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Summer is just around the corner!

In Quotes on May 8, 2013 at 1:07 pm

May is finally upon us, and who better to put in to words the happiness and delight brought to us by the changing of the seasons than Thomas Malory?

Le Morte d’Arthur

Book XVIII, CHAPTER XXV

How true love is likened to summer.

AND thus it passed on from Candlemass until after Easter,
that the month of May was come, when every lusty heart
beginneth to blossom, and to bring forth fruit; for like
as herbs and trees bring forth fruit and flourish in May,
in like wise every lusty heart that is in any manner a lover,
springeth and flourisheth in lusty deeds. For it giveth
unto all lovers courage, that lusty month of May, in
something to constrain him to some manner of thing
more in that month than in any other month, for divers
causes. For then all herbs and trees renew a man and
woman, and likewise lovers call again to their mind old
gentleness and old service, and many kind deeds that
were forgotten by negligence. For like as winter rasure
doth alway arase and deface green summer, so fareth it
by unstable love in man and woman. For in many persons
there is no stability; for we may see all day, for a little
blast of winter’s rasure, anon we shall deface and lay apart
true love for little or nought, that cost much thing; this
is no wisdom nor stability, but it is feebleness of nature
and great disworship, whosomever useth this. Therefore,
like as May month flowereth and flourisheth in many
gardens, so in like wise let every man of worship flourish
his heart in this world, first unto God, and next unto the
joy of them that he promised his faith unto; for there
was never worshipful man or worshipful woman, but
they loved one better than another; and worship in arms
may never be foiled, but first reserve the honour to God,
and secondly the quarrel must come of thy lady: and
such love I call virtuous love.

But nowadays men can not love seven night but they
must have all their desires: that love may not endure by
reason; for where they be soon accorded and hasty heat,
soon it cooleth. Right so fareth love nowadays, soon hot
soon cold: this is no stability. But the old love was not
so; men and women could love together seven years, and
no licours lusts were between them, and then was love,
truth, and faithfulness: and lo, in like wise was used love
in King Arthur’s days. Wherefore I liken love nowadays
unto summer and winter; for like as the one is hot and the
other cold, so fareth love nowadays; therefore all ye that
be lovers call unto your remembrance the month of May,
like as did Queen Guenever, for whom I make here a little
mention, that while she lived she was a true lover, and
therefore she had a good end.

Blossom

If – Rudyard Kipling

In Views and Everything Publishing on March 1, 2013 at 9:53 am

50 recently unearthed Kipling poems are to be published, along with 1,300 of the renowned writer’s other poems, in the Cambridge Edition of The Poems of Rudyard Kipling on 7th March. Scholar Thomas Pinney found the latest additions to Kipling’s works in a multitude of hiding places, including during renovations on a Manhattan house and amongst family papers.  He notes that “Kipling has long been neglected by scholars probably for political reasons. His texts have never properly been studied but things are starting to change,” hinting at the impact the publishing of these unseen works will have on the way Kipling is currently viewed and studied. The poems are based on a multitude of topics, from World War One to comic verse, and will no doubt please Kipling fans worldwide, eager for more poems capable of generating the same reaction as his best loved work.

Often voted as one of the nation’s favourite poems, we thought it only fitting to recite the stanzas of ‘If’, in the hope that the new collection will succeed in provoking the same reception throughout the nation, along with introducing a new generation to the writer.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

Kipling

Happy Birthday Edward Gorey!

In Views and Everything Publishing on February 22, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Google have honored American writer and illustrator Edward Gorey with his very own ‘Google Doodle’

Gorey Google DoodleGorey, best known for his children’s books, died in 2000 from a suspected heart attack, and would have been celebrating his 88th Birthday today. Google have celebrated his anniversary on their homepage with a tribute to his illustrations, which often depicted strange looking monsters and animals. Gorey’s macabre books were often cautionary tales ridiculing over-parenting and more often than not ended in the undeserved killing off of children.

In addition to his own hugely popular books, namely The Gashlycrumb Tinies and The Doubtful Guest (illustration below), Gorey was also a huge influence on others, including director Tim Burton, and created illustrations for the likes of Edward Lear and T. S. Eliot.

Gorey himself was as eccentric in real life as his storied would have you believe. Between 1957 and 1982, so obsessed with choreographer George Balanchine was he, that he attended every single performance of The New York City Ballet, wearing an incognito outfit consisting of a huge fur coat and tennis shoes.

The Doubtful Guest

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