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Everything posted by megustaleer

  1. Well, Maya Angelou had to follow that! The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom. Last stanza of Caged Bird - Maya Angelou
  2. Three lovely notes he whistled, too soft to be heard If others sang; but others never sang In the great beech-wood all that May and June. No one saw him: I alone could hear him Though many listened. Was it but four years Ago? or five? He never came again. Oftenest when I heard him I was alone, Nor could I ever make another hear. La-la-la! he called, seeming far-off— As if a cock crowed past the edge of the world, As if the bird or I were in a dream. Yet that he travelled through the trees and sometimes Neared me, was plain, tho
  3. “Drink,” said the lady, sad and slow - “World’s love behoveth thee to know”. He looked to her, commanding so. Her brow was troubled, but her eye Struck clear to his soul. For all reply He drank the water suddenly, — Then, with a deathly sickness, passed Beside the fourth pool and the last, Where weights of shadow were down-cast From Yew and cypress, and from trails Of hemlock clasping the trunk-scales, And flung across the intervals From yew to yew. Who dareth stoop Where those moist branches overdroop
  4. You'll have a better idea than me, then, of what the poems actually mean. Puddock I knew, and I guessed that seggs were sedges. Unfortunately Google had other ideas of what it meant, but it was while searching for something more fitting that I came across John M. Cale's poem. I enjoyed both, and the journey that "translating" them took me on!
  5. I was going to follow with Robert Herrick's A Child's Grace, where 'puddock' is spelled 'paddock', both being dialect for 'toad'. But then I came across this: A puddock sat by the lochan’s brim, An’ he thocht there was never a puddock like him. He sat on his hurdies, he waggled his legs, An’ cockit his heid as he glowered throu’ the seggs. The bigsy wee cratur’ was feelin’ that prood, He gapit his mou’ an’ he croakit oot lood: “Gin ye’d a’ like tae see a richt puddock,” quo’ he, “Ye’ll never, I’ll sweer, get a better nor me. I’ve fem’lies an’
  6. You did not come, And marching Time drew on, and wore me numb. Yet less for loss of your dear presence there Than that I thus found lacking in your make That high compassion which can overbear Reluctance for pure lovingkindness' sake Grieved I, when, as the hope-hour stroked its sum, You did not come. You love not me, And love alone can lend you loyalty; -I know and knew it. But, unto the store Of human deeds divine in all but name, Was it not worth a little hour or more To add yet this: Once you, a woman, came To soo
  7. Surprised that I had not contributed to this thread. I read, and enjoyed, several of Gervase Phinn's books in the early years of C21, and have mentioned them a few times in other threads. I remembered that 'poem' - although not until I reached the punchline, and yes, funny and sad.
  8. HERE in a quiet and dusty room they lie, Faded as crumbled stone and shifting sand, Forlorn as ashes, shrivelled, scentless, dry - Meadows and gardens running through my hand. Dead that shall quicken at the voice of spring, Sleepers to wake beneath June’s tempest kiss; Though birds pass over, unremembering, And no bee find here roses that were his. In this brown husk a dale of hawthorn dreams; A cedar in this narrow cell is thrust That shall drink deeply at a century’s streams; These lilies shall make summer on my dus
  9. If you are interested in epistolary books as well as in diaries and if, in particular, you have an interest in gardens, I am sure you would like "Dear Friend and Gardener", a volume of letters between the two eminent gardeners Christopher Lloyd and Beth Chatto. I read this getting on for 20 years ago and it gave me a great deal of pleasure
  10. When large dainty fingers tremblingly divide the wings of the fly for mid-July with a needle and wrap it with peacock-tail, or tie wool and buzzard's wing, their pride, like the enchanter's is in care, not madness. Concurring hands divide flax for damask that when bleached by Irish weather has the silvered chamois-leather water-tightness of a skin. lines from Spenser's Ireland by Marianne Moore
  11. i read several of Catherine Cookson's books in the 1960s &70s. I did enjoy them but, like Apple, found that they became a bit 'samey' after a time and moved on to other things. I read several of the Mary Ann series, and some of the stand alone novels I definitely watched the TV version of the Mallem Streak, but at this distance in time I can't remember if I actually read the books.
  12. Just wondering f you would enjoy "Led By The Nose", by Jenny Joseph? Extract from my thread on this book posted in 2005:
  13. 2000 Pay The Devil - Jack Higgins The Journal of Mrs Pepys - Sara George Jesus and the Adman - Rhidian Brook The Spouts of Wrath - Robert Rankin Letter To Daniel (Essays) - Fergal Keane Driving My Father (Bi) - Susan Wicks Of Whom The World Was Not Worthy (B/H) - Marie Chapian Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons Charlotte Grey - Sebastian Faulks The Bull Calves - Naomi Aitchison The Way I Found Her - Rose Tremain Ask Me Tomorrow - `Stan Barstow Four Letters of Love - Niall Williams Quarantine - Jim Crace Close Range (SS)
  14. Literally thin-skinned, I suppose, my face catches the wind off the snow-line and flushes with a flush that will never wholly settle. Well: that was a metropolitan vanity, wanting to look young for ever, to pass. I was never a pre-Raphaelite beauty, nor anything but pretty enough to satisfy men who need to be seen with passable women. But now that I am in love with a place which doesn't care how I look, or if I'm happy, happy is how I look, and that's all. My hair will turn grey in any case, my nails chip and flake, my w
  15. Oh, so pleased you managed to get yourself logged in! Much has happened in BGO in recent years, and not so many of the early members pop in regularly.
  16. He hasn't posted since he gave his opinion on the decision to close BGO down. He is still logging on, so must know that we haven't, although I don't know if he is aware of tagesmann's last minute rescue bid. Not posting isn't going to help the rescue. In his absence: "I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows, Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine, With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine: There sleeps Titania some time of the night, Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight" From A Mi
  17. Sweet blackbird is silenced with chaffinch and thrush’ Only waistcoated robin still chirps in the bush: Soft sun-loving swallows have mustered in force. And winged to the spice-teeming southland their course Plump housekeeper dormouse has tucked himself neat, Just a brown ball in moss with a morsel to eat: Armed hedgehog has huddled him into the hedge, While frogs scarce miss freezing deep down in the sedge. Soft swallows have left us alone in the lurch, But robin sits whistling to us from his perch: If I were red robin, I'd pipe you a tun
  18. I read that 6 or 7 years ago. The thread I started on it is here Well, I say 'read'. It was an audiobook eta: The first memory that came to mind when this book was mentioned was the daily ritual of tea around the samovar. Having looked at the thread on it, other memories are slowly surfacing, but sadly not of the comment mentioned in the last line of my review - although I clearly thought it would be sufficiently memorable for me just to refer to it obliquely!
  19. I have read the Past Is Myself, but that was in the early - mid eighties,about 15 years before I came across The Berlin Diaries. I remember that I also wondered if they had ever met. There were very many people involved in the plot, and their social circles didn't necessarily overlap that much Bielenberg was the elder by about eight years, and had 3 scool-age children at a time when Vassiltchikov was enjoying the active social life of a young single woman, so I don't suppose they had much in common.
  20. If you liked Housewife 49, you should try "Our Hidden Lives" by Simon Garfield, which is a compilation of contributions to the Mass Observation Project, from a variety of people in the immediate post-war years. I found it fascinating, but then it is about the first three years I was alive. Another wartime diary, with a completely different perspective, is The Berlin Diaries of Marie Vassiltchikov, a pretty, vivacious & intelligent White Russian woman living in wartime Berlin. She was closely connected with a group of people who conspired to assassinate Hitler, and who fai
  21. 1999 Talking To The Dead - Helen Dunmore Fugitive Pieces - Anne Michaels TheTen Grandmothers (Hist) - Alice Marriott Little Women - Louisa May Alcott Diana’s Story (B) - Deric Longed The Reader - Bernhard Schlink The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy Spoon face Sternberg & Other Plays (Drama) - Lee Hall The Bronski House - Philip Marsden The General in His Labyrinth - Gabriel Garcia Marquez Casting Off - Libby Purves The Hotel New Hampshire - John Irving The Hundred secret Senses - Amy Tan The Hours of The Night - Su
  22. A week ago I had a fire To warm my feet, my hands and face; Cold winds, that never make a friend, Crept in and out of every place. Today the fields are rich in grass, And buttercups in thousands grow; I’ll show the world where I have been– With gold-dust seen on either shoe. Till to my garden back I come, Where bumble-bees for hours and hours Sit on their soft, fat, velvet bums, To wriggle out of hollow flowers. All In June - William Henry Davies
  23. A moment the wild swallows like a flight Of withered gust-caught leaves, serenely high, Toss in the windrack up the muttering sky. The leaves hang still. Above the weird twilight, The hurrying centres of the storm unite And spreading with huge trunk and rolling fringe, Each wheeled upon its own tremendous hinge, Tower darkening on. And now from heaven’s height, With the long roar of elm-trees swept and swayed, And pelted waters, on the vanished plain Plunges the blast. Behind the wild white flash That splits abroad the pealing t
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