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Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada
My virtue is that I say what I think, my vice that what I think doesn't amount to much.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Jabberwocky In The Time Of Covid

A poem from Alice through the Looking Glass is applied to post-Covid-vaccine protocol and taken to Twitter.
Being vaccinated does NOT mean you can gyre and gimble in the wabe. REMEMBER that the borogoves are STILL all mimsy. And the mome raths outgrabe.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Seascape - Elizabeth Bishop

This celestial seascape, with white herons got up as angels,
flying high as they want and as far as they want sidewise
in tiers and tiers of immaculate reflections;
the whole region, from the highest heron
down to the weightless mangrove island
with bright green leaves edged neatly with bird-droppings
like illumination in silver,
and down to the suggestively Gothic arches of the mangrove roots
and the beautiful pea-green back-pasture
where occasionally a fish jumps, like a wildflower
in an ornamental spray of spray;
this cartoon by Raphael for a tapestry for a Pope:
it does look like heaven.
But a skeletal lighthouse standing there
in black and white clerical dress,
who lives on his nerves, thinks he knows better.
He thinks that hell rages below his iron feet,
that that is why the shallow water is so warm,
and he knows that heaven is not like this.
Heaven is not like flying or swimming,
but has something to do with blackness and a strong glare
and when it gets dark he will remember something
strongly worded to say on the subject.

Via Biblioklept

An Architect Redesigns Harry Potter Book Covers

De Lucchi's cover for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone shows Hogwarts castle

Architect Michele De Lucchi has redesigned the Italian covers of the Harry Potter books, shifting focus away from the characters and towards the fantastical buildings of the wizarding world.

The Azkaban prison is shown as a brutalist monolith on the cover of the third book

The fifth book shows the hut of Hogwarts groundskeeper Hagrid

More: Dezeen

Wilde things

 Wrong Hands

Monday, April 12, 2021

The Loveliest Of Trees

Loveliest of Trees
by A. E. Housman

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

Via The Chawed Rosin

New Chinese Bookstore

This new bookstore in Chengdu, China was designed by Shanghai-based architecture firm X+Living. 

It includes over 80,000 books and is also lined with images of books on the upper shelves so it would appear that they stretch from floor to ceiling.
Mirrored ceilings and reflective black tile floors create an M.C. Escher effect. 

More:  bookofjoe

The Madman's Library

This collection by Edward Brooke-Hitching compiles the most unusual, obscure books from the far reaches of the human imagination throughout history. The Madman's Library features hundreds of remarkable images and entertaining facts and stories to discover.

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Meaning In the Margins

"The history of books and reading practices is an apt starting point. Annotation was both ubiquitous and habitual by the 1500s, not long after the invention of the printing press and growth of print culture. Throughout the early modern period, approximately 1500–1800, as scholar Heidi Brayman Hackel has recounted, book use among “less extraordinary readers”—or novices and everyday annotators—included people adding various types of marks while reading books. Marks of active reading, like underlining, indicated sustained engagement. Marks of ownership, such as signatures, distinguished books as valued objects. And marks of everyday recording, perhaps unrelated to the content, added ancillary information."
Read More: Literary Hub

Slug and Snail Search for Home

Coming this summer from Pilgrim Press !


It can be difficult to talk to children about moving to a new home, or losing a home, or going back-and-forth between homes. With a delightful tale of two friends wandering the world together, Slug and Snail Search for Home invites children to understand the diversity of “home.”

 'Tis a Fearful Thing by Yehuda Halevi

‘Tis a fearful thing

to love what death can touch.

A fearful thing

to love, to hope, to dream, to be –

to be,

And oh, to lose.

A thing for fools, this,

And a holy thing,

a holy thing

to love.

For your life has lived in me,

your laugh once lifted me,

your word was gift to me.

To remember this brings painful joy.

‘Tis a human thing, love,

a holy thing, to love

what death has touched.

Yehuda Halevi (1075 – 1141), also known as Judah Halevi and Judah ben Shmuel Halevi, wrote a wide range of secular poems noted for their wit and emotional intensity. 

Saturday, April 03, 2021

In Praise of Dreams

In my dreams
I paint like Vermeer van Delft.

I speak fluent Greek
and not just with the living.

I drive a car
that does what I want it to.

I am gifted
and write mighty epics.

I hear voices
as clearly as any venerable saint.

My brilliance as a pianist
would stun you.

I fly the way we ought to,
i.e., on my own.

Falling from the roof,
I tumble gently to the grass.

I’ve got no problem
breathing under water.

I can’t complain:
I’ve been able to locate Atlantis.

It’s gratifying that I can always
wake up before dying.

As soon as war breaks out,
I roll over on my other side.

I’m a child of my age,
but I don’t have to be.

A few years ago
I saw two suns.

And the night before last a penguin,
clear as day.

by Wislawa Szymborska
from View with a Grain of Sand
Harcourt Brace, 1995

Via: 3 Quarks Daily

Friday, April 02, 2021

42: The Wildly Improbable Ideas of Douglas Adams,

Crowdfunding publisher Unbound is to launch 42: The Wildly Improbable Ideas of Douglas Adams, featuring unseen notes, scripts and ideas from the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy author.
Read moreThe Bookseller 

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

The Sympathizer

I've been reading positive reviews of Viet Thanh Nguyen's new novel, 'The Committed'. I learned that it is the follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize winning 'The Sympathizer' written in 2016 and decided to read that one first to provide context to the second novel and also to hear the story of the American debacle in Vietnam from an Asian perspective. Although it started off dramatically with the chaotic evacuation of Saigon, once the setting changed to California I found my attention wandering. I continued on until I was two-thirds through the book when I decided to put it down because, despite moments that sparked my interest, I was bored. Perhaps I'll pick it up again and will have something more substantial to say about my reading experience.

Gears within Gears

Exploded model of the cosmos gearing of the Antikythera mechanism © Tony Freeth

"Researchers at UCL have published a complete model for the inner workings and front display of the Antikythera mechanism. The ancient device, recovered from a shipwreck in 1901, has long been thought to have shown a model of the Greek cosmos, with the Sun, Moon and five classical planets rotating around the Earth, controlled by a fiendish set of gears."