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  1. Yesterday
  2. I asked the professors who teach the meaning of life to tell me what is happiness. And I went to famous executives who boss the work of thousands of men. They all shook their heads and gave me a smile as though I was trying to fool with them And then one Sunday afternoon I wandered out along the Desplaines river And I saw a crowd of Hungarians under the trees with their women and children and a keg of beer and an accordion. Happiness - Carl Sandburg
  3. It is summer, and we are in a house That is not ours, sitting at a table Enjoying minutes of a rented silence, The upstairs people gone. The pigeons lull To sleep the under-tens and invalids, The tree shakes out its shadows to the grass, The roses rove through the wilds of my neglect. Our lives flap, and we have no hope of better Happiness than this, not much to show for love But how we are, and how this evening is, Unpeopled, silent, and where we are alive In a domestic love, seemingly alone, All other lives worn down to trees and sunlight, Looking forward to a visit
  4. Even such is time, that takes in trust Our youth, our joys, our all we have, And pays us but with age and dust; Who, in the dark and silent grave, When we have wandered all our ways, Shuts up the story of our days. But from this earth, this grave, this dust, My God shall raise me up, I trust. Sir Walter Raleigh - 'Even such is Time' Supposedly written on the night before his execution.
  5. A couple of things: if ever I were a guest on Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, I would be quite happy to accept the deal and take The Bible and the complete works of Shakespeare, and one other book (never sure what that would be...) I wouldn't try and exchange the Bible for something else... When I listed The Bible as "clearly" the most overrated book, I perhaps interpreted "overrated" in the wrong way. The parts of it I have read are often parts I have been marked by. I think I meant that it's the most famous book in the western world, and overshadows others. (And of course, as is o
  6. With 70 years of reading behind me it is impossible to remember which books are the best answer to any of the questions, as in any given year I would have a different answer to most. Without reference to my reading lists, I can barely remember books that I have had a strong reaction to at the time of reading. I will attempt the questions, but the answers are what I recall today, and may be amended during the last weeks of BGO There are so many! Your Favourite book. There are so many, but for the last 60+ years Little Women and Jane Eyre have been at the top, or very nea
  7. Last week
  8. I meant books you initially liked but, putting some thought into it, concluded weren't that great. For me, that would be The Hannibal Lecter series. Read them when I enjoyed horror, saw the film with Anthony Hopkins and years later wish I hadn't read such graphic horror.
  9. Not sure I understand this question. You mean books you grew out of, or books you initially liked but, putting some thought into it, concluded weren't that great. The only thing that qualifies is Atwood's Blind Assassin. I enjoyed reading it and when I finished I thought it had been great. As the weeks and months went by, however, I started to think it was actually quite poor, overly melodramatic, and somewhat inconsequential and gimmicky.
  10. HAMLET How all occasions do inform against me And spur my dull revenge! What is a man, If his chief good and market of his time Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more. Sure he that made us with such large discourse, Looking before and after, gave us not That capability and godlike reason To fust in us unus'd. Now, whether it be Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple Of thinking too precisely on th' event,- A thought which, quarter'd, hath but one part wisdom And ever three parts coward,- I do not know Why yet I live to say 'This thing's to do,' Sith I have cau
  11. The name of the author is the first to go followed obediently by the title, the plot, the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel which suddenly becomes one you have never read, never even heard of, as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain, to a little fishing village where there are no phones. Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag, and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,
  12. I love Outlander, gave up on Grey's Anatomy ages ago but hope you enjoy both of them!
  13. 1. Your favourite book. Grapes of Wrath 2. Saddest book you ever read. Right now the one that comes to mind is A Short Walk from Harrods by Dirk Bogarde. He has had to leave his home in France and move back to London, watched his partner die and now waits to die himself. The end of a life, a well lived life, but an end all the same. Lots of Holocaust books and similar life changing event type books would fall into this category as well. 3. Book you read a paragraph or two from every now and then. Like Luna and JFP from poetry books rather than novels, Ma
  14. This is Us, a family drama on Amazon Prime. It's a circular drama, in one episode you can have the same characters at different times of their lives. Reminds me of Thirtysomething, produced by one of the actors from that series, but even before I knew that I felt the connection. Has that great ability to tune in to moments in life and expand on them. One of most addictive TV series I've ever watched. I know a family drama just sounds like 'it's all been done before' but this one is different. One of the best novels never written.
  15. If grief could burn out Like a sunken coal, The heart would rest quiet, The unrent soul Be still as a veil; But I have watched all night The fire grow silent, The grey ash soft: And I stir the stubborn flint The flames have left, And grief stirs, and the deft Heart lies impotent. Philip LARKIN (from The North Ship)
  16. I ordered this, clean wood box Square as a chair and almost too heavy to lift. I would say it was the coffin of a midget Or a square baby Were there not such a din in it. The box is locked, it is dangerous. I have to live with it overnight And I can't keep away from it. There are no windows, so I can't see what is in there. There is only a little grid, no exit. I put my eye to the grid. It is dark, dark, With the swarmy feeling of African hands Minute and shrunk for export, Black on black, angrily cl
  17. His Royal Highness, Prince Philip
  18. A few thoughts on this: • "Classic Poetry vs Modern Poetry"? These are not clear-cut categories. Where is the dividing-line? Modern English, like Modern History, begins with the Renaissance, and thus with Shakespeare (and others of his era, of course). • Different periods in the history of poetry have different conventions, which are constantly questioned and/or adapted later on. • Poetry is not necessarily written in verse: in other words, it is not always identifiable thanks to an underlying rhythm, or the use of rhyme. • There are prose poems: prose can be highly
  19. Emily dickenson wrote some very nice classical poetry... i've noticed modern poetry is extremely prosey, it's all about "expressions of the present moment" or something like that.
  20. PROSPERO Then, as my gift and thine own acquisition Worthily purchased take my daughter: but If thou dost break her virgin-knot before All sanctimonious ceremonies may With full and holy rite be minister'd, No sweet aspersion shall the heavens let fall To make this contract grow: but barren hate, Sour-eyed disdain and discord shall bestrew The union of your bed with weeds so loathly That you shall hate it both: therefore take heed, As Hymen's lamps shall light you. FERDINAND As I hope For quiet days, fair
  21. Hey my fellow book worms...glad to be a part of this forum. I look forward to reading about and discussing books. I made one of my own back in 2020, it's a book of humorous, philosophical, and dark poems. Here's a couple samples and a "buy" link. There are a total of 21 poems, both short and long. It all has been done by me except for the printing. Here are some samples: Hiking I walk down the trail and set my mind free this way, away from my home. The Song of Narcissus I. Resolution and satisfaction
  22. I think she was thinking of Blake - her character felt he was born to take the wrong path. Listen to me, as when ye heard our father Sing long ago the songs of other shores: Listen to me, and then in chorus gather All your deep voices, as you pull your oars: Fair these broad meads,—these hoary woods are grand; But we are exiles from our Fathers’ Land. From the lone shieling of the misty Island Mountains divide us, and the waste of seas; Yet still the blood is strong, the heart is Highland, And we in drea
  23. JOHN OF GAUNT I thank my liege, that in regard of me He shortens four years of my son's exile: But little vantage shall I reap thereby; For, ere the six years that he hath to spend Can change their moons and bring their times about, My oil-dried lamp and time-bewasted light Shall be extinct with age and endless night; My inch of taper will be burnt and done, And blindfold death not let me see my son. Shakespeare - Richard II I/iii Endless NIght became the title of an Agatha Christie novel...
  24. Every Night & every Morn Some to Misery are Born Every Morn and every Night Some are Born to sweet delight Some are Born to sweet delight Some are Born to Endless Night We are led to Believe a Lie When we see not Thro the Eye Which was Born in a Night to perish in a Night When the Soul Slept in Beams of Light God Appears & God is Light To those poor Souls who dwell in Night But does a Human Form Display To those who Dwell in Realms of day William Blake - from 'Augeries of Innocence'
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