— Love @ 14:03 Comments (1)
Filed under: D, Decades '08, English, Fiction, Poetry
By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept
by Elizabeth Smart
For the Decades ’08 reading challenge (first published 1945).
First line: I am standing on a corner in Monterey, waiting for the bus to come in, and all of the muscles of my will are holding my terror to face the moment I most desire.
Back cover blurb:
By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept, Elizabeth Smart’s passionate fictional account of her intense love-affair with the poet George Barker, is widely recognised to be a classic.
Thoughts: You might not know, if you are a new acquaintance, but I am absolutely crazy about Morrissey. This is one of his favourite books, and it’s inspired a number of his songs, so I have long been meaning to read it. This weekend, I was visiting a dear friend for the first time and she had it in her bookshelf, so I finally got a chance to read it myself (she even graciously offered to let me borrow it if I didn’t manage to finish it before I had to leave, which I didn’t).
I can see where Morrissey got his inspiration — there are certain lines that echo lines found in his songs — but that’s about it. I don’t think poetic prose is really my cup of tea, and I had a lot of trouble actually understanding what was going on in the story. I get that it’s the fictional account of the author’s love-affair with a poet (one who is married, I might add), and at one point they are arrested by the police, but that’s about as far as my understanding goes. It’s just plain weird.
No, like I said, the style of writing exhibited in this story is definitely not my thing and I will leave other works in the genre be (though apparently not all of them, as supposedly Jean Genet is a prime example of a prose poetry writer and I intend to read his The Thief’s Journal at some point this year. We’ll see how that goes).
By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept (I do like the ridiculously long title) receives a D rating.