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The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

I spotted The Rime on my shelf the other day but really don’t have enough time at the moment to review it so instead of that review, or indeed any other, here is Iron Maiden’s epic thirteen minute, dramatic rendition.

Rime Of The Ancient Mariner
(Lyrics from AZlyrics.com)

Hear the rime of the Ancient Mariner
See his eye as he stops one of three
Mesmerises one of the wedding guests
Stay here and listen to the nightmares
of the SeaAnd the music plays on, as the bride passes by
Caught by his spell and
the Mariner tells his tale.

Driven south to the land of the snow and ice
To a place where nobody’s been
Through the snow fog flies on the albatross
Hailed in God’s name,
hoping good luck it brings.

And the ship sails on, back to the North
Through the fog and ice and
the albatross follows on

The mariner kills the bird of good omen
His shipmates cry against what he’s done
But when the fog clears, they justify him
And make themselves a part of the crime.

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Posted by on 27/02/2017 in Fiction, Music

 

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Four Days in January: A Letter to Jillsan – Nils-Johan Jørgensen

letteringThis is a modern tale, a journey of the heart, a road back, revisiting many cities and enduring Eastern and Western sentiments to light and lighten our understanding of life’s fleeting appearance.

It is a way of honouring the life of a loved one, to tell a personal story that reflects the shared, universal truth of the silence of loss from Kakimoto to Goethe and beyond.

Four Days in January is a beautifully told, deeply moving and poignant letter of loss, yet also the celebration of the life of a loved one through allegory, music, poetry and personal records.

Told in letter-form, Four Days in January records the story of two lovers and their lives through marriage and parenthood following his diplomatic career spent in different parts of the world, and the role and dedication of the diplomat’s wife.

Here is a very open volume that offers an array of inspirational thoughts for anyone facing loss and bereavement.

Having read most of Mr Jørgensen’s other books this one, whilst no less readable was an altogether different beast. It is a meditation on life as well as loss.  A union of two coming together to live as one, of a love that really shines through, a life lived fully but also a statement on the cruelty of having it cut short.

The beginning takes us through the unfolding tragedy of a life suddenly declining. It is told in an unflinching way and it moved this reader immensely.  Despite reading this book in January, I know that the opening will be the best one I read all year, which is saying something as I continue to amass great literature.

This personal final letter to his love is an intimate portrait, delicately penned, a chronicle of a shared existence, told through a number of key vignettes.  What makes this an intensely moving piece of work is that it is real life, good and bad things happen but it is a reminder to appreciate it every day for what it is.  Even the most mundane of times can become something beautiful when viewed the right way. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on 23/02/2017 in Autobiography, Life, Memoir

 

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Kids

For today’s second reblog, or ‘press this’ as I thought I would attempt one of those instead is a belated call for attention to Resa’s upcoming kid’s month in March.  I myself will be participating and submitting my entry soon.  Whilst you’re at it check out Resa’s stunning art gown created for her post with Aquileana on Artemis as well at https://aquileana.wordpress.com/2017/02/20/%e2%96%bagreek-mythology-artemis-dual-archetype-collaboration-with-resa-mcconaghy-and-mirjana-m-inalman%f0%9f%8c%9b%f0%9f%8f%b9/

Also don’t forget to check out my first reblog, of the day too, great content abounds through WordPress all the time and it is good to spread it.

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Here are some youth friendly street art pieces I’ve taken photos of & saved for Kids’ Month.

There are single shots and  selections of 2 or 3 shots. Perhaps you’ll feel inspired to do a poem or short story.

You can post it on your blog, and I will reblog it, or send me the poem or story & I will post it with your chosen pic as a guest post.

There is a row of stars between the possible posts. Leave a comment to let me know your choice. I’ll reserve the pics, pronto! The name of the artist, if known is above the shot.

Source: Kids

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Posted by on 22/02/2017 in Art, Blogging

 

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February’s doubts

I’m finally back and with plenty of news, like the spam message from a certain rabid news corporation in the US which was (unsurprisingly) shockingly written. For now though , go visit my first of two reblogs for today. First up is Andrea, whose blog deserves a lot of love thanks to its evocative photography and subject matter. A haven for all those wishing to appreciate the simple joys in life.

Harvesting Hecate

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February is the fag end of winter.  Though I love this season, this is the point when I’m ready for spring, for light, for warmth.  This is the point at which the cold and dark tires me and I trudge through the days simply surviving.  When it is no longer as easy to connect with that self I find in the rich, dark dreaming.  I have woken up, but rudely.  February is the alarm that wakes me when I’m not ready to wake, interrupting a peaceful sleep.  It is the truculent moment when I haul myself out of bed before I’m ready, to a day that I’m not looking forward to.  A transition time, but not the lazy transition of summer into autumn, or the barely perceptible change from autumn to winter.  February is hard work.

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This is the time of year when winter can seem harshest.  It is usually our coldest month and the short…

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Posted by on 22/02/2017 in Blogging

 

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Chernobyl Prayer – Svetlana Alexievich

chernobylprayerThere is no blurb for this one, partly because this copy didn’t come with one – just excerpts from newspaper reviews – and partly because it needs no blurb.  The book speaks for itself and with Alexievich’s Nobel Prize in Literature award, it means it will thankfully never be forgotten.

After a short historical background on the explosion of reactor no. 4 (whose radioactive particles reached as far as China and Africa), the reader is introduced to A lone human voice. This  truly shocking and saddening account sets the scene for this outstanding and powerful chronicle of eyewitness recollections  from those that were involved with the Chernobyl catastrophe.

Often forgotten in the face of overwhelming statistics are the real human lives who have suffered, those forgotten get a voice here.  The cost is not just in lives lost but dreams and hopes shattered, health ruined and families torn apart.  This book focuses on the Belarusians who bore the brunt of the disaster and of those who helped try to contain it and the risks they took.

The beauty of this series of monologues is that Alexievich didn’t ask questions, instead she did the one thing that the people had been wanting for years, she listened. Apart from an essay of her own the author merely adds only the briefest additions to the text such as ‘he looks pensive’, ‘she cries’ and so on.

This allows the people to talk about whatever they need to and follow the direction of their thoughts and there is a surprising amount of philosophical views that come out.  Especially as many still don’t accept the subtle devastation that hit their lands and destroyed them,  who were then shunned by an uneducated public.  What shines through is that they loved their land and animals, most of those living there knew little else and the passion for their lost place is ever present.
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Posted by on 13/02/2017 in History, Modern Classics, Politics

 

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The Bookshop

Here is something I did over at Morgan’s blog, being a nice chap and all, check it out!

Booknvolume

shakinThis blog post is brought to you from the mind of Ste J, book defender/lover/obsessive, knowledge seeker and occasional afternoon napper who can be found https://bookmust.wordpress.com and is always happy to make your acquaintance.

The Bookshop

I

Entering the gateway

quaint handle and ring of the bell

a friendly greeting and the musty scent

that pleasantly assails the senses

II

A world of infinite dreams surrounds

of pirates, distant worlds and lavish parties

each crafted teaming with life and imagination

all waiting to be explored and devoured

III

The ages gather here too

ordered casually together

side by side

covered in dusty patience

IV

Time moves differently here

slowly…

the world outside ceases to be;

the perfect existence

V

And now there is just you

and sound of pages turning

the crackling breaking the silence

adding to that unrivalled atmosphere

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Posted by on 11/02/2017 in Uncategorized

 

Booked Up for a While

It’s been a while and although this is sadly not the review I mentioned in the last post, it is nonetheless a post.  Recently I have been distracted by even more good literature (fiction and non fiction) and I’m really excited to be in the process reviewing.  I will do that as soon as I can but first, here is a bunch of new books that cost less than a tenner.

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There is a sensible reason for these purchases, wanting to downsize my books somewhat this year, It makes sense to buy more books so I can feel inspired to start clearing the ones I don’t want anymore as I read/review them.This is logical as otherwise I would be drowned by paper through my own laziness and/or hoarding tendencies.

these purchases also represent a pile of firsts, which just occurred to me as I was casting around for more to say about them… Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on 09/02/2017 in Blogging, Lists/Ephemera

 

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