Quote Auden and Carry a Big Stick


I tend to save many many things -- names of intriguing books, links to interesting videos or podcasts, poems, images, words, etc. -- and then sometimes return to them, as my interests in certain fields wax and wane, and then other times I forget why I saved a particular item.

For example, the poem If I Could Tell You by W. H. Auden. It's been floating in an email of To Do items, but I can't remember what the connections are. Perhaps it's linked to the fact that I'd like to read at least one poem per day, but this doesn't always happen. Rather, I think part of it was quoted in a novel I read last year or the year before (possibly Josephine Tey or Agatha Christie). Anyhow, here is a quote:

If I Could Tell You


If we should weep when clowns put on their show,
If we should stumble when musicians play,
Time will say nothing but I told you so.


The winds must come from somewhere when they blow,
There must be reason why the leaves decay;
Time will say nothing but I told you so.


This seems especially relevant today, given the news about Anthony Martignetti (whose books I've blogged about before). Here is the stick reference:
"We used to talk about what would happen when he died. I worried about it. He's more than twenty years older than me. It seemed inevitable. I once asked him what I should do at his funeral, since probably I'd have to say something.
He gave this some thought. He said he'd like me to walk up to the front of the room, carrying a stick from a tree outside.
'Don't say anything,' he requested. 'Just hold that sucker up in the air, break it in half, and throw it on the floor.'
Everything breaks."

This is the last week of this round of ROW80. Very pleased to say I've finished the short story -- except for the last line -- tentatively entitled "One to Another", and am slowly editing it. The first line comes from the Word Factory Fables for a Modern World contest (which is only open to UK residents): "Long ago, in the days when there were still fish in the oceans and cars on the road, there lived a woman who was not afraid of governments."

I've also pre-ordered some books! I haven't bought any since the last book fair, in April. Almost two months! That must be some sort of record for me. Although, actually, it's a bit inaccurate, since I've purchased at least five for my Kindle app...

Here are the books due to arrive at the end of August
(The Story of Kullervo is actually by J. R. R. Tolkien, edited by Verlyn Flieger):

Which poems and stories have you been reading?

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