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NauenThen

Happy birthday

Close enough to February & in the sign of Aquarius to start being excited for my birthday in 4 weeks. Today I say happy birthday to:
* My warm-hearted, funny friend Roberta, who always stands up for the damaged & undefended.
* John Donne, a favorite poet of mine.
* Sam Cooke, beautiful gospel singer with the Soul Stirrers & later a pop star.
* And the great Byron, from whom I got the title to a book of mine, from his wonderful short lyric "So We'll Go No More A-Roving."* And the second line of which Johnny has tattooed on his back (that man!).  Read More 
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Spain & all

I'm leaving in a couple of hours for Spain (Barcelona, Seville, Madrid). My first real vacation in years (not counting family events, high school reunions or business trips.) I'm pretty sure I won't be able to blog while I'm out of the country. And even though Europe is on the grid, I'm looking forward to being off it.

In Seville was he born, a pleasant city,
Famous for oranges and women,—he
Who has not seen it will be much to pity,
So says the proverb, and I quite agree;
Of all the Spanish towns is none more pretty,
Cadiz perhaps, but that you soon may see.
—Byron, from Don Juan

Until May!
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I said it's my BIRTHDAY

Me, older than yesterday
The poem of the day was Byron's "So we'll go no more a-roving," the second line of which serves as the title for my long poem in ottava rima: So Late into the Night. I mentioned this on Facebook & Gyorgyi Voros posted a link to Leonard Cohen singing the poem. Yeah!

The quote of the day was from Tom Robbins: "When they tell you to grow up, they mean stop growing." So I quit feeling goofy for enjoying my birthday so much. For waking up early, excited. One day to be frivolous, what's the big deal?

It snowed & then a bit of rain & then it got sunny. The weather trifecta.  Read More 
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The pleasures of inefficiency

Someone was giving away a complete, almost unopened set of the 1957 Encyclopædia Britannica, in 24 volumes. What a score! Several friends wondered why I would take up so much space when all that information is online and up to date. (I have the online version on my iPod Touch.) The difference is that the books send me the long and serendipitous way.

I may have gone to Volume 21 (Sord to Texas) to bone up on Terrellas (sadly, not there) but I got, or didn't get, there by way of Tapeworms (yuk), the Stamp Act (George Grenville, 1765), and Tennyson: "He became the victim of a certain 'earnest-frothy' speculator, who induced him to ... invest in a 'Patent Decorative Carving Company'; in a few months, the whole scheme collapsed, and Tennyson was left penniless." Which reminded me of Auden calling Tennyson "undoubtedly the stupidest" English poet, which in turn reminded me of Byron's savage "English Bards and Scotch Reviewers," which made me wonder why poets today all get along.  Read More 
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