Friday Poetry: Ted Hughes

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone has had a good week so far and everyone has exciting weekend plans. I have a busy weekend of work but I am hoping to fit in some reading time as well.

My chosen poem today is by the English poet Ted Hughes (1930-1998). Hughes was also a translator and children’s author. He was appointed poet laureate in 1984 and held the post until his death.

Leaves

Who's killed the leaves?
Me, says the apple, I've killed them all. 
Fat as a bomb or a cannonball
I've killed the leaves. 

Who sees them drop?
Me, says the pear, they will leave me all bare
So all the people can point and stare.
I see them drop. 

Who'll catch their blood?
Me, me, me, says the marrow, the marrow.
I'll get so rotund that they'll need a wheelbarrow.
I'll catch their blood. 

Who'll make their shroud?
Me, says the swallow, there's just time enough
Before I must pack all my spools and be off.
I'll make their shroud.

Who'll dig their grave?
Me, says the river, with the power of the clouds
A brown deep grave I'll dig under my floods. 
I'll dig their grave.

Who'll be their parson?
Me, says the Crow, for it is well known
I study the bible right down to the bone.
I'll be their parson.

Who'll be chief mourner?
Me, says the wind, I will cry through the grass
The people will pale and go cold when I pass.
I'll be chief mourner.

Who'll carry the coffin?
Me, says the sunset, the whole world will weep
To see me lower it into the deep. 
I'll carry the coffin.

Who'll sing a psalm?
Me, says the tractor, with my gear-grinding glottle
I'll plough up the stubble and sing through my throttle.
I'll sing the psalm.

Who'll toll the bell?
Me, says the robin, my song in October
Will tell the still gardens the leaves are over.
I'll toll the bell.

Ted Hughes

Happy Reading

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This and That Thursday

Hello!

So I thought it was time for an update of what I have been up to recently.

Birthday

Last week was my birthday and although I was teaching all day I did still have a lovely day. My husband cooked dinner and made me a few cocktails and then I had some presents to open. The following day I went out for a meal and also had one or two cocktails.

Hay on Wye

We went for a little holiday this week as it was half term and we chose Hay on Wye. I will be honest I was in my element and bought so many books. I also played a lot of Pokemon Go and completed loads of tasks that had been sat waiting for what seems like forever. I came home with three canvas bags full of books. Half of one of the bags were books that my husband had chosen but the rest were mine. It was so nice to get away for a break and just relax. The picture of the book stack contains the books bought from the first day. My favourite bookshop was Richard Booth.

Latin Lessons

I’m also half way through my first term of Latin lessons with City Lit. I’m really enjoying the translation tasks and although I’m finding it tricky I am slowly starting to get the hang of it.

The rest of the time has been the usual suspects of work and instrument practice and of course reading.

Happy Reading

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Mid Week Quote: Hans Christian Andersen

Happy Wednesday.

My chosen quote for today is by Hans Christian Anderson (1805-1875). Andersen was a Danish author best known for his fairytales.

“Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale.”

Hans Christian Andersen

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

WWW Wednesday: 27/10/2021

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The rules are answer the questions below and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you will read next?

Hello!

I hope everyone is having a good week so far. I have been really getting back into my reading this week and I have finally been catching up on my Goodreads Challenge.

What I am Currently Reading

I’m still chipping away at this and although I am really enjoying it and I love Beard’s writing I do have to read in short stints as there is a lot of information to absorb.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

This is my first Brian McGilloway novel and I enjoyed it so much I have bought the next two in the Ben Devlin series. Stefan Zweig was also another new author for me and one that I will happily read more of.

What I Think I will Read Next

My next book could be one of these but I also went on a little adventure at the beginning of the week and I purchased a lot of new books. I will tell you all about my adventures tomorrow.

Please drop me a comment with your WWW Wednesday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Weekly Brief

Happy Sunday!

I hope everyone is having a good weekend. Blogging has gone slightly better this week thankfully.

Here is what has been happening on the blog.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

This is the first book I have read by Brian McGilloway and so far I am absolutely loving it.

Books Acquired

I had all these lovely books for my birthday and I can’t wait to get reading them all.

Happy Reading

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In the Shadow of Queens by Alison Weir (Review)

In the Shadow of Queens by Alison Weir

Blurb

Behind every great king stands a queen. And behind every queen, the whole court watches on…

Over the years of his reign, six different women took their place beside King Henry VIII of England as his wife and queen.

But the real stories of the six Tudor queens belong to those who lived among them. Played out in glittering palaces and whispering courts, these are tales of the people who loved and served these women, and those who lied and betrayed them.

Collected together for the first time, In the Shadow of Queens reveals thirteen startling stories from the Tudor court, told by those at the very heart of that world.

Review

I had already read the first few of these short stories on my Kindle but when I saw that the complete set had been put into a book I immediately ordered myself a copy. 

I reread the first few stories and then read the rest of the book. The only story that I really did not enjoy was the very last story. I found it so sad and disgraceful that poor Katharine Parr was not allowed to rest in peace and her grave was opened up and and vandalised so many times over the years. 

I must admit the stories got longer as the book went on which seemed a shame because the first few stories were very short in comparison. I would have liked the first few stories to be longer. I really enjoyed how Weir chose her topics for the stories. They were all connected with the queens in some way but some were based on places and some on people even if they were quite obscure people. 

I also really enjoyed Weir’s notes about what was historically accurate and what bits she embellished by herself. All the stories offered new view points of the queens lives which was really interesting. I particularly enjoyed the story about the infant Mary Seymour which we sadly know so little about. 

Overall I really enjoyed this book and I am very sad the series have come to end. I will definitely be reading more books by Weir. I give this book 4 out of 5 Dragons.

🐲🐲🐲🐲

Purchase Links

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Alison Weir was born in 1951 and is a British writer of history books, and latterly historical novels, mostly in the form of biographies about British Royalty.

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Friday Poetry: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Happy Friday!

My chosen poem this week is by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882). Longfellow was an American poet and educator. He was also the first American to translate Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy and was one of the Fireside Poets from New England.

The Village Blacksmith

Under a spreading chestnut-tree
The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.

His hair is crisp, and black, and long,
His face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat,
He earns whate'er he can,
And looks the whole world in the face,
For he owes not any man. 

Week in, week out, from morn till night, 
You can hear his bellowed blow;
You can hear him swing his heavy sledge,
With measured beat and slow,
Like a sexton ringing the village bell,
When the evening sun is low.

And children coming home from school
Look in at the open door;
The love to see the flaming forge,
And hear the bellows roar,
And catch the burning sparks that fly
Like chaff from a threshing-floor.

He goes on Sunday to the church,
And sits among his boys;
He hears the parson pray and preach,
He hears his daughter's voice,
Singing in the village choir,
And it makes his heart rejoice.

It sounds to him like her mother's voice,
Singing in Paradise!
He needs must think of her once more,
How in the grave she lies;
And with his hard, rough hand he wipes
A tear out of his eyes. 

Toiling, - rejoicing, - sorrowing,
Onward through life he goes;
Each morning sees some task begin,
Each evening sees it close;
Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a night's repose.

Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
For the lesson thou hast taught!
Thus at the flaming forge of life
Our fortunes must be wrought;
Thus on its sounding anvil shaped
Each burning deed and thought. 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Happy Reading

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Mid Week Quote: Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happy Wednesday!

I hope everyone is having a good week so far. Today is my birthday and although I’m working all day I am hoping for a few treats.

My chosen quote today is by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) who was an American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, abolitionist and poet.

“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

WWW Wednesday: 20/10/2021

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The rules are answer the questions below and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you will read next?

Hello!

We are halfway through the week. Yesterday I got loads of reading done as I didn’t have much teaching. Sadly, today will not contain much reading due to loads of teaching.

What I am Currently Reading

Still chipping away at SPQR, I very much doubt I will get it finished by the end of the month. Just started the Angela Carter yesterday, so far so good.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

I’ve had a busy week on the reading front. Wish You Were Dead was my first Peter James book and I will definitely be reading more of his books.

What I Think I will Read Next

I have so many books to choose from that I have no idea what I will read next but it will possibly be one of these books.

Please drop me a comment with what you are reading this week.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Wish You Were Dead by Peter James (Review)

Wish You Were Dead by Peter James

Blurb

Wish You Were Dead is a Quick Read short story from bestselling author Peter James. Roy Grace and his family have left Sussex behind for a week’s holiday in France. The website promised a grand house, but when they arrive the place is very different from the pictures. And it soon becomes clear that their holiday nightmare is only just beginning. An old enemy of Roy, a lowlife criminal he had put behind bars, is now out of jail – and out for revenge. He knows where Roy and his family have gone on holiday. Of course he does. He’s been hacking their emails – and they are in the perfect spot for him to pay Roy back . . . 

Review

I got this book because I saw a review of it on bookstagram and thought it sounded good and I do enjoy the occasional quick read. This is also my first book by Peter James and it will definitely not be my last. 

I flew through this book and not because it was a quick read, I just could not put it down. Detective Roy Grace is on holiday but after a long and arduous drive where his son drives him mad with the constant “are we there yet?” The drive ends with a disappointing location which looks nothing like what was on the website and something more out of a horror film. Grace’s wife wants to leave straight away but there is no way Grace is doing anymore driving. 

The first mystery that faces them is where Jack is. Jack is meant to already be at the house but he isn’t and because of no phone line and no phone signal they have no way of contacting him. However, it soon becomes clear that Jack’s absence is not the only odd thing the family are encountering. Somebody else knows where Grace and his family are on holiday and this person is far from savoury and will soon make an appearance. 

The story moves very quickly which is to be expected due to the book being a quick read but this just added to the tension in my opinion. I really enjoyed this book and will be getting more books about Detective Roy Grace. I give this book 4 out of 5 Dragons. 

🐲🐲🐲🐲

Purchase Links

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Peter James is a UK number one bestselling author, best known for his crime and thriller novels. He is the creator of the much loved detective Roy Grace. His books have been translated into thirty-seven languages.

He has won over forty awards for his work, including the WHSmith Best Crime Author of All Time Award. Many of his books have been adapted for film, TV and stage. 

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you