History, Literature, Poetry

“A damsel with a dulcimer”

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree: Where Alph, the sacred river, ran Through caverns measureless to man Down to a sunless sea. So twice five miles of fertile ground With walls and towers were girdled round; And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills, Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree; And here… Continue reading “A damsel with a dulcimer”

Animals, History, Literature

It’s National “Hug A Rat Catcher Day!”

Well, not really. While July 22 is celebrated as Rat Catcher’s Day in the United States and a few other countries, it’s not a festivity that has really caught on, and good luck finding a celebratory acknowledgement to send to your friend in the greeting card section of your local supermarket. As far as I… Continue reading It’s National “Hug A Rat Catcher Day!”

Literature, Love, Quote of the Day

Book Recommendation: Corelli’s Mandolin

Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness,… Continue reading Book Recommendation: Corelli’s Mandolin

Literature, Poetry, Quote of the Day

La Belle Dame Sans Merci

She’s the ultimate femme fatale. And it’s one of the oldest stories in the world. The Beautiful Lady Without Pity. (No, for those of you with only rudimentary French, the title doesn't mean The Beautiful Lady Who Never Says Thank You.) The subject of my second-favorite poem by John Keats, which was written in 1819, when Keats was… Continue reading La Belle Dame Sans Merci

Biography, Book Review, Guest Post, Literature

Book Review By Seawriter: A Fresh Look at Tolkien

J.R.R. Tolkien may be the most beloved twentieth-century author with the most diverse reader base. He appeals to Christian and New Age audiences as well as readers across the political spectrum. Fame and fortune were the last things he really sought. An Oxford professor, he just wanted to tell some stories. The Real J.R.R. Tolkien:… Continue reading Book Review By Seawriter: A Fresh Look at Tolkien

Literature, Poetry, Writing

Hot Dish on Haiku

Serendipity! I've recently been re-reading Pattiann Rogers. Her poems are stuffed full of brilliant observations about the physical and metaphysical world. Penned by a gifted writer chock-a-block with scientific knowledge of the natural world, Rogers' work has  a distinct kinship to haiku. But haiku it is not. This set me to thinking about what distinguishes… Continue reading Hot Dish on Haiku

Animals, Humor, Literature

Celebrating National Frog Jumping Day

Happy May 13,  National Frog Jumping Day! I can’t think of a better way to celebrate it than to reprint here the story which started it all, Mark Twain’s The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.  It was his first significant published work, and appeared as Jim Smiley and his Jumping Frog in The Saturday Press (a weekly New York literary… Continue reading Celebrating National Frog Jumping Day