Dinner and a Book Club Features Poetry for February!
Has your book club enjoyed an exploration into poetry? Perhaps not a traditional book club theme, we recommend a journey into its world.
The Poetry of Robert Frost
Our first recommendation is the poetry of Robert Frost. We picture this one, out of all his poetry collections, because it's a complete compendium including all 11 of his books.
While poems such as The Road Not Taken, Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Night, Mending Wall. or Birches, are the most familiar, there are many others that are just as enjoyable and meaningful.
Frost saw the universal in the every-day, and he used the settings of New England rural life to examine complex social, human, and philosophical themes. A few examples:
A Prayer in Spring is a simple and beautiful expression of living in the moment—which Eckhart Tolle tells us in The Power of Now is all we really have—the past is gone and the future is not yet.
On a Tree Fallen Across the Road, an everyday New England occurrence is an encouragement to have the persistence, openness, and creativity to live our mission and to attain our goals in the face of adversity.
The Line Gang clearly shows Frost’s recognition of the double-sided coin of progress.
The Armful, a favorite of mine, expresses the difficulty and importance of balancing one’s life.
The Tough Coughs as he Ploughs the Dough: Early Writings and Cartoons by Dr. Seuss
The best-selling children’s book author and, arguably, the most-loved, Theodor Seuss Geisel had a significant impact on children’s love of reading. The Cat in the Hat, for example, is a phenomenal alternative to the “Dick and Jane” primers of my early school reading.
Selecting him as a poet this month was easy. Yes, he is a poet. In limerick rhyme, his poems are more than creative and captivating. There is often a moral—as in The Lorax. “Unless someone like you cares a whole lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
Selecting just one of his children’s books—impossible. So we have chosen one of his lesser-known works and leave it to you to select which of his wonderful children’s books (poems) you choose to share. Take your own favorite or a child’s favorite to your book club meeting and explore the breadth and depth of this poet’s work.
Joining favorites like Cat in the Hat; Green Eggs and Ham; Oh, the Places You’ll Go; And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street; The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins; Horton Hatches the Egg and about 40 other children’s books, What Pet Should I Get? was posthumously published in 2015 having been found among his papers by his wife and secretary.
River Flow: New & Selected Poems (1984-2007)
Another Poet to consider is David Whyte. David grew up with a strong, imaginative influence from his Irish mother among the hills and valleys of his father’s Yorkshire. He now makes his home in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.
As a self-proclaimed poet-philosopher, David’s writing is both an inquiry and an invitation into the artistry and nature of our human experience. At the heart of that experience is the conversation between the known (ourselves) and the unknown (the world).
Everything is Waiting for You, (both a poem and poetry book title) is a perfect invitation to the deep conversation that is central to much of Whyte’s work. It reminds us that the world remains ready for us.
Sometimes is a powerful and careful exploration of the quality of attention that's required when we ask ourselves those deep questions.
Sweet Darkness is a reminder that aloneness can bring both healing and empowerment. It reminds us who and what in our lives are worth connecting to.
The Seven Streams is a lyrical illustration of the interconnectedness of ideas through a scene in the Irish landscape.
In addition to poetry, his central focus, David has also written books of prose that encourage insight into our own lives—opening up to the world and to the ways in which we understand the relationships we have with others. These are also worth exploring after you’ve tasted his poetic work.
Pork Tenderloin with Tarragon Cream Sauce
I love the rich flavor of this dish and still can’t believe how easy it is to make. So simple and so tasty!
Makes 4 servings
- 1 1/4 lb pork tenderloin, cut into 1 1/2” pieces and flattened a bit or 12” pork cutlets
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 T. butter
- 1/8 t. salt
- 1/2 tsp dried tarragon
- 1/2 c. beef broth (I often use chicken broth)
- 1/2 c. half and half
- Spread one side of the meat with mustard
- Heat butter in your chosen pan
- Add pork to the pan, mustard side down. Sprinkle top side with salt
- Brown on low heat–about 5 minutes on each side—pink pork is USDA-safe
- Remove pork and keep warm
- Add broth and tarragon to pan drippings
- Add half and half
- Stir at a simmer until slightly thickened
- Add pepper as desired
- Pour over pork and enjoy
PAN: a 12" pan will do fine
A beautiful, lifetime workhorse.
This Heritage multiclad stainless steel 12-inch fry pan by Hammer Stahl is an everyday workhorse for frying, browning, and sautéing. The curved sides allow you to toss and flip foods with ease. A surface of Titanium stabilized 316Ti creates the most corrosion-resistant and inert cooking surface available, giving food a clean, authentic taste.
Put dinner on the table in a flash with the help of this traditional fry pan by Berndes. From browning meats to crisping hash browns, this essential, multi-purpose pan is a must for every cookware collection. With the traditional fry pan, you can brown chicken breasts, fry potatoes, and pan-sear vegetables for a quick, flavor-packed meal. Established in 1921, Berndes continues to carry forward its world-renowned quality into the present day.
For more great book recommendations, visit Dragon Authors.
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