English poetry

“Ring Out, Wild Bells” 

“May the bells of 2023 ring out the darkness of our land and ring in a new and gleaming light on our country and its people.” Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,The flying cloud, the frosty light:The year is dying in the night;Ring out, wild bells, and let him die. Ring out the …

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How do I love thee? | Guide to Daily Reading 12/15/22

Nothing happened today. Well, that’s not quite true. On this date in 1846 The Hakluyt Society was founded “for the purpose of encouraging the publication of books of travel, and particularly of re-issuing the works of its namesake” (The Booklover’s Almanac) Hakluyt is a global strategic advisory firm, supporting corporations and investors on the opportunities and …

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My Lute | Guide to Daily Reading 12/13/22

William Drummond born on this date in 1585. Daily Readings: *There are days when internet searches are even stupider than they were yesterday. William Drummond of Hawthornden, author of The History of Scotland: From the year 1423 until the year 1542 To His Lute My lute, be as thou wert when thou didst grow With …

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1066 | Guide to Daily Reading 12/9/22

Stephen Phillips died on this date in 1915. Stephen Phillips (28 July 1864 – 9 December 1915) was an English poet and dramatist, who enjoyed considerable popularity early in his career. That Infallible Source Daily Reading: English history day! The poem is not too long, and worth a read. Scanned pages from A Short History of England Revised …

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Jackdaw | Guide to Daily Reading 12/6/22

R.H. Barham born this date in 1788. A Jackdaw–> Daily Reading: The Jackdaw of Rheims The Jackdaw sat on the Cardinal’s chair! Bishop, and abbot, and prior were there; Many a monk, and many a friar, Many a knight, and many a squire, With a great many more of lesser degree,— In sooth a goodly …

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“A Christmas Carol” | Guide to Daily Reading 12/5/22

Christina Georgina Rossetti born on this date in 1830. Daily Readings: Up-Hill BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI Does the road wind up-hill all the way? Yes, to the very end. Will the day’s journey take the whole long day? From morn to night, my friend. But is there for the night a resting-place? A roof for when …

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The Ruin

Wondrous is this wall-stead, wasted by fate.Battlements broken, giant’s work shattered.Roofs are in ruin, towers destroyed,Broken the barred gate, rime on the plaster, walls gape, torn up, destroyed,consumed by age. Earth-grip holdsthe proud builders, departed, long lost,and the hard grasp of the grave, until a hundred generationsof people have passed. Often this wall outlasted, hoary …

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Today’s original thought

Books are so much more interesting than the internet. Lunchtime, so I’m working ahead on the Daily Readings and on December 1st I ran into Pindar. That’s not quite right. I bumped into Thomas Gray’s Pindaric Ode, “The Progress of Posey,” which isn’t quite the same as running into Pindar himself, but close. So I …

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The Golden Door | Guide to Daily Reading 11/28/22

Largely unrecognised during his life, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual art of the Romantic Age. What he called his “prophetic works” were said by 20th-century critic Northrop Frye to form “what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the English language”. His visual artistry led 21st-century critic Jonathan Jones…

“But those are the ones I read”

It’s a new week* at the Guide to Daily Reading, and so we have a new epigraph. Montaigne with his sheepskin blistered, An Howell the worse for wear, And the worm-drilled Jesuit’s Horace, And the little old cropped Molière– And the Burton I bought for a florin, And the Rabelais foxed and flea’d– For the …

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