As I lay my head back some fall into place,
To the stars I refer up in magical space,
Straight ahead I see Saturn, to my left the north star,
Moving my head to the right the southern cross not so far,
A guy I'd met pointed these out to me,
As we lay in the sand pointing heels to the sea,
I wish he'd stayed longer, so much more to take in,
Perhaps that night's limits were shown by the size of my grin,
I have laid down with others all dying to learn,
About the wild nights while the Earth makes it's turn,
I feel like I've tasted a piece of the sky,
And now when I look up I see blueberry pie.
Also by a Lady.
2017 celebrates 200 years since Jane Austen's death and for those who are just discovering Austen, like me, it might come as a shock that for an author that is still so relevant two centuries after her death she had little recognition while still alive . Her first book, Sense and Sensibility was published anonymously – By a Lady – in 1811 and received two brief and polite reviews. Pride and Prejudice, that to date features in every "must read" and "most loved" book list, was first published in 1813 and brought her little fame during her lifetime.
Jane Austen's reputation only started to change when, in 1869, her nephew James Edward Austen-Leigh wrote 'A Memoir of Jane Austen' introducing her to a new...
Virginia and Leonard Woolf set up the Hogarth Press in 1917 and published works by key modernist writers as well as important works in translation. Their printing endeavour started with a small hand-printing press, bought for £19 and installed on the dining room table at their home Hogarth House, in Surrey, where the name of the press comes from. The small printing business was meant to be a hobby and was first acquired as a mean of distracting Virginia, that by that time had already suffered a number of break downs, and The Woolfs had decided that the Hogarth Press would...
If nothing else 2016 was a challenging year. With so many different changes happening so fast it left a lot of people uncertain about what was and still is next in store. For us it wasn't different, without the economical and political changes that certainly affected our small business - for better or for worse? - we had plenty of changes happening within the business itself.
Leaving Portobello market left us with plenty more time to work on the website but also with a gap that was hard to fill. Having started with a 'mobile book shop' that went on for four years we were quite used to our customer base and had found our 'identity' with the wine boxes display and lots of positive comments coming our way.
So in 2016 we did a lot of soul searching...
The Ballad of Reading Gaol (Jail) is a poem by Oscar Wilde first published in February 1898 under the name C.3.3. which stands for block C, landing 3, cell 3. Wilde was incarcerated and spent time in Reading after being convicted of homosexual offences in 1895 and sentenced to two years hard labour in prison.
The poem narrates the execution of C. T. W. - Charles Thomas Wooldridge, a trooper of the Royal House of guards convicted of cutting the throat of his wife.
It starts as an objective story-telling perspective
He did not wear his scarlet coat,
For blood and wine are red,
And blood and wine were red on his hands
When they found him with the dead,
The poor dead woman whom he loved,
And murdered in her bed.
JRR Tolkien has recently been in the news after a rare map of the Middle-Earth, discovered in Blackwell's Rare Books in Oxford in October 2015, was acquired by the Bodleian Library http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/news/2016/may-03.
While we wait anxiously for the map to go on display we have recently acquired a fine selection of Tolkien books and, sad to say they are not the most sought after First Editions, they all are in excellent condition and would make a lovely addition to someone that is just starting a collection.
First Editions of Tolkien's work do come up from time to time but then we are talking about very serious money, like the £137,000 fetched by a first edition of The Hobbit given by JRR Tolkien to one of his former students in 1937 http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jun/05/hobbit-first-edition-with-jrr-tolkiens-inscription-doubles-sales-record
As the artist sits down, his easel in place,
He looks out at the world detached from the race,
What he sees we won't know till the final stroke's done,
Though I'm sure his brush dances to the tune of the sun.
Time comes I am sure, when the mood has no glow,
He visits the places that most fear to go,
For the mood when it takes you it must be seen through,
Be it sunshine and laughter or the deep black taboo.
When the trip is over, be it morning or night,
The artist's brush rests, sometimes trembling with fright,
But most days I believe, there's a smile on his face,
For he's looking in at the madness from a safe far away place.
I went to the beach to swim one day,
but found that the sea had gone away,
I sat for a while and thought where it may be,
My wonderful rich, deep blue sea.
Maybe it's taken the fish on a trip,
a quick daily visit to the planet Blip,
May'be the crabs thought the rocks were no fun,
So the sea decided to take them and orbit the sun.
After sitting a while I must have laid down,
For I woke with a shock and a curious frown,
My feet were all wet as the sand gently glistened,
I'd dreamt of my sea and of course she had listened.
This April marks the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Month, which was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. Over the years, National Poetry Month has become the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture.
As we mentioned here before, Peter also writes poetry and although he hasn't written for a while there's a whole treasure box full with his gentle and bonkers words, so we thought we would share a few more with you. Enjoy!