A Visit from St. Nicholas

I’m with family for the holidays, so as of right now there will not be a reading. That said, I felt like posting this classic. The actual authorship is subject to debate (see the wiki article), but it’s been with us for nearly two centuries. 27. A Visit from St. Nicholas By Clement Clarke Moore …

Rikki Tikki Tavi

There isn’t room here for the entirety of the Story Rikki Tikki Tavi in one post, much less the entirety of the Jungle Book. Nevertheless, the stories of the Jungle Book, like many of his other short stories, often contained snippets of poems, or entire poems, created for the story being introduced. My first exposure …

Music, Ships, and the War of 1812

One of the time periods I’ve delved into was the War of 1812 between the United States and England, including reading (President) Theodore Roosevelt’s books on the subject. As it happened, I was recently looking for music on Spotify to see what else I could find by one of my favorite celtic singers, Heather Alexander, …

The Sons of Martha

The Sons of Martha  is one of many poems by Kipling that celebrates engineers, and what they do to keep things running. It’s loosely based on an interpretation of the following gospel story: As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home …

La Belle Dame sans Merci: A Ballad

This is one of the few poems I love that I first ran across in High School english. The title means “The beautiful lady without mercy.” It’s worth noting that the depiction of faerie folk in older literature often depicts them as human-sized, and ethereally beautiful. Things rarely end well for those who are convinced …

MacDonough’s Song

Many who were exposed to Kipling almost exclusively through his more popular poems (such as “If”) or the Jungle Book, would be surprised to know he had also written what would be considered science fiction and horror.  Two of his stories, “As easy as A.B.C” and “With the Night Mail” were set in a future …

Jabberwocky

Lewis Carroll, aka Charles Dodgson, was a mathematician and logician who delighted in wordplay. Jabberwocky – another of my lifetime favorites that I’ve long ago committed to memory – is made up largely of nonsense words that, looked at with a metaphorical squint, almost make sense.  (from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872) Twas …