Monday, February 28, 2011

The Honey Month, Day 28 (2/28/2011)

eta: The last of the links is now up.

"Day 28 - French Chestnut Honey

Colour: Sunshine in Ottawa, and a little paler still.

Smell: More than a flower, something else, something earthy and nutty and malty at once. Hints of green and smoke, substance.

Taste: A burnt wood taste, hints of anise; this is a honey that tastes very brown and black, dark with slants of light in it."

Today's piece is a glorious one to end on, a lovely bit of fantasy about a girl who forgot how to kiss. It fits very neatly in with much of the rest of the collection - the Cranberry honey boy and the Manuka honey girl, even, perhaps, the harbor bees from Day 3. It's sweet, and poignant, and, in the end, hopeful.

This is the last day of the Honey Month, so I hope you all enjoyed it. I've had lots of fun re-reading Amal's work; a little at a time is the way to approach such a book. If you've wandered in from one of the places where Amal's DVD extras showed up, I do hope you'll stick around; maybe even participate a little?

I've really enjoyed the process of posting something daily, and would love suggestions for something I can continue this process with - a book of poems or short stories, or meditations. Several people whose blogs I read are engaged in long-form literary criticism, taking a book or even a series of books that the blog writer dislikes, and picking the book to pieces. I do not want to do that. However, if you had a collection - perhaps it's your collection - that you feel needs some exposure, I'd love to attempt to continue what I started this month.
A note on what's been going on here. Two years ago, Amal El-Mohtar began a month long exploration of a variety of honeys, tasting and describing each, and then writing a short piece of fiction, or a poem, or something of that nature which was inspired by the honey of the day. Last year, these posts were collected into a short book - more formal than a simple chapbook, perhaps - called The Honey Monthwhich I reviewed when it came out. My biggest problem, at that time, was that I ploughed through the book too quickly, and so I resolved to do a more careful reading of it at a later date. That later date is now - the posts were originally a February project, and so there are 28 honey days. This is now February, and I cannot think of a better time to slowly read poems and stories about honey. The material in quotation marks is the description of the day's honey, from the book (so that you get a good taste of Amal's lovely writing), what follows that is a brief thought about the piece of poetry or fiction of that day from yours truly.

In addition to my daily reviews, Amal has been re-running the original posts with what she is describing as "DVD Extras," some commentary on the piece for the day, some discussion of the differences between the original post and the finished piece in the book, and some delicious LJ Honey Month icons. The first of the re-runs is here, and I have been linking the appropriate post via the daily title, above, as the post becomes available. Amal is currently in England (because she is fabulous), and so her sense of what time it is and my sense of what time it is are somewhat askew. And that's ok.