Friday, May 19, 2017

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman, translated by Henning Koch


"It is very quiet  in the house.  In the whole neighborhood, actually.  Everyone's sleeping.  And only then does Ove realize that the cat will probably wake at the sound of the shot.  Will probably scare the living daylights out of the poor critter, Ove admits.  He thinks about this for a good while before he determinedly sets down the rifle and goes into the kitchen to turn on the radio.  Not that he needs music to take his own life, and not that he likes the idea of the radio clicking its way through units of electricity when he's gone.  But because if the cat wakes up from the bang, it may end up thinking it's just a part of one of those modern pop songs the radio plays all the time these days.  And then go back to sleep.  That is Ove's train of thought."

From Chapter 32, A Man Called Ove Isn't Running a Damned Hotel

Thursday, May 18, 2017

A Caricature

A Clerihew for Zorba


Nikos Kazantzakis
Ends every fracas
With a jape at the Fates
Rather than a pile of broken plates.

Daily Dose

From Zorba the Greek, by Nikos Kazantzakis, translated by Peter Bien


"'As for me,' he said, 'when I crave something, do you know what I do? I eat and eat until I'm satiated.'"

From Chapter XVII

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A Caricature

Clerihew of the Lost Cause


Allen Tate
Has met his fate;
Now he is but little read
And numbered among the Confederate Dead.

Daily Dose

From Collected Poems 1919 - 1976, by Allen Tate


When you are come by ways emptied of light
You'll say goodbye, in that indifferent gloom,
To the quick draughts of old, yet with polite
Anguish of pride recall as an heirloom
A dawn when stars dropped gold about your head
And, so amazed, you knew not were you dead.

For, brother, know that this is art, and you
With a cold incautious sorrow stricken dumb,
Have your own vanishing slit of light let through,
Passionate as winter, where only a few may come:
Not idiots in the street find out the lees
In the last drink of dying Socrates.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Well Traveled Clerihew


The memorabilia
Of Guy Delisle:
Pencils, notebooks, passports, and visas,
And inoculations for foreign diseases.

Daily Dose

From South Riding, by Winifred Holtby


"It was with a sense of exhilaration that she returned to her final shopping. Confession to her friend had lifted a burden of responsibility from her shoulders."

From Book Vi, Chapter 6

Monday, May 15, 2017

Clerihew Tremendismo


Camilo José Cela
Was a bloody difficult fella.
As you'll learn if you get even part way
Through La familia de Pascual Duarte.

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Letters to His Son, by the Earl of Chesterfield


"If I form any conjectures, I keep them to myself, not to be disproved by the event; but, in truth, I form none: I might have known, but would not."

From Letter CCXXI, dated Blackheath, May 18, O. S. 1758

Sunday, May 14, 2017

A Caricature

Clerihew for a Chicago Stylist


Joseph Epstein
Falls somewhere between
His English betters
And the Groucho Marx Letters.

Daily Dose

From Letters to His Son, by the Earl of Chesterfield

"There is nothing so necessary, but at the same time there is nothing more difficult (I know by experience) for you young fellows, than to know how to behave yourselves prudently toward those whom you do not like.  Your passions are warm, and your heads are light; you hate all those who oppose your views, either of ambition or love; and a rival, in either, is almost an enemy."

From Letter CLXXIX, dated London, September 29, 1752

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Clerihew at the Homesick Restaurant


Anne Tyler:
Official compiler
Of Baltimore's

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins, edited by Robert Bridges


Earnest, earthless, equal, attuneable, ' vaulty, voluminous, … stupendous 
Evening strains to be tíme’s vást, ' womb-of-all, home-of-all, hearse-of-all night. 
Her fond yellow hornlight wound to the west, ' her wild hollow hoarlight hung to the height 
Waste; her earliest stars, earl-stars, ' stárs principal, overbend us, 
Fíre-féaturing heaven. For earth ' her being has unbound, her dapple is at an end, as-
tray or aswarm, all throughther, in throngs; ' self ín self steedèd and páshed—qúite 
Disremembering, dísmémbering ' áll now. Heart, you round me right 
With: Óur évening is over us; óur night ' whélms, whélms, ánd will end us. 
Only the beak-leaved boughs dragonish ' damask the tool-smooth bleak light; black, 
Ever so black on it. Óur tale, O óur oracle! ' Lét life, wáned, ah lét life wind
Off hér once skéined stained véined variety ' upon, áll on twó spools; párt, pen, páck 
Now her áll in twó flocks, twó folds—black, white; ' right, wrong; reckon but, reck but, mind 
But thése two; wáre of a wórld where bút these ' twó tell, each off the óther; of a rack 
Where, selfwrung, selfstrung, sheathe- and shelterless, ' thóughts agaínst thoughts ín groans grínd.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Clerihew on an Urn Burial


Sir Thomas Browne,
Of late renown,
While pious, is never preachy
In his Religio Medici.

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Religio Medici and Urn Burial, by Sir Thomas Browne


"There is no man alone, because every man is a Microcosm, and carries the whole world about him."

From Part II, Section Nine

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Clerihew for Ferrara


For Giorgio Bassani
His mission was to pass on the
Neglected truth that the nostalgic
Ends inevitably in the tragic.

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, by Giorgio Bassani, translated by William Weaver


"Even in a city as small as Ferrara, you can manage, if you like, to disappear for years and years, one from another, living side by side like the dead."

From page 246

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Collected Writings, by Jane Bowles


"'When I was a younger man I had a chance to go way down south to Florida,' he continued.  'I had an offer to join forces with with an alligator-farm project, but there was no security in alligators.'"

From Plain Pleasures

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Clerihew for the Master of the Winds


Francois Rabelais
Knew that he had found the way
To make great art
From even the humblest fart.

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Collected Writings, by Jane Bowles


"I think it is very necessary to be able to get out of New York the minute you want to. More important than getting into it."

From a letter to Charles Henri Ford, dated Staten Island, Fall 1939

Monday, May 8, 2017

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo, translated by Isabel Florence Hapgood


"There is nothing like dogma for bringing forth dreams.  And there is nothing like dreams for engendering the future.  Utopia to-day, flesh and blood to-morrow."

From Volume III, Marius, Book Fourth, Chapter One

Sunday, May 7, 2017

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo, translated by Isabel Florence Hapgood


"Not seeing people permits one to attribute to them all possible perfections."

From Volume III, Marius, Book Second, Chapter VII -- Some Petticoat

Saturday, May 6, 2017

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Giovanni's Room, by James Baldwin


"And would I then, like all the others, find myself turning and following all kinds of boys down God knows what dark avenues, into what dark places?"

From Part Two, Chapter One

Friday, May 5, 2017

Breakfast at the Bookstore with Brad and Nick #113

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, edited by Thomas H. Johnson


You cannot put a Fire out—
A Thing that can ignite
Can go, itself, without a Fan—
Upon the slowest Night—

You cannot fold a Flood—
And put it in a Drawer—
Because the Winds would find it out—
And tell your Cedar Floor—

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Breakfast at the Bookstore with Brad and Nick #112

Daily Dose

From Caught, by Henry Green


"She had been wafted off,  was enchanted not entirely by all she had had to drink and which was released inside her in a glow of earth chilled above a river at the noisy night harvest of vines, not altogether by this music, which, literally,  was her honey, her feeling's tongue, but as much by sweet comfort, and the compulsion she felt here to gentleness that was put on her by these couples, by the blues, by wine, and now by the murmuring, night haunted, softness shared.  Thus, not caring, neither did she notice if she spoke the truth, she began to tell.  She told so as to bring in, most particularly, everything ever so closely back to their two selves."

From page 104

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Clerihew for a Promising Novelist


Joseph Heller's
Many bestsellers
Never achieved the ballyhoo
Of his first, Catch-22.

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Back, by Henry Green


"They stood side by side once more, looking out through other leaded window panes onto the untidy back garden which was two apple trees, a dump of rubbish, and a tumble down shelter, on top of which sandbags had burst to grow ragwort.  With two hedges, it was all green and black and red, particularly a small crop of red apples half hidden, like sins, by wet leaves, the black branches, and, on the ground, a lush rank grass."

From page 124

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Clerihew for the Angel at Her Table


Who could blame
Janet Frame
If she went a little mad,
Considering the time she had?

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Loving, by Henry Green


"In one of the malachite vases, filled with daffodils, which stood on tall pedestals of gold naked male children without wings, he had seen a withered trumpet.  He cut off the head with a pair of nail clippers.  He carried this head away in cupped hand from above thick pile carpet in black and white squares through onto linoleum which was bordered with a purple key pattern on white until, when he had shut that green door to open his kingdom, he punted the daffodil ahead like a rugger ball.  It fell limp on the oiled parquet a yard beyond his pointed shoes."

From page 9

Monday, May 1, 2017

Clerihew for a Neglected Modern


Every scene
In Henry Green
Requires a jog
Through lengthy, British dialogue.

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Party Going, by Henry Green


"She still swayed him like water moves a trailing weed, and froth and some little dirt collects round, and sometimes when he first heard her voice again and when as now she  used that private tone, then it was as if his tide had turned and helpless he turned back, delivered up to move to her tune and trail back the way he had come helpless, delivered over, benighted."

From page 114

Sunday, April 30, 2017

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From A Universal History of Infamy, by Jorge Luis Borges, translated by Norman Thomas di Giovanni


"This glad reunion -- which seems somehow to belong to a tradition of the classical stage -- might well have crowned our story, rendering certain, or at least probable, the happiness of three parties: the real mother, the spurious son, the successful plotter."

From Tom Castro, the Implausible Impostor, Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam