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Everything posted by woofwoof

  1. Yes - wrong continent and century!
  2. Never go down a "no through road" in a busy area on the off chance that there might be a parking space
  3. Ok here's the next one: "I'm a bit of an outcast because of the colour of my skin. The woman I'm in love with is unfortunately engaged to a man who is not worthy of her. Her aunt wants her to marry her son (the girl's cousin). Unfortunately both the man she's engaged to and her cousin are both enraptured by another woman who lives just outside the village."
  4. It does seem to have become lower and lower in profile as the years have gone by. I remember when the BBC would run a poll (the nations favourite love poem etc) and it would culminate on National Poetry Day with a special TV programme hosted by Gryff Rees-Jones.
  5. Those Winter Sundays Sundays too my father got up early And put his clothes on in the blueback cold, then with cracked hands that ached from labor in the weekday weather made banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him. I'd wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking. When the rooms were warm, he'd call, and slowly I would rise and dress, fearing the chronic angers of that house, Speaking indifferently to him, who had driven out the cold and polished my good shoes as well. What did I know, what did I know of love's austere and lonely offices? by Robert Hayden Such a heart-rending poem! Apologies if I have posted this one before. If I remember correctly Hayden was adopted at birth by his next door neighbours as his own parents could not cope with the number of children that they had. His adoptive father was quite cold towards him. I assume this is who is remembering in the poem - maybe Hayden reacted with coolness back and only later appreciated that his father showed his love in these acts of service. I'm not sure I agree - I don't think any amount of "service" is a substitute for emotional warmth. The really romantic story about Hayden is that he was standing in an unemployment queue, reading a book of poetry. He was spotted by a rich woman from a car that was passing who wanted to see what he was reading. She ended up becoming his patron and he eventually became the equivalent of Poet Laureate in America! Thanks David for pointing out that Mariana is from Measure for Measure. Unfortunately I haven't read/watched that play. Hopefully Branagh will produce a version of it! It's interesting that Tennyson published both Mariana and Mariana in the South in 1832 (as well as the similarly themed Lady of Shallot). However he changed the ending stanza of M in the South quite significantly in 1842 - making it darker and clearer that the lover who comes is death. By 1842 Tennyson was in a very dark mood - Hallam having died plus his broken engagement, financial problems etc
  6. But sometimes in the falling day An image seem’d to pass the door, To look into her eyes and say, ‘But thou shalt be alone no more.’ And flaming downward over all From heat to heat the day decreased, And slowly rounded to the east The one black shadow from the wall. ‘The day to night,’ she made her moan, ‘The day to night, the night to morn, And day and night I am left alone To live forgotten, and love forlorn.’ At eve a dry cicala sung, There came a sound as of the sea; Backward the lattice-blind she flung, And lean’d upon the balcony. There all in spaces rosy-bright Large Hesper glitter’d on her tears, And deepening thro’ the silent spheres Heaven over Heaven rose the night. And weeping then she made her moan, ‘The night comes on that knows not morn, When I shall cease to be all alone, To live forgotten, and love forlorn.’ from Mariana in the south by Tennyson I much prefer this poem to the more well-known "Mariana" (that's the one that starts "with blackest moss the flower pots were thickly crusted one and all" - you might remember the scene in My Fair Lady where Prof Higgins puts marbles in Eliza's mouth and makes her recite these lines). Both poems have the same theme i.e. the woman waiting endlessly for her lover (cf Madame Butterfly, The French Lieutenant's Woman). I think the "in the south" refers to the Roman Catholic references. I think Mariana in the South is the darker of the two poems. Although "Mariana" is very miserable, it does leave it open that the lover might turn up, whereas in "Mariana in the south", it seems clear that the only lover that will come is death BTW, stayed in Freshwater on the isle of Wight again this summer, though this time gave Tennyson's house a miss, did visit the church he used to attend, and did the walk over the downs to the memorial
  7. A chance to post one of my favourites - Auden's attack on the glorification of war - extract from "The shield of Achilles" She looked over his shoulder For athletes at their games, Men and women in a dance Moving their sweet limbs Quick, quick, to music, But there on the shining shield His hands had set no dancing-floor But a weed-choked field. A ragged urchin, aimless and alone, Loitered about that vacancy; a bird Flew up to safety from his well-aimed stone: That girls are raped, that two boys knife a third, Were axioms to him, who'd never heard Of any world where promises were kept, Or one could weep because another wept. The great Achilles is likened to a ragged urchin throwing a stone at a bird. Thank you Meg for quoting "pinkle purr". I love many of the poems in "Now we are six" (?) and the other volume (forgotten what it's called). You probably know the one about James James Morrison Morrison Weatherby George Dupree Took great Care of his Mother, Though he was only three. James James Said to his Mother, "Mother," he said, said he; "You must never go down to the end of the town, if you don't go down with me."
  8. Thanks Meg. Unfortunately I've moved at work to a much busier department - not much time to surf! I have just finished The Moonstone and would love to contribute (albeit belatedly) to the discussion on that but unfortunately just don't have the time! Anyone here's an extract from Tennyson's Maud: But the broad light glares and beats, And the shadow flits and fleets And will not let me be; And I loathe the squares and streets, And the faces that one meets, Hearts with no love for me: Always I long to creep Into some still cavern deep, There to weep, and weep, and weep My whole soul out to thee.
  9. Lovely poem, Meg! Continuing on the pastoral theme, here's one of my favourite poems by Wordsworth: THE dew was falling fast, the stars began to blink; I heard a voice; it said, "Drink, pretty creature, drink!" And, looking o'er the hedge, before me I espied A snow-white mountain-lamb with a Maiden at its side. Nor sheep nor kine were near; the lamb was all alone, And by a slender cord was tethered to a stone; With one knee on the grass did the little Maiden kneel, While to that mountain-lamb she gave its evening meal. The lamb, while from her hand he thus his supper took, Seemed to feast with head and ears; and his tail with pleasure shook... While looking for a copy of this poem, I came across a lot of references to an essay by Edgar Allan Poe where he basically holds it up to ridicule as an example of one of Wordsworth's bad poems!
  10. My daughters love Enid Blyton - the far away tree, the wishing chair, the naughtiest girl books, mallory towers, St Clares. They find The famous Five a bit boring but I've introduced them to my personal favourite, namely, The Five Find-outers plus dog led by the irrepressible Frederick Algernon Trotteville, commonly known as Fatty. I recently bought a set of all 15 books from ebay for £5. They are brilliant - not just an interesting storyline but also very funny. It is true that they are quite "class-ist" eg the main characters are all obviously quite wealthy with servants etc and they do go over the top in making fun of poor Mr Goon and his nephew Ern, but if you can overlook that, they are very good, much better than much of the rubbish that people churn out for children today. Just yesterday I picked by a couple of books that my daughter had found in the under 10s section of our library - The Princess Diaries (absolute drivel) and another one where the children find a girlfriend for their widowed dad (nice to get girls into chicklit as early as possible)
  11. woofwoof

    6 day war

    I hesitate to bring up politics but quite an interesting day by day account of the 6 day war at the BBC website: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/guides/457000/457035/html/default.stm Imagine it's 40 years! Not wanting to go into the rights and wrongs of this issue, I expect the Arabs wished that they hadn't threatened Israel at the time. President Nasser's posturing without actually being ready for war does seem rather foolish now.
  12. He lifts me to the golden doors; The flashes come and go; All heaven bursts her starry floors, And strows her lights below, And deepens on and up! the gates Roll back, and far within For me the Heavenly Bridegroom waits, To make me pure of sin. The sabbaths of Eternity, One sabbath deep and wide— A light upon the shining sea— The Bridegroom with his bride! Alfred Lord Tennyson, St Agnes Eve (Less well-known than Keats' masterpiece. Interesting to compare the two. I think whereas Keats is writing about an incident which took place on St Agnes' Eve, Tennyson is looking at the subject St Agnes herself. But even so, I'm not sure - I thought the legend of St Agnes was that she chose death by execution rather than marriage to someone who did not share her faith, whereas this poem seems to be about someone climbing to the convent roof and then presumeably jumping to her death?)
  13. Hope everyone will listen to some Elgar today (150th anniversary of his birth!)
  14. Looks interesting. As the Amazon review notes there are similar recordings around eg http://www.amazon.co.uk/Spoken-Word-Poets/dp/0712305173/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/202-2289474-9769403?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1180718519&sr=8-1 is quite cheap (£8.99) and has a good selection but is only one CD and obviously not as extensive as the one you mention here. However, it does have the advantage of being more British based (rather than American) eg John Masefield, Alfred Noyes, Lawrence Binyon, Siegfried Sassoon, Robert Graves are all included. I haven't seen them in any similar collection. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Poetry-Speaks-Great-Poets-Tennyson/dp/1570717206/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/202-2289474-9769403?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1180719091&sr=8-1 is what I bought for myself a few years ago. It is more expensive but has 3 discs. Although it has the old favourites, the last two discs are heavily weighted towards American poets. This collection comes with an interesting coffee table book, but does have the big disadvantage that every reading is preceded by an introduction - OK the first time, but gets irritating after that! The collection you mention does have some interesting inclusions - eg The charge of the light brigade is always in these collections, but it's interesting to see "Come into the garden Maud" included. I'm tempted! It would be nice to hear Dylan Thomas reading "And death shall have no dominion". The W.B. Yeats reading is also on my collection above. It's fascinating to hear him read the poem - more like chanting than reading! "Those Winter Sundays" by Robert Haydon is another great poem. It's a pity that none of these collections include any Ted Hughes. This collection has "Daddy" by Sylvia Plath. My one includes "Lady Lazarus" - she reads it calmly almost without emotion - no hint at all of her emotional turmoil. I can't see anything that interests me in the fourth CD.
  15. You must have had this one before, but never mind Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Though wise men at their end know dark is right, Because their words had forked no lightning they Do not go gentle into that good night. Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way, Do not go gentle into that good night. Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light. And you, my father, there on the sad height, Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray. Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Dylan Thomas
  16. Actually you're right. He was Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David, so even though his friends and family all called him David, his real first name was indeed Edward! George VI is a complicated case. His name was Albert Frederick Arthur George and he already had a brother called George (the Duke of Kent) so that must have made things confusing. With regard to Edward VII, I wonder if Queen Victoria knew that her son (Bertie) was not going to take the name Albert after she died? Personally I love all the history that's tied up with the monarchy. I hate the idea of some ex-politician becoming President. Germany should bring back the Kaiser (actually they should split up into all those small states again, Prussia, Bavaria etc and bring back all the Kings and Princes). Similarly Russia should bring back the Tsar
  17. I tried singing that to the American national anthem and couldn't get it to fit at all, then realised I was trying to fit it to the Red Flag! AWAKE! for Morning in the Bowl of Night  Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight: And Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught  The Sultan’s Turret in a Noose of Light. Dreaming when Dawn’s Left Hand was in the Sky  I heard a voice within the Tavern cry, “Awake, my Little ones, and fill the Cup  Before Life’s Liquor in its Cup be dry.” from The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám by Edward Fitzgerald Translated into English in 1859 by Edward FitzGerald That second verse always reminds me of one of the Inspector Morse books where a student meets a left-handed woman called Dawn and uses it as an unbeatable chat-up line!
  18. I think I heard somewhere that a good way is to make the link to this website your signature on other boards that you visit. As well as people seeing it every time you post, it also gets picked up by the search engines. I have to say that I must have spent years looking for a website like this one (i.e. an "alive" books discussion board - most websites I came across were either dead (i.e. very few posts apart from requests from high school students for information for their essays and spammers) or completely off-subject. For a few years I used to be involved in a books discussion board at killdevilhill.com, populated mainly by some very intelligent and well-read Americans. From time to time they would have these enormous arguments (usually about politics) and people would storm off like prima-donnas. Eventually they had one spat too many and they all left and now it's like a ghost ship floating off into the distance, sad really - when you're involved in a forum like that, it almost becomes part of your life and I often wonder about the people who had become like close friends. That is the trouble with being over-involved in the "cyber world". You meet people and make friends, but they're not like friends in the real world. People disappear and you never hear from them again.
  19. No he should be Charles III. We've known him as Charles all his life, it's ridiculous for him to be George VII. If he takes that name future biographers will take to calling him "George" as though that has always been his name - witness "Edward" and Mrs Simpson.
  20. Thanks to Starry for retrieving the original thread from the cache. Just read the earlier comments and was amazed to see a positive contribution from Mr InBetween!
  21. My dream team to manage England - Steve Coppell & Harry Rednapp
  22. O let the solid ground Not fail beneath my feet Before my life has found What some have found so sweet; Then let come what come may, What matter if I go mad, I shall have had my day. Let the sweet heavens endure, Not close and darken above me Before I am quite quite sure That there is one to love me; Then let come what come may To a life that has been so sad, I shall have had my day. Alfred Lord Tennyson, from Maud: A Monodrama
  23. Apologies David, I wasn't suggesting that Dan Brown is the source of your scholarship, but that he has undoubtedly influenced a lot of people with his ideas (obviously not you!) I've found that F.F. Bruce's book "The New Testament Documents: are they reliable?" is available online in its entirety: http://www.worldinvisible.com/library/ffbruce/ntdocrli/ntdocont.htm I have to say I read this book a long time ago and I think my memory of the details was not completely accurate. His argument seems to be that the four gospels were bound together and accepted as "the gospel" (i.e. to the exclusion of other alleged gospels) from a very early date, that Acts and the letters of Paul and most of the other letters were also very highly regarded by the early church. Bruce writes in summary: "The only books about which there was any substantial doubt after the middle of the second century were some of those which come at the end of our New Testament. Origen (185-254) mentions the four Gospels, the Acts, the thirteen Paulines, I Peter, 1 John and Revelation as acknowledged by all; he says that Hebrews, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, James and Jude, with the 'Epistle of Barnabas', the Shepherd of Hermas, the Didache, and the 'Gospel according to the Hebrews', were disputed by some. Eusebius (c. 265-340) mentions as generally acknowledged all the books of our New Testament except James, Jude, Peter, 2 and 3 John, which were disputed by some, but recognised by the majority.' Athanasius in 367 lays down the twenty seven books of our New Testament as alone canonical; shortly afterwards Jerome and Augustine followed his example in the West. The process farther east took a little longer; it was not until c. 508 that 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude and Revelation were included in a version of the Syriac Bible in addition to the other twenty two books." I think that the fact that Athanasius produced the first list that exactly matches our present New Testament is a red herring. As Bruce says: "One thing must be emphatically stated. The New Testament books did not become authoritative for the Church because they were formally included in a canonical list; on the contrary, the Church included them in her canon because she already regarded them as divinely inspired, recognising their innate worth and generally apostolic authority, direct or indirect. The first ecclesiastical councils to classify the canonical books were both held in North Africa-at Hippo Regius in 393 and at Carthage in 397-but what these councils did was not to impose something new upon the Christian communities but to codify what was already the general practice of those communities. " Perhaps we will have to agree to differ!
  24. I hesitate to get involved in this discussion again, as I feel I have already said all I wanted to say. However... David, I was not aware that any letters of Paul's have been excluded from the New Testament. There is a reference in one letter where he says, when you've finished send my letter to the (I think) the Laodiceans and make sure you read the letter I sent to them. Unfortunately that letter was not kept for posterity and is lost to us. However a few hundred years later some wag read that and dutifully wrote a "Paul's letter to the Laodiceans"! I think the main concern of the people who drew up a list of what to include in the canon of scripture towards the middle to end of the 2nd century (i.e. well before Constantine's time) was to include anything which was proven beyond reasonable doubt to have been written by one of the Apostles or someone very close to the Apostles (such as Paul or Luke, or James the brother of Jesus and head of the early church in Jerusalem). They excluded anything which was well-known in early church circles to be a forgery or to have been written by people who claimed to be someone else. This includes all the apocryphal gospels such as that of Thomas. The early church did not believe that the so called gospel of Thomas was actually written by Thomas - that's why they excluded it. The problem was that there was a group of people called the gnostics who during the 2nd century were trying to take over the church and Christianity. They weren't above inventing gospels and sacred writings to help their cause. It's a real pity that people like Dan Brown have popularised some of these writings and given the impression that the church bullied by Constantine somehow did a huge hatchet job, picking and choosing from equally valid scriptures what to put in the Bible. This far from the truth. By the time of Constantine, the list of books in the New Testament was completely settled - and it was settled on the basis of whether the writings were genuinely by whom they claimed to be by. If you want to read some more about this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/New-Testament-Documents-They-Reliable/dp/0802822193/ref=sr_1_1/202-7013490-1800607?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1179509224&sr=1-1 (The New Testament Documents - Are they reliable) Interesting that one of the reviews at Amazon says "I was given this little book last year by a Christian friend of mine as part of his hard slog in telling me the gospel (I was very resistant to evangelism!) I was 30 years old at the time and was an over-opinionated non-Christian. However, most of my objections to the Bible were swiftly quashed by the evidence laid out in this book." I'm not suggesting that anyone here is "over-opinionated"! Your other point about other religions is of course a minefield! There is a good chapter on it in "Searching Issues" by Nicky Gumbel which I've previously mentioned. Just to say that: (a) all religions cannot be equally valid when they say different things on key subjects (I think you agree with that) ( if you accept that there is a devil, it is likely that one of his main aims is to trick and deceive people and lead them away from the truth about God © anything that leads people to believe something that is not the truth is in some way assisting the devil in his work. (d) that doesn't mean that everything to do with that "thing" is inspired by the devil, nor does it mean that there's nothing to be learned from it. Eg communism clearly assists the devil in his aims by teaching that there's no God, by justifying the dictatorship of the proletariat and all that goes with it, by suppressing individual rights and freedoms etc. However there is also a lot to learn from communism about the injustice of inequality and so on. Similarly with Islam - there is a lot that we can learn from Muslims and their culture, their commitment to the oneness of God, their stand against idolatry, but from the Christian perspective we have to say we think that they have been misled when it comes to the essentials of the gospel. The reason most Christians will not come out with such a bald statement as "Islam is of the devil" is that that is likely to be misunderstood. It sounds as though one is saying that all muslims are possessed by the devil, that there is nothing good in Islam, that we hate muslims etc which isn't at all what we want to say.
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