Friday, June 30, 2017

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Collected Poems of Hugh MacDiarmid, edited by W. R. Aitken


Ae weet forenicht i' the yow-trummle
I saw yon antrin thing,
A watergaw wi' its chitterin' licht
Ayont the on-ding;
An' I thocht o' the last wild look ye gied
Afore ye deed!

There was nae reek i' the laverock's hoose
That nicht—an' nane i' mine;
But I hae thocht o' that foolish licht
Ever sin' syne;
An' I think that mebbe at last I ken
What your look meant then.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Off With Her Head

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From The Dog's Last Walk (And Other Pieces), by Howard Jacobson


"This, too, I wanted to lean across and tell my neighbor: a face that bears the history of affection can be a loverly thing; the lines of mirth and sorrow that experience etches are more engrossing -- and that can mean more sensually as well as intellectually and spiritually engrossing -- than no lines at all; extravagant beauty is not the lot of everyone, at any age, but there is an exquisiteness that even the plainest face can possess by virtue of kindness given and recieved, by virtue of what the eyes -- if you would only leave them alone -- have registered, and by virtue of what the lips -- if you would let them be themselves -- have uttered."

From In God's name, why?

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A Caricature

Clerihew for an Antique Irishman


Edmund Burke's
Collected Works
Show "the father of conservatism"
Would have loathed contemporary capitalism.

Daily Dose

From Letters from Earth, by Mark Twain, edited by Bernard DeVoto


"These several facts prove nothing, for one cannot deduce a principle from so few examples, but they do at least indicate that the ability to spell correctly is a gift; that it is born in a person, and is a sign of intellectual inferiority.."

From Interpolated Extracts from "Eve's Diary"

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Clerihew of Offensive Usage


Carl Van Vechten
Lost some respect in
The black community
When he claimed immunity.

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From The Collected Poems, by Frank O'Hara


Oh! kangaroos, sequins, chocolate sodas!
You really are beautiful! Pearls,
harmonicas, jujubes, aspirins! all
the stuff they've always talked about

still makes a poem a surprise!
These things are with us every day
even on beachheads and biers. They
do have meaning. They're strong as rocks.

Monday, June 26, 2017

A Caricature

Clerihew for Zora


Zora Neale Hurston
Frequently burst in-
To raucous laughter
Long remembered thereafter.

Daily Dose

From The Mayor of Casterbridge, by Thomas Hardy


"For to this pair of bridges gravitated all the failures of the town; those who failed in business, in love, in sobriety, in crime.  Why the unhappy hereabout usually chose the bridges for their meditations in preference to a railing, a gate, or a stile, was not so clear."

From Chapter XXXII

Sunday, June 25, 2017

A Caricature

Clerihew for the Rising Hillbilly


J. D. Vance
Wears tailored pants,
A style his Mamaw
Would think quite bourgeois.

Daily Dose

From West of Here, by Jonathan Evison


"He had a mind to talk out loud but resisted the temptation."

From betwixt green hills, August 2006

Saturday, June 24, 2017

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Life Studies and For the Union Dead, by Robert Lowell


"The farm's my own!
Back there alone,
I keep indoors, and spoil another season."

From Grandparents

Friday, June 23, 2017


Daily Dose

From The Complete Poems Of John Keats, edited by John Barnard


The church bells toll a melancholy round,
Calling the people to some other prayers,
Some other gloominess, more dreadful cares,
More harkening to the sermon's horrid sound.
Surely the mind of man is closely bound
In some blind spell: seeing that each one tears
Himself from fireside joys and Lydian airs,
And converse high of those with glory crowned.
Still, still they toll, and I should feel a damp,
A chill as from a tomb, did I not know
That they are dying like an outburnt lamp, -
That 'tis their sighing, wailing, ere they go
Into oblivion -that fresh flowers will grow,
And many glories of immortal stamp.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Bookstore Bird

Daily Dose

From Imaginations, by William Carlos Williams


"If what I have said so far is clear and true and strange to unaccustomed ears, let me see if I can make it still more lucid."

From A Novelette and Other Prose, VIII. Anti-Allegory

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From The Duke's Children, by Anthony Trollope


"There are moments when in which stupid people say clever things, obtuse people say sharp things, and good-natured people say ill-natured things."

From Chapter 21, Miss Boncassen's River-Party, No. 1

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, by Tom Stoppard


"No, no, no... you've got it all wrong... you can't act death.  The fact of it is nothing to do with seeing it happen -- it's not gasps and blood and falling about -- that isn't what makes it death.  It's just a man failing to reappear, that's all -- now you see him, now you don't, that's the only thing that's real: here one minute and gone the next and never coming back -- an exit, unobtrusive and unannounced, a disappearance gathering weight as it goes on, until, finally, it is heavy with death."

From Act Two

Monday, June 19, 2017

A Bookstore Bird

Daily Dose

From The Infatuations, by Javier Marias, translated by Margaret Jull Costa


"And so, sooner or later, the grieving person is left alone when she still has not finished grieving or when she's no longer allowed to talk about what remains her only world, because other people find that world of grief unbearable, repellent."

From page 62

Sunday, June 18, 2017

A Bookstore Bird

Daily Dose

From The Century's Daughter, by Pat Bsrker


"Later, in the grounds of the hospital, he endured an English spring: snowdrops, grape hyacinths, crocuses, daffodils, anemones.  He was alone in a world that hadn't died."

From Chapter Six

Saturday, June 17, 2017

A Bookstore Bird

Daily Dose

From Approaching Eye Level, by Vivian Gornick


"The sentence structure of scorn grew even more resourceful as the writers reviled themselves, and each other, for spending their lives teaching the unteachable."

From At the University

Friday, June 16, 2017

A Bookstore Beast

Daily Dose

From Hotel Du Lac, by Anita Brookner


"'It is simply this.  Without a huge emotional investment, one can do whatever one pleases.  One can take decisions, change one's mind, alter one's plans.  There is none of the anxiety of waiting to see if that one other person has everything she desires, if she is discontented,n upset, restless, bored.  One can be as pleasant or as ruthless as one wants.'"

From Chapter Seven

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Bookstore Beast

Breakfast at the Bookstore with Brad and Nick #118

Daily Dose

From Pitch Dark, by Renata Adler


"And then this matter of the commas.  And this matter of the paragraphs.  The true comma.  The pause comma.  The afterthought comma.  The hesitation comma.  The rhythm comma. The blues."

From page 78, this edition

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Clerihew of a Little God


Truman Capote,
Sporting a dhoti,
Said, "I coulda been Vishnu
If I'da wished to!"

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From If Beale Street Could Talk, by James Baldwin


"It was a strange weight, a presence coming into me -- into a me I had not known was there."

From page 79

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A Caricature

Clerihew for Big Little Critic


Truman Capote
Read Don Quixote,
Said "I'm happy to lend it,
Though I can't recommend it."

Daily Dose

From Byron: Complete Poetical Works, edited by Frederick Page


I watched thee when the foe was at our side,
    Ready to strike at him--or thee and me,
Were safety hopeless--rather than divide
    Aught with one loved, save love and liberty.
I watched thee on the breakers, when the rock
    Received our prow, and all was storm and fear,
And bade thee cling to me through every shock;
    This arm would be thy bark, or breast thy bier.
I watched thee when the fever glazed thine eyes,
    Yielding my couch, and stretched me on the ground
When overworn with watching, ne'er to rise
    From thence, if thou an early grave hadst found.
The earthquake came, and rocked the quivering
    And men and nature reeled as if with wine.
Whom did I seek around the tottering hall?
    For thee.  Whose safety first provide for?  Thine
And when convulsive throes denied my breath
    The faultest utterance to my fading thought,
To thee--to thee--e'en in the gasp of death
    My spirit turned, oh! oftener than it ought.
Thus much and more; and yet thou lov'st me not,
    And never wilt!  Love dwells not in our will.
Nor can I blame thee, though it be my lot
    To strongly, wrongly, vainly love thee still.

Monday, June 12, 2017


Daily Dose

From If Beale Street Could Talk, by James Baldwin


"Despair can make one monstrous, but it can also make one noble: and here these children are, in the arena, up for grabs."

From page 152

Sunday, June 11, 2017

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Byron: Complete Poetical Works, edited by Frederick Page


Thou too art gone, thou loved and lovely one!
    Whom Youth and Youth’s affections bound to me;
    Who did for me what none beside have done,
    Nor shrank from one albeit unworthy thee,
    What is my Being! thou hast ceased to be!
    Nor staid to welcome here thy wanderer home,
    Who mourns o’er hours which we no more shall see--
    Would they had never been, or were to come!
Would he had ne’er returned to find fresh cause to roam!

Oh! ever loving, lovely, and beloved!
    How selfish Sorrow ponders on the past,
    And clings to thoughts now better far removed!
    But Time shall tear thy shadow from me last.
    All thou couldst have of mine, stern Death! thou hast;
    The Parent, Friend, and now the more than Friend:
    Ne’er yet for one thine arrows flew so fast,
    And grief with grief continuing still to blend,
Hath snatched the little joy that Life had yet to lend.

From Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, stanzas 95 - 96

Saturday, June 10, 2017

A Caricature

Clerihew for an Irish Lady Writer


Elizabeth Bowen,
While considered high-brow in
A stylish way,
Was not above sex in The Heat of the Day.

Daily Dose

From Byron: Complete Poetical Works, edited by Frederick Page


No specious splendour of this stone
    Endears it to my memory ever;
With lustre only once it shone,
    And blushes modest as the giver.

Some, who can sneer at friendship’s ties,
    Have, for my weakness, oft reprov’d me;
Yet still the simple gift I prize,
    For I am sure, the giver lov’d me.

He offer’d it with downcast look,
    As fearful that I might refuse it;
I told him, when the gift I took,
    My only fear should be, to lose it.

This pledge attentively I view’d,
    And sparkling as I held it near,
Methought one drop the stone bedew’d,
    And, ever since, I’ve lov’d a tear.

Still, to adorn his humble youth,
    Nor wealth nor birth their treasures yield;
But he, who seeks the flowers of truth,
    Must quit the garden, for the field.

‘Tis not the plant uprear’d in sloth,
    Which beauty shews, and sheds perfume;
The flowers, which yield the most of both,
    In Nature’s wild luxuriance bloom.

Had Fortune aided Nature’s care,
    For once forgetting to be blind,
His would have been an ample share,
    If well proportioned to his mind.

But had the Goddess clearly seen,
    His form had fix’d her fickle breast;
Her countless hoards would his have been,
    And none remain’d to give the rest.