The Man Who Scared the Nation

No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a manContinue reading “The Man Who Scared the Nation”

There is Always a Pumpkin

A carved pumpkin is the quintessential symbol of Halloween.  You may be interested in knowing – as I was when I was looking up “pumpkins” – that in Ireland and Scotland, the turnip was the vegetable of choice for carving.  With the great Irish and Scottish immigration to North America in the 19th century, theContinue reading “There is Always a Pumpkin”

Countdown to Halloween

Halloween is coming and all of the little ghosts and goblins are in countdown mode. Unlike the scholars that debate on the origins of this auspicious day, children, of all ages, focus on the important “stuff” – the parties, candy and costumes that come every October 31st.    As we head into the final weekContinue reading “Countdown to Halloween”

Happy Birthday, T.S. Eliot

“The very existence of libraries affords the best evidence that we may yet have hope for the future of man”  T.S. Eliot This morning, The Poetry Foundation sent me an e-mail with their featured poem of the day. It was “La Figlia che Piange,” which I translated using my limited Italian ability to mean “TheContinue reading “Happy Birthday, T.S. Eliot”

OTR Celebrates Canada Day with Susanna Strickland Moodie

“Of Montreal, I can say but little.  The cholera was at its height, and the fear of infection, which increased the nearer we approached its shores, cast a gloom over the scene, and prevented us from exploring its infected streets.  That the feelings of all on board very nearly resembled our own might be readContinue reading “OTR Celebrates Canada Day with Susanna Strickland Moodie”

OTR Celebrates June with Susanna Strickland Moodie

“The day was warm, and the cloudless heavens of that peculiar azure tint which gives to the Canadian skies and waters a brilliancy unknown in more northern latitudes.  The air was pure and elastic, the sun shone out with uncommon splendour, lighting up the changing woods with a rich mellow colouring, composed of a thousandContinue reading “OTR Celebrates June with Susanna Strickland Moodie”

Happy Birthday William Butler Yeats

The Lake Isle of Innisfree By William Butler Yeats I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made; Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee, And live alone in the bee-loud glade.   And I shall have some peaceContinue reading “Happy Birthday William Butler Yeats”

OTR Celebrates June with Susanna Strickland Moodie

“The want of education and moral training is the only real barrier that exists between the different classes of men.” Susanna Strickland Moodie Susanna Moodie was not one to stand back when things needed to be said, to be written, to be done.  In 1822, when she was still in her teens, she wrote herContinue reading “OTR Celebrates June with Susanna Strickland Moodie”

OTR Celebrates June with Susanna Strickland Moodie

“Ah, Hope! What would life be, stripped of they encouraging smiles, that teach us to look behind the dark clouds of today, for the golden beams that are to gild the morrow.” Susanna Strickland Moodie Susanna Strickland Moodie was born December 6, 1803, to a family of writers and poets.  Her birthplace may have beenContinue reading “OTR Celebrates June with Susanna Strickland Moodie”