Archive for the ‘The Norton Anthology’ Category

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July 5, 2016

A Rainy Weekend in Somerset

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(This the tenth in a series that begins with A Night in Steerage.) The day after my birthday, Sue and Wendy had appointments in Wells but I opted to stay home.  I was intent on finding a footpath, if I was lucky, to Street.  Or barring that, just a footpath to walk.  They are everywhere  Read the Rest…

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November 15, 2013

Fun With Mephistophilis

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I remember being vaguely amused by Doctor Faustus when I was in college, but the language was difficult for a 20 year old. Reading about the antics of Faust and Mephistopheles as I plowed through the verbiage was rather like trying earnestly to understand a joke.  I worked at understanding it and had it explained  Read the Rest…

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November 10, 2013

Doin’ the Norton (volume one)

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I’ve been reading The Norton Anthology of English Literature Volume 1 in stealth because I wasn’t sure I wanted to declare it A Project. But I have gotten passed the metaphysical poets and am rounding the 18th century so I think it’s a done, if not finished, deal. I was completely sucked in by Chaucer.  Read the Rest…

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October 18, 2013

Chaucer: Another Round of Farts

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As our Canterbury pilgrims move along the road the friar and the summoner get into a pissing match with each other by telling a story about the other’s profession. Since there seem to be friars and summoners all over the place, I’ll start with a few guidelines: The Pissing Friar and the Pissing Summoner are  Read the Rest…

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October 12, 2013

The Potty-Mouthed Chaucer

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As I snickered my way through some of The Canterbury Tales I got to wondering why on earth Chaucer isn’t favored reading in every high school English class and college fraternity in the entire world. Of course, I know it’s because one has to dig hard so hard to get through the language, but the  Read the Rest…

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October 3, 2013

In Which I Take on the Wife of Bath

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I’d heard about this woman: sexually voracious, loud mouth, obscene, headstrong, selfish, power-hungry, and immoral. I was eager to meet her. News flash: she is none of those things in my estimation. Here, word for word, is how we might expect to describe a man similar in nature to the wife of Bath: man of  Read the Rest…

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September 19, 2013

The Sandpiper ReDux

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I’m back at The Sandpiper. When I was here with Nina in April, I wished I had brought my winter clothes. This week I could use a sundress and some shorts. There are ways around that when one is at a quiet resort mid-week on the off season. I’ll get to them later. For now  Read the Rest…

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September 6, 2013

Finished the Book!


During my childhood, at regular intervals, somewhere in our house a book slammed shut and the call rang out, “Finished the book!” My father, my brother and I all participated in this ritual. My mother mostly read the Bible and of course, there’s never an end to that. This morning I quietly closed the 2533  Read the Rest…

BooksLiteraturePoemsThe Norton AnthologyWriting

August 26, 2013

The Dappled Poet

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It’s a good idea to know the definition of dapple (cloudy and rounded spots or patches of a color or shade different from their background) before you read Gerard Manley Hopkins because it’s a word he uses a lot and nobody else does. Not ever. I have a dappled relationship with him. Music, painting, and  Read the Rest…

BooksLiteraturePoemsThe Norton AnthologyWriting

August 16, 2013

Steady the Buffs: I Love Kipling

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Rudyard Kipling. The few of his poems featured in the Norton reminded me that I had an old copy (1899) of Plain Tales from the Hill that has a swastika embossed on the front. In India in 1899, the swastika was a revered symbol, however between the swastika on the book and what we today  Read the Rest…