Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From A Season in Hell and The Drunken Boat, by Arthur Rimbaud, translated by Louise Verese


"Faim, soif, cris, danse, danse, danse, danse!"*

From A Season in Hell, Bad Blood

*"Hunger, thirst, shouts, dance, dance, dance, dance, dance!"

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From The Captain's Verses, by Pablo Neruda, translated by Donald D. Walsh


  From your hips down to your feet
I want to make a long journey.

I am smaller than an insect.

Over these hills I pass,
hills the colour of oats,
crossed with faint tracks
that only I know,
scorched centimetres,
pale perspectives.

Now here is a mountain.
I shall never leave this.
What a giant growth of moss!
And a crater, a rose
of moist fire!

Coming down your legs
I trace a spiral,
or sleep on the way,
and arrive at your knees,
round hardness
like the hard peaks
of a bright continent.

Sliding down to your feet
I reach the eight slits
of your pointed, slow,
peninsular toes,
and from them I fall down
to the white emptiness
of the sheet, seeking blindly
and hungrily the form
of your fiery crucible!

Monday, November 28, 2016

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Cascando and Other Short Dramatic Pieces, by Samuel Beckett


"Judge then of my astoundment when one fine morning, as I was sitting stricken in the morning room, he slunk in, fell on his knees before me, buried his face in my lap and... confessed."

From Play A Stage Play

Sunday, November 27, 2016

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From My Ears Are Bent, by Joseph Mitchell


"'Look at them angels,' said Durante, smacking his hands together, 'Can you blame me for loving the pickle works?  Why, it's a privilege to work here.  I should be paying the boss for the privilege of working here.  Geeze."

From It's a Living

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Breakfast at the Bookstore with Brad and Nick #97

Daily Dose

From Long Day's Journey into Night, by Eugene O'Neill


"He became a steady champagne drinker, the worst kind.  That was his grand pose, to drink only champagne.  Well, it finished him quick -- that and the consumption -- "

From Act Four

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Sound of an Electric Knife

Daily Dose

From Labyrinths: Selected Stories and Other Writings, by Jorge Luis Borges


"Years of solitude had taught him that, in one's memory, all days tend to be the same, but that there is not a day, not even in jail or in the hospital, which does not bring surprises, which is not a translucent network of minimal surprises."

From The Waiting

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Raw for the Holidays

Daily Dose

From Poems of Ogden Nash


One would be in less danger
From the wiles of a stranger
If one's own kin and kith
Were more fun to be with.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Breakfast on Pluto, by Patrick McCabe


“His eyes begged: ‘Could you love me?’ Well, I could – but I had a lot of things on hand and it really would have to wait.” 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days, by Jeanette Winterson


"It was after a good dinner of trout and potatoes, sitting in front of a blazing log fire, drinking coffee or brandy or both, that one of our number proposed that we tell ghost stories, real ones -- supernatural happenings that had happened to us."

From A Ghost Story

Monday, November 21, 2016

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From The Poems of William Shenstone


Let Sol his annual journeys run,
And when the radiant task is done,
Confess, through all the globe, 'twou'd pose him,
To match the charms that Celia shows him.

And should he boast he once had seen
As just a form, as bright a mien,
Yet must it still for ever pose him
To match - what Celia never shows him.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From The Poems of William Shenstone


Ah me, my Friend! it will not, will not last,
This fairy scene, that cheats our youthful eyes;
The charm dissolves; th' aerial music's past;
The banquet ceases, and the vision flies.

Where are the splendid forms, the rich perfumes?
Where the gay tapers, where the spacious dome?
Vanish'd the costly pearls, the crimson plumes,
And we, delightless, left to wander home!

Vain now are books, the sage's wisdom vain!
What has the world to bribe our steps astray?
Ere Reason learns by studied laws to reign,
The weaken'd passions, self-subdued, obey.

Scarce has the sun seven annual courses roll'd,
Scarce shown the whole that Fortune can supply,
Since, not the miser so caress'd his gold,
As I, for what it gave, was heard to sigh.

On the world's stage I wish'd some sprightly part,
To deck my native fleece with tawdry lace!
'Twas life, 'twas taste, and-oh! my foolish heart!
Substantial joy was fix'd in power and place.

And you, ye works of Art! allured mine eye,
The breathing picture, and the living stone:
'Though gold, though splendour, Heaven and Fate deny,
Yet might I call one Titian stroke my own!'

Smit with the charms of Fame, whose lovely spoil,
The wreath, the garland, fire the poet's pride,
I trimm'd my lamp, consumed the midnight oil-
But soon the paths of health and fame divide!

Oft, too, I pray'd; 'twas Nature form'd the prayer,
To grace my native scenes, my rural home;
To see my trees express their planter's care,
And gay, on Attic models, raise my dome.

But now 'tis o'er, the dear delusion's o'er!
A stagnant breezeless air becalms my soul;
A fond aspiring candidate no more,
I scorn the palm before I reach the goal.

O Youth! enchanting stage, profusely bless'd!
Bliss even obtrusive courts the frolic mind;
Of health neglectful, yet by health caress'd,
Careless of favour, yet secure to find.

Then glows the breast, as opening roses fair;
More free, more vivid, than the linnet's wing;
Honest as light, transparent e'en as air,
Tender as buds, and lavish as the Spring.

Not all the force of manhood's active might,
Not all the craft to subtle age assign'd,
Not Science shall extort that dear delight,
Which gay Delusion gave the tender mind.

Adieu, soft raptures! transports void of care!
Parent of raptures, dear Deceit, adieu!
And you, her daughters, pining with despair,
Why, why so soon her fleeting steps pursue?

Tedious again to curse the drizzling day!
Again to trace the wintry tracks of snow!
Or, soothed by vernal airs, again survey
The self-same hawthorns bud, and cowslips blow!

O Life! how soon of every bliss forlorn!
We start false joys, and urge the devious race;
A tender prey; that cheers our youthful morn,
Then sinks untimely, and defrauds the chase.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From The Poems of William Shenstone

Ah me! what envious magic thins my fold?
What mutter’d spell retards their late increase?
Such lessening fleeces must the swain behold,
That e'er with Doric pipe essays to please.

I saw my friends in evening circles meet;
I took my vocal reed, and tuned my lay;
I heard them say my vocal reed was sweet:
Ah, fool! to credit what I heard them say.

Ill-fated Bard! that seeks his skill to show,
Then courts the judgment of a friendly ear;
Not the poor veteran, that permits his foe
To guide his doubtful step, has more to fear.

Nor could my Graves mistake the critic’s laws,
Till pious Friendship mark’d the pleasing way:
Welcome such error! ever bless’d the cause!
E'en though it led me boundless leagues astray.

Couldst thou reprove me, when I nursed the flame,
On listening Cherwell’s osier banks reclined?
While, foe to Fortune, unseduced by Fame,
I soothed the bias of a careless mind?

Youth’s gentle kindred, Health and Love, were met;
What though in Alma’s guardian arms I play’d?
How shall the Muse those vacant hours forget?
Or deem that bliss by solid cares repaid?

Thou know'st how transport thrills the tender breast
Where Love and Fancy fix their opening reign;
How Nature shines, in livelier colours drest,
To bless their union, and to grace their train.

So first when Phoebus met the Cyprian queen,
And favour’d Rhodes beheld their passion crown’d,
Unusual flowers enrich’d the painted green,
And swift spontaneous roses blush’d around.

Now sadly lorn, from Twitnam’s widow’d bower
The drooping Muses take their casual way,
And where they stop, a flood of tears they pour;
And where they weep, no more the fields are gay.

Where is the dappled pink, the sprightly rose?
The cowslip’s golden cup no more I see:
Dark and discolour’d every flower that blows,
To form the garland, Elegy! for thee.

Enough of tears has wept the virtuous dead;
Ah! might we now the pious rage control!
Hush’d be my grief ere every smile be fled,
Ere the deep-swelling sigh subvert the soul!

If near some trophy spring a stripling bay,
Pleased we behold the graceful umbrage rise;
But soon too deep it works its baneful way,
And low on earth the prostrate ruin lies.

Friday, November 18, 2016

It Ain't Him, Babe

Daily Dose

From The Unnamable, by Samuel Beckett


"... I can think of no one else, it's he showed me everything, here, in the dark, and how to speak, and what to say, and a little nature, and a few names, and the outside of men, ..."

From page 399

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Breakfast at the Bookstore with Brad and Nick #96

Daily Dose

From The Clothing of Books, by Jhumpa Lahiri


"The cover signifies that the text inside is clean, definitive.  It is no longer wild, coarse, malleable.  From now on the text is fixed, and yet the cover has a metaphoric function as well.  It transforms the text into and object, something concrete to publish, distribute, and, in the end, sell."

from Chapter 2, Why a Cover?

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Waiting for Godot, by Samuel Beckett


“Let us do something, while we have the chance! It is not every day that we are needed. Not indeed that we personally are needed. Others would meet the case equally well, if not better. To all mankind they were addressed, those cries for help still ringing in our ears! But at this place, at this moment of time, all mankind is us, whether we like it or not. Let us make the most of it, before it is too late! Let us represent worthily for one the foul brood to which a cruel fate consigned us! What do you say?"

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Clairvoyante Clerihew


Oh, poor
Guy Debord!
Lived to see the whole world shackled
By La société du spectacle.

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Panegyric Volumes 1 and 2, by Guy Debord, translated by James Brook and John McHale


"Although I have read a lot, I have drunk even more.  I have written much less than most people who write, but I have drunk much more than most people who drink."

From III

Monday, November 14, 2016

A Caricature

Clerihew of an English Order


Kazuo Ishiguro
Ordered some dishes to go,
Or rather say, "takeaway",
As one would in The Remains of the Day.

Daily Dose

From Collected Essays on Evolution, Nature, and the Cosmos, Volume Two, by Loren Eiseley


"I compose, or I make clever objects with what were originally a tree dweller's hands."

From The Spore Bearers, IV

Sunday, November 13, 2016

A Caricature

Clerihew of Competative Sisters


A. S. Byatt,
On the quiet,
Plays online Scrabble
With Margaret Drabble.

Daily Dose

From Peacock and Vine: On William Morris and Mariano Fortuny, by A. S. Byatt


"William Morris first undertook to represent pomegranates in 1864 -- he produced a design for 'fruit' or 'pomegranates' which originally also contained some elegant olive branches.  Like many designs by Morris the originsl identity is dubious -- is it fruit, is it a pomegranate?  It is oval in shape, rather than round, and looks unlie any pomegranate I have ever seen."

From Pomegranate

Saturday, November 12, 2016

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Collected Essays on Evolution, Nature, and the Cosmos, Volume One, by Loren Eiseley


"Out of the self-knowledge gained by putting dreadful questions man achieves his final dignity."

From The Unexpected Universe, Chapter Two, V

Friday, November 11, 2016

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From An Englishwoman in America, by Isabella Bird


"Though my expectations were in one sense entirely disappointed  on awakening to pleasant consciousness of reposing on the softest of feathers, I did not feel romance enough to wish myself on a buffalo robe on the floor of a log-cabin."

From Chapter X

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Breakfast at the Bookstore with Brad and Nick #95

Daily Dose

From Holy the Firm, by Annie Dillard


"And now outside the window, deep in the horizon, a new thing appears, as if we needed a new thing."

From Part Two, God's Tooth

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From The Call of the Wild, White Fang and Other Stories, by Jack London


"He had been suddenly jerked from the heart of civilization and flung into the heart of things primordial."

From The Call of the Wild, Chapter II, The Law of Club and Fang

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

With Apologies to Susan B. Anthony

"Failure is impossible." -- Susan B. Anthony, at her eighty-sixth birthday celebration (15 February 1906).

Begin again.

Daily Dose

From For the Time Being, by Annie Dillard


"Earth sifts over things.  If you stand still, earth buries you, ready or not.  The debris on the tops of your feet or shoes thickens, windblown dirt piles around it, and pretty soon your feet are underground.  Then the ground rises over your ankles and up your shins.  If the sergeant holds his platoon at attention long enough, he and his ranks will stand upright and buried like the Chinese emperor's army."

from Chapter 5

Monday, November 7, 2016

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From The Duck that Won the Lottery and 99 Other Bad Arguments, by Julian Baggini


"It is a sad fact about the world that just because many things are unpleasant, that doesn't mean they aren't true.  We all know this, and no sensible adult would accept the general principle that something's being unpalatable means that it is not the case.  But however terrible it may be that people would argue like this, as a matter of fact, they do."

From Chapter 79, The awful truth

Sunday, November 6, 2016

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From The Education of Henry Adams, by Henry Adams


"Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit."

From Chapter XVI, The Press (1868)