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
- Arthur and George by Julian Barnes
- ***Reading At Intervals***
- The Peoples of Middle-earth - Book 12 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
- Edmund Campion by Evelyn Waugh
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- A Woman in Arabia: The Writings of the Queen of the Desert by Gertrude Bell
- 12 Anne and Avonlea books by L. M. Montgomery (skimming/reread (this was free on Kindle!))
- Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
- 11 Doctors 11 Stories by various authors (including Neil Gaiman)
- The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
- Creed or Chaos? by Dorothy Sayers
- Moby Dick by Herman Melville
- The Jerusalem Bible
- ***Finished Books***
- Career by Yevtushenko (poem)
- Human life in this century by Yevtushenko (poem)
- Willow by Anna Akhmatova (poem)
- Sonnet LXVI by Shakespeare
- Sir Walter Raleigh to His Son (poem)
- Fair Jenny by Robbie Burns (poem)
- MacPherson's Farewell by Robbie Burns (poem)
- World's End, the collected Sandman No. 8 by Neil Gaiman
- O Wert Thou In The Cauld Blast by Robbie Burns (poem)
- The War of the Jewels - Book 11 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
- The Rolling English Road by G. K. Chesterton (poem)
- The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes
- A Tradition of Eighteen Hundred and Four by Thomas Hardy
- The Hierophant by Lee-Ann Dalton (short story)
- The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff
- 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff (reread)
- Lonely Planet guide to Switzerland
- Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen
- beta read!
- Ode on Venice by Lord Byron (poem)
- Little Miss Scatterbrain by Roger Hargreaves (reread)
- Little Miss Lucky by Roger Hargreaves (reread)
- Little Miss Trouble by Roger Hargreaves (reread)
- Homage to Switzerland by Ernest Hemingway (short story; reread but I really don't remember it after 20 years)
- The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier (reread)
- Sing a Long Children's Songs
- Emily's First Christmas
- Up At the Villa by Somerset Maugham (novella)
- Telling Stories by Tim Burgess
- The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
- The Marble Collector by Cecilia Ahern
- Sophie's Throughway by Jules Smith
- Baby Animals (Little Golden Books)
- The House That Jack Built (Little Golden Books)
- Scuffy the Tugboat (Little Golden Books)
- The Saggy Baggy Elephant (Little Golden Books)
- Morgoth's Ring - Book 10 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
- A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson
- Who's A Pest by Crosby Bonsall
- Mine's the Best by Crosby Bonsall (reread)
- The Case of the Hungry Stranger by Crosby Bonsall (reread)
- extracts from the diary of John Evelyn (Volume 1 of 2)
- extracts from Lord Byron's letters about Villa Diodati
- Pippin the Christmas Pig by Jean Little
- Ite Missa Est by Anthony Martignetti
- The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis (reread)
- The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis (reread)
- The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis (reread)
- Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis (reread)
- The Red Angel by G. K. Chesterton (essay)
- Emily's Runaway Imagination by Beverly Cleary
- The Boy Who Set Out to Learn What Fear Was by the Brothers Grimm
- The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis (reread)
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis (reread)
- secret beta read!
- Preludes by Wordsworth (extracts read aloud)
- Little Miss Scatterbrain by Roger Hargreaves
- Dance Me A Dream by Kait Nolan (ARC)
- Once Upon A Coffee by Kait Nolan
- England and Switzerland, 1802 by William Wordsworth (poem)
- Once Upon A New Year's Eve by Kait Nolan
- short story by Becky Morgan (http://forums.compuserve.com/discussions/Books_and_Writers_Community/Writers_Exercises/Becky_Morgans_December_X/ws-books/85291.1?nav=messages)
- Blood In Blood Out by Brenda Novak (short story)
- That Hell-Bound Train by Robert Bloch (short story)
- Distraction by J. L. Campbell
- Humble Bundle Peanuts collection (strips by Charles Schulz)
- Peanuts Volumes I to VI (bought via Humble Bundle; very disappointing as it's mostly new strips -- how is that even allowed?!)
- Sandals and Sangria by Talli Roland (short story)
- Over the Hump by Talli Roland (short story)
- issues of Journal of Inklings Studies and Amon Hen and Mallorn (Tolkien Society)
- Z is for Zamboni: A Hockey Alphabet by Matt Napier
- Babar and his Family by Laurent de Brunhoff
- Illusions Lost by Byron A. Maddox (short story)
- ongoing rereads of most board books listed last year!
- Lost My Name book for Emily (https://www.lostmy.name/)
- Now We Are Six by A. A. Milne
- When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne (reread)
- Neil Gaiman comics on Sequential app
- Moranology by Caitlin Moran
- see the 2015 list and statistics at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ch/2015/12/annual-books-read-statistics.html
- 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