Book Beginnings - Pale Fire

Book Beginnings is a meme hosted by Rose City Reader. Share the first sentence (or so) of a book you are currently reading, along with your initial thoughts and impressions about the sentence or book. Remember to include the title of the book and the author AND link up at the Rose City Reader

I was the shadow of the waxwing slain/ By the false azure in the windowpane;/
I was the smudge of ashen fluff--and I/ Lived on, flew on, in the reflected sky/
I wasn't supposed to start this one yet...at least that's what I told myself since I'm behind on reading as it is, but I just couldn't resist opening this book.

Honestly, I used to hate reading poetry. I still hate writing it,  but I do enjoy a good poem every now and then. This first sentence (the first four lines) is an interesting one...I like what's going on with the window, and reflection and idea of being false. Not sure about the smudge of ashen fluff though...I knew a waxwing was a bird, but I didn't know what it looked like and more importantly why the author would choose this bird of all the birds. Why not an oriole? or a robin? And then I googled an image of a waxwing--and it made sense. They are these beautiful, mysterious little birds with black masks. Concealed and serious...I don't think there are any in my region of the States. Anyways, I love the image and it fits the theme of the overall stanza. Good stuff, right?


  1. I like a small amount of poetry but not in large doses. Interesting choice. Here is my post:

  2. Like you, I don't read poetry often, but I do enjoy it when I'm in the mood. This opening is lovely.
    My Friday post is from ONLY SCANDAL WILL DO.

  3. Hah. This book is a MINDFUCK. A pleasant one, mind you. Nothing in the leagues of the frustating, cryptic novels of James Joyce. But it will brutalize your mind. Loved it for that very reason.

    1. I really like it so far! The Cantos were great. And I'm switching back and forth between reading parts of the foreward and commentary. Not sure why. I should probably read one first then the other...but I have weird reading habits.