Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Which poetry book should you be reading

Ok, now I am going to offer you something useful. After taking a bunch of quizzes on people’s blogs only to find out I am an over-the-top Christmas sweater, 63% weird, a classic Coca-cola, etc, I have made up my own quiz. Answer the following questions and I will recommend a book of poetry for you to read.

1. You’re expecting a baby girl. Which of these names would you choose for her?
a. Lilian b. Abagail c. Siena d. Cody e. Deborah f. Maria

2. Beatles or Stones?

3. Which of the following would be your choice of pet?
a. Beagle b. Siamese cat c. Mynah bird d. Seahorse

4. If you could change careers, what would you like to be?

5. Which of these mostly closely matches your present mood?
a. distant b. volatile c. content d. exuberant
e. preoccupied f. melancholy g. dissatisfied

6. Which city would you like to spend a year in?
a. Amsterdam b. La Paz c. Athens d. Chengdu e. Paris f. Honolulu

7. Name three of your favorite words.

* - * - * - * - * - * - * - * -* - * - * - * - * - * - * -
You are a sensual person who desires closeness and understanding. You have a sense of humor but don't like funny business or too much kidding. Your reading prescription is Adelia Prado's "The Alphabet in the Park."

You have a slight fear of closeness. You take life seriously and enjoy a touch of humor to take the edge off things. You'll take wit over hilarity and plain over fancy. Your reading prescription is David Ignatow's "Against the Evidence." Here's a poem of his from 1972.

You value tradition and straight-forwardness. In others, you look for empathy and humaneness. Despite the desire for clarity, you have some inclination to the mystic. Your poetry book is Marie Howe's "What the Living do."

Given the choice, you would be a night owl but you're just as at home in broad daylight. Under a layer of worldliness is a sensitivity many don't appreciate. You are astute and discerning. Your book is Robin Becker's "All-American Girl."

You are patient and disciplined, which helps you handle anxiety. You have an appreciation of beauty in both the sublime and the sensual, and you like to linger there. Your book of poems is Jane Kenyon's "Otherwise."

You don’t mind not always being in step with the rest of the world. The opinions of others are relatively unimportant to you when making a decision, but you’ll go out of your way not to hurt someone’s feelings. You have strong powers of concentration. Your book is Agha Shahid Ali’s “The Half-Inch Himalayas.”

Although an upfront kind of person, you do have some doubts you don’t tell anyone about. You were born under a good star and are considered by most to deserve the good luck you’ve had in life. Your book is Pablo Neruda’s “100 Love Sonnets.”

If people only knew about those soft spots you’ve got under the mask of the quotidian! You don’t always work well with tension. Your curiosity and openness to new things have helped and will help you in life. Your friends appreciate your warmth. Your poetry prescription is Diane Wakoski’s “Emerald Ice.”

You have the gift of great resilience. You’ve been around the block but not without your principles. You have never been the type to laugh when someone falls down, unless you didn’t like them already. Sometimes you find you need help in the enthusiasm department. Your book is Brenda Shaughnessy’s “Interior with Sudden Joy.”

You are basically a stable person but have recently gone through a somewhat schizophrenic period. You are exactly 89.341% weird (if you had been an actual librarian the score would have been higher). You need a bit of grounding now, and nouns more than adjectives. Your prescription is Bob Hicok's "The Legend of Light."

Your book was hard to find. Stella asks “are you sometimes wearing a mask?” Sometimes you feel like you need a good stiff drink, but really you need spiritual food, and a little more earth under your fingernails. Your book prescription is Gloria Fuertes’ “Off the Map.” You can read three of her poems here.

Kate’s husband,
Sometimes you feel like breaking loose, a feeling that can leave you exhausted. You need to take better care of yourself. You would have made a good professional dancer. The tomcat is your patron saint. Your book is Russell Edson’s classic “The Tunnel.”

The past year has filled you with a new ambition. Sometimes you are too nice to people – you should let them know your limits, especially those who try your patience. A little travel –alone- would do you good. Stay away from prescription drugs. The book for you is Joshua Beckmann’s “Things are Happening.”

Determination is your strong point - only in love have you sometimes beat around the bush. You are steadfast and resilient. Remember that forgiveness is key to peace of mind – on both ends. Stay away from technology stocks. Your book is Alan Michael Parker’s “Love Song with Motor Vehicles.”

Nate’s Friend,
You’re a down-to-earth person who doesn’t like artifice. You can be mercurial but are a reliable friend. You can’t have your cake and eat it, too. Your poetry book prescription is Micheal Ondaajte’s “The Collected Works of Billy the Kid.”

Your strong points are loyalty and curiosity. Fate has been good to you, although it’s given you very little psychic ability. If you let your newest project sit a spell, it could turn out radically different, and better. Your book in Kay Ryan’s “Elephant Rocks.”

You are generally upbeat but there's always room in your imagination for something somber. You are attracted to myth and color. It’s all in how you stir the soup. Your book is Gabrielle Calvocoressi’s “The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earheart.”

You appreciate nature and relish the occasional indulgence in luxury. There is a good night’s sleep in the offing. Go with your instinct and set yourself free. Your poetry book is Patrick Philip’s “Chattahoochee.”

You prefer the questioner to the authoritative voice. Beauty, even violent beauty, brings you solace. Remember the Yiddish proverb – “Bygone troubles are a pleasure to talk about.” Your book is Pier Giorgio di Cicco’s “Living in Paradise.”

In some ways you’re a true stoic. You like a direct statement more than a teasing meander. Some of the prejudices you’ve developed in reading are worth having, but don’t let them imprison you. Your book is “Forty-four Ambitions for the Piano” by Lola Haskins.

You have perhaps spent too much time smoldering. Go with your gut, darling - it’s that simple. Your book is “The Random House Book of 20th Century French Poetry,” edited by Paul Auster.

You are drawn to the visual and have enviable gifts. Get in touch with your inner Chinese. Your book is the anthology from Copper Canyon Press “The Book of Tongues.”

Nate’s wife,
You have a number of attractive quirks. Few high-powered executives have mynah birds, so you may have to choose (go for the mynah!). Keep in mind what many an Italian grandmother would tell you: “To a quick question, give a slow answer.” Your poetry book is Laura Kasischke’s “Gardening in the Dark.”

Whenever you are near an aquarium, you experience a familial affinity to the fish. Converse more with your partner. Don’t forget God gives every crazy bird a worm, but He won’t drop it in the nest. Your book is Martin Espada’s “City of Coughing and Dead Radiators.”

You are not the type to lie on your resumé. You like voices than have an oracular character – even the ocean once spoke to you! Your book is "Songs of the Simple Truth" by Julia de Burgos.

Sometimes you frighten children. Your element is dionysian. There is a book calling your name and it is David St. John’s “Study for the World’s Body.”

You would have been right at home in the wild west, had you been born a man. Avoid unnecessary travel. It’s time to switch from consonants to vowels. Your poetry book is “Lorca & Jimenez,” translated by Robert Bly.

As they say, it's never too late. You’re drawn to the passionate and shun the mediocre. You’re family oriented. Among the animal signs, yours is the marsupial, and your patron saint is Noah Webster. The book for you is Tomaz Salamun’s "Four Questions of Melancholy."

You are seeking balance in life. Your approach is rational but you have a mystical leaning. You would not make a good hedonist. Your book is Wislawa Szymborska's "View with a Grain of Sand."

You strive to keep your house in order but don't always succeed. Women find you very attractive, but you've never been the type to take advantage of people. Your book is Norman Dubie's "The Mercy Seat."

You're drawn to the odd but have a firm grounding in reality. You are polite and disciplined (enough), which can help you achieve your goals. Even so, don't neglect the spontaneous impulse. Your book is Peter Pereira's "Saying the World."

You have a hard exterior but there is a secret marshmellow inside you. You laugh at your own jokes, but not alone. Remember what someone's Chinese grandmother said - "When the cup is full, carry it even." Your book is Marie Howe's "What the Living Do."


Rus Bowden said...

1. Cody, sounds like a good friend. Turns out it's Celtic, Old English, and means "assistant, a cushion, possessions" but still.

2. Beatles, my youngest son has all their albums.

3. Beagle. I already have a cat.

4. A professional poet.

5. Content, although I'm getting hungry.

6. La Paz, with a group of people from all over the world

7. Coffee, toast, and marmalade. I'm getting humgrier.

Thanks for the great activity before I get focussed today.

Carl Bryant said...

1. e. (not Deborah... just "e.")
2. Stones.
3. Seahorse.
4. I love what I do now.
5. d. I'm too bubbly. I think I'm this way to annoy coworkers.
6. La Paz
7. Butterscotch. Skin. Gestalt.

What should I read, Frau Doktor?

SarahJane said...

I'm answering inside the blog post.

Pamela V said...

1. B.
2. Stones.
3. B.
4. Nurse.
5. G.
6. C.
7. Yes, Great, Thanks.

PS .........I only read non-fiction!

Jessy said...

1. Lilian, but I'd really call her Lily. If I can't do that, I choose Siena, except I'd spell it Sienna.

2. Early Stones or late Beatles.

3. Siamese cat, definitely, though unfortunately I've read that the breed is prone to deafness.

4. I would be a singer of some kind -- any kind.

5. preoccupied

6. Athens

7. slug, engine, Rauschenberg

lorguru said...

1.c. Siena

2. Beatles

3. I'm a big dog-lover, but the only dog you included is NOT a breed I would really consider. It's still a dog, though!a. Beagle
4. If you could change careers, what would you like to be? author

5. Which of these mostly closely matches your present mood?
ae. preoccupied
6. Which city would you like to spend a year in?

7. Name three of your favorite words.
phenomenon, chagrin, onomatopoeia

I can't wait for my results!!!!

SarahJane said...

Siena is a lovely name isn't it. Did I make it up? Or is it already floating around out there with Brooklyn, Paris, Dakota and Milan?

lorguru said...

Seems to me one of the twins recently told me about a girl she knows with that name, and I remember commenting...that's a pretty name, isn't it? I'll have to ask them if I'm remembering it right. Anyway, I do love it!
Thanks for the cool analysis. You almost dead-on with it, with one exception...the discipline part. I guess it depends in what aspect of life. In most ways, though, I consider that one of my battles. I really have conflicting characteristics. Anyway, I'll go check out my reading assignment. GREAT QUIZ! -laur

lorguru said...

Hey, I actually ordered the book you suggested. See how influential you are!!!! BTW, I think we want to see your answers the questions now, if you don't mind!

michi said...

ha! you beat me to this, sarah - i had already begun to take notes for MY quiz! *L* will do this tomorrow. m

Micky said...

1. Lillian
2. Beatles
3. a seahorse
4. a teacher
5. content
6. Amsterdam
7. mosey, facetious, and tintinabulation.

kate5kiwis said...

i have such a quiz addiction, and here i get my OWN PERSONALISED QUIZ?? you have reached angel status today my friend :o)

1. it would have to be "abigael" which fits with the spelling of all our other kids names "el" on the end.

2. stones baby

3. the seahorse. i l-o-v-e the beach

4.an artist, or a chef, or some kind of designer who can change what she designs weekly.. i'd start with clothes and jewellery.

5. poss. preoccupied, hubby is late home, and i'm kinda listening to harry potter which is playing on the CD player. i'm also hungry and waiting to make the very sexy french toast when hubby arrives :o)

6. paris, definitely paris. actually i'm going there in july WOOT WOOT but only for four days.

7. sheesh. only three: sunshine, surf, smells.

SarahJane said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
SarahJane said...

hello -
just thought I should mention that all this is being channeled to me by my labrador Stella, who uses a ouija board to identify the books.
She has chosen Vasko Popa's "Homage to the Lame Wolf" for me, translated by Charles Simic. I can hardly wait.
my answers were
1. abagail
2. stones
3. beagle
4. pediatrician
5. distant
6. honolulu
7. jiminy, honky-tonk, lunatic

michi said...

the answers of the austrian jury:

baby girl name:
lilian – i love "lily". if that's cheating, then siena (even though now it reminds me of the actress, sienna miller, jude law's ex)

beatles more than stones, most of the time. i guess one bonus is that they didn't last as long as the stones. ;)

mynah bird until it drives me crazy ;)


none of the above, really … perhaps preoccupied; am tired and feeling sick.

amsterdam, definitely

fav words:
madrugada, flabbergasted, strawberry

rae said...


Beatles (when they were on acid)

Siamese cat

A ballet dancer



rue, roustabout, Caligula

what great fun, and btw - I was an over the top Christmas sweater, too.

michi said...

thank you ms psychologist! *S* your test is the best! (showing off my poetic talent here ...)

tension - ugh.

oh and btw - i am a christmas fruitcake - sweet, and about to be tossed. lovely eh. tsk.


kate5kiwis said...

thanks poems guru
i could hardly wait to wakw up and check your blog lol.
funny on the 100 sonnets. hubby wrote me a gorgeous "sonnet" for last year's wedding anniversary.
thanks for the giggles :o)

rae said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
rae said...


You are the MOST awesome. The book is now on my wish list.

Arlene said...

woohoo! what a neat idea, sarah. thanks in advance ;)

1) c. Siena
2) Stones
3) a. Beagle
4) Librarian
5) b. volatile
6) a. Amsterdam
7) bucket, Rorschach, osé

SarahJane said...

Jessy, it doesn't matter if Siamese cats are deaf since cats don't listen anyway.
Lauren, I am thrilled you ordered the Jane Kenyon book. I have enjoyed mine very very much.
Rachel, Stella takes a deep bow. (I am thinking of buying her a pink leather collar.)
Kate, Neruda's poems are full of oceans. I am adding "guru" to my resume.
Michi, thanks for reminding me where I'd heard the name Sien(n)a before. I like it a lot.

michi said...

i have that jane kenyon book too - and enjoy re-reading it from time to time.

jaruqu, m

Sharon Hurlbut said...

This is way cool, Sarah!

1. e
2. Beatles
3. d
4. independently wealthy
5. c
6. a
7. slip; fossilized; dystopia

Arlene said...

hahahaha!! you're fabulous, sarah!! the book is a riot, i've added it to my shopping cart immediately. just the sound of "siamese tortures" sent a shiver of delight up and down my spine. and yessss... you've made me so happy: i've almost reached my goal of 100% weirdity. yay! i'm calling it the sloat weirdness test.

thanks, you're a darling.


kate5kiwis said...

1. Jezebel
2. stones !!! but prefer the monkeys
3. jellyfish
4. Major Tom (space oddity)
5. vacuous
6. Reykjavik
7. copralite, serendipitous, hogmanay

SarahJane said...

The book has been chosen. I'll put it up tomorrow.

Carl Bryant said...


I just received the title Sarah recommended for me

...and it's a coloring book.

I LOVE coloring books!

nate said...

1. Siena

2. Beatles

3. Beagle

4. An English teacher

5. Content

6. Paris

7. elbow, love, hilarious

I look forward to my results, Sarah... interesting quiz.

Pamela V said...

"You value tradition and straight-forwardness. In others, you look for empathy and humaneness. Despite the desire for clarity, you have some inclination to the mystic. Your poetry book is Marie Howe's "What the Living do."

Mystic? Right up my spiritualistic alley.

Beau Blue said...

1. a, but spelt 'Lillian'
2. Beatles
3. b
4. Bar and Grill owner
5. g
6. e
7. Lori, Jason, and Erin


Jilly said...

1. Lilian
2. Beatles
3. Siamese cat
4. Welder
5. distant
6. La Paz

7. luscious, flibbertygibbet, ramp

nate said...

Sarah, I've got a "friend" who is interested in the quiz (after hearing my results--dead on, btw)... here are her answers:




A Genealogist



Bitch, squeek, and skunk

I can't wait!!!

kate5kiwis said...

this is becoming a bit of a cult-site LOL
the description from your poem-book-prescription-for-hubby that i found online says..

**eerie in its logic, unsettling in its ruthless fun, dazzling in its invention**

((kate bows to stella-the-labrador))
:o) xx

Hedgie said...

1. f. Maria, pronounced mu RY uh

2. Beatles

3. Siamese cat

4. Marsonaut

5. melancholy (slightly)

6. Athens

7. "nebula," "hawk," and "light"

Paula said...

Late to the quiz party, but here are my answers:

1. Deborah
2. Beatles
3. Seahorse
4. What I do now
5. Exuberant
6. Paris
7. Travelling, music, friends

Michael said...

1. Well, how about Miracle? Ok I'll say Deborah, but it's gonna clash with the other three girls.
2. Beatles
3. Beagle
4. A major League pitcher
6. Honolulu
7. succulent, cerebral, myopic

Pris said...

Okay, I'll bite:-)
3-Siamesse Cat
4-published writer (not vanity press)
7-discombobulate, erratic, lolling

Robin said...

I'll answer on my blog too. Fun, fun!

KL said...

1. Abagail
2. Stones
3. Mynah bird
4. attorney
5. contently dissatisfied
6. Honolulu
7. yes, certainly, ofcourse (grin)

How fun! You're gonna get a lot of these!

Toni Clark said...

1. Maria

2. Beatles

3. Beagle

4. novelist

5. content

6. Paris

7. Susquehanna, strozzapreti, chartreuse

Tom Watters said...

1. Lillian

2. Beatles, no.. Stones, no beatles...
No DEFINITELY Stones (sorry, Libra)

3. Siamese Cat

4. Artist (painter)

5. Dissatisfied

6. Paris, Hell Yeah

7. Volatile, Ravine, and Lucid

Sharon Hurlbut said...

Sarah - thank you, thank you, thank you!! I've never even heard of Gloria Fuertes before, but you sure did hit the nail on the head. Her poems resonate with me.

nate said...

Sarah, now my wife wants to jump on board (this is fun, and interesting)... here are her answers:

1. Abagail
2. Stones
3. Mynah bird
4. High-Powered Executive
5. preoccupied
6. Athens
7. shoes, marriage, and kids

Looking forward to results...

michi said...

ah finally some more people for the poor mynah bird! :)

i actually never heard of cody as a female name. i think it's spoiled for me because of that rather, um, dumb kid on that tv show with patrick duffy, what was it called again ... step by step, i think. ;)

you've hit a nerve here, sarah, and i don't think you are getting bored these days ... :))


Gene Justice said...

Thanks to Rus for the link. Here's me answers, and I eagerly anticipate hearing what book of poems I should read:

1. Cody. Because of 'Visions of Cody' no doubt, though I always wanted to name one of my kids this.

2. Stones. But they're second to The Velvet Underground.

3. Beagle, though I'd probably opt for a Lab if given the choice. But a dog it is.

4. Iggy Pop.

5. Not really exuberant, but it's the closest match to amused, so I guess I'll take it.

6. Athens. It's the latent classicist in me. That, and I'd just like to seek out Diogenes' local digs, where possible.

7. Apprehension. Gravity. Snug.

KL said...


You are gifted! Lovely suggestion, and how did you know? I have been thinking about translations... This is a great source for my interest. Thank you dear guru-- (((hugs)))

SarahJane said...

you'll love that one. i promise.

sara kearns said...

Sarah, what a great idea and fun test -- delicious!

1. Abigail
2. The Stones
3. Siamese cat (although the bird sounds cool too)
4. singer / rock star
5. melancholy
6. Paris. No, maybe LaPaz. Hmmm.... Or.... well if I were alone, Amsterdam. Okay, if I have to pick, okay, okay, Paris.
7. another difficult one to answer -- there are so many -- water, anthropomorphize, hi

I think you might be a sage. *grin*
(Oh, see, sage -- another great word!)

Gene Justice said...

Sarah--I frighten children pretty much every day I'm alive--or at least, I have for the last 6 years or so. I work with them. Right now, Korean ones, who mostly watch the waeguk (foreign) teacher gesticulate wildly and try not to go insane when he has to explain how to make the opposite of the sentence "Gene teacher is a gorilla" for the 54th time.

Suffice it to say, I've developed a fairly passable Professor Snape impression at this point. I'll check out the St. John. Thanks for the tip.

LKD said...

Oh, geez, I hope I'm not too late to participate.

1. Honestly, none of them are anywhere near the name I'd choose for a girl, which is Greer. But if you put a gun to my head, I'd blurt out Abagail---and call the kid Bag or Baggie.

2. Sigh. C'mon. Both. But again, if forced to choose....right here, right now: Stones.

3. Easy. Seahorse. Finally, an emphatic, unwavering answer. (grin)

4. A pastry chef.

5. Dissatisifed. Definitely.

6. Amsterdam.

7. Nevertheless, circumspect, and wherwithal.

(while I wait for your recommendation, I gotta jot down some of these other titles that you recommended to other folks)

LKD said...

How on earth did you do that??? Seriously, I need to know. I only recently discovered Salamun's work and fell deeply and completely in love with his voice. I'd saved one of his books to my wishlist on Amazon (not this title though) and was just today thinking about finally getting around to purchasing it with a gift card left over from Xmas.

Seriously.....this is amazing. I'm pleased by your recommendation. Thanks so so much!

sara kearns said...


Thanks for the recommendation! And no, I do not have that book, so I excitedly added it to my book list -- noted for priority. And the whole process was a lot of fun!

And thank you for encouraging me with Siren! I'm so glad you'll be checking it out. Let me know what you think of it once the first issue goes up (July 1).

You've got a cool blog and i look forward to reading more!

Thanks again,

SarahJane said...

I expected that book to come up sooner as a recommendation because it is so good. but i guess it was waiting for you. *smile*

Robin said...

A couple of folks put there answers on my blog. Could you help them out too?

SarahJane said...

Hi -
Sure Robin, I'll try. To keep it simple though, I'll put the answers up here.

Shelley said...

Can I still play? This is such a generous and exciting offer!

Here are my offers (also posted on my blog with a link back here):

And here are my answers:

1. Lillian, but with two "l's," after Lillian Hellman

2. Beatles (brainwashed in my youth)

3. beagle (had one as a child)

4. ummm... part-time reference librarian, full-time poet?

5. content

6. Amsterdam

7. ausgezeichnet, fathom, grin

SarahJane said...

You're not too late, Shelly. I will put up a book for you soon.

Shelley said...

Yay, Sarah, that's great; I'll look forward to it! Bonus points if you remember to put that second "e" in my name... as I've been saying since I was 8 yrs. old, "It's S-h-e-l-l-E-y... like the poet."


Eleven said...

Abigail; Beatles; Siamese; Broadway singer/dancer; melancholy; Paris; tentative, silk, elegance

SarahJane said...

Hi eleven,
i am get you recommendation tomorrow.... promise

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