Happy Birthday, Emily Dickinson

22636.47794I’ll tell you how the sun rose, —
A ribbon at a time.
The steeples swam in amethyst,
The news like squirrels ran.

The hills untied their bonnets,
The bobolinks begun.
Then I said softly to myself,
“That must have been the sun!”

But how he set, I know not.
There seemed a purple stile
Which little yellow boys and girls
Were climbing all the while

Till when they reached the other side,
A dominie in gray
Put gently up the evening bars,
And led the flock away.

Emily Dickinson was born on December 10, 1830, in Amherst, Massachusetts.

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Emily Dickinson’s bedroom where she composed many of her poems.

Upon her death, Dickinson’s family discovered forty handbound volumes of nearly 1,800 poems, or “fascicles” as they are sometimes called. Dickinson assembled these booklets by folding and sewing five or six sheets of stationery paper and copying what seem to be final versions of poems.

Sources: poets.org – theclio.com

 

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Crooked House – Agatha Christie – Thoughts

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I love reading a good Agatha Christie mystery from time to time, they never disappoint.
They are always genuinely entertaining and keep you guessing until the very end.
Crooked House was no exception. Even without the presence of Poirot or Miss Marple investigating the crime, this mystery was very satisfying.
Christie, in her introduction to the book, has written that Crooked House is one of her best works. She wrote that the Leonides family just came to her head, they have grown, and that she was merely her scribe. I believe there’s no better way to describe this book.
The patriarch of a rich family dies. Anybody in the family could be the murderer. Is it the young, pretty wife? Or one of his sons? It wasn’t until towards the end that I started guessing who the culprit could be, and still, Christie manages to end her novels in a way that leaves you amazed.
Yes, an Agatha Christie’s mystery is always a good idea.

William Sieghart – The Poetry Pharmacy – Thoughts

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The Poetry Pharmacy by William Sieghart is a collection of poems suitable for a lot of situations which might present in our lives: depression, anxiety, need of reassurance, stagnation, guilt, fear of the unknown, relationships that create all sort of problems, grief. Every one of us has encountered at least one of those situations in life.
I found a lot of comfort in many of those poems, I even cried reading some of those, they really resonated with me.
Reading Sieghart’s introduction to every poem is very important, and his words are equally beautiful and meaningful.
It is a precious book to keep and to go back to when one needs to.
Some of my favorite poems are: Although the wind, by Izumi Shikibu; All That is Gold Does Not Glitter, by J.R.R. Tolkien; The Way It Is, by William Stafford; Everything is Going To Be All Right, by Derek Mahon; from My Brilliant Image by Hafez; The Guest House, by Rumi; The Ideal, by James Fenton; It happens all the time in heaven, by Hafez; Do Not Stand at my Grave and Weep, by Mary Elizabeth Frye; My Funeral by Wendy Cope.

 

I’d Rather Be Reading- Guinevere de la Mare – Thoughts

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I would describe I’d Rather be Reading by Guinevere de la Mare as a cozy Autumn morning spent under covers with a hot cup of coffee, reading your favorite book.
It’s a sweet little corner for everyone who, like myself, is a passionate bookworm.
There are nice images dedicated to books, to the love and pleasure derived from reading. In between, there are essays about books, about how to find more time for reading.
I particularly liked the introduction written by de la Mare, how she discovered the love of reading.
It’s a very fast read, an enjoyable one, aesthetically pleasing.

Will Pfeifer, Rodney Buchemi – The Librarians #2 – Thoughts

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The Librarians #2 comic book continues right from where we were left on the first issue (you can read my thoughts HERE ).
Flynn, Eve, Cassandra, and Jacob are ready for a fight to save Ezekiel, only they will find out no fight is actually needed. They also make a shocking discovery about the movie producer whose death they are investigating. As they unravel some mysteries, new ones surface- bigger and more dangerous mysteries.
This second issue takes place basically in just one location, and serves as an explanation and set up for the third issue. It’s more of an explicatory issue, with some action preserved for the last few pages.
The writing is still spot on for every character, with a focus on Flynn and Eve in particular.
The illustration is impressive as usual, the colors and facial expressions are impeccable. I especially loved the New York’s skyline, and the illustration of the very last page is truly beautiful.

Paul Tremblay – A Head Full of Ghosts – Thoughts

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I read this book in what felt as a heartbeat. I just couldn’t put it down.
Where to begin. The story is narrated by Merry Barrett, a twenty-three-year-old woman recalling the events which eventually brought to the destruction of her whole world.
Her sister Marjorie starts to show symptoms of schizophrenia when Merry is just eight years old, and when her parents seem unable to help her medically, they think their fourteen-year-old daughter is possessed. They seek the help of a priest, and amid all that, they agree to be filmed by a crew for a new reality show that will be called The Possession.
The narration navigates between eight-year-old Merry and present Merry, with parts written in blog form from a certain Karen.
The book is full of twists and turns, up until the very end of it. And even when you’re done reading it, you’re left with a sense of uncertainty. Was Marjory really sick? Was she really possessed? Can we fully trust Merry and her recollection of the events?
What I also found somewhat spooky is that the book mentions three books I happen to have read just before beginning this one. Two by Shirley Jackson (The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle), and one by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (The Yellow Wallpaper). Tremblay explains in the notes that he thought of Jackon’s character of Merricat of We Have Always Lived in the Castle when writing Merry, and I almost fell off my chair, because while reading the book I thought about that book and the Blackwood sisters, and what happened to their family. It just blew my mind.
Hands down one of the greatest horror/mystery book I have ever read.

Shirley Jackson- We Have Always Lived in the Castle – Thoughts

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Merricat Blackwood is eighteen years old. She has always lived in her family estate with her sister Constance and her Uncle Julian. A few years before, there were others members of the Blackwood family living with them. Until, one dreadful night, they died because there was poison in the sugar bowl. Accused and the acquitted of the murders, Constance went back living in the family estate along with the only two survivors.
Merricat is the narrator of this story, we follow her as she guides us into her world. Her whole life revolves around the Blackwood estate, the big house in which she now lives alone with her beloved sister and her disabled Uncle. The estate is her world, her refuge, her territory. She has Jonas, a cat always by her side. Merricat wants to live happily with her sister forever, she doesn’t want anything or anyone to disturb her world.
One day, though, something happens and Merricat’s routines will be completely shattered.
After “The Haunting of Hill House”, Jackson once again completely surprised me with this novel. It is short, essential, raw. Yet, there is a whole world described, a family with its past and present. The narration is rich and evocative at the same time. Merricat’s character is unlike any other character you will ever read.
The story’s end leaves you with a sense of uneasiness and surprise. A true masterpiece.