Poetry

Christina Rossetti Sing-Song

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I just finished reading  Sing-Song to my girls. It’s  a wonderful book of poetry by Christina Rossetti.  We have the  Dover edition  which really is quite nice. However, I was surprised to see such a high price on amazon and began looking for other editions. Here are a few more I found :

Sing-Song Hardcover 1924 edition

Christina Rossetti, Sing-Song: A Nursery Rhyme Book. First printing of the New and Enlarged Edition from 1893. Illustrated throughout.

Sing-Song 1893 edition 

I found another 1893 edition inscribed by the poet and playwright  A.C. Swineburn to his sister Alice:

-Mrs Karl T. Cooper, Jr.

 

What’s On Your Nightstand?

Fast Food Nation  by Eric Schlosser is an amazing read. While I don’t agree with many of his solutions, the terrible and largely unforeseen consequences of Fast Food and Big agriculture are brought to light (and it’s not just about health concerns). Like it or not, the fast food industry has changed the way we farm, eat, advertise and shop. Throughout the book Scholosser seems to be pushing for unions and more government regulations to solve these problems  but in the end it’s about getting people to opt out on a large scale.  It’s informative, gripping, disturbing and yet he also maintains a sense of humor- Investigative journalism at it’s best.

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The Lost Traveller by Antonia White.

I’ve read her first book Frost in May last year and found her storytelling simple and completely engrossing. The second book, The Lost Traveller, is just as engaging and accessible as the first, the characters absorbing and writing clear. I am waiting for the heartbreak though. You sense a tragic tone from the onset.

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I’m also reading (thoroughly skimming?) Nourishing Traditions, rereading Woods Etc., avoiding journaling and in denial about my lack of interest in Theodore Roethke’s  poetry, despite my love for his poem the Root Cellar.

My husband’s nightstand, however, remains focused and avoids such disillusionments:

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What’s on your nightstand this month?

Your Beads

I found your Rosary

in the children’s room

Lying there between

A.A. Milne and Madeline.

Yesterday it got mixed in the laundry

It scraped the washer’s insides

As I slid it up to  kiss and slip it

In my apron’s pocket.

At night you ask

Where’s . . . 

And I reach out my hand to you,

Extending her mantel,

Here.

knit brows smooth a bit

and we begin again,

rose after rose forming a crown

studded with chants:

Salve Regina 

(You know it better than me. )

and then our litany

We finish at the cross.

Tired from contemplation,

you set down the beads.

-Mrs. Karl T. Cooper, Jr.

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Something To See

The Russian Icon Museum in Clinton

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Our Lady embraces her crucified Son, their cheeks touching as in the icon of loving kindness.  Christ in majesty appears against a red and blue background with bold lines that echo the contours of a tulip, angels swirl so speedily around Him that their faces become watery reflections.  Sts. Anne and Joachim embrace at the Golden Gate, in front of their marriage bed.  From their meeting at Jerusalem’s wall to the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles, the mysteries of Christ’s life unfold, in a long wall of pictures, a sequence of scenes that recalls pre-regularization versions of the rosary.  Joined icon screens extend like accordions.  Rows and rows of saints fill pictorial calendars of the liturgical year.

A friend told me about the Russian Icon Museum in Clinton, Massachusetts years ago and now it’s my turn to recommend it.  If you are a Western Christian, you will breathe with your second lung.  You will enter many hushed mansions of the centuries since Christ.  Your soul will steep in the colors of the world to come.

And you may even see a unicorn!

-Mrs. Aldertree

Some Recent Discoveries

 

 Poems An Early-Start Preschool Reader

This is a great little reader. In the front it has a very handy list of the 107 words used inside. The book itself contains famous little poems by Robert Louis Stevenson, Christina Rossetti, some short stanzas from Tennyson and some famous nursery rhymes.  I must admit having my daughter practice reading from this was  a nice break from the  Dr. Seuss and Frog and Toad readers. The Rhyme and meter seem to help beginners anticipate the next word, making their reading voice smoother and less labored. The selected verses are very accessible to small children, the illustrations are well matched. My only complaint was it’s brevity which is hardly a complaint at all.

Dogs & Dragons 
Trees & Dreams 

 Dogs & Dragons Trees & Dreams is currently out of print which is a pity. Karla Kuskin (Author of Roar and More) has complied some of her poems for children to create a great introduction to poetry. Throughout the book she gives quick synopses and talks a bit about poetry. Her commentary is informative, concise and easy to skip over if you just want the poetry to speak for itself. (She even gives you permission to ignore them.)  In this book you’ll be happy to find funny poems, somber poems, romping poems, nature poems, narrative poems, descriptive poems, even counting poems.

-Mrs. Cooper