And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?
It came without ribbons. It came without tags.
It came without packages, boxes or bags.
And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before.
What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store?
What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?
— Dr. Seuss
To all the things we are not remembered by,
Which we remember and bless. To all the things
That will not notice when we die,
Yet lend the passing moment words and wings.
– Louis Macneice
366 complete. My heartfelt thanks to my “cloud of witnesses”.
Fanfare for the Makers.
Beauty is but a flower
Which wrinkles will devour;
Brightness falls from the air;
Queens have died young and fair.
– Thomas Nashe
A Litany in Time of Plague.
The sunlight on the garden
Hardens and grows cold,
We cannot cage the minute
Within its nets of gold;
When all is told
We cannot beg for pardon.
– Louis Macneice
The Sunlight on the Garden.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.
– T.S. Eliot
Start off the year on a bit of nonsense: The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter…
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
I wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year. And of course what this particular rose is named for: Peace.
Über allen Gipfeln
In allen Wipfeln
Kaum einen Hauch;
Die Vögelein schweigen im Walde.
Warte nur, balde
Ruhest du auch.
Over mountain peaks
In the tree-tops
No breath carries
Birds in the forest are still.
Wait, for you will
Soon sleep too.
Perhaps Goethe’s most famous poem. First reading it in school, I wasn’t impressed. A year or so later, I was gripped by it’s icy imagery.
How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a naughty world.
While others are anxiously wondering whether they made the “nice” list, Olaf is hoping for a chat with the reindeer. He knows he’s been good all year.
A Very Merry Christmas from Olaf, Bertie and myself.
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 thin-lipped armourer,
Hephaestos, hobbled away,
Thetis of the shining breasts
Cried out in dismay
At what the god had wrought
To please her son, the strong
Iron-hearted man-slaying Achilles
Who would not live long.
– W.H. Auden
From The Shield of Achilles.
I’m on holiday, and away from the net. I’ve scheduled some posts, mostly poetry. I hope you recognise some old favourites, or discover new ones.
boned with ideas,
nerved and blooded with emotions,
all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words.
– Paul Engle
One of the first shots with my new camera is for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate.
‘Tis the last rose of summer, left blooming alone.
All her lovely companions are faded and gone.
No flower of her kindred, no rosebud is nigh,
To reflect back her blushes and give sigh for sigh.
– Thomas Moore
More snow. Seems like winter is getting a foot in the door…
Listen to an ethereal recording of the poem set to music here.
For all that lives, is subject to that law:
All things decay in time, and to their end do draw.
– Edmund Spenser
I love the way colours of hollyhocks deepen into blue when the bloom withers.
The current Daily Prompt: Connect the Dots, is to open the nearest book at page 82, and work the third full sentence on the page into a post. The nearest book was the Oxford Book of English Verse edited by Helen Gardner, and the quote from The Faerie Queen.
i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
– e.e. cummings
The Travel Theme: Bright, and the Jake’s Sunday Post Challenge: Wonderful.
No more be grieved at that which thou hast done:
Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud;
Clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun,
And loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud.
A different view of yesterday‘s rose bush.