Language of Howls

I speak the language of howls;

that is hollering when angry,

shrieking when in pain,

and when joy comes at my door,

I welcome it with a roar,

loud enough to be heard

on every road, I guess.

 

Some regard me as an animal.

To those, I say thank you,

whisper the words before bed

every night till I’m dead.

If I hadn’t you folks,

wise and strong even to love,

with blind eyes

and no time for sighs,

I’d be certain

I had done something wrong.

Thank you

with all my soul.

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Silas Marner by George Eliot

Silas Marner may be the shortest book of George Eliot(the pseudonym of Mary Anne Evans) but it remains one of her most renowned ones. Published in 1861, the book takes place in Raveloe where Silas, a linen weaver exiled from his land, lives a lonely and meaningless life, his only solace a pile of gold that he hoards in his small house. Everything changes when his gold is stolen and Eppie comes to his life.

What I liked most about this book is the prose. Packed with images, while playing with the senses and also the power of language, George Eliot manages not only to make us closer to Raveloe and its denizens but also pay attention to our minds and find things that greatly surprise us. Her constant commentary is food for thought, and doesn’t impede the flow of the story but helps clarify it.

The characters are not flat, not even the supporting ones such as the townsfolk. Each has his own voice, motives, and goals. Sufficient development is given to almost every one, and I really like how the author conveys their feelings, digging deep into the conscience like she does with Silas or Godfrey. My favorite characters are Silas and Nancy, the former for his transition, the latter for her soft and kind nature, shown especially at the ending. Last but not least, the books shows in a clear and vivid way the power of faith and how superstition is rooted in the minds of small, enclosed communities.

On the other hand, Silas doesn’t move the plot forward right away. Instead, the author chooses to fill us in with a lot of boring details about the town, in addition to things about the past of Silas that I think they could have been saved for later. Moreover, the actual writing sometimes is hard to understand. The book is full of large sentences with many complex meanings and nuances, and every too often one can be easily confused. I did have to read twice or thrice a few of them in order to grasp them. That sadly makes the book longer than it looks and robs a part of its narration.

Eppie, the girl that Silas adopts, also appears quite late. Albeit being vivacious and changing the life of Silas, I didn’t understand her actual personality, rather thought that the second part was rushed, and failed to offer any opportunities for her upbringing. We do learn that Silas cared for her and refrained from any kind of punishment, yet there don’t seem to be enough obstacles they have to face until the ending, but even that is far from clear. I don’t intend to spoil it though.

Silas Marner is like a pleasant fairy tale with the didactic message of love, one I would suggest reading both to young children but also for your own pleasure, yet the story as such lacks a few things. George Eliot is a wonderful writer I’d love to read more from, yet don’t intend to revisit this one.

Happy reading!

3.5/5.0

Stuck #2

 A dolphin smiling,

unaware of anything

save the world around it.

Licking my hands

we both find joy

in an act

of a time I was not

stuck.

Someone smiled at me,

one little animal c…
 A nausea floods,

rips past bourders in a flash.

It gurgles like a river,

and the eyes blink 

many times,

wondering if that is real

or the sounds of a hectic eel.

They can’t find the answer

devoid of color,

who can blame them?
The thin air around me

never leaves

and my skin aches,

crimson, fatigued knuckles,

the offset of no

movement.

It doesn’t feel right,

I can’t accept it,

no

I am fine.

To Avoid You

To avoid you many borders appeared for me to leap over, pray that your eyes will be gone the moment I opened mine. Alas, your ghost didn’t leave, kept vexing me no matter the place, its filthy, thin breath and the stench of rotten bread permeated through windows darker than caves, more remote than one could seek in that little town of mine.

To avoid you, your loud, dominating voice, I had to shut inside myself, occult the eyes of forgotten friends, names that now make me shudder, and stay in darkness under the balcony of stars. The wind never hurt me, and provided it would keep you at bay, I let myself free, stretch my hands like a devotee, shut the bloodshot eyes, and then breathe.

To avoid you, the bridge had to be burnt. All the memories gone by force, or at least caved in a box, my heart you almost tore.

To avoid you, I simply had to leave. So simple. Simple, they why all this speech?

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Over the last few days I’ve got very stressful, and often cannot write as much as I used to do Sometimes it’s strange because I love writing, but I’m not motivated to write as many short stories as I wanted to. Instead I focus mainly on my novel and poems. For all other writers out there, don’t over-pressure yourselves, and know that many more face struggles within their writing. Thank you for reading! Have a nice day!

 

Stuck #1

Will you come?

I’m stuck here

with no way of escape.

Like a leashed dog

I bark with rage.

I won’t bark at you,

if only you are kind.

Am I asking too much?

If so, let me know

and I won’t bother you

with my stories.

 

Amid the darkness

of the walls

one sometimes thinks more clear

than if he were blinded

by all the light of this world.

And if you have no other choice,

you learn to see everything bright.

 

If you want to survive,

adapt first and then cry.

Your tears will have meaning,

awash in hope,

and not a useless woe.

 

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Crush

He opened his eyes and caught her staring.

”Louis?”

The woman blushed, yet still didn’t take her eyes off him. They dilated, turned large like bubbles, the sunlight shone in them. They hadn’t changed.

He didn’t call her back. Maybe she had forgotten him. So many years had passed, years in which he had studied, traveled, met new friends and girlfriends, managed to get out of that shabby slum and glimpse the joys of life. He had changed, his ebony hair no longer danced with the wind around his face, shading his almond eyes and French nose but had grown thicker, more masculine, tied back into a ponytail to not vex him when it wanted. A beard also marked his face, and the man loved to play with it at times of inevitable procrastination.

The woman bit her rosy lips, then took a step closer. An aroma of lavender wafted from her hair, swept across his body and roused him as a hot shower would. His heart beat faster. The taste of her lips reached his thoughts even though she hadn’t stirred, yet he knew it to be such, for they had kissed again many years ago at… Nope, Louis had forgotten him. That meant one thing. Indifference. He had never made her fall for him.

”Um, have you been waiting for long?” No ring was in her hand.

Even though her gaze had been fixed upon him, the woman blanched. ”Talking to me?”

”Yes. I’m sorry.”

He dug his fingers into his palms while his face turned into a frown. It hurt. Louis had been the only…

The woman raised her hand and waved. Then a man approached and smiled at her. She tilted her chin shyly and winked at him. A cry sounded from afar, bringing him back to focus. Smoke flew by an empty tank, and he stood still, his eyes locked on the girl he once loved. His crush kissed the other man, whispered something in his ears, as the bloke ran his hands over her curly hair, then led her away. Louis vanished from his sight. The man strolled away, certain that she would never leave his mind.

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The Martian by Andy Weir

 

After an unsuccessful mission, Mark Watney is stuck behind on Mars, believed to be dead by the rest of his crew as it heads back to earth. Mark is alone, without any obvious way of returning. The only things left with him are temporary basic provisions and his creativity. How will he manage to survive?

Firstly, I didn’t like the story. The setting and situation both seemed exciting, yet in The Martian’s case, they had no avail. Mark is a boring protagonist, one determined to fill us with every detail about the modifications and calculations done in order to survive. Basic stuff would do nicely, but a pile of information and in most pages. It doesn’t even make sense if you think about it. Mark writes this info on log entries, probably hoping for them to be seen years later and also as an outlet for his isolation. I don’t think one person stranded on Mars would love to be so exhaustive in his descriptions, and not focus instead on how he feels. Moreover, the protagonist isn’t reliable. The story would be better in 3rd POV, as that would create more tension and, personally, it would make Mark easier to connect to.

Even though classified as sci-fi, there are not many such elements in the book. It more seems like a survival story albeit being in space. Anything that could have been exciting is narrated by Mark and not shown. That happens with almost all conflicts the astronaut has to face that may be many but are solved quickly. In addition, the prose, even though accompanied by humor and sincerity, was very weak for a novel. Lastly, despite the fact that it eventually explores more characters and shows the bond Mark had with his crew, the story lacked sufficient character development, for the protagonist and the other characters. We never learn the past of Mark, his goals, and expectations beyond his survival and that’s a pity for the author had many opportunities for a flashback.

Regarding the pros, one cannot doubt the optimism of Mark. Even though tormented by lots of problems, he is calm and not hopeless as many of us may probably have been in his state. Furthermore, The Martian depicts the power and capabilities of the human mind, the value of belief but also how united people are in the hardest of times.

Too much hype for nothing IMO. Had high expectations but it proved to be a major disappointment. Not suggested to sci-fi fans.

2.5/5.0

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