Christmas Eve with Christina Rossetti

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan, Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone; Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow, In the bleak midwinter, long ago. *** Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain; Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign. In theContinue reading “Christmas Eve with Christina Rossetti”

Poetry on a Canapé

Kaleidoscopes, those marvelous toys containing mirrors and pieces of coloured glass, amuse us with reflections that change patterns as we move a small tube around and around.  There is a random joy in each transformation that materialises as we gaze with rapt attention through a tiny eyehole. These constantly fluctuating designs are a reminder ofContinue reading “Poetry on a Canapé”

Gertrude Stein – A Bold Experimenter

“Writing and reading is to me synonymous with existing.” Gertrude Stein If I was ever asked who I would like to spend an afternoon with, I would choose Gertrude Stein.   After all, she lived in Paris surrounded by all that she loved best – art, music, poetry, food and wine.   Her residence at the salon,Continue reading “Gertrude Stein – A Bold Experimenter”

The Month for Poetry

Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote The droghte of Marche hath perced to the roote And bathed every veyne in swich licour…. Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,  Geoffrey Chaucer, Prologue to the Canterbury Tales It all started in 1995 when the Academy of American Poets brought together a group of publishers, booksellers, librarians, literary organizations, poetsContinue reading “The Month for Poetry”

January, 1795

“In a society where the rights and potential of women are constrained, no man can be truly free. He may have power, but he will not have freedom.” Mary Robinson The first time I heard the name, Mary Robinson, was when I was looking into the life of Emma Hamilton, the great love of LordContinue reading “January, 1795”

Year End With Christina

Last year I celebrated Christmas with Christina.  Of all the poets, Christina Rossetti understands the inscrutability of the winter season. I thought it was fitting to end the year 2013, with her poetry.  There is much speculation and curiosity surrounding the “secret.”   My preference is to let Christina keep her secret hidden and let theContinue reading “Year End With Christina”

A Soldier’s Voice

Anthem for Doomed Youth By Wilfred Owen What passing-bells for these who die as cattle? Only the monstrous anger of the guns. Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle Can patter out their hasty orisons. No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells, Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,— The shrill, demented choirsContinue reading “A Soldier’s Voice”

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”

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”