Darwin on Poetry

“If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week.”-Charles Darwin

The Drawbridge by Vincent van Gogh, 1888

The Drawbridge by Vincent van Gogh, 1888. I’d add “look at beautiful things as often as possible” to the list.

Congratulations, Sir John Suckling, You Have One of the Best Writer Names of All Time. Also, Happy Birthday!

Sir John Suckling, poet and inventor of cribbage, was born on 10 February 1609.

Sir John Suckling by Anthony van Dyck, 17th century

Sir John Suckling by Anthony van Dyck, 17th century.

“I prithee send me back my heart,/Since I cannot have thine;/For if from yours you will not part,/Why, then, shouldst thou have mine?”

Happy Birthday, Dearest Emily!

Happy Birthday, dearest Emily!

Emily Dickinson

Birthday Girl Emily Dickinson (Born 10 December 1830).

FIVE EVERYDAY FACTS ABOUT EMILY DICKINSON:

EMILY ELIZABETH WAS A MIDDLE CHILD, SANDWICHED BETWEEN OLDER BROTHER (WILLIAM) AUSTIN AND YOUNGER SISTER LAVINIA (NORCROSS).

SHE WAS KNOWN FOR HER SIMPLE WARDROBE OF MOSTLY WHITE CLOTHING.

EMILY HAD A PET NEWFOUNDLAND DOG NAMED CARLO.

SHE WAS A GIFTED BAKER.

EMILY WAS A DEDICATED AND WELL-EDUCATED GARDENER.

“I am out with lanterns, looking for myself.”-Emily Dickinson

The Eighth of September by Pablo Neruda

The Eighth of September by Pablo Neruda

This day, Today, was a brimming glass.
This day, Today, was an immense wave.
This day was all the Earth.
This day, the storm-driven ocean
lifted us up in a kiss
so exalted we trembled
at the lightning flash
and bound as one, fell,
and drowned, without being unbound.
This day our bodies grew
stretched out to Earth’s limits,
orbited there, melded there
to one globe of wax, or a meteor’s flame.
A strange door opened, between us,
and someone, with no face as yet,
waited for us there.

Happy Birthday, Miss (Emily) Brontë!

The creator of Wuthering Heights, and some truly fabulous poetry, was born on 30 July 1818. She was the weird sister, and for that I love her even more.

Emily Brontë by Branwell Brontë

Emily Brontë by Branwell Brontë

A QUOTE: “If he loved with all the powers of his puny being, he couldn’t love as much in eighty years as I could in a day.”-Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

SOME WORKS: Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell; Wuthering Heights

A KEEPSAKE:

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë at Cynthia’s Attic. $24.00

Algernon Charles Swinburne is Ready for His Close-Up

Algernon Charles Swinburne died on 10 April 1909. In addition to being ever-ready for a good close-up…

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…he was quite an accomplished and well-rounded writer.

QUOTE: “For winter’s rains and ruins are over,/And all the season of snows and sins;/The days dividing lover and lover,/The light that loses, the night that wins.”

SOME WORKS: Mary Stuart; The Sisters; Atalanta in Calydon; Songs of Two Nations; A Century of Roundels; A Study of Shakespeare.

A KEEPSAKE:

A Swinburne Poetry Selection at Professor Booknoodle

A Swinburne Poetry Selection at Professor Booknoodle. $25.00

 

Pleasures Are Like Poppies Spread*: Counting Down to Our Burns Night Supper

This year, Burns Day/Night falls on a Friday. Every 25th January, The Chef and I host a big, crazy, slightly debauched, energetic, delicious Burns Supper. We live to entertain but are often impeded by our schedules, so when we throw down we do it in a big way. This event is the star of our calendar, and friends old and new come from near and far to enjoy the night with us. Who doesn’t enjoy a literary-themed shindig, one bursting with amazing food, Scotch, poetry, a toasting contest, music, laughter, conversation, spiffy ladies, and gents in kilts?

Since this party is book-related, I thought I would share with you some of the preparations that go into celebrating one of my favourite nights of the year, as well as the result. Does that sound like fun, or a great bore? I’m doing it either way, so I hope you will take a chance and join me on this raucous ride!

* “But pleasures are like poppies spread,/You seize the flow’r, its bloom is shed;/Or like the snow falls in the river,/A moment white-then melts forever;”-Robert Burns, Tam o’ Shanter

The man who inspires one helluva celebration.

The man who inspires one helluva celebration.