ne of the first poems I memorised was Robert Burns' A Red, Red Rose:
O my Luve's like a red, red rose
That's newly sprung in June;
O my Luve's like the melodie
That's sweetly play'd in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry:
Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun:
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.
And fare thee well, my only Luve
And fare thee well, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho' it were ten thousand mile.
I've memorised a few because I loved them so much; this one was initially memorised for school, though I do like it. I can't remember why this poem, though. Did I choose it? Did a teacher pick it for me? Later on I had to learn Blake's Tyger Tyger, as well. Which poems have you memorised and how did you select them?
This Friday is Burns' Day, the 254th anniversary of the poet's birth. Raise a dram or toast a haggis!
The other day, the BBC reported that a Scottish researcher who discovered seven Burns manuscripts - including letters between the poet and his close friends - in 2010 inside a study of Burns' works, will present the findings of his research at Glasgow University's Burns Conference.
I've always wanted to discover letters or other writings from my favourite authors. Imagine buying one of Tolkien's houses and finding something behind the wallpaper or elsewhere? I've daydreamed about visiting, in England, a random car boot sale (like a garage sale, but located in a field or parking lot, with everyone selling their wares from the trunks of their cars) and finding Canadian artist and author Emily Carr's lost journal from her time in a sanatorium in England.
Meanwhile, on the first night of the return of hockey, astronaut Commander Hadfield tweeted this amazing photo of Montreal at night:
My house is kind of in the middle left...
Also meanwhile, I'm still playing catch up. Lots of editing still to do (ROW80!), to meet my 10 February goal, and lots of bloggers still to visit, including:
Tiffany Allee, who has new books out!
Carole Anne Carr, who's going to release her latest book, Snakeskin and Failed Feathers, as an e-serial before its publication!
Carrie Anne Brownian, who talks typography! Whenever I get really bored by the available choices, or I need that extra bit of motivation to edit, I switch to Tolkien font:
And... Author Jay Lake! I haven't read any of his stuff yet. But I got involved, as I do many things recently, one night on Twitter when Neil Gaiman and Joe Hill and others were talking about the Acts of Whimsy fundraiser to help fund Lake's advanced cancer treatment/genetic testing.
About two minutes after my donation went through (I really want to hear Neil Gaiman cover a Magnetic Fields song on ukulele), PayPal started a kerfuffle by denying Lake access to the funds. Eventually, it all worked out. In the process, I discovered a new author and got to see all kinds of acts of whimsy, including Scalzi singing a "lost" Bob Dylan song. I've only read one Scalzi story so far, Old Man's War, which I'd heartily recommend, and which leads me to, once again, cry out "So many books, not enough time!"
But I'm reading Helene Boudreau's Real Mermaids Don't Need High Heels at the moment (review and interview coming soon!) and loving it, and rereading the fifth book of the History of Middle-earth and wishing, all over again, that I lived in England in the 1920s/30s.
What books have you been making time for?
Books I'm Reading and Finished Books
- CassaFire by Alex Cavanaugh
- Farmer Giles of Ham by J. R. R. Tolkien (reread but new edition)
- ***Reading At Intervals***
- So Anyway... by John Cleese
- The War of the Ring - Book 8 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
- First and Second Things by C. S. Lewis
- Journal of Inklings Studies
- Beowulf and Sellic Spell by J. R. R. Tolkien
- Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
- 11 Doctors 11 Stories by various authors (including Neil Gaiman)
- Creed or Chaos? by Dorothy Sayers
- The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
- Moby Dick by Herman Melville
- The Jerusalem Bible
- ***Finished Books***
- Slowly, silently now the moon by Walter de la Mare (poem)
- I can't work like this by Neil Gaiman (poem)
- CassaStar by Alex Cavanaugh
- Death of A Century: A Novel of the Lost Generation by Daniel Robinson
- The Fly by William Blake (poem, reread)
- Tyger, Tyger by William Blake (poem, reread)
- The Christie Notebooks by John Curran
- The Perfect Son by Barbara Claypole White
- What to Expect in Baby's First Year
- Baby's First Year for Dummies
- The Secret Sister by Brenda Novak
- Chu's Day at the Beach by Neil Gaiman (reread, many times)
- Sacred Inwardness by Marilynne Robinson (essay)
- New Statesman issue guest edited by Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman (I don't usually include magazines in this list but I read this one cover to cover)
- The North Star is Nearer by Evelyn Eaton
- Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King (loved My Pretty Pony)
- Every Month Was May by Evelyn Eaton
- Occasional Soulmates by Kevin Brennan
- secret beta!
- Smoke by Catherine McKenzie
- In Two Aeroplanes Over the Sea by Amanda Palmer (poem)
- Jim at the Corner by Eleanor Farjeon
- Finding Fraser by kc dyer
- Mother Tongue -- The Story of the English Language by Bill Bryson
- The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan
- The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
- Absent in the Spring by Mary Westmacott (Agatha Christie)
- Come, Tell Me How You Live by Agatha Christie
- The Lord Fish by Walter de la Mare
- The Going To Bed Book by S Boynton
- The Nursery Rhyme Book by Andrew Lang
- In Dubious Battle by John Steinbeck
- Subterranean Scalzi Super featuring To Sue the World (an original, very short Redshirts story available nowhere else) Muse of Fire Mallet of Loving Correction Lock In, Lost Chapters (available nowhere else) How I Proposed To My Wife: An Alien Sex Story An Election Judge Sn Goes Golfing Questions for a Soldier The Sagan Diary The Tale of the Wicked The God Engines You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop by John Scalzi
- Emily Goes to Market by William Mayne
- Many Moons by James Thurber, illustrated by Louis Slobodkin
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (reread)
- Colours Are Nice (Little Golden Book)
- Corduroy by Don Freeman
- The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo by Judy Blume
- The Wars by Timothy Findley (reread)
- The Captive Diary of Catherine Logan by Mary Pope Osborne (Dear America)
- The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (reread)
- Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson (reread)
- The Poky Puppy (Little Golden Book) (abridged)
- The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf (reread)
- Heidi by Johanna Spyri
- secret beta read 2
- Pre-Fix: A Ciel Halligan Short Story by Linda Grimes
- Hidden by Catherine Mackenzie
- The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
- Moo, Baa, La La La by Sandra Boynton
- But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton
- Oh, Whistle, And I'll Come To You, My Lad by M. R. James (short story) (1904)
- Chu's Day by Neil Gaiman (reread)
- My Uncle Oswald by Roald Dahl
- Usborne board books
- Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell
- Lila by Marilynne Robinson (so lovely)
- Flowers for Mrs Harris by Paul Gallico
- secret beta read!
- The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year by Sue Townsend
- HELP! Food Allergies Coming To Dinner by Kait Nolan
- This Heart of Mine by Brenda Novak
- The Owl Service by Alan Garner
- Two Caravans by Monica Lewycka
- Aunt Sass by P. L. Travers
- An Imperial Affliction by Peter Van Houten (actually a few pages of the story, written by John Green for the film of his novel The Fault In Our Stars)
- January Brings the Snow by Sara Coleridge (poem)
- Kissing song by Neil Gaiman (poem)
- The Mother by Nettie Palmer (poem)
- William Tell Told Again by P. G. Wodehouse
- Her Ladyship's Companion by Joanna Bourne
- The Long Way Home by Louise Penny
- How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny
- Mes P'tits Contes, legends of Swiss cantons
- see the 2014 list and statistics at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ch/2014/12/books-read-in-2014-review.html
- see the 2013 list and statistics at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2014/01/toast-to-professor-books-read-in-2013.html
- see the 2012 list and statistics here http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2012/12/the-hobbit-review-and-year-end-books.html
- see the 2011 statistics on http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2012/01/books-read-in-2011-statistics-fourth.html
- see the 2011 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2012/01/books-read-in-2011.html
- see the 2010 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2010/12/books-read-in-2010-listed-here.html
- see the 2009 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2009/12/books-read-in-2009-part-ii.html
- also in 2009 at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2009/12/books-read-in-2009-part-iv.html
- see the 2008 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2008/12/books-read-in-2008-part-ii.html
- also in 2008 at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2008/12/books-read-in-2008-part-vi.html
- also in 2008 at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2008/12/books-read-in-2008-part-iv.html