Sunday, May 27, 2018

BW22: Men Who March Away


This week we are celebrating the anniversary of Thomas Hardy's birthday 178 years ago.  His poem, Men Who March Away, was written and published in the Times on September 9, 1914.  He was inspired by Dorset soldiers marching to the train station on their way to fight in France during World War I.  




Men Who March Away

by

June 2, 1840 - January 11, 1928



What of the faith and fire within us
Men who march away
Ere the barn-cocks say
Night is growing gray,
Leaving all that here can win us;
What of the faith and fire within us
Men who march away?


Is it a purblind prank, O think you,
Friend with the musing eye,
Who watch us stepping by
With doubt and dolorous sigh?
Can much pondering so hoodwink you!
Is it a purblind prank, O think you,
Friend with the musing eye?


Nay. We well see what we are doing,
Though some may not see—
Dalliers as they be—
England's need are we;
Her distress would leave us rueing:
Nay. We well see what we are doing,
Though some may not see!


In our heart of hearts believing
Victory crowns the just,
And that braggarts must
Surely bite the dust,
Press we to the field ungrieving,
In our heart of hearts believing
Victory crowns the just.


Hence the faith and fire within us
Men who march away
Ere the barn-cocks say
Night is growing gray,
Leaving all that here can win us;
Hence the faith and fire within us
Men who march away.


Learn more about the life and poetry and writings of Thomas Hardy through Historic UK, Poetry Foundation, and Online Literature



The poem is fitting as it is also Memorial Day weekend in the U.S. in which we honor those who died in service to our country. The earliest observance began around the time of the civil war

"On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance later that month. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed.

The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle."

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Our Brit Tripp on  Ichnield Way is taking us to Buckinghamshire this week: 

Situated just outside London, Buckinghamshire is known for its scenic beauty (Grand Union Canal and Chilterns) and high property values with a long and distinguished list of residents. During WWII it was the home base of the codebreaking at Bletchly Park.





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Sunday, May 20, 2018

BW21: Bookish Birthdays



It's time for another round of Bookish Birthdays.  We have quite a variety of authors to honor this week.

May 20:  French novelist Honoré de Balzac and Norwegian novelist Sigurd Undset

May 21: Italian poet Dante Alighieri, British poet  Alexander Pope, and American novelist Harold Robbins

May 22:  Scottish author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and American author Peter Patthiessen

May 23: English Poets Thomas Hood and Sheila Wingfield, plus american writers Scott O'Dell and Margaret Wise Brown

May 24: English playwright Sir Arthur Wing Pinero, Russian novelist Mikhail A. Sholokhov, and American Novelist Michael Chabon

May 25:  English writer Edward George Earle Bulwer-Lytton, American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, and American author Robert Ludlum.

May 26:  American Poets Maxwell Bodenheim and Michael Benedikt 


A Guide to Reading Sigurd Undset

The bold, boisterous woman behind the classic children’s tale ‘Goodnight Moon’

Paris Review's Peter Matthiessen, The Art of Fiction No. 157

19 Thing You Didn't Know about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle



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Our Brit Tripping is taking us to Berkshire this week.

Berkshire is famous for the Royal residence at Windsor Castle and its tech industry in modern days. Historically it was well known for its famous battles including the Battle of Newbury during the Civil War.



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Sunday, May 13, 2018

BW20: Happy Mother's Day










My Mother Kept A Garden

(anonymous author) 


My Mother kept a garden,
A garden of the heart.
She planted all the good things
That gave my life it's start.
She turned me to the sunshine
And encouraged me to dream.
Fostering and nurturing
The seeds of self-esteem.
And when the winds and rain came,
She protected me enough.
But not too much because she knew
I'd need to stand up strong and tough.
Her constant good example
Always taught me right from wrong.
Markers for my pathway
That will last a lifetime long.
I am my Mother's garden.
I am her legacy.
And I hope today she feels the love
Reflected back from me.


Happy Mother's Day!

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For our Brit Trippers currently on Ichnield Way on the way to Hampshire.

We now are entering the largest county in England by population and size. Famous birthplace of novelists Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air force, and for the train enthusiasts among us, Isambard Kingdom Brunel.


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Sunday, May 6, 2018

BW19: 52 Books Bingo - Nobel Prize Winners from Scandinavian Penisula

Stockholm


One of our 52 Books Bingo categories is read a book by or about a Nobel Prize Winner.  We have a few authors from the Scandinavian Peninsula who won the Nobel Prize for Literature.   

Finland  
Frans Eemil Sillanpää -  1939


Norway
Sigrid Undset - 1928
Knut Hamsun - 1920

Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson - 1903


Sweden
Tomas Tranströmer - 2011
Eyvind Johnson - 1974
Harry Martinson - 1974
Nelly Sachs - 1966
Pär Lagerkvist - 1951
Erik Axel Karlfeldt - 1931 (posthumously)
Carl Gustaf Verner von Heidenstam -1916
Selma Lagerlöf - 1909

We don't need to limit our reading choices to Nobel Prize Winners to literature.  There are a number of people who won the Nobel Prize for Peace as well as Sciences from the Scandinavian Peninsula.  The complete list broken down by country is available here or on Wikipedia.

10 Things you should know about Finnish Nobel Prize Winner Bengt Holmström

The Nobel Prize: History and Trivia

Culture Trip's Norway's Nobel Laureates 




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For our Brit Trippers currently on Ichnield Way on the way to Dorset:

Famed as one of the most beautiful locations of England, Dorset is located on the English Channel and was the birthplace of the novelist Thomas Hardy and poet William Barnes.


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