I hope everyone has exciting plans for the weekend. My chosen poem this Friday is by an American author Margaret Wise Brown (May 23, 1910 – November 13, 1952). Brown wrote children’s books and poetry.
The Secret Song
Who saw the petals
drop from the rose?
I, said the spider,
But nobody knows.
Who saw the sunset
flash on a bird?
I, said the fish,
But nobody heard.
Who saw the fog
come over the sea?
I, said the sea pigeon,
Who saw the first
green light of the sun?
I, said the night owl,
The only one.
Who saw the moss
creep over the stone?
I, said the grey fox,
Margaret Wise Brown
Today’s quote is one I have read several times whilst doing my Masters work and I rather love it so I thought I would share it with you all. I must admit I always do try to see some good in books even if they are not my cup of tea.
“[Pliny the Elder] used to say that “no book was so bad but some good might be got out of it.”
So on Saturday I celebrated my friend’s 30th in style! Yes, we went to the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London. Now I will be honest I have been quite a few times but I have not seen the Forbidden Forest or Gringotts bank so I was very pleased to visit and see the new scenes.
I will be honest I am terrified of spiders so the Forbidden Forest was a bit of trial for me but I absolutely loved Gringotts bank and it is possibly my second favourite part because of course the ultimate favourite is the castle at the end which is always rather emotional to behold.
What is everyone’s favourite part of the tour?
Here are a few photos from the day!
Today’s poem has a different take on things, instead of focusing on Christopher Columbus discovering America, it focuses on the people who lost their lands.
Lament of an Arawak Child
Once I played with the hummingbirds
and sang songs to the sea
I told my secrets to the waves
and they told theirs to me.
Now there are no more hummingbirds
the sea’s songs are all sad
for strange men came and took this land
and plundered all we had.
They made my people into slaves
they worked us to the bone
they battered us and tortured us
and laughed to hear us groan.
Today we’ll take a long canoe
and set sail on the sea
we’ll steer our journey by the stars
and find a new country.
Classics: A Very Short Introduction by Mary Beard and John Henderson
About the authors
Mary Beard and John Henderson both teach Classics at the University of Cambridge. Mary Beard is a fellow of Newnham College, and John Henderson is a fellow of King’s College, Cambridge.
This Very Short Introduction to Classics links a haunting temple on a lonely mountainside to the glory of ancient Greece and the grandeur of Rome, and to Classics within modern culture – from Jefferson and Byron to Asterix and Ben-Our.
This is not the first A Very Short Introduction book that I have read as I had to read and review the Music one for one of my modules in my Music Degree about ten years ago and I must admit I did enjoy it and found it interesting and I am pleased to say the Classics one did not disappoint.
I read this book as part of the set preparatory reading before my Masters started and I found it to be a great introduction into the field of Classics. The first thing I enjoyed was that the book was all linked to the Temple at Bassae and the frieze panels that are now found at the British Museum. I must admit it left me desperate to visit the British Museum and view the frieze. However I would have liked a little bit more knowledge of other classical elements.
The other element that I really enjoyed was the travelling through time of famous peoples’ encounters with the classics and the Temple of Bassae. I really enjoyed this little book and thought it was an excellent introduction to the classics.
The only reason I gave this book 4 Dragons instead of 5 was that I would have liked a bit more about Classics in general than just a focus on one element which was the temple. I highly recommend this little book to anyone who is intrigued and wanting to learn a little about classics.
Happy Wednesday Everyone!
First of all a very big HELLO to all my new followers recently! Thank you for following my blog and I hope you enjoy reading it.
The quote this week is by Thomas Paine who wrote a series essays titled The American Crisis in 1776. He was also called ‘Father of the American Revolution’ because of his pamphlet Common Sense which was in defence of American independence from England.
“I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection.”
Thomas Paine 1776
As some of you know I have been doing a Level 3 Accredited Diploma in Diet and Nutrition. Today I can officially say I have passed! I am so happy about this as it was a completely different field of study for me so I was rather worried about it but after reading a lot of books and all my course material I managed to complete all my assignments and pass.
Now I love a challenge so this week I started my next challenge which will take me two years to complete. I have started a Masters in Classical Studies with the Open University and I am very excited! This will be a new challenge which I am hoping will include a lot of reading because I love reading! I’m also looking forward to learning a bit about archaeology as well because that is also included in the course.
So if my reviews and books change to a more classical theme you now all know why.
Wish me luck!
I would love to hear from anyone who is also taking Classical studies or has taken classical studies.
Summer is officially over so I thought it high time to reflect on my Goodreads Summer Reading Challenge. Sadly I did not complete it but I did learn a few things. Here is the result.
Good as gold:- The Casual Vacancy by J. K Rowling
The Book is Better:- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
On the bandwagon:- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood
Short and sweet:- The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
Actually want to read:- Jaws by Peter Benchley
Not from around here:- Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
In a friend zone:- The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell
Wheel of format:- Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
Past love:- Matilda by Roald Dahl
Armchair Traveler:- A Room with a View by E. M. Forster
First of all I spent way too much time on a book I really regret reading which was The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, I really wish I had just stopped reading it because I did not enjoy it and wasted a great deal of my free time reading a book I found tiresome. This is a lesson I keep telling myself to learn from but sadly I don’t, maybe this time I will.
The second thing I learned was I hated having a reading list! I want to read these books eventually and I had options but I found myself regretting the choices and wanting to read other books which I did and so did not complete the challenge in the allotted time. I think from now on I will avoid challenges and just choose whatever I want to read when I want because I really did not enjoy the challenge. I loved choosing the books but not feeling like I had to read them.
However, doing the challenge has taken a few books off my enormous TBR list, so it wasn’t all bad.
What does everyone think of reading challenges? Yes or No? I would love to hear your thoughts.
I hope you all have a fantastic weekend planned.
Today’s poem is by a new poet for me, Eve Merriam. Eve Merriam was an American poet and writer.
On the pad of my thumb
are whorls, whirls, wheels
in a unique design:
What a treasure to own!
My own flesh, my own feelings.
No other, however grand or base,
can ever contain the same.
thumbing the pages of my time.
My universe key,
I am myself,
of all my atom parts I am the sum.
And out of my blood and my brain
I make my own interior weather,
my own sun and rain.
Imprint my mark upon the world
whatever I shall become.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
About the author
Margaret Atwood born 18th November 1939 is a Canadian author, poet, essayist and literary critic. She has written numerous fiction and non-fiction books, books of poetry and children’s books. She has won the Giller Prize in Canada, Premio Mondello in Italy and the 2000 Booker Prize. She was also awarded the Asturias Prize for Literature in 2008.
The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire – neither Offred’s nor that of the two men on which her future hangs.
This has been on my TBR pile for a very long time and this summer I put it on my reading challenge to make sure I read it. Now please bare with me on this review because I think it might prove controversial.
I did enjoy the book and found the idea of it rather terrifying at times but I must admit for me it did not have the WOW factor. The main reason for this I think is the way it was written, at times I found it frustrating how it kept flitting from past to present all the time. I would have much rather had more of the present rather than the past because I found the bits from the past broke the narrative up for me. I understand why Atwood did this but for me it really did not work.
I enjoyed the story and the concept was good and well thought out but I just can not understand what all the hype is about. I was left underwhelmed and wondering if I had read the same book as everyone else. However I was left wanting to know more at the end of the book so I am very pleased that I have purchased the sequel and will be starting to read it now, I just hope it will be a better read.
I liked the characters but I would have liked more from them, I just could not connect with them and I just felt frustrated and wanting more. I must admit this book took me a long time to read because some days I just could not be bothered with it and for me that is never a good sign and why I only gave the book 3 out of 5 Dragons. The reason it did not get lower was because I was left wanting more. However I do not think I will be reading this book again.