“This above all – to thine own self be true”

Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 3

William Shakespeare

Let’s be clear – this is a Big. Deal. Hold your breath and get ready for the drumroll please…

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THIS IS MINGLED YARNS’ 100th POST!

O frabjous day! Calloo! Callay!

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And to celebrate this rather magnificent achievement – 100 apt Shakespeare quotations is hard! –  I have… not very much actually. Come on guys, it’s summer, I’ve been away for a while, cut me some slack.

However, whilst away on my South-East USA roadtrip I did find some bookish things to share with you, such as… :

  • The Library of Congress library 2– the largest library in the world and the United states’ oldest federal cultural institution. The best things, IMHO, were the quotes on the ceiling, such as: ‘In books lies the soul of the whole past time’ (Thomas Carlyle) and ‘Reading maketh a full man, Conference a ready man, and Writing an exact man’ (Sir Francis Bacon).shakespeare

There was even the now increasingly famous ‘Fault in Our Stars’ quote up there, and, naturally, a statue of the big Bard himself (see the very tiny picture to the right).

  • The Folger Shakespeare Library (again) – unfortunately, they had a rather average exhibition on ‘Heritage and Heraldry’ on when I was there, and let’s just say my cultural heathen brothers weren’t all that keen to stay in there for long. Still, the theatre was beautiful.
  • Tennessee William’s House (in the amazingly vibrant city of New Orleans)
  • Beckham’s Bookshop bookshop– in the French Quarter of New Orleans, this second-hand bookstore is definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area. With hundreds of old books, the best antique paper-decaying odour you’ll smell and it’s own cat, it’s a reader’s paradise.
  • The real life house of Jim Williams – one of the major characters from one of my favourite reads so far this year, ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil’ (John Berendt). Seriously worth a read, it’s a true story about a murder (which happened in the aforementioned house), the ensuing legal case, and all the crazy people who live in Savannah, Georgia. 

And if you’re looking for any more new books to read then I’ll end with some other recommendations:

‘Three Men in a Boat’  (Jerome K. Jerome)

‘Here For the Season’ (Tania Kindersley)

‘The Woman in White’ (Wilkie Collins)

‘We Need New Names’ (NoViolet Bulawayo)

Enjoy them, and thanks for supporting ‘Mingled Yarns’ during it’s first century – here’s to the next 100!

great gatsby

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“I divide all readers…

“I divide all readers into two classes; those who read to remember and those who read to forget.”

William Lyon Phelps

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I most definitely fall into the second category of readers here, and, to be honest, originally couldn’t conceive of anyone just reading ‘to remember’, but having spoken to some of my friends about this, apparently people really do purely read to increase their factual knowledge! Who knew?

Still, the categories can’t be quite so clear-cut as all that, surely?

“When you do dance, I wish you a wave o’th’sea, that you might ever do nothing but that”

The Winter’s Tale, Act 4, Scene 4

William Shakespeare

A very quick blog post, since I promised I’d upload a copy of my favourite Sylvia Plath poem. This one was written whilst she was pregnant with her son, and so refers to her excitement and love for her unborn child.

“Clownlike, happiest on your hands,
Feet to the stars, and moon-skulled,
Gilled like a fish. A common-sense
Thumbs-down on the dodo’s mode.
Wrapped up in yourself like a spool,
Trawling your dark, as owls do.
Mute as a turnip from the Fourth
Of July to All Fools’ Day,
O high-riser, my little loaf.

Vague as fog and looked for like mail.
Farther off than Australia.
Bent-backed Atlas, our traveled prawn.
Snug as a bud and at home
Like a sprat in a pickle jug.
A creel of eels, all ripples.
Jumpy as a Mexican bean.
Right, like a well-done sum.
A clean slate, with your own face on.”

“You’re” by Sylvia Plath

I hope you can see why I like this poem; the imagery is so joyful. There are vast numbers of metaphors and similies, not all of them obviously positive: “A creel of eels”, yet they present the perfect image of a fidgeting child, perhaps in the womb. Anyway, I’ll let you make up your own mind about it, but I hope you like it as much as I do.

Longer posts to come soon!