I have a pile of poetry books growing massive in my living room. I am gathering together all of my poetry, all of my volumes. Partly, I want to see how much I have. Partly, I want to try moving it all to a set of shelves where it can all live together. But now, I am feeling staggered: there is so much. I don't know where to put it. And not knowing where to put all this poetry leads me to a bigger problem, which is that all of my poor books are simply shelved wherever they landed when I moved here. And to another problem, which is that my intellectual leanings all pile onto one another, refusing to separate out cleanly: I don't know whether to pull all of my nineteenth-century poetry--all my Oxford Authors volumes, all of my Cornell Wordsworths, all of my anthologies--off the shelves so that they can reside with the twentieth-century poetry.
I always know that big things are afoot when I start to move books around this much, this intently. Now, given that tomorrow we robe up and welcome a new class of students to this place, and given that I made a run to town for snacks and coffee and tea with which to stock my office for the beginning of the semester, and given that today was an even more populated day than yesterday (every time I turned around, another student I haven't seen since May had materialized, often with parents in tow), I don't really need this personal symptom to figure out what's up. And so, while I'm stacking poetry volumes, I'm also screening version after film version of Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist, preparing for one of my classes. (The Polanski version (2005) is worth seeing, I can tell you.)