Every now and then I stumble across bits of Shakespeare which make me catch my breath with their brilliance. Here’s Mark Antony, lamenting Caesar’s murder and predicting bloody civil war and turmoil:
O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,
That I am meek and gentle with these butchers!
Thou art the ruins of the noblest man Continue reading
Moby Dick. Moby sodding Dick. I started this leviathan of a book (see what I did there?) back in March, and shared some thoughts about it in a post a few weeks ago. I’d set myself the target of finishing it “by the summer”. So much for that. I’ve barely managed another 30 pages since then, and it’s June the day after tomorrow, which is summer by anybody’s reckoning. I’m getting nowhere fast.
One of the things I love about Helen’s weekly prompt to share a song is the glimpse it gives me into the lives of people in different countries. This week’s theme – a song about the armed forces – is inspired by the fact that it’s Memorial Day in the United States. I’d never heard of this before, but thanks to Helen and Wikipedia I now know that it’s a federal holiday at the end of May to honour those who died while serving in the armed forces. Continue reading
I started reading Moby Dick recently. So far I can’t decide whether I’m gripped by it or just overwhelmed. Melville’s style is like nothing I’ve ever encountered before, and it’s certainly not particularly accessible, but every few pages he blows me away with the strange, rugged beauty of his writing. Take this for example – how many alliterative pairs does he throw into this sentence? And yet it works. Continue reading
Edward Lear was born on this day in 1812. In case you didn’t know, he’s the writer of what has been called “the nation’s favourite poem”, The Owl and the Pussycat. (I presume in this case “the nation” in question is England, rather than the UK, as I can’t imagine that the Scots would choose Lear over Burns, or the Welsh rate him ahead of Dylan Thomas, but that’s another matter).
When we two parted
In silence and tears
Half broken hearted
To sever for years
Pale grew thy cheek, and cold
Colder thy kiss
Truly that hour foretold
Sorrow to this.