The Bibliothecary
Archive
March 1 - 15 , 2006
______________________________
_________________________
The Omnigatherum

The Bibliothecary

Readers' Comments
2006
March April
January February
2005
April May June
July August

Wednesday, March 15, 2006
What's America's favorite poem?  David Lehman, editor of The Oxford Book of American Poetry, has nominated ten
poems from the collection and you can "vote on which of these poems is the most loved."  How the hell do I know what
poem is "most loved."  Isn't that just a popularity contest?  And what an odd ten Lehman has picked:

My Life had stood --a Loaded Gun--  
by Emily Dickinson

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
by T. S. Eliot

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening
by Robert Frost

Harlem/Montage of a Dream Deferred
by Langston Hughes

The New Colossus
by Emma Lazarus

What Are Years?
by Marianne Moore

The Raven
by Edgar Allan Poe

Sunday Morning
by Wallace Stevens

Song of Myself
by Walt Whitman

To Elsie
by William Carlos Williams

These may be great poems, but "America's most loved?"  Marianne Moore?  Emma Lazarus?  William Carlos Williams?  
How do you choose a favorite when ninety percent of Americans wouldn't read, let alone ever heard of these poets?  Go out
on the street right now.  Go ahead.  Poll the first ten people you see with this list.  Poe's "
Raven" is the only poem most
people will know.  You might get a few nods to Eliot or Frost or Dickinson or
Whitman (but not their poems).  And Frost's
"Road Not Taken" would be far more popular than "
Stopping by Woods."  You might get a vague memory of "Prufrock"
from someone's college days.  I'll cast a vote for what
should beAmerica's favorite poem if America read poetry.  And
although I love "
The Raven," my vote goes to Whitman's "Song of Myself."  It's not only had an enormous impact on
American poetry (not all of it good), but it is also America's cultural clarion call to the world.
Comments

Readers' Comments
Ed, I'm looking forward to V for Vendetta. I know it deviates from the plot and to be honest, it will bother me a bit. Usually
I can get over things like that though. League was a horrible movie and for exactly the reasons you mention. Go ahead and
change things. That's the beauty of adaptation. I've read the book, now give me someone else's perspective.
As big of a comic fan that I am, I never really understand how people can have such a cow about these things. They claim to
be purists, but, we're talking about fiction. I'm sorry, but there is no Batman, Spiderman or Daredevil. There is no "real"
story. Comics are done in cycles to attract the attention of new readers, with a bit of concern to keep us old guys in the mix.
My Spiderman isn't the same as a kid who started reading it 10 years ago. So, when making the movie, one of us will be
confused and angered. That's just the way it is. When I go to the theater to see a play, I relish in the choices made by the
actors and directors. I want to see what they bring to the text. Why do comics have to be different?
Also, thanks for the link to the McIntyre article. Not only was it somewhat humorous, but it does touch on why we read. I
shared it with my Drama class and they got a kick out of it too.
Dan

Dan, I just finished reading
Vendetta last night and rally liked it, but I thought it got kind of repetitive in the last quarter.  
Enough already, I get it: people are sheep and should say no to oppression or things will get really really bad.  The interesting
thing for me was the portrayal of a necessary terrorism.  Although Moore doesn't push the card far enough.  His only victims
are bad guys (or nameless-thug stormtroopers).  When you blow up buildings, innocent people die?  In a brutal and
oppressive society, is this justifiable?  I would have liked to see a little more about this.

Prosit,
Ed

The Bibliothecary always welcomes readers' comments.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006
A new Salon piece on John Fante.  I just got two of his Bandini books (along with a biography and a book of lit crit).  
Hopefully I'll like his stuff.  I opened up
Ask the Dust at random and found this passage:

The world was dust, and dust it would become.  I began going to Mass in the mornings.  I went to Confession.  I received Holy
Communion.  I picked out a little frame church, squat and solid, down near the Mexican quarter.  Here I prayed.  the new Bandini.  
Ah life!  Thou sweet bitter tragedy, thou dazzling whore that leadeth me to destruction!  I gave up cigarets for a few days.  I
bought a new rosary.  I poured nickels and dimes into the Poor Box.  I pitied the world.

I hope this isn't some bibliomancy at work, a Sortes Virgilianae for Fante, and I'll have to start going to church again.  Fante's
style is odd, though, isn't it?  Alternately sparse, noir-like in diction, and satirically passionate.  Or is it satiric?  I'll soon find
out.  
Comments

From the Marist College, their fore-edge paintings collection.
Comments

Prosit,
Ed

The Bibliothecary always welcomes readers' comments.

Monday, March 13, 2006
I watched some great movies last week.  Four of the five were absolute gems.  The real surprise was Humphrey Bogart's
"Sahara."  A great WWII flick.
Comments

A review of The Dead Beat by Marilyn Johnson about the art of obituary writing.  My favorite obituary was one I linked last
August for Graham Mason:

GRAHAM MASON, the journalist who has died aged 59, was in the 1980s the drunkest man in the Coach and Horses, the pub in
Soho where, in the half century after the Second World War, a tragicomedy was played out nightly by its regulars.

I'd become a drunk just to have that obituary written about me.  The rest of the obit is even better, including these lines about
Mason's birth (or conception):

Graham Edward Mason was born on July 19 1942 in Cape Town, South Africa. He had been conceived on a sand dune, and to this,
as a devotee of Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy, he sometimes attributed his abrasive character.

Mason's death date is April 9.  I'll be hoisting a drink to his memory.
Comments

Alan Moore is still grumbling about his comics being adapted into films.  The latest, "V for Vendetta," opens soon.  I
understand why Moore doesn't like how his creations are distorted into films that bear little resemblance to his work, but I
actually prefer it when a movie departs from its source.  I've read the book.  I don't particularly want to see a rehash on the
screen.  I find it far more interesting to see what happens when you change a plot or a character.  Of course, the changes in
adapting Moore's
League of Extraordinary Gentleman didn't make for good art.  I couldn't watch more than the first
twenty minutes or so of that film debacle, not because they had changed Moore's work, but because their changes
SUCKED.  I'm hoping "V for Vendetta" will be much more fun.  And what's more fun than a good-guy-terrorist blowing up
buildings?
Comments

Prosit,
Ed

The Bibliothecary always welcomes readers' comments.

Sunday, March 12, 2006
Today's NY Times has a short piece on a soon to be published book from Harvard Press, Walter Benjamin's notes and
observations of his drug-taking experiments in the late 1920s/early 1930s,
On Hashish.  But you don't have to wait.  There
is a
translation available online.  Some highlights from Benjamin's "First Hashish Impression:"


Feeling of little wings growing in one's smile. Smiling and
flapping as related. One has among other things the feeling
of being distinguished because one fancies oneself in such
a way that one really doesn't become too deeply involved
in anything: however deeply one delves, one always moves
on a threshold. Type of toe dance of reason.

Feeling of understanding Poe much better now. The
entrance gates to a world of grotesques seem to open up.
I simply prefer not to enter.

Heating-oven becomes cat. Mention of the word 'ginger'
in setting up the writing table and suddenly there is a                               
 Walter Benjamin
fruitstand there, which I immediately recognize as the
writing table. I recalled the 1001 Nights.

One traverses the same paths of thought as before. Only they seem strewn with roses.

Makes me want to break out the hookah.  I'm always game for getting closer to Poe.  Although I'm not sure I'd want the
oven/cat thing.  And these lovely observation from the "Second Impressions":

Hope as cushion which lies beneath one only just now taking effect.

On the way home as well, when the latch on the bathroom door is hard to lock, the suspicion: experimental set-up.

One hears the tuba mirans sonans, plants oneself in vain resistance against the tombstone.

I think that first one is an Emily Dickinson poem, but the last may be a Doors song.
Comments

John Niven has written a novella based on the greatest album by the band, "Music from Big Pink."  And while the title of the
book is soo intriguing (Music from Big Pink, a novella) and there's a
good review of it in the NY Times today, I'm not sure I
want to read it.  The last rock'n'roll inspired work I read was the collection of stories based on Springsteen's song, "Meeting
Across the River," which I should have loved.  I love crime fiction and Bruce, so why not combine the two.  Honestly, I
thought the stories were boring, clichéd, as if the authors were just trying too hard, providing too much detail to set the
scenes (I didn't read them all, so I may have missed a diamond or two in the rough).  Perhaps the very sparseness of
the
song lends itself to this mistake.  Bruce's lyrics are so empty they're full, enabling the listener to imagine an endless array of
backstories to fill in the song's spaces.  Unfortunately, the stories just were not as compelling as the portrait in the song.  
Comments

I found this link at Bookslut: Nuns vs. Librarians in a spelling bee:

"Librarians give us a scare," said Sister Mary Carol Hellmann, who says she's been brushing up on Latin, Greek, Hebrew and
Spanish root words to prepare for the bee. Some of the other sisters say they use the Internet to practice.

Meanwhile, the librarians say victory won't come easy now that the nuns are competing.

Victory is never easy when nuns compete! MU HA HA HA!
Comments

Some good reading for your Sunday afternoon:

Dominic Dromgoole (I still love that name) on Shakespearean
punctuation (or lack thereof).

Michael Schmidt on the "acute displeasure" of  
Geoffrey Hill.

Adam Kirsch on
"reviving" the humanist texts of the Renaissance.

Novelist of Satanic cults, Dennis Wheatley.

And not to be missed, Ben Macintyre provides
happy endings for some of those oh-so-depressing classics of literature:

Macbeth is much too depressing. In my version the gentle, unassuming and monosyllabic thane settles down at Cawdor, where
Lady Macbeth develops a profitable line in soap that leaves the hands spotless. Hamlet finds a shrink, marries Ophelia and goes into
insurance. In the revised A Farewell to Arms, Catherine has a fat and healthy baby, and she and Henry establish a successful
pacifist ski resort in the Alps.

Godot finally turns up.

Godot finally turns up!  That's hilarious.
Comments

Prosit,
Ed

The Bibliothecary always welcomes readers' comments.

Friday, March 10, 2006
Found this story in the Offbeat News section of CNN (didn't know "offbeat" was an official news category) on the
Chambers Dictionary, a lexicographer's delight because the editors take an antiquarian approach and try to "save" words
from extinction:

"We've resisted the temptation for tossing words out,"
he said Monday at the London Book Fair.
Also on the save list are: jobernowl (blockhead),
logodaedalus (someone skilled in the manipulative use
of words), incompossible (incapable of co-existing)
and supernaculum (to the last drop), the kinds of words
typically omitted by one-volume dictionaries once they
fall out of usage.

Chambers also has a very cool site featuring their
favorite words.  I especially like this selection:

At times it is not so much the word itself as the concept
that it describes that produces a smile:
                                
buttock-mail n the fine formerly exacted by the
church in commutation of sitting on the stool of repentance
(Scots)
dandy-horse n an early bicycle without pedals, driven by
kicking the ground
gardyloo interj the old warning cry in Edinburgh before throwing slops out of the window into the street
mallemaroking n carousing of seamen in icebound ships
omoplatoscopy n divination by observing the cracks in a burning shoulder-blade
presentment of Englishry the offering of proof that a person murdered belonged to the English race, to escape the fine levied on
the hundred or township for the murder of a Norman (history)
taghairm n (in the Scottish Highlands) divination; esp inspiration sought by lying in a bullock's hide behind a waterfall

I probably don't need to know what omoplatoscopy is (although I am profoundly happy now that I do), but my life was
bereft until I discovered the verb
mallemaroking.  I can't wait to fit that into a conversation.
Comments

Readers' Comments
Dan succinctly responds to yesterday's post about miniature books:
Ed, There is no such thing as a small book; there are just small readers.

Dan, And smaller and smaller they seem to be.  Thank god for dictionaries like the
Chambers.

Prosit,
Ed

The Bibliothecary always welcomes readers' comments.

Thursday, March 9, 2006
Miniature books—and I mean really miniature—are easy to misplace:

Mr. Hoyenski once dropped the smallest book in the library's own collection, a book on the Chinese Zodiac. At less than 1
millimeter square, it looks like a speck of dirt with corners. Four people, including curator Mary Durio, crawled around the floor for
hours looking for it. "We were picking up stuff and saying, "Is this it? No, that's a crumb," she recalls.

Mr. Hoyenski found the book the next day, using a jeweler's magnifying loupe to search his desk, square inch by square inch.

He then went blind trying to read it.
Comments

Readers' Comments
Dan writes in about Tuesday's post and Thomas Pynchon's crazy (like a fox) novel, The Crying of Lot 49:
Ed, I'll tell you what I was crying over...I was crying over reading Pynchon's book. I remember reading that for a class as an
undergrad and thinking to myself that maybe Literature wasn't the way for me to go. That book done F'd me up. I didn't get
it. I read it again and didn't get it. I went to my professor and he told me something that saved my academic career: when
you start to struggle with the text, that's when the learning starts. Things that come easy are easy. Anyone can do what's easy
to them. But to take something and struggle with it isn't shameful, it's progress.
It's not the most profound thing anyone has ever said (and I realize there have been many who have made this idea popular,
not my lit teacher), but for some reason it hit me hard and from then on I was determined to struggle through any work that
gave me problems. Of course if I realized back then that it was a science fiction book, it all would have made sense.
Dan

Dan, When I first read
Crying I thought, "This is a haunting sequence of imagined human situations, typical and pathetic
ones, fused with the particularized power that shows Pynchon's own obsession with the encoded messages of the American
landscape."  Or maybe I just read that somewhere.

Prosit,
Ed

The Bibliothecary always welcomes readers' comments.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006
Dave Itzkoff crosses the line "from criticism into outright advocacy" in his review of David Marusek's sci-fi novel, Counting
Heads
, while offering some interesting observations about the current state of Science-Fiction as a genre.  This review kicks
off Itzkoff's new Times column on sci-fi, "Across the Universe."  He also provides a
list of his favorites in the genre and there
are links to the original NY Times' reviews of some of them.  

Cat's Cradle review by Terry Southern:
an irreverent and often highly entertaining fantasy concerning the playful irresponsibility of nuclear scientists. Like the best of
contemporary satire, it is work of a far more engaging and meaningful order than the melodramatic tripe which most critics seem to
consider "serious."

A Clockwork Orange review:

a tour-de-force in nastiness, an inventive primer in total violence, a savage satire on the distortions of the single and collective minds.

The Crying of Lot 49 review written in bombastic English-professorese (by an English professor, of course) that features
these gems:

Thomas Pynchon's second novel, "The Crying of Lot 49," reads like an episode withheld from his first, the much-acclaimed "V.,"
published three years ago. Pynchon's technical virtuosity, his adaptations of the apocalyptic-satiric modes of Melville, Conrad, and
Joyce, of Faulkner, Nathanael West, and Nabokov, the saturnalian inventiveness he shares with contemporaries like John Barth and
Joseph Heller, his security with philosophical and psychological concepts, his anthropological intimacy with the off-beat

and

Within this description is a haunting sequence of imagined human situations, typical and pathetic ones, fused with the particularized
power that shows Pynchon's own obsession with the encoded messages of the American landscape.

If you're wondering why Pynchon's Crying is included in a list of sci-fi novels, Itzkoff writes:

Due to space limitations, I can't offer my complete explanation of why this is a science-fiction book, so for the sake of efficiency
let me simply say to anyone who disagrees with my classification of it as such: You're wrong.

And here I always thought it was Crying's "saturnalian inventiveness" and "anthropological intimacy with the off-beat" that
made it a great work of sci-fi.
Comments

Prosit,
Ed

The Bibliothecary always welcomes readers' comments.

Monday, March 6, 2006
I didn't mean to take off the last few days of blogging, but I was completely depressed after finishing one of Ken Bruen's
crime novels (I won't say which one so as not to ruin the impending moment for anyone else that reads him, but see
Feb 4 for
my post about Bruen's novels).  The novel's conclusion contains the most evil, mean-spirited, vicious twist I've ever read in a
novel.  Honestly, I was just knocked off my feet for a couple days.  Duane Swierczynski, who
interviewed Bruen, wrote to
me, "And teeth still feel loose from that roundhouse kick of an ending. I haven't read anything like it in all of noir" and "Ken
told me his wife Phyl wouldn't speak to him for days after reading that. My own wife threw the book across the room and
cried. It's merciless... but fuck, it just doesn't get any more noir than that."  I'll say.  I don't think a book has ever made me so
depressed.  I thought about it all weekend (I was saved from my morbidity by a  night out with my wife at the
Philadelphia
Flower Show).  I think I might need a break from all these crime novels I've been reading lately.  Too much dark energy
displacing my world.  Aah, who am I kidding?  I'll probably be reading Bruen later tonight.
Comments

And the Shakespeare look-a-like winner is . . . The Chandos portrait.  Hooray!  Well, it is "certainly fairly likely" to be a true
likeness.  That's not much of a
ringing endorsement.  But I am sure that it is the portrait we want to be most like
Shakespeare.  The earring, shirt collar untied, wild hair.  It's certainly the only roguish portrait of him.  And that's good
enough for me.
Comments

Back in the early days of the Bibliothecary (see entry for Apr 28), I mentioned a movie being made of John Fante's Ask the
Dust
and linked this great Salon article on the writer.  The movie is about to be released and there is a piece on it in the NY
Times.  I still haven't read
Fante, but I've just transferred a couple of his Bandini books and a biography to my local library.  
And the guy was a pipe smoker.  What's not to like?
Comments

James Fenton continues his obsession with pirate literature (a grand obsession, don't you think) with a piece on a female
buccaneer, Mary Read:

Read falls in love again, and begins a liaison on board. One day her lover is challenged to a duel, which is set to be fought (as pirates
were always supposed to settle personal quarrels) on dry land. Rather than have her lover fight and perhaps die, she herself
challenges her lover's opponent to another duel, making an appointment two hours earlier. She fights the duel "with sword and
pistol" and kills the man on the spot.

You can read here the short account of her life to which Fenton refers.  There's even a woodcut illustration of Read
delivering the fateful blow in her duel, the point of her sword sticking out the back of her victim.(And see my Feb 27 post for
Fenton's previous pirate reviews)
Comments

Prosit,
Ed

The Bibliothecary always welcomes readers' comments.

Thursday, March 2, 2006
In case you missed yesterday's update:
Last Saturday, I applied the label
dreck to the works of Stephen King.  Since then MPH and I have been arguing about
King's prosaic prowess, genre fiction and literary taste.  You can catch up on the argument on
Michael's blog.  Feel free to
join in.

Every serious drinker knows that martinis and art just don't mix.  Philistines!  If you're hosting an event called
"Martinifest"
and a bunch of people show up who can't hold their liquor, you shouldn't be surprised:

People threw up, passed out, were injured, got into altercations and climbed onto sculptures at Martinifest, a semi- formal event
organized by Clear Channel Radio and held at the museum Feb. 11, according to several people who attended or worked at the event.

"Hindsight is 20-20 . . . it was probably too cheap," Kerry Wolfe, a local programming director for Clear Channel, said of the
event's premise - unlimited martinis for $30.

. . . food, drink and vomit were on and around some of the artworks by night's end, according to some accounts.

I love it when the highbrow set behaves like they're at a hockey game (although I'm not sure that comparison is fair to the
hockey fans).
Comments

And in a related story: kids, please put your chewed gum where it belongs, under your seat, not on museum paintings.  Hey,
at least he didn't get drunk and throw up on the painting.
Comments

And I just this was really cool:

Scientists have found what they believe are traces of the lost Indonesian civilization of Tambora, which was wiped out in 1815 by
the biggest volcanic eruption in recorded history.
Comments

Readers' Comments
Good tickle-brain Daniel writes in about teaching Shakespeare, Sam Shepard, beer-drinking in Chicago and insults:

Ed, Thanks for the plug. And just in case any of our readers happen across part of my review in other places, I'm usually
found by the screen name The Roswellion. Just to let you all know it's not plagiarized.
Also, in regards to your comment about Shakespeare and the fact that we sometimes forget they are plays meant for
performance...This week my Drama class is reading Shakespeare and we have watched a few movies (including Hamlet). It
is amazing to see how students react to a staged version, even if it is on the screen and not live. The nuances of the choices
made by the director and actors often bring a new perspective. Funny lines are suddenly funny and dramatic pauses speak
volumes. A good example is when Polonius asks Hamlet what he is reading. My class cracked up when Hamlet paused and
answered, "words".
Besides that, I also forced them to watch "Rosencranz and Guildenstern are Dead". It was so apparent in their eyes that they
were thrilled to be able to watch such a specialized movie and "get it". What a great flick. Does it get better then Oldman and
Roth? Maybe Sinese and Malkovich in Sam Sheppard's "True West", though if I remember correctly, Ed, it wasn't your
favorite.
Last, I was wondering if I could send a shout out to anyone who might be heading to Chicago for the CCCC's conference
later this month. I'll be attending and would love a chance to have a beer with other readers of the site.
Okay...Last...really. I'm sure you all have seen this but since we were on the subject, here is a link to a
Shakespeare insult kit.
Your unmuzzled dread-bolted ratsbain,
Daniel

Thou beslubbering folly-fallen Roswellian, I actually did like
True West; I just didn't love it.  A worthwhile movie, but it didn't
knock me over.  Have fun in Chi-town.  Wish I could be knocking one back with you.

Prosit,
Ed

The Bibliothecary always welcomes readers' comments.

March 1, 2006 Special update
Last Saturday, I applied the label dreck to the works of Stephen King.  Since then MPH and I have been arguing about
King's prosaic prowess, genre fiction and literary taste.  You can catch up on the argument on
Michael's blog.  Feel free to
join in.

Prosit,
Ed

Wednesday, March 1, 2006
More Shakesnews.  This time it's about a text.  Gary Taylor has attempted to reconstruct Shakespeare's lost play Cardenio
from the text of a 1727 play whose author claimed was a reworking of several manuscripts of
Cardenio.  Got it?  Here's
more:

Lewis Theobald, an accomplished editor of Shakespeare's works, announced that he had several manuscripts of "Cardenio," which
he adapted into a play titled "Double Falsehood, or the Distressed Lovers." Heavily reworked adaptations of older plays, like the
remakes of movie classics continually coming out of Hollywood today, were not at all rare at the time.

The original manuscripts that Theobald claimed to have apparently went missing, and so the debate over "Double Falsehood" has
raged ever since.

Mr. Taylor, like many scholars, accepts Theobald's claim. He is trying to unravel the revisions in "Double Falsehood" to reveal the
original "Cardenio." This means deleting passages that seem to be Theobald's and even writing passages that seem to have been cut,
based on the way Shakespeare and Fletcher wrote; the original passages in the 1612 translation of "Don Quixote"; and what is
known about Theobald's process of adaptation.

I especially love this project because Taylor is interested in creating a Shakespearean play that can be performed.  When I'm
buried deep in Shakespearean texts in my book eyrie it's easy to forget that these are
plays, to be played with.  Play on,
Taylor.
Comments

A couple Sundays ago (Feb 19), I linked a Ray Davies profile from the NY Times and goaded my good friend and major
league Kinks fan, Dan, to review the new solo Davies album.. He does so
on his blog.
Comments

Readers' Comments
Scott J writes in about my post on yesterday's post about smoking books:
BTW, you didn't mention Thank you for smoking.  I know you read the book, and it's gonna be a movie, right?  I think I like
Buckley more than you do.  I've read a couple other books (Little Green Men and That's No Way to Treat a Fist lady), and
I would read more.

Scott, Yes, I forgot about that one.  Absolutely great.  

And Scott J also comments on my pirate book links on Monday:
Hey, why don't you post on your favorite pirate books?
If that's not an idea, let me know what to read.  Perhaps some history book or some such.  It's a subject I wouldn't mind
knowing a bit about.

Scott, I have to admit that my pirate knowledge is more of the movies variety, but I have read and loved Sabatini's
Captain
Blood and Stevenson's Treasure Island.  George Macdonald Fraser also wrote a novel, entitled The Pyrates, which I
heard is wonderful if you love his Flashman-swashbuckling-parody thing, but I have not yet read it.  And I'd always
recommend Howard Pyle.  
Here's an edition of his Book of Pirates including all of his wonderful illustrations.  If you want
non-fiction accounts there is a good popular history account by David Cordingly,
Under the Black Flag: The Romance
and Reality of Life Among the Pirates
.  I read it some years ago and enjoyed it.   James Fenton steers you in the right
direction with Captain Johnson's
General History, which I've read and found very satisfying.  Fenton also quotes
Exquemelin in both reviews.  Exquemelin wrote The Buccaneers of America in the late 17th century and I found an online
edition of it.  I also have another book that I've occasionally dipped into, The Pirates Own Book: Authentic Narratives of
the Most Celebrated Sea Robbers
, in one of those wonderful Dover editions. It's chock full of pirate battles and the last
page contains a "Pirate's Song:"

To the mast nail our flag it is dark as the grave,
Or the death which it bears while it sweeps o’er the wave;
Let our deck clear for action, our guns be prepared;
Be the boarding-axe sharpened, the scimetar bared:
Set the canisters ready, and then bring to me,
For the last of my duties, the powder-room key.
It shall never be lowered, the black flag we bear;
If the sea be denied us, we sweep through the air.
Unshared have we left our last victory’s prey;
It is mine to divide it, and yours to obey:
There are shawls that might suit a sultana’s white neck,
And pearls that are fair as the arms they will deck;
There are flasks which, unseal them, the air will disclose
Diametta’s fair summers, the home of the rose.
I claim not a portion: I ask but as mines
‘Tis to drink to our victory one cup of red wine.
Some fight, ‘tis for riches some fight, ‘tis for fame:
The first I despise, and the last is a name.
I fight, ‘tis for vengeance! I love to see flow,
At the stroke of my sabre, the life of my foe.
I strike for the memory of long-vanished prearm;
I only shed blood where another shed tears.
I come, as the lightning comes red from above,
O’er the race that I loathe, to the battle I love.

That's my kinda pirating.  And, Scott, I have a nice edition of
Captain Blood wating you for you.  Come on over for some
rum (or Budweiser) and we'll sing pirate shanties deep into the night.

















                                                                      M
arooned Pirate, Howard Pyle
Prosit,
Ed

The Bibliothecary always welcomes readers' comments.