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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Book of Guys
Audio CD
Narrated wonderfully by the author,
Prairie Home Companion radio host, humorist and
then some, Garrsion Keillor

Listen to him at the excellent
Writer's Almanac
Audio CD




The Book of Guys
Hardcover




Quote:
A few years ago in a poker game I won a membership in a club called The Sons of Bernie and last January, late one night, I drove my truck deep into the woods near River Falls to attend the annual Bernie campfire and drunken orgy of song and self-pity, standing arm in arm with other S.O.B.s around a bonfire under the birches, in a raw wind at twenty below zero, the snowbanks up to our waists, and there, under the Milky Way and a nearly full moon, we ate chili out of cans and drank bourbon whisky and sang mournful songs like Long Black Veil and Old Man River, and complained about women until six o'clock in the morning, when we retired to our homes to recuperate.

There were about thirty of us, and when I arrived ans saw them, I said to myself, "Let's get out of here. You were had in that poker game. This membership isn't worth half the five hundred dollars you gave him for it, the big cheater." It was not my crowd. They were the sort of desperate low-lifes who will tell you a long story for a five-dollar loan, guys who everything unfortunate has happened to, cruel fathers, treacherous friends, abject poverty, rejection by women, dust storms, prison, tuberculosis, car wrecks, the boll weevil, and poor career choices, all the disasters familiar to fans of the great Johnny Cash. Men peak at age nineteen and go downhill, we know that, but, I tell you, they looked so much older and sadder than you want people your own age to look. One glance at those beat-up faces and you could not imagine women loving them at all and I was by far the soberest and the handsomest one in the bunch. "Well, perhaps I will stay for awhile," I thought, "and gather impressions of them so that I can someday write about these poor guys so that they will not be completely forgot."...

(From ADDRESS TO THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF ASSOCIATIONS CONVENTION, MINNEAPOLIS, June 12, 1993, Introduction, pgs. 1-2)


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Passionate Minds
The great love affair of the Englightenment, featuring the scientist Émilie du Châtelet, the poet Voltaire, sword fights, book burnings, assorted kings, seditious verse, and the birth of the modern world
Hardcover
By David Bodanis




Quote:
What had happened? Emilie had known that several individuals at the court who liked to gamble for very high stakes were likely to be there that week. To be ready for those high stakes she'd brought a great deal of cash - 400 louis - with her from Paris, and it seems she'd puzzled out a new strategy she thought she could use. On her first day gambling, however, something had gone wrong, and she'd lost all the 400 louis. Voltaire had quickly given her 200 louis more, and that disappeared too.

She spent the next morning going over what might have happened, and when gambling began again, probably in the late afternoon or early evening, she had more funds in hand: 380 louis that she'd had sent from Paris, much of which she'd had to borrow at high interest.

It was rare for a woman to bet using any intricate strategy, let alone a woman who, it became clear, could very quickly compute changed probabilities as each game went on. The betting continued, and her winnings went up and down...

... By midnight she was somehow losing more, and had to borrow extra funds on her word of honor; by 12:30 a.m. something serious was happening, she was losing a fortune: by about 1 a.m. she was down the immense sum of 84,000 francs - the equivalent in purchasing power of perhaps a million dollars today. It would be hard for that to have happened if all the other players were honest.

... They'd become used to speaking in English when they didn't want the servants to understad what they were saying. Possibly he gave a final quick glance around the room before whispering to her, in English: what did she expect from playing with cheats?

It was a dangerous accusation, even if true. He and Emilie were in the official rooms where gambling had been authorized by the queen, and only the highest aristocaracy was allowed to play here. If someone had been cheating, then it was someone who lived within the very top ciricle of court society.

... That's how they ended up riding quickly to their main lodging, where Longchamp was, and having him rouse the coachman so that they could flee before anyone with powers of arrest could be woken and sent to intercept them. (From Recovery and Escape, pgs. 213-215)


Quote:
Find out how Emilie more than made up her losses, foiling the Fontainebleu cheats into the bargain.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Something Fresh
Paperback
By P.G. Wodehouse




Quote:
Apart, however, from the fact that he was a younger son, and, as such a nuisance in any case, the Honourable Freddie had always annoyed his father in a variety of ways. The Earl of Emsworth was so constituted that no man or thing really had the power to trouble him deeply, but Freddie had come nearer to doing it than anybody else in the world. There had been a consistency, a perseverance, about his irritating performances which had acted on the placid peer as dripping water on a stone. Isolated acts of annoyance would have been powerless to ruffle his calm; but Freddie had been exploding bombs under his nose since he went to Eton.

He had been expelled from Eton for breaking out at night and roaming the streets of Windsor in a false moustache. He had been sent down from Oxford for pouring ink from a second-storey window on to the Junior Dean of his college. He had spent two years at an expensive London crammer's and failed to pass into the Army. He had also accumulated an almost record series of racing debts, besides as shady a gang of friends, for the most part vaguely connected with the turf, as any young man of his age ever contrived to collect.

These things try the most placid of parents, and finally Lord Emsworth had put his foot down. It was the only occasion in his life when he had acted with decision, and he did it with the accumulated energy of years. He stopped his son's allowance, haled him home to Blandings Castle, and kept him there so relentlessly that, until the previous night, when they had come up together by an afternoon train, Freddie had not seen London for nearly a year. (-- p. 26)


Quote:
R. Jones was about fifty years old, grey-haired, of a mauve complexion, jovial among his friends, and perhaps even more jovial with chance acquaintances. It was estimated by envious intimates that his joviality with chance acquaintances, especially with young men of the upper classes with large purses and small foreheads, was worth hundreds of pounds a year to him. There was something about his comfortable appearance and his jolly manner which irresistibly attracted a certain type of young man. It was his good fortune that this type of young man should be the type, financially, most worth attracting.

Freddie Threepwood had fallen under his spell during his short but crowded life in London. They had met for the first time at Derby, but ever since R. Jones had held, in Freddie's estimation, that position of guide, philosopher, and friend, which he held in the estimation of so many young men of Freddie's type.

... R. Jones, like Lord Emsworth, was delighted that Freddie was about to marry a nice girl with plenty of money. The sudden turning off of the tap from which Freddie's allowance had flowed had hit him hard. He had other sources of income, of course, but few so easy and unfailing as Freddie had been in the days of his prosperity. (-- pgs. 30-31)


Quote:
Something Fresh
By P.G. Wodehouse
Audio Cassette
Narrated by Frederick Davidson (aka David Case)




Not our favorite Wodehouse narrator by any means but Davidson does enunciate quite clearly and achieve an inflection of the bemused British aristocrat. Fails to evoke the innocence and gullibility so necessary to Wodehouse protagonists, the poor well-meaning sods who are so easily undone by even the most perfunctory of visits to the country.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vanity Fair
Magazine Subscription
Into the Valley of Death
A strategic passage wanted by the Taliban and al-Qaeda,
جمهوری اسلامی افغانستان Afghanistan's Korengal Valley is among the deadliest pieces
of terrain in the world for U.S. forces. One platoon is considered
the tip of the American spear. Its men spend their days in a
surreal combination of backbreaking labor - building outposts on
rocky ridges - and deadly firefights, while they try to avoid the
mistakes the Russians made. Sebastian Junger and photographer
Tim Hetherington join the platoon's painfully slow advance, as its
soldiers laugh, swear, and run for cover, never knowing which of
them won't make it home
.
January, 2008




Quote:
... "Prison labor is basically what I call it," says a man I know only as Dave. Dave is a counter-insurgency specialist who spends his time at remote outposts, advising and trying to learn. He wears his hair longer than most soldiers, a blond tangle that after two weeks at Restrepo seems impressively styled with dirt. I ask him why the Korengal is so important.

"It's important because of accessibility to Pakistan," he says. "Ultimately, everything is going to Kabul. The Korengal is keeping the Pech River Valley safe, the Pech is keeping Kunar Province stable, and hence what we are hoping is all that takes the pressure off Kabul."

While we are talking, some rounds come in, snapping over our heads and continuing on up the valley. They were aimed at a soldier who had exposed himself above a HESCO. He drops back down, but otherwise, the men hardly seem to notice.

"The enemy doesn't have to good," Dave adds. "The just have to be lucky from time to time."

The Korengal is so desperately fought over because it is the first leg of a former mujahideen smuggling route that was used to bring in men and weapons from Pakistan during the 1980s. From the Korengal, the mujahideen were able to push west along the high ridges of the Hindu Kush to attack Soviet positions as far away as Kabul. It was called the نورستان Nuristan-Kunar corridor, and American military planners fear that al-Qaeda is trying to revive it. If the Americans simply seal off the valley and go around, Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters currently hiding near the Pakistani towns of Dir and Chitral could use the Korengal as a base of operations to strike deep into eastern Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden is rumored to be in the Chitral area, as are his second in command, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, and a clutch of other foreign fighters. While thousands of poorly trained Taliban recruits martyr themselves in southerrn Afghanistan, bin Laden's most highly trained fighters ready themselves for the next war, which will happen in the East.

In addition to strategic value, the Korengal also has the perfect population in which to root an insurgency. The Korengalis are clannish and violent and have successfully fought off every outside attempt to control them - including the Taliban's in the 1990s. They practice the extremist Wahhabi version of Islam and speak a language that even people in the next valley over cannot understand. That makes it extremely difficult for the American forces to find reliable translators. The Korengalis have terraced the steep slopes of their valley into fertile wheat fields and built stone houses that can withstand earthquakes (and, as it turns out, air strikes), and have set about cutting down the enormous cedar trees that cover the upper elevations of the Abas Ghar. Without access to heavy machinery, they simply grease the mountainsides with cooking oil and let the trees rocket several thousand feet to the valley below.

The timber industry has given the Korengalis a measure of wealth that has made them more or less autonomous in the country. حامد کرزي Hamid Karzai's government tried to force them into the fold regulating the export of timber, but the Taliban quickly offered to help them smuggle it out to Pakistan in return for assistance fighting the Americans. The timber is moved past corrupt border guards or along a maze of mountain tracks and donkey trails that cross the border into Pakistan. The locals call these trails buzrao; some American soldiers refer to them as "rat lines." The routes are almost impossible to monitor because they cross steep, forested mountainsides that provide cover from aircraft. After firefights, the Americans can listen in on Taliban radio communications calling for more ammunition to be brought by donkey along these lines. (-- pgs. 91-92)


But the military has made some headway, right?

Wrong.

Quote:
By many measures, Afghanistan is falling apart. The Afghan opium crop has flourished in the past two years and now represents 93 percent of the world's supply, with an estimated street value of $38 billion in 2006. That money helps bankroll an insurgency that is now operating virtually within sight of the capital, Kabul. Suicide bombings have risen eightfold in the past two years, including several devastating attacks in Kabul, and as of October, coalition casualties had surpassed those of any previous year. The situation has gotten so bad, in fact, that ethnic and political factions in the northern part of the country have started stockpiling arms in preparation for when the international community decides to pull out. Afghans - who have seen two foreign powers on their soil in 20 years - are well aware that everything has an end point, and that in their country end points are bloodier than most.

The Korengal is widely considered to be the most dangerous valley in northeastern Afghanistan, and Second Platoon is considered the tip of the spear for the American forces there. Nearly one-fifth of all combat in Afghanistan occurs in this valley, and nearly three-quarters of all the bombs dropped by NATO forces in Afghanistan are dropped in the surrounding area. The fighting is on foot and it is deadly, and the zone of American control moves hilltop by hilltop, ridge by ridge, a hundred yards at a time. There is literally no safe place in the Korengal Valley. Men have been shot while asleep in their barracks tents. (-- p. 86)


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good Time Girls
of the Alaska-Yukon Gold Rush
Hardcover
By Lael Morgan




Quote:
"DIAMOND LIL" DAVENPORT
One of the most colorful madams of the Klondike era, Diamond Lil was based out of Skagway, a major gateway city to Dawson. She had connections with the Chicago underworld but was known to be completely honest in running her house of ill repute. She left the Far North with a fortune, but soon lost it all, ending her days as a scrubwoman in Seattle. (Cutline below a photo of Lil, p. 87)


Quote:
On one of the first boats in was Tex Rickard, a professional gambler and fight promoter who had lost everything in a Dawson faro game, including his immensely profitable Monte Carlo Saloon. In Nome he teamed with Pat Murphy, who already had opened the Northern Saloon. Tex went on to make a second fortune, which he later parlayed into a prime investment in New York City called Madison Square Garden. (-- p. 160)


Quote:
Edith (Neile, the Oregon Mare) did so well (in Fairbanks, Alaska) she invited her friend Klondike Kate Rockwell to join her, and Kate, who had just been publicly jilted by her lover, Alexander Pantages, came north from Seattle hoping for a change of luck.

Unfortunately, Kate was in the middle of a losing streak. Although she had departed Dawson with thousands of dollars only three years earlier, little was left. That she invested in a Fairbanks hotel which burned to the ground in 1906, and she was reduced to dancing at the Floradora for return fare to Seattle. (footnote omitted)

Edith, meanwhile, accumulated enough cash for a real vacation. Since Edna was between marriages, the sisters decided to visit their mother, who had moved to San Francisco. Their timing could not have been worse; they were caught in the Great San Francisco Earthquake. Somehow, in the chaos, Marie managed to hire a rowboat for two dollars and they rowed to safety in Oakland. Much later, in 1918, the sisters would transfer from the Princess Sophia to another boat just before the Sophia sank off Juneau, taking 353 lives. (-- pgs. 303-304)


Somehow they survive and go on to have more misadventures in the north.

Quote:
More Celebrated Women Gamblers, including 'the lady known as Lou,' from the book.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frida Kahlo
The Brush of Anguish
Hardcover
By Martha Zamora




Quote:
A bus happened by, a brightly painted new one with two long benches along the sides. Frida and Alejandro (Gomez Arias, charismatic leader of Cachuchas) felt compelled to catch it. The driver, rushing to cross the busy city on the way out of town, boldly tried to pass in front of a turning streetcar. He didn't succeed: the heavy streetcar moved forward and collided with the bus, pushing relentlessly into its side and pressing against the benches where the passengers sat.

... At the moment of the accident, Frida was more concerned about the loss of her new toy, which had flown out of her hand, than she was with the seriousness of the collision. Alejandro found her bathed in blood, without her clothes, virtually impaled on the rod of a metal handrail. A bag carried by a passenger had spilled gold powder all over, and Frida's bloodied body was sprinkled with it. Curious onlookers cried, "Help for the little ballerina!"

An overall-clad worker, whom Alejandro though he recognized as an employee of the Prepa, looked at Frida and said, "That has to be taken out of her." With no more ado he pulled the metal rod out of Frida's body to the terrible sound of breaking bones. Alejandro, horrified, carried her to a pool hall across the street, put her on a table, and covered her with the shreds of his ruined coat. They waited for an ambulance as Frida screamed in pain.

...A description of the wounds Frida suffered in the accident was compiled by her doctor in a clinical history years later: "Fracture of the third and fourth lumbar vertebrae; pelvic fractures; fracture of the right foot; dislocation of the left elbow; deep abdominal wound produced by a metal rod entering through the left hip and exiting through the genitals. Acute peritonitis, cystitis with drainage for several days."

... Frida suffered grim periods of relapse, questionable medical treatments, a long series of confining plaster and metal corsets, and numerous operations. The backwardness of medical technology at that time in Mexico resulted in some grotesque therapy.

She wrote to Alejandro, "This Friday they put me in a plaster cast and since then it has been a real martyrdom; there is nothing to compare it with. I feel like I am suffocating, with a terrible pain in my lungs and in all my back; I can't even touch my leg, and I can hardly walk, much less sleep. Imagine: they had me hanging, just from my head, for two and a half hours, and afterwards I was propped up on my toes for another hour, while the cast was being dried with hot air. But, even so, when I got home it was still damp...I'll have this martyrdom for three or four months and if this doesn't make me well, I sincerely want to die, because I can't takle it any more. It's not only the physical suffering but also that I don't have the least distraction, I don't get out of this room, I can't do anything, I can't walk, I'm completely without hope now, and above all you're not here."

... Among the vague diagnoses and suggested treatments mentioned in Frida's letters were thermocauterization, an operation to graft a piece of bone from her leg, the discovery of a lesion on her sciatic nerve, and constant changes of immobilizing corsets in different materials. Undoubtedly her recovery and moods were affected by the household gloom dictated by her parents' poor health and the familiy's precarious economic situation. The Casa Azul was still mortgaged, and at one point all the fine furnishings had to be auctioned off. Her mother's daily bad humor coupled with her father's misanthropic behavior caused to describe her home as "one of the saddest I have ever seen." (-- pgs. 25-31)


Not a bio - or an artist - for the feint-hearted.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Testament of Youth
Hardcover
By Vera Brittain


Quote:
More of this sensitive, detailed account of World War I at Omens and Lucky Charms.




Quote:
"All that is left is to wait and work and hope," he had written to me from Maldon on the evening of the day that we said good-bye. "But I am coming back, dear. Let it always be 'when' and not 'if.' As yet everything is incomplete, but last night, unreal as it seems to be, must have some consummation. The day will come when we shall live our unrealized poem through - as we have dreamt it."

... Confidence, however, was difficult just then, for immediately after Roland left me, the casualties began to come through from Neuve Chapelle. As usual the Press had given no hint of that tragedy's dimensions, and it was only through the long casualty lists, and the persistent demoralising rumour that owing to a miscalculation in time thousands of our men had been shot down by our own guns, that the world was gradually coming to realise something of what the engagement had been. The 6th Sherwood Foresters, which included many of the Buxton young men, had left for France three wweeks earlier; they were incorrectly reported to have been involved in the battle, and rumours of death and wounds were already abroad. It was not an encougaging moment for bidding farewell to a lover, and, as often happened in periods of absorbing stress, a quotation from Longfellow slipped, unimpeded by literay eclecticism, into my diary:

The air is full of farewells to the dying,
And mournings for the dead;
The heart of Rachel for her children crying
Will not be comforted
.

(From the chapter entitled, Learning Versus Life, pgs. 136-137)


Quote:

View Roland's tender poem of April, 1914 for Vera at Gambling on God.



Quote:
Testament of Youth
BBC Miniseries
VHS only!




Quote:
Not for the feint of heart, this excellent series based on Vera Brittain's eloquent autobiography provides a rich historical monument to the tragedy of that war, including the devastating effects of mustard gas.


PokerPulse recommended listening for foreign affairs offices worldwide:

Quote:
Lest We Forget
A collection of poetry & music dedicated
to the memory of those who fell in two
world wars

Audio CD
Featuring Derek Jacobi, John Gielgud and the
BBC Symphony Orchestra



Quote:
Pomp & circumstance: March no. 4 in G major / Elgar -- Lines from For the fallen / Binyon -- On the idle hill of summer / Housman -- In time of the breaking nations / Hardy -- Salut d'amour / Elgar -- The autumn of the world / Read -- The planets: Mars, the bringer of war / Holst -- Attack ; The general / Sassoon -- For the fallen / Binyon -- In memoriam / Thomas -- The dead (IV) / Brooker -- Returning, we hear the larks / Rosenberg -- Everyone sing / Sassoon -- Chanson de matin / Elgar -- On the dead in Gallipoli / Maserfield -- Elegy / Elgar -- Before action / Hodgson -- The soldier / Brooke -- Futility / Owen -- In Flanders Fields / McCree -- Chanson de nuit / Elgar -- The hand that signed the paper / Thomas -- Summer night on the river / Delius -- To a conscript of 1940 / Read -- Watching post / Lewis -- Naming of parts / Reed -- All day it has rained / Lewis -- Peter Grimes: Dawn / Britten -- Song of the dying gunner / Causley -- For Johnny / Pudney -- Planets: Venus, the bringer of peace / Holst -- Midnight, May 7th, 1945 / Dickinson -- Will it be so again? / Lewis -- At the British war cemetery, Bayeux / Causley -- Enigma Variations: Nimrod / Elgar -- And death shall have no dominion / Thomas -- Pomp & circumstance: March no 1 in D major / Elgar -- Lines from For the fallen / Binyon.

Elgard, Edward, 1857-1934.
Holst, Gustav, 1874-1934.
Delius, Frederick, 1862-1934.
Calvert, Phyllis.
Gielgud, John, Sir, 1904-
Orr, Peter.
Jacobi, Derek.
Davis, Andrew, 1944-
BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Includes readings of poetry by Laurence Binyon; A.E. Housman; Thomas Hardy; Herbert Read; Edward Thomas; Rupert Brooke and others.

Should be required listening by governments everywhere contemplating the unoriginal and uncreative decision to go to war. Beautifully edited and executed, this CD must have been a labor of love for all concerned.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One Hundred Years of
Poetry for Children

Hardcover
Edited by Michael Harrison and
Christopher Stuart-Clark




Quote:
Midsummer, Tobago

Derek Walcott

Broad sun-stoned beaches.

White heat.
A green river.

A bridge,
scorched yellow palms

from the summer-sleeping house
drwosing through August.

Days I have held,
days I have lost,

days that outgrow, like daughters,
my harbouring arms.

(From the section, Scenes, at p. 117)


More selections of the book here.

A healthy mix of classics like this one and, of course, Fern Hill, as well as lesser known works.

Quote:
More PokerPulse ESL Gambler's Guide to Children's Literature


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Loving
Poetry and Art

Edited by Charles Sullivan


Quote:
Another lovely
Charles Sullivan poetry and art collection
.




Quote:
And still ANOTHER
lovely Charles Sullivan collection
.


Quote:
A PITY - WE WERE SUCH A GOOD INVENTION
Yehuda Amichai
TRANSLATED FROM HEBREW BY ASSIA GUTMANN

They amputated
Your thighs off my hips.
As far as I'm concerned
They are all surgeons. All of them.

They dismantled us
Each from the other.
As far as I'm concerned
They are all engineers. All of them.

A pity. We were such a good
And loving invention.
An aeroplane made from man and wife.
Wings and everything.
We hovered a little above the earth.

We even flew a little .

(--p. 15, adjacent to The Fall of Man and The Expulsion from the Garden of Eden by Michalangelo. 1508-12. Fresco, from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, The Vatican, Rome)


Quote:
TONIGHT I CAN WRITE THE SADDEST LINES
Pablo Neruda
TRANSLATED FROM SPANISH BY W.S. MERWIN


Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example, "The night is shattered
and the blue stars shiver in the distance."

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest liunes.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms.
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is shattered and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight searches for her as though to go to her.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are lno longer the same.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another's. She will be another's. Like my kisses before.
Her voice. Her bright body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.

(-- pgs. 12-13)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Art & Love
An Illustrated Anthology
of Love Poetry

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Selected by Kate Farrell


Quote:
MORE of the book at Impossible Odds.




Quote:
STILL MORE of the book at Omens and Lucky Charms.


Quote:
YOU WHO NEVER ARRIVED

You who never arrived
in my arms, Beloved, who were lost
from the start
,
I don't even know what songs
would please you. I have given up trying
to recognize you in the surging wave of the next
moment. All the immense
images in me - the far-off, deeply-felt landscape,
cities, towers, and bridges, and un-
suspected turns in the path,
and those powerful lands that were once pulsing with the life of the gods --
all rise within me to mean
you, who forever elude me.

You, Beloved, who are all
the gardens I have ever gazed at,
longing. An open window
in a country house --, and you almost
stepped out, pensive, to meet me. Streets that I chanced upon, --
you had just walked down them and vanished.
And sometimes, in a shop, the mirrors
were still dizzy with your presence and, startled, gave back
my too-sudden image. Who knows? perhaps the same bird echoed through both of us
yesterday, separate, in the evening...

Rainer Maria Rilke, Austrian. 1875-1926

(-- p. 51, adjacent to Origin of the Greek Vase. Auguste
Rodin. French. 1840-1917. Watercolor, gouache, and pencil.)


Quote:
SONNET XLIII,
FROM THE PORTUGUESE


HOW do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints
, -I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! - and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, English, 1806-1861

(-- p. 68, adjacent to The Music Lesson. Modeled by
Joseph Willems. English (Chelsea). Soft-paste porcelain,
1762-1765)


Quote:
SONNET XVIII

Shall I compare thee to a Summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And Summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And oft' is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance
or nature's changing course untrimm'd:
But thy eternal Summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wanderest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

William Shakespeare, English, 1564-1616

(-- p. 73, adjacent to The Beach at Sainte-Adresse.
Claude Monet, French. 1840-1926. Oil on canvas, 1867.


Quote:
I WALKED PAST A HOUSE WHERE I LIVED ONCE

I walked past a house where I lived once:
a man and a woman are still together in the
whispers there.
Many years have passed with the quiet hum
of the staircase bulb going on
and off and on again.

The keyholes are like little wounds
where all the blood seeped out. And inside,
people pale as death.

I want to stand once again as I did
holding my first love all night long in the doorway.
When we left at dawn, the house
began to fall apart and since then the city and
since then
the whole world
.

I want to be filled with longing again
till dark burn marks show on my skin.

I want to be written again
in the Book of Life, to be written every single day
till the writing hand hurts.

Yehuda Amichai, Israeli, bo. 1924

(-- p. 114, adjacent to Thursday. John Moore, American, b. 1941,
Oil on canvas, 1980.)


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Time's River
The Voyage of Life in Art and Poetry
National Gallery of Art, Washington
Hardcover
Selected by Kate Farrell


Quote:


MORE of the book.

MORE of Kate Farrell's art/poetry collections.





Quote:
Sonnet XXIX

When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts my self almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

William Shakespeare, English, 1564-1616

(-- p. 90, adjacent to Edouard Vuillard, Repast in a Garden, 1898)


Quote:

More of the bard at PokerPulse Gambler's Guide to Shakespeare.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Winner Take Nothing
Hardcover
By Ernest Hemingway


Quote:

More Hemingway.





Quote:
STILL MORE Hemingway.



Quote:
"Why not try some," Mr. Frazer asked the thin one. "Let a little mount to your head."

"Afterwards comes the headache," said the thin one.

"Could you not send friends of Cayetano to see him?" Frazer asked.

"He has no friends."

"Every man has friends."

"This one, no."

"What does he do?"

"He is a card-player."

"Is he good?"

"I believe it."

"From me," said the smallest one, "he won one hundred and eighty dollars. Now there is no longer one hundred and eighty dollars in the world."

"From me," said the thin one, "he won two hundred and eleven dollars. Fix yourself on that figure."

"I never played with him," said the fat one.

"He must be very rich," Mr. Frazer suggested.

"He is poorer than we," said the little Mexican. "He has no more than the shirt on his back."

"And that shirt is of little value now," Mr. Frazer said. "Perforated as it is."

"Clearly."

"The one who wounded him was a card-player?"

"No, a beet worker. He has to leave town." (From The Gambler, The Nun, The Radio, pgs. 138-139)


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Loser Takes All
Paperback
By Graham Greene


Quote:

More Graham Greene.





Quote:
More of the book.



Quote:
I discovered that, as on the stock exchange, money bred money. I would now use ten-thousand-franc squares instead of two-hundred-franc tokens, and inevitably at the end of the day I found myself richer by several million. My good fortune became known: casual players would bet on the squares where I had laid my biggest stake, but they had not protected themselves, as I had with my other stakes, and it was seldom that they won. I noted a strange aspect of human nature, that though my system worked and theirs did not, the veterans never lost faith in their own calculations - not one abandoned his elaborate schemes, which led to nothing but loss, to follow my victorious method. The second day, when I had already increased my five million to nine, I heard an old lady say bitterly, 'What deplorable luck,' as though it were my good fortune alone that prevented the wheel revolving to her system.

On the third day I began to attend the Casino for longer hours - I would put in three hours in the morning in the kitchen and the same in the afternoon, and then of course in the evening I settled down to my serious labour in the Salle Privee. Cary had accompanied me on the second day and I had given her a few thousand francs to play with (she invariably lost them), but on the third day I thought it best to ask her to stay away. I found her anxious presence at my elbow distracting, and twice I made amiscalculation because she spoke to me. 'I love you very much, darling,' I said to her, 'but work is work. You go and sunbathe, and we'll see each other for meals.'

'Why do they call it a game of chance?' she said.

'How do you mean?'

'It's not a game. You said it yourself - it's work. You've begun to commute. Breakfast at nine thirty sharp, so as to catch the first table. What a lot of beautiful money you're earning. At what age will you retire?' (Part II, pgs. 71-72)


Quote:
Compare Greene's system with Hemingway's advice on how to win at roulette.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Nick Adams Stories
Hardcover
By Ernest Hemingway


Quote:

More Hemingway.





Quote:
Like all men with a faculty that surpasses human requirements, his father was nery nervous. Then, too, he was sentimental, and, like most sentimental people, he was both cruel and abused. Also, he had much bad luck, and it was not all of it his own. He had died in a trap that he had helped only a little to set, and they had all betrayed him in their various ways before he died. All sentimental people are betrayed so many times. Nick could not write about him yet, although he would, later, but the quail country made him remember him as he was when Nick was a boy and he was very grateful to him for two things, fishing and shooting. His father was as sound on those two things as he was unsound on sex, for instance, and Nick was glad that it had been that way; for someone has to give you your first gun or the opportunity to get it and use it, and you have to live where there is game or fish if you are to learn about them, and now, at thirty-eight, he loved to fish and to shoot exactly as much as when he first had gone with his father. It was a passion that had never slackened and he was very grateful to his father for bringing him to know it.

While for the other, that his father was not sound about, all the equipment you will ever have is provided and each man learns all there is for him to know about it without advice; and it makes no difference where you live. (From Fathers and Sons, p. 258)

Like most of Hemingway, these stories collected and arranged chronoligically according to the age of the protagonist in this volume, gather heft and muscle with each read.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

COUNTRY LIFE
Weekly Magazine Subscription
Country Crusader
Foot-and-mouth: the death knell for Defra?
Aug. 9/07




Quote:
Agriculture is a vulnerable business. In the space of a few years, we have seen swine fever decimate the pig herd, foot-and-mouth take eight billion pounds out of the economy, bird flu destroy the livelihoods of hundreds of workers and small farmers, and floods leave fields and farm buildings under water. Now comes a return of the dreaded foot-and-mouth, an immediate and correct imposition of an EU export ban, and the destruction of yet more animals as Mr Borwn seeks to show, this time, the Government has it under control.

Yet it seems that this time, it's the Government itself that may have been to blame, not for failing to stop the spread of the disease, but for starting it in the first place. The finger of suspicion points to the Ministry research site at Pirbright. This is a centre that has suffered much from recent cuts, including those imposed to pay for Defra's own failure in the useless Rural Payments Agency (RPA).

... If this outbreak turns out to originate at Pirbright, Defra will have to take 100% of the blame. It allowed the production of vaccine so near to the animals it was supposed to protect. It cut the already inadequate funding to make up for the huge sums squandered by the RPA. It failed to demad adequate resources from Mr. Brown. It must carry the can. (-- p. 32)


The Canadian perspective on BSE - blame the U.S.

Harrowsmith
Country Life

Magazine Subscription
Where the buffalo roam
Water buffalo cheese isn't the only attraction at
Vancouver Island's newest and most talked about
culinary retreat. But it's an unusual start
.
By Tom Cruickshank
August, 2007


Quote:
More about Fairburn Farm and the buffalo.



Quote:
All they wanted to do was raise a small herd of exotic livestock. Instead, Darrel and Anthea Archer found themselves in a legal quagmire that cost them their savings, sapped their energy and catapulted them head-first into the BSE scare. It's been a rough ride since it all started in 2000, but at last, the dust seems to have settled.

"At first, things went according to plan," says Anthea, recalling that after years working with Brown Swiss and other dairy cattle, she and Darrel thought it would be novel to try their hand with abreed of fiver buffalo called Murrah. "There were none in Canada, but our research showed that they had many factors in their favour," continues Anthea. Gentle and easy to handle despite their forbidding size, river buffalo thrive on pasture and don't need commercial feed. They are exceptionally hady, free of foot rot, pink eye and other diseases which cattle are routinely medicated with antibiotics. Best of all, their milk is six to nine per cent fat, about double that of cow's milk. "It's ideal for making cheese," says Anthea. When the couple found some animals for sale in Denmark, they went through documented channels and shipped them to Vancouver. Local cheesemakers were already excited at the prospect of making buffalo cheese.

Then all hell broke loose. While the Archers' animals were still in quarantine at their farm, a single case of mad cow disease (BSE) was diagnosed back in Denmark. "At first, we weren't alarmed," says Darrel. "After all, our animals had a clean bill of health, and besides, BSE strikes cattle, not buffalo." But the American government decreed that all ruminants - be they cows, sheep, goats, pigs or, yes, buffalo - with a Danish pedigree had to be destroyed and their brains tested after death (the only way to determine the presence of mad cow disease). And in an effort not to jeopardize the major market for Canadian meat, our authorities were determined to comply. The Archers were thunderstruck.

Thus began three years of legal battles....

... today, the herd numbers 45, of which 24 are being milked. Now at an age when most people are thinking of retiring, the Archers are just getting started, selling their buffalo milk to a local artisan cheese factory. (From Battle for the Buffalo, p. 46)


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