Archive for March, 2009

Please check the link to the Child Ballads Index online:


Here you will find all of the songs from the original edition with some of the variants missing, though.

If you are unfamiliar with who Francis James Child was then please brush up on his life and work here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_James_Child

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The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright–
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.
The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done–
“It’s very rude of him,” she said,
“To come and spoil the fun!”
The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead–
There were no birds to fly.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
“If this were only cleared away,”
They said, “it would be grand!”
“If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year.
Do you suppose,” the Walrus said,
“That they could get it clear?”
“I doubt it,” said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.
“O Oysters, come and walk with us!”
The Walrus did beseech.
“A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each.”
The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head–
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.
But four young Oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat–
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn’t any feet.
Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more–
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.
“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”
“But wait a bit,” the Oysters cried,
“Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!”
“No hurry!” said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.
“A loaf of bread,” the Walrus said,
“Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed–
Now if you’re ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed.”
“But not on us!” the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue.
“After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!”
“The night is fine,” the Walrus said.
“Do you admire the view?
“It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!”
The Carpenter said nothing but
“Cut us another slice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf–
I’ve had to ask you twice!”
“It seems a shame,” the Walrus said,
“To play them such a trick,
After we’ve brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!”
The Carpenter said nothing but
“The butter’s spread too thick!”
“I weep for you,” the Walrus said:
“I deeply sympathize.”
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.
“O Oysters,” said the Carpenter,
“You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?’
But answer came there none–
And this was scarcely odd, because
They’d eaten every one.


Lewis Carroll

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Your Beauty, ripe, and calm, and fresh,

As Eastern Summers are,

Must now, forsaking Time and Flesh,

Add light to some small Star.


Whilst she yet lives, were Stars decay’d,

Their light by hers, relief might find:

But Death will lead her to a shade

Where Love is cold, and Beauty blinde.


Lovers (whose Priests all Poets are)

Think ev’ry Mistress, when she dies,

Is chang’d at least into a Starr:

And who dares doubt the Poets wise?


But ask not Bodies doom’d to die,

To what abode they go;

Since knowledge is but sorrows Spy,

It is not safe to know.


Sir William Davenant

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So the Library of Congress thought it would be cute to dish out a poem a day for high school students across the country. I think ’tis an excellent idea. But, the problem is besides Theodore Roethke, Kenneth Koch and Nellie Bly I haven’t heard of any of these poets. Oh the more for you to learn. No dammit! there should be established, dead poets up there on teh website for the kids in high school to read. Why you ask, well because who wants to read some schlock from a bunch of people who are untested or who are dubious?  I for one don’t.  And after perusing the page I am sort of disappointed in almost all selections I have read.  I mean come on there are thousands of dead guys and gals to choose from. Does it make it somehow more relevant that we get a bunch of crappy, no talent hacks to read every single day.  Someone should write the LOC a letter and tell them to look at an anthology or two before they consider breathing life into such a well intentioned program.  But like everything well intentioned, what can one do?


here is the link: http://www.loc.gov/poetry/180/p180-list.html


I’m gonna read some Drummond of Hawthornden sonnets now, for pleasure.



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Haiku by Onitsura

A trout leaps high–

Below him–in the river bottom,

Clouds flow by.


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So I came up with a game that one plays on Wikipedia. It is simple really, one tries to get from one entry to another in six hyperlinks or less.  First one has to set the parameters, such as get from plastic to border collie.

Plastic>Synthetic Fiber>Animal>Mammals>Zooamata>Dogs>Border Collies

Well this example was seven depending on how you score it. But I’m pretty sure you get the gist of the game.

I’m not bold enough to make the assertion that one could connect everything on Wikipedia in six links or less but you might be up to it.



Mike McCullough

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So my favorite actress under 97 years of age decides to release a $415 pair of sunglasses through the designer Oliver Peoples.  Whew, not only is she marrying some mega-nerd instead of me, I now have to decide whether to A. buy a pair of her designer shades (which will not happen) or B. get a wite-out pen and write Zooey in cursive on the side of a pair of Dollar Store shaded frames.  B could become a reality if I remember to forget my spite at some lame ass from some band marrying the woman of my dreams. Aw shucks. When are her and Christian Bale gonna do a movie together?

Here is the link to the LA Times blurb:


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