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
- The Banks of Certain Rivers by Jon Harrison
- The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (annual reread)
- Beowulf and Sellic Spell by J. R. R. Tolkien
- Lessons for a Sunday Father by Claire Calman
- ***Reading At Intervals***
- Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
- The War of the Ring - Book 8 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
- What to Expect in Baby's First Year
- Baby's First Year for Dummies
- 11 Doctors 11 Stories by various authors (including Neil Gaiman)
- Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King
- 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***
- The Magician by Somerset Maugham
- Rogue Spy by Joanna Bourne
- The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving (skimmed last third)
- A Matter of Grave Concern by Brenda Novak
- Fatal Fallout by Lara Lacombe
- secret beta read!
- The Heart of Christmas by Brenda Novak
- Deadly Contact by Lara Lacombe
- Carry On, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse
- The Floating Admiral by the Detection Club, including Christie, Sayers, Chesterton, etc.
- Brief Lives, Sandman 8 by Neil Gaiman
- Liza of Lambeth by Somerset Maugham
- The Mapmaker's Daughter by Laurel Corona (I give up on finishing this; skimmed to the end)
- Childe Harold by Lord Byron (listened to the parts of it set in Switzerland read aloud)
- Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon
- My Dancing Bear by Helene de Klerk
- The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
- The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier
- Jane of Lantern Hill by L. M. Montgomery
- Tu Vas Naitre by Sylvia Kitzinger
- Goodbye To All That by Robert Graves
- secret beta read 2!
- Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay
- The Caliph's Vacation by Goscinny (Iznogoud series; Canadian translation) (reread)
- Neither Here Nor There by Bill Bryson
- Le Tresor de Rackham le Rouge by Herge (Tintin series) (reread)
- Le Secret de la Licorne by Herge (Tintin series) (reread)
- L'Affaire Tournesol by Herge (Tintin series) (reread)
- The Bum by Somerset Maugham (short story)
- The Colour of Magic, Discworld 1 by Terry Pratchett
- Fables and Reflections Sandman 6 by Neil Gaiman
- Doctor Fischer of Geneva or The Bomb Party by Graham Greene
- Once Upon an Heirloom by Kait Nolan (novella)
- The No-Kids Club by Talli Roland
- Snip, Snip Revenge by Medeia Sharif
- Journey to an 800 Number by E. L. Konigsburg
- various Neil Gaiman short stories on the An Evening With Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer album (reread (well, this time in audio))
- And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (reread; actually this was an older edition, published under the original title of Ten Little N******)
- Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie (reread)
- Never Saw It Coming by Linwood Barclay
- How To Fall In Love by Cecelia Ahern
- biographical note on Lord Peter Wimsey in reissue of Clouds of Witness by Dorothy Sayers (on Gutenberg)
- One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern
- Notwithstanding by Louis de Bernieres
- The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King
- Temptation by Sandy Loyd
- The Incorrigible Mr. Lumley by Aileen Fish
- Effie's Outlaw by Karen Lopp
- Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
- The Christmas Crossing by Bev Petterson (short story)
- secret beta read!
- An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield
- Forgotten by Catherine McKenzie
- Arranged by Catherine McKenzie
- Emil In the Soup Tureen by Astrid Lindgren
- Whales by Jacques Cousteau (excerpt essay from his book)
- Tutankhamen's Tomb by Howard Carter (excerpt essay from his book)
- Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson
- Everything's Eventual by Stephen King
- Go the F*^$ To Sleep (board book)
- Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss (reread) (brought to you by Neil Gaiman: http://www.worldbuilders.org/our-next-stretch-goal-unlocks-at/neil-gaiman-reads-green-eggs-and-ham)
- The Sagan Diary by John Scalzi
- mini Twitter stories by Talli Roland (available here: http://advice.uk.match.com/dating-advice/enjoy-valentine%E2%80%99s-day-and-get-mentallydating?utm_expid=55691082-15.2L0G0ictTcSJ4BI9Srh77A.0&utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fadvice.uk.match.com%2Fdating-advice)
- The Book of Jane by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt
- Chicken Soup for the Soul: O Canada The Wonders of Winter
- Beloved Demons by Anthony Martignetti
- Hands-on Therapy by T L Watson
- Let Me Make Myself Plain by Catherine Cookson
- The Razor's Edge by Somerset Maugham
- Mystery of the Fat Cat by Frank Bonham
- Spin by Catherine Mckenzie
- Virgins by Diana Gabaldon
- The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen (reread)
- The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
- The Ghost in the Window by Betty Ren Wright
- The Progress of Love by Alice Munro
- The Treason of Isengard - Book 7 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling (reread)
- Behind the Lines (poems) by A. A. Milne
- the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling (reread)
- Chicken Soup for the Expectant Mother's Soul
- 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