class when we read this novel.

Spotted: Chaucer and Exile’s Valor

I know, I know, I’m failing at getting this week’s Reading ‘Round the Nation book written about and posted. It’s a really hard book, and I want to be able to say something not completely idiotic about it!

In the meantime, here’s another new type of post for The Art of Reading. I’m a horrible snoop when it comes to other people’s books. I always want to know what other people are reading, whether they’re friends, family or complete and utter strangers. My favorite thing about riding public transit is catching a glimpse of what other passengers are reading. Maybe this is another problem I have with the Kindle and other e-books…it makes it much more difficult to make out what someone else is reading from across a crowded metro car.

Spotted will be a record of the books I spot people with on a daily basis. Today was a pretty quiet day – – only two successful “Spots.”

Today, at my new coffee shop haunt, the girl next to me was reading Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales (“The Knight’s Tale,” to be exact). Talk about motivation to study for my GRE Literature in English Subject Test.

And later in the afternoon, when I was walking to meet a friend in Kendall Square, a woman on break outside a hospital was smoking a cigarette and pouring intently over the pages of a hardcover book called Exile’s Valor, which further research revealed to be a “stand-alone novel in the Valdemar series [which] continues the story of prickly weapons-master Alberich.” It’s not headed to the top of my list, but judging from the entranced expression on the woman’s face, I bet it’s a gripping summer read.