Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Can You Hear My Joy?

I always enjoy picking up my mail from my post office box, but there are days — many days, recently — when walking to my post office to check my snailmail is the only thing that I look forward to each day. And so it was yesterday; once again, I enjoyed a small break by walking to my mailbox shortly before I was to teach a class. But yesterday, unlike most days, I was greeted with gifts! And with excellent news!

Yes indeed, several readers sent gifts to me. First, I received a large box from Amazon that, I later discovered, contained not one, but two books from my wishlist, wrapped in mint-green paper, bound by fat mint-green satin ribbon (I really like this color and I especially like satin ribbons of any color).

The first book, The Making of A Poem: The Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms (Norton, 2000), was accompanied by a card that said; Nothing beats a good poem. I know you will enjoy it. Take Care. Perhaps one of these days, I will find the courage to post a few more of my own poems here, poems other than a few of my haiku, I mean.

The second book, Egg and Ego: An Almost True Story of Life in the Biology Lab (Springer-Verlag, 1999) had a card attached to it that said, I hope you will enjoy this. I didn’t see any bald eagles like the other reader, but I did think about you when I saw peeps in the supermarket today. The most remarkable thing about this comment regarding the peeps is this reader lives in Portugal! Peeps in Portugal: Imagine that! Hrm .. I wonder if that would make a good book title? Or perhaps a subject for haiku?

This second book will make a fine addition to my LabLit list.

Another reader, a Seattle pal of mine, sent a collection of critters to keep me company while I type away on my laptop; a chestnut colored appaloosa horse, a mammoth, and what appears to be a dung beetle (I am no beetle expert, but if this is the creature’s identity, it is quite appropriate! I need help dealing with all the er, waste products that fill my days). None of these creatures is life-sized, of course, although I wonder if a nearly life-sized dung beetle might send an all-too-obvious message if it is sitting on my desk where all can see?

Last, but not least, was the wonderful news that my best friend from my grad school days, one of the best friends I’ve ever had, in fact, has made that wonderous transition from a poet to a published poet, just in time for National Poetry Month! Next to the amazing Mary Oliver, Shannon Borg is my other favorite living poet and I already know that her book, Corset (Cincinnati, OH: Cherry Grove, 2006) is fabulous. I know this because I was there when she read her poems in bookstores and performance art halls and even read them in a pub and over the telephone to me. One time, she read one of her poems to me over my cell phone as I rode the bus to campus. Her poems made me cry because they are so beautiful, so I know her book is excellent.

I can hardly wait for my copy of her book to appear in my mailbox. Hopefully this book will arrive before the end of April so I can share one of her pieces on my blog in honor of National Poetry Month. After reading one of her poems here, I just know that you all will love her, too.


  1. #1 pablo
    April 25, 2006

    Well, I got my warm fuzzies for the day reading this post.

  2. #2 Dawn
    April 25, 2006

    what pablo said! I am glad you are glad.

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