e a m harris

Roaming the byways of literature

Archive for the category “Out and about”

The uses of poetry

These days poetry can be found anywhere and is given many uses.  Today the BBC reports a passenger complaining in verse to Norwegian Airlines and getting a verse response.

I can’t reblog BBC reports but here is the link.

Norwegian plane

 

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Wandering about

When I opened my blog this morning I realised that it is well over a month since I posted anything. So I have made a new New Year resolution – to post more frequently. The exercise routine resolution is already not happening, so I hope this new one will be more successful.

goodreads

On the other hand, I have done a lot of reading, most of which is recorded in Goodreads.
Listing my reading in Goodreads is very useful; browsing back through my previous entries I find that I often forget what I’ve read and need a reminder.

Pulsar webzine

On the submissions front I’ve had a few successes so far this year. Pulsar, a longstanding online magazine, has published one of my poems and you can find it among a group of great poems, ostensibly for March but on line now.

Paragraph Planet

Paragraph Planet, an online flash magazine, has taken one of my very short tales (to read it you have to scroll through the archive to Jan 31). In case you aren’t familiar with this site, it publishes a 75 word story every day and some of them are really amazing – so much said in such a little space.

I’ve also had a couple of acceptances and am waiting for actual publication.

Good luck to anyone else on the submissions circuit and to anyone thinking of starting it – it can be fun.

New Year: New Reading

A belated Happy New Year to all my readers. I hope you have had a good festive season and are enjoying the feeling of newness that a new year can bring.

PBS Bulletin

After a lot of hectic: travel, parties, shopping, eating etc, etc, I have finally got around to seriously reading the winter offering from the Poetry Book SocietyJoy by Sasha Dugdale.

Along with the selected book comes the quarterly PBS Bulletin. Now the Society has updated it and it looks completely different. After years of receiving the old one I’m a bit nostalgic for its look and feel, but the new version is very nice and no doubt I’ll get used to it.

So I start 2018 with some newness spilling over from last year.

Still brightening my garden

Calendula

I went away for a few days this month. November setting in – cold, wind, rain – the usual.

But on my return I found this calendula still flowering, making a tiny pocket of orange sunshine in its corner of the garden.

Flowers often look fragile, but they can be tough.

Cardoons – built for power and poetry

Cardoons

I can’t remember where I took this photo, but I love the mass of large, spiky, in-yer-face leaves.

I checked around to see if I could find any poems about cardoons. The internet is not exactly thick with them but I did find one, about a baboon but including cardoon.

Artichokes have more poets interested in them, and since they don’t seem to be much different to cardoons, I thought it fair to include a link.

Flowers in a bed tend to give me the impression that they are posing, not for a photo, but for a haiku. I couldn’t find any ready written so here is my haiku on these magnificent plants.

Summer afternoon.
Round cardoon heads stand above
rosettes of huge leaves.

What’s in a name

I google ‘sea-slug’;
my screen fills with images;
all are beautiful.

sea slug

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos from Photo Pin.
Credits:
Sylke Rohrlach <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/87895263@N06/8599051974″>Blue dragon-glaucus atlanticus</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;
Christian Gloor (mostly) underwater photographer <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/76738608@N08/28390675456″>Inner light.</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Tales for the month of May

This sounds like an interesting event. I regret that it’s too far for me but others may be closer. Thank you to ShortStops for publishing the details.

ShortStops

Come and listen to some tales of May madness, Mayans and a certain hairy rock star at Hand of Doom’s May-themed story nights in Kent.

They take place in Folkestone on Friday, May 19 at the Grand Hotel, The Leas, and the following evening, Saturday, May 20, in Faversham at The Guidhall, both from 7.45pm for an 8pm start.

For more information, please go to Facebook Hand of Doom Productions

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Some library snippets

manuscript from Wellcome collection

There is a world’s oldest library.

Now part of a university, it is the Al-Qarawiyyin library in Morocco.

Founded in 859CE by a lady called Fatima al-Fehri, it contains ancient and mediaeval manuscripts as well as books.

It has recently undergone a major restoration with special moisture management systems installed to protect the precious manuscripts.

Some libraries have birthdays.Birthday candles

Apparently the Library of Congress celebrated its birthday recently. On April 24th 1800 then president John Adams parented the library by approving the necessary expenditure. I doubt if it got a cake with 217 candles on it, but its anniversary was marked in several places, including a collection of trivia from Bookriot.

Some libraries use unique classification systems.

The Levinski Garden Library shelves its books according to the emotions they raise in their readers. Each reader is asked to describe the book’s effect: sad, happy, boring etc. The emotions are colour coded and the returned book gets a piece of coloured tape and is then shelved according to the most recent one.

Manuscript picture from Wellcome Library website
Candles photo credit: chrisotruro

Garden thoughts of Alexander Pope

A garden Pope would have likedAt school I was made to read The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope, but since then have read none of his poetry and have barely remembered his existence.

Recently, however, I stumbled on an article on Pope the gardener in the blog Eighteenth Century Media. Apparently Pope was famous, not only as a poet, but also as a gardener, and friends and fans frequently asked his advice on major and minor aspects of gardening. He may have designed gardens; he certainly had things to say about them.

He favoured the classical style (modern in his day) in which there was a balance between nature and artifice, display and restraint, variety and simplicity. This balance was not just aesthetically pleasing but morally as well. Restraint and ‘consulting the genius of the place’ showed good taste and self control.

Among his writings are a number of Epistles written in verse. One of these, The Epistle to Richard Boyle, Earl of Burlington, although about the use and abuse of riches, also contains a lot of advice on gardening. As a detailed  how-to of horticulture it might not be very useful but it’s aesthetics might be useful for any kind of design.

Oft have you hinted to your brother peer
A certain truth, which many buy too dear:
Something there is, more needful than expense,
And something previous even to taste – ’tis sense:

For those of us who don’t have a fortune to spend on our gardens, it’s comforting to think that all we need is sense, which is free.

Another piece of my ignorance discovered

By chance I stumbled on a Wikipedia article about Allah Jang Palsoe, an Indonesian stage play, dating from 1919, by Kwee Tek Hoay. The title translates as False God and is about two brothers who discover that money does not bring happiness.

Despite the fact that the original idea came from a short story by E. Phillips Oppenheim, a westerner, it is a truly Indonesian work and is still sometimes performed.

Reading the article I realised I know practically nothing about Indonesian theatre, or other literature. I have heard of the puppet theatre and have even seen extracts on TV, but that’s the extent of my knowledge. I strongly suspect that Indonesians know much more about our theatre than we do about theirs: they may even read Shakespeare in school.

My ignorance probably extends to numerous theatrical traditions, and it seems such a pity to miss so much. Another topic to add to my ‘to be googled’ list.

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