One day I will have a ROMP gift shop in the ROMP Shop, across the pasture from the museum. I am working on the inventory right now. I want to, of course, sell poetry books in it, and I will stock books by Oklahoma poets. But really, you can easily get a poetry book online. What is a unique kind of poetry book I could sell? Then it came to me: ROMP Annotated Editions.
I bought a box of the thrift editions of poetry from Dover Books ($2.00-$3.50), and I picked one and started annotating it the other night. Now, this is not necessarily an all-scholarly-type endeavor. Some of the notes are just about what the poem reminds me of or where I was when I first read it.
Of course, this idea comes from my love of handwritten marginalia. The first exhibit I made for the museum was about the poetic marginalia in a 1928 high school literature textbook that the teenage girl who owned it had so beautifully rendered. So, I’m writing marginalia in these books to make them unique. Would you buy one?
I have started with Great Sonnets, edited by Paul Negri. Some of my favorite poems are in it by Spenser, Shakespeare, Shelley and Millay. That ending to Millay’s “What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why” always gets me:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.
I have pointed out the rhyme scheme on some poems and poetic devices here and there, the theme, some background on a poem or two. I have doodled on a few pages and glued in stuff on some. So what you will be getting is a brand new book of poems . . . sort of. I will be enlisting my family members in this endeavor, as I have a lot of books to write in!
So . . . would you buy a book like this?