A poet in January

January bliss: a comfy chair, poetry, and tea in a lovely cup given by a dear friend.
You’re invited to drop in and tell us your favorites– poets, teas, or both!

“When one reads a poet in January, it is as lovely as when one goes to walk in June.”
Jean Paul Friedrich Richter

If you’ve been reading this blog very long, you know how much I love walking, especially in mild weather. But I think Jean Paul was right about poetry and January, which seem to go together like soup and snowy weather, or friendships and firesides.

Many of us who live north of the equator have been enduring record-cold temperatures. Some have been hit with a particularly nasty flu or other seasonal aches and pains. Power outages, weather delays and traffic snarls, along with wind chills below zero, can make wintertime something to dread. So let’s get cozy and enjoy what’s good about this season.

Brew a cup of your favorite cold-weather beverage. Pull up a comfy chair, light a crackling fire, or if you don’t have that kind of fireplace (alas, I don’t), try switching on your gas or electric fireplace, or just snuggle up with a warm fuzzy throw. Take out your favorite poetry book, or grab your laptop, tablet or phone and go on a poetry scavenger hunt for some wonderful undiscovered gems, or lifelong favorites you can’t fully remember.

If you find anything lovely, funny, thought-provoking or heartwarming, we’d love to have you share it with us here. For every comment that links us to a poem, I’ll answer with a favorite of my own for us to read. Our high school English teachers would be proud!

Let’s bring our virtual Verandah indoors while it’s too cold to be outside. What we lack in sunshine and warm breezes we can more than make up for in congenial online company and realtime hygge.  Cookies, pastries and savory snacks optional.

65 Comments

  1. raynard

    Julia, the first thing that came to my mind was” The old Dionne Warwick song” Walk on By” Then Italian Wedding soup. I’ve been drinking lately lots of Peach and Lemon Herbal tea.I have to get back to my books I purchased on ” my old Google Tablet. Just recently got a Kindle Fire which , well ” the jury is still out on( but it has a nice clear screen and two cameras front and back. Gone are the days of” ” Instant” ( like coffee) I digress. Oh before I forget ” Happy New Year”( Since Mary’s birthday is Wednesday I won’t bother her about” taking down the Christmas Tree. Suppose to be” a heatwave this week ( 40’s and 50″s) Is it just me or” the Urgent Care Clinics and Pharmacies are” grinning and rubbing their hands together” counting co pays and” scripts” I digress.

    • Raynard, Jeff loved the Kindle Fire I got him (after totally ignoring the iPod touch I had given him a couple of years earlier — “that screen is too small” 😀 ) I think the Fire is great for everything but reading actual books, for which I prefer the Kindle Paperwhite that Jeff got me long before I got him the Fire. To me, the Paperwhite is the most like an actual print book, with all the advantages of digital. Hey, we had a heatwave yesterday and today (in the 60’s) but it’s going to disappear by tonight, so they say. But it was nice while it lasted. Y’all stay warm!

    • Rene

      I’m dying to know the connection between Dionne Warwick & Italian Wedding soup.

      • Rene, you and me both! As I’ve said before, Raynard must be the James Joyce of this blog. But I’m no expert on Joyce, or on Italian Wedding Soup or Dionne Warwick either, for that matter.

  2. Harry Sims

    For goodness sake explore this website.
    Open the links just out of curiosity and be justly rewarded.
    Pay attention to Hygge,
    Sometimes I think Julia is inexhaustible but I find myself still be wrong a lot.
    Harry

    • Harry Sims

      Some several years ago someone reported that Abraham Lincoln said, “Everyone’s about as happy as they make up their minds to be”.

      I have given this a good bit of thought and remember being puzzled by this concept when I first came aware of it for it seems to imply that one’s happiness hinges on their mindset.

      I recently came upon a website (https://cupofjo.com/2017/02/how-to-hygge/) which discusses the Danish concept of Hegge ( pronounced HOO ga) which has been present in their culture for a whole lot longer than Abraham’s expounded idea and the preliminary discussion I have started to get into indicates that it is a deeply embedded cultural phenomenon which is widely utilized and enjoyed there without any kind of suggestion that they have any kind of “patent” or ownership of it.

      In fact they say that it exists everywhere and in everyone’s lives to some degree but they come forth with a practical application which creates the atmosphere for happiness.

      This is one of the ideas that brings to mind our common idea as alcoholic’s that we were searching for this in some form but searching at the wrong address, in the bottom of a bottle etc.

      So with that idea of using this practical program as part of my overall program of living life on life’s terms I put this forth for further consideration.

      Harry

      • Harry, for some reason this comment went into my spam filter and luckily I checked it before I emptied it, which I don’t always do. So I un-spammed this. It seems like this happened to one of your comments (or somebody’s) once before awhile back, but I don’t know why. It’s very rare anything goes into the spam filter once someone’s comments have been published at least one time on the blog. Anyway, thanks for sharing this website and info. So many of my favorite things are part of the hygge way of life, but winter seems an especially good season for it. I think it’s easy to look for joy in all the wrong places, but the popularity of this topic suggests that many of us are waking up to that tendency to get misdirected.

    • Thank you Harry. I’m actually repeatedly exhausted, or at least think I am, but God has always been able to do amazing things with a few loaves and fishes. Like the Widow at Zarephath in I Kings 17, I’ve been expecting to run out any day, and never (so far) quite get to that point.

  3. My earliest association with poetry came in a small, leather-bound book, read aloud by my father. Beyond simple rhyming verse, he also read to me the lengthy lay by Thomas B. Macaulay.Thus Horatius became the earliest of my pre-American heroes. Oh the depth of wonder provided by such readings!

    • Eric, I remember that book! I think it must have been this edition, or something very like it. But I don’t remember that poem, because the book went missing when I was still too young to appreciate Horatius. (My memory says that Daddy allowed Carla to take the book to school to share, and it was promptly ripped off and never seen again.) I can remember that Daddy was pretty good at reciting poetry. He seemed to prefer singing ballads such as “The Flying Dutchman” and “Ghost Riders in the Sky” but who can forget his popular recitation of an obscure parody of Poe’s “Raven” (always preceded by a disclaimer that he loved the poem and meant no disrespect to Poe). I never knew the name of that parody until Carla told me about it recently. It’s amazing to me how well Daddy could say it from memory, because I have a hard time even reading it aloud, it’s such a tongue-twister.

      • The Ravings of Pute Poet Poe (from my own memory, which could get a phrase or two wrong):
        Once upon a midnight dreary, eerie, scary, I was weary full of worry, thinking of my lost Lenore – of my cheery, airy, firey, fairy dearie, nothing more.
        I was napping when a tapping on the over-lapping coping woke me gaping, yapping, groping; toward the coping I went hopping, leaping, hoping that the rapping on the coping was my little lost Lenore – so I opened wide the door.
        And what was there?
        The dark mire, the drear moor, the mere door, nothing more.
        Then in there stepped a stately raven, shaven like the Bard of Avon – yes, a rovin’ grievin’ raven seekin’ haven at my door; only this and nothing more.
        Ah distinctly I remember every ember that December turned from amber to burnt umber; I was burning limber lumber in my chamber that December, and it left an amber ember.

        Then with a certain flirtin’ of a purple curtain, that old raven, cold and calloused, perched upon a bust of Pallas. Had that calloused cuss shown malice, or sought solace there on Pallas? You may tell us, Alice Wallace.
        Tell this soul with sorrow laden if a maiden out of Aidan sent this sudden bird invadin’ my poor haven and portrudin’ half-an-inch above my door . . . tell this soul with sorrow laden he’s bredin’ bats by too much sodden readin’ – readin’ Snowden’s Ode to Odin . . . tell this soul with sorrow laden if no kiddin’ on a sudden he shall grasp that radient maiden whom the angels call Lenore . . .Then that bird said Nevermore.
        Prophet, said I, thing of evil, navel, novel, or bollweavel, you shall travel on the level – scratch the gravel, leave my hovel, I implore.
        But that Bird said, Nevermore!
        And my soul’s within his shadow that lies floating on the floor. . . fleeting, flighting, yatching, boating – on the flutting of the matting, matting on my chamber floor . . . chamber floor, nothing more.

        • Told you – even an error in the first line. Should be: “I was weary I was wary, full of worry”

          • “From the sublime to the ridiculous, it is only one step.” I use this quote of Bernard Le Bovier de Fontenelle as a segue from “Ravings . . .” To this wonderful hymn:
            “In vain in high and holy lays
            My soul her grateful voice would raise;
            For who can sing the worthy praise
            Of the wonderful love of Jesus!
            Refrain:
            Wonderful love! wonderful love!
            Wonderful love of Jesus!”
            I sang the above song for years, before learning what a “lay” was.

            • I used to think that it was “high and holy days” and the hymnal had a typo! I also thought “vain” was describing the person who considered himself high and holy. In other words, I thought it was “vain and high and holy…” That’s about like Charlie Morrison asking Rachel “why did he bruise James?” 🙂

          • Yeah, but as mentioned, maybe that was how Daddy actually said it. I could never have come up with more than a few words of it here and there, so I think you did well.

        • WOW, you got it almost all. I just noticed a few lines left out. That’s pretty amazing. BTW your ending (which differs slightly from the one published online at the link) is how I remember Daddy ending the poem, so your verses above might be closer to his version. For example, I don’t remember him saying the line about Baden-Baden. The part I most remember is the line “scratch the gravel.” I always wondered if he got that idiom from the poem, because I heard him use it in conversation sometimes. I also remember about the limber lumber, and was so young when I first heard it that I wondered if there really was an Alice Wallace.

      • Rene

        I memorized the first stanza of “The Raven” to impress Johnny on our first date: it worked!

        • I can see why– it takes not only a good memory, but also great articulation!

  4. MaryAnn Clontz

    Thank you, Julia for this treat! The following poem is one of my favorites. Last year, a lady at church did something very special for her daughter’s 13th birthday. She asked some of the ladies, who are so well loved by this family, to write what we see in her as she has grown & some bits of advice. I chose this poem to add to my encouraging words. The mother had each of us read what we had written. It was quite an emotional time. When I read the read the last lines of this poem, it felt as if this is good advice for a teenager. God does want us to choose the “one less traveled by.” Sending much love!
    The Road Not Taken – Poem by Robert Frost

    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;

    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
    Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same,

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way
    I doubted if I should ever come back.

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

    • Mary Ann, thanks for sharing that poem with us and taking the time to type it out! Robert Frost is one of my favorites. A friend of mine used this poem as the theme of his high school graduation speech which I got a sneak peek at because I typed it up for him. Here is one of many poems he wrote that I admire greatly. I tried to find an online link to it, but could not, so I’ll do as you did and paste it here:
      “Choose Something Like a Star”
      (Robert Frost, 1916)

      O Star (the fairest one in sight),
      We grant your loftiness the right
      To some obscurity of cloud–
      It will not do to say of night,
      Since dark is what brings out your light.
      Some mystery becomes the proud.
      But to be wholly taciturn
      In your reserve is not allowed.
      Say something to us we can learn
      By heart and when alone repeat.
      Say something! And it says “I burn.”
      But say with what degree of heat.
      Talk Fahrenheit, talk Centigrade.
      Use language we can comprehend.
      Tell us what elements you blend.
      It gives us strangely little aid,
      But does tell something in the end.
      And steadfast as Keats’ Eremite,
      Not even stooping from its sphere,
      It asks a little of us here.
      It asks of us a certain height,
      So when at times the mob is swayed
      To carry praise or blame too far,
      We may choose something like a star
      To stay our minds on and be staid.

  5. Amy Hill

    Here are a couple of my favorites. As you know Matt introduced me to Writers Almanac and I miss it very much. I often heard some great poems there.

    Blessings by Ronald Wallace

    occur.
    Some days I find myself
    putting my foot in the same stream twice;
    leading a horse to water
    and making him drink.
    I have a clue.
    I can see the forest
    for the trees.

    All around me people
    are making silk purses
    out of sows ears,
    getting blood from turnips,
    building Rome in a day.
    There’s a business
    like show business.
    There’s something new
    under the sun.

    Some days misery
    no longer loves company;
    it puts itself out of its.
    There’s rest for the weary.
    There’s turning back.

    —————————————————————————————————————

    No Man is an Island by John Donne

    No man is an island
    Entire of itself
    Every man is a piece of the continent,
    A part of the main.
    If a clod be washed away by the sea,
    Europe is the less.
    As well as if a promontory were
    As well as if a manor of thy friends
    Of of thine own were:
    Any man’s death diminishes me,
    Because I am involved in mankind,
    And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
    It tolls for thee.

    • Amy, I miss it too. I keep thinking they will bring it back, but I think when they fired Keillor, he (understandably) took his work and his rights to it with him. Perhaps he will come up with something of his own, but maybe not. It was an amazing archive that could be accessed fully, complete with text and audio, all the way back to the earliest years before they even had audio. A big loss to everyone, collateral damage out of the justifiable downfall of so many. I still don’t understand it; there is almost no work of art not connected in some way to someone of questionable character or reprehensible deeds. Does anyone suggest we stop quoting Shelley or Byron? But I digress. OK, I will share the poem you introduced to me when we walked through Arlington while planning for Jeff’s funeral:

      Epigrams: Sixty-Eighth Birthday
      By James Russell Lowell (1819–1891)

      AS life runs on, the road grows strange
      With faces new, and near the end
      The milestones into headstones change,
      ’Neath every one a friend.

      • Amy Hill

        I love that poem. It seems so appropriate at different times. I like a lot of Lowell’s writings. I think almost everything around is reprehensible these days. I guess that makes me sound a bitter person and I am not that. I just think that much of what is considered art, or news worthy or shareable is not. There is still beauty and love and joy in this world so that’s what I will focus on.

        • Amy, it’s easy to get jaded by all the clutter and junk creating noise pollution everywhere. Just the commercials alone are enough to drive me crazy. That’s why I like to use Alexa to get news, weather, traffic, etc. because it’s (mostly) commercial free. Of course that doesn’t mean it’s all good. I sure miss Writer’s Almanac. In any case, there’s nothing like silence (or a little classical music) and a good book of short stories, or poems, or artwork. As long as we can shift focus we need never feel bitter for very long!

  6. Good morning, Julia! Following your suggestions enhances my day. I found some tea from Teavana that I’d left in the cupboard. Ruby … something. I’ll try it with a poem, and possibly a fire. 🙂

    • Hi Susan! I’m not sure whether you’re still in Minnesota, or back in New England– but either way, you need that fire and tea! Hope it was good.

      • I went to Menards and bought an electric fireplace! LOL
        The were some on Craig’s List, but this was less expensive (?!) And crazy “modern,” with a “crystal rock” bed and LED back-lighting. So many color options: flame, fire bed, back lighting …

        • I bought my first electric fireplace off Craigslist for $30 in 2010, and I’ve loved it ever since. I never heard of all those crazy options, though. What would the LED backlighting do? I wonder whether they’ll ever just do the computer screen thing like Raynard does.

  7. Sheila

    Julia, there’s just something about “warm and in a cup” that feels so right. My coffee that I’m sipping in a beautiful handmade mug feels so perfect this morning. The lady fingers are packaged in SIX for a reason. Thank you, again. 💙 I miss Garrison Keillor and the daily email I received for years. I think Jeff and Matt read those too. I look forward to the comments and poems. My favorite must be “Thank You Friend” (Grace Noll Crowell). A dear neighbor enclosed it in a note on moving day for us, many years ago. It’s been my favorite ever since. I must add they were from Atlanta! 💖 Hugs crossing the miles for you and Matt. Love, Sheila

    • Thank you, Sheila! I may have read that poem before, but I had forgotten it. Here’s a similar one that I sent to a friend a few years back, which came to mind when I read the one you shared. Doesn’t a poem become much more special when someone gives it to us? A friend of mine gave me this poem by Marge Piercy many years ago, and though I have lost touch with her, I will always remember that she gave it to me. Sending hugs right back to you as I sip my Cinnamon Spice tea! ❤

  8. There is not a breath of poetry in me as my English teacher was mostly into grammar vs style. I’m a “facts” kind of writer so there is not a lyrical bone in my body. But I do love to sit inside and read a cozy book when the weather turns gloomy and chilled. We have been lucky this winter so far. My heart went out to all of you who had to endure those arctic storms. I’m grateful I can sit inside and watch from my window, though this morning will be a walk in the rain to a neighbors house as we collect to kibitz and hand sew. The temps are reasonable and the walk will do my old body some good. I love your tea cup. Do you have many that are so delicate? Giant hugs and stay warm.

    • Marlene, I mostly have serviceable lidded mugs, which I adopted after ruining a computer with spilled coffee. But, aside from the cups and saucers that go with my china sets, I do have at least three nice cups. The one in the photo above was given to me by my friend Renee. Then I have an exquisite cherry blossom cup and saucer that was given to me by Kelly (a.k.a. Boomdee). And I have a lovely English china cup that my friend Kathy sent to me while she was living in England. Some people say that everyone has a bit of artist in them, whether they know it or not, and I tend to think that is true of poetry as well. But I do know that some are very practical and factual in their approach to life. For you, here is another poem by Robert Frost, one that is perhaps among my top 5 favorites of all time:

      Fire and Ice by Robert Frost

      Some say the world will end in fire,
      Some say in ice.
      From what I’ve tasted of desire
      I hold with those who favor fire.
      But if it had to perish twice,
      I think I know enough of hate
      To say that for destruction ice
      Is also great
      And would suffice.

      • Love Frost’s poems. I have several John O’Donohue books of poetry that I fell in love with years ago. I guess I’m meant to enjoy other’s poetry while I write it plain and simple with as few words as possible. 🙂 Hope you are doing well. Big squishy hugs.

        • I can’t recall anything by O’Donohue, but I’ll have to look him up. Actually, writing plain and simple with as few words as possible is a very good description for what the best poetry does, I think. I first started writing poetry as an attempt to use fewer words. But like you, I’m much better at reading it than writing it. We are doing OK, staying warm and mostly enjoying the season. Sending cozy hugs!

  9. Julia, Sounds like the best way to spend a day in an artic blast.
    -Alan

    • Yes, it definitely takes the sting out of the cold. I keep reminding myself that each day we get one more minute of sunlight!

      • Once we turn that corner we know spring is on the way.
        -Alan

        • Alan, it actually got up to 60 degrees today! What a difference that makes in my mood. It’s nice to have a break from single-digit temperatures. Sunshine, too.

          • Sunshine and warm temps always makes for a brighter disposition!
            -Alan

            • So true! I’m trying to brace myself for a return of cold weather, but we get one more minute of daylight each day, so that helps.

  10. Ann

    Here’s a quote from Dr. Seuss. “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened“

    • Ann, that’s very good advice. I’ve been trying to teach Matt (and myself) to keep it in mind! ❤

  11. As one might hear on “Monte Python” … “and now for something completely different:”
    http://baetzler.de/humor/haiku_error.var
    I feel a solidarity within such silliness! LOL

    • Susan, these are great! Thanks for sharing them. BTW, I often use that line from Monty Python.

  12. Mike

    Supposed to snow tonight Crazy weather.
    I have been reading on the Kindle Fire. Eudora Welty. But youlike the Paperwhite? Have to try that one. May have overstayed my welcome here- if you know what I mean. Supposed to move this week to a little flat in Canton out by the old hospital–now closed with a new site just off I-75 – Exit 19 . Northside hospital.

    • Mike, I wonder if that’s the same Northside hospital where Grady was born? I never stayed at Drew and Megan’s home more than 2 or at most 3 nights ( and that was when I got snowed in), but I always felt like I was overstaying my welcome, though I only saw them in the evenings after I got back from staying with Mama. Re: the Paperwhite, what I like about it is the non-glare screen that you can read even out in bright sunlight. It’s them most like a paper page, I think, hence the name. Jeff loved the Fire I got him, though. He liked the color screen and would use it to watch brief news clips etc.

  13. Mike

    Went sledding this AM with Norah and Jo jo, down the hill.

    • How fun! They probably will be talking about that many years from now.

  14. Mike

    13 degrees here in Canton. My son is on shift today so keep him in thought and prayer.

    • BRRRR, that’s awful! I thought temps that low were illegal in Georgia. The other day we had a wind chill of -2, and I stayed indoors like the weather wimp I am.

  15. Mike

    20 degrees in Canton this AM.4 big storms this winter in GA..

    • Wouldn’t it be nice if we could somehow save some of this chill to take out when it’s 100 in the shade with humidity and bugs aplenty?

  16. Rene

    I finally figured out which poem to share:

    MEMORY by Raymond Carver

    Cutting the stems from a quart
    basket of strawberries—the first
    this spring—looking forward to how
    I would eat them tonight, when I was
    alone, for a treat (Tess being away),
    I remembered how I forgot to pass along
    a message to her when we talked:
    somebody whose name I forget
    called to say Susan Powell’s
    grandmother had died, suddenly.
    Went on working with the strawberries.
    But remembered, too, driving back
    from the store. A little girl
    on roller skates being pulled along
    the road by this big friendly-
    looking dog. I waved to her.
    She waved back. And called out
    sharply to her dog, who kept
    trying to nose around
    in the sweet ditch grass.
    It’s nearly dark outside now.
    Strawberries are chilling.
    A little later on, when I eat them,
    I’ll be reminded again—in no particular
    order—of Tess, the little girl, a dog,
    roller skates, memory, death, etc.

    • WOW, I’ve never seen this poem (though all literary-style writers talk endlessly of Carver as an influence). But he certainly nailed the nature of memory, did he not? In fact, often, when I’m trying to remember something that has slipped my mind, I will go back to the spot where I was thinking about it and sometimes something I will see (ostensibly unrelated) will trigger the forgotten mental note. Thanks for sharing this. It’s really good.

  17. Mike

    The Old Northside hospital actually just closed in May and they have a anew Northside Hospital just off exit 19-from I75. I might put an app. in there someday. It is off of Hospital drive and north-park slope drive down from the super Wallmart. Not far from Old Canton downtown area off of Waleska street. We are not far from Reinhardt college and I want to visit the Funk heritage center there which has a bunch of interesting Indian stuff.

    • That’s a part of town with which I’m totally unfamiliar. Like any great city, Atlanta has so many interesting little neighborhoods and outlying areas to explore. One thing I loved about the military life was the chance to experience life in different places, doing all the little things one never does as a tourist. I think you will love the spring in Atlanta. Be sure to visit Callaway Gardens during azalea season, if you can manage a little road trip. Not too far away is Roosevelt’s Little White House. If you ever go down to Plains to hear President Carter teach Sunday School, Callaway Gardens would be (sort of) on your way.

  18. Michael

    Verie is not looking forward to the bugs. Southern custom of putting alum on your kids tongue for bab languages?

    • Michael, I never heard of that custom, but then again, my parents never threatened to wash my mouth out with soap, either. That was something I only heard on TV. As for the bugs, there are some really good non-toxic insect repellents out there that Verie might want to try. Avon’s Skin So Soft is a good one, but if you want something stronger, I like to use Eco-Smart (and for anyone who might be wondering, NO, I am not being paid to endorse this). I love the way these herbal oils smell, which is a nice extra, but maybe not everyone would agree.

  19. Mike

    Eco smart is a lotion for the skin?
    At the Woodstock library I picked up a copy of ” C.S. Lewis in time of War,” You probably have read this, abouit the BBC behind the scenes work getting his talks on the radio for the groiundwork of :Mere Christianithy.” What a wonderfully generous man- donating the proceeds from the books and talks to a fund for widows of pastore\s.

    • Mike, it’s a spray. I’m one of those people who get eaten alive by bugs, but I hate to use DEET or anything toxic. EcoSmart is made from natural botanical oils and I really love the way it smells. And it works, as long as I remember to put it on before I go out and work in the garden.

      C. S. Lewis was an amazing man, any way you look at it. He’s one of those people who become more human and yet more admirable the more you read about him. He gave away pretty much all the fortune he made from his books, and lived very modestly– in fact, many people described him as shabby in his dress, and pretty much everyone who knew him described him as humble, down-to-earth, lively, funny and generous to a fault. His wealth and formidable intelligence never stood in the way of his relating to people of all socioeconomic levels, and he spent hours every day answering each and every letter in the deluge of mail he received. When his health failed he dictated the letters to his brother Warnie, who typed them out and mailed them.

  20. Mike

    Norah just grabbed the table from me, but I was going to say I enjoyed the comment in this book- that he was the “Aquinas, aristotle and Aesop all in one, for his generation.? And no one has really replaced him since. He also put several people through school. This is the first day -it has rained –all day here in Canton- so it makes me a little homesick for the gray -dirty skies of Seattle.
    I like the anaology also where he said,” We are living in an occupies country.” Of course especially relevant to the times when he wrote. I don’t have internet yet so- am on line at my son’s place.
    Yeterday I went to the Funk Heritage center at Wleska on campus of Reinhardt college. Very enlightening.. The US Supremem court sided with the Cherokee, but Mr. Jackson ignored the ruling and forced out the tribe.Sad. what was the film you mentioned at one time or play about the trail of tears.?

    • Mike, it was called Unto These Hills and though I was very young when I saw it, I have had a grudge against Andrew Jackson ever since. I realize all the arguments about why he was a great president, and yes, we grudgingly held Drew’s rehearsal dinner in a cabin at the Hermitage– but I still find him overall to be a bad guy. Of course growing up with our Daddy who was supposedly 1/4 indigenous (and DNA tests near the end of his life confirmed that family lore) we were always given a different take on native American history than the “Cowboy and Indian” films used to portray. In fact, I still have my copy of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee which I got in high school. I don’t know if the play is still as good as it once was, but I’d like to see it again. Supposedly, aside from Daddy’s Chiricahua ancestery, we also have Cherokee blood on both sides of our family, but pretty much everyone from Elizabeth Warren to every kid I ever knew makes the same claim, so I consider such claims– even in our family– highly suspect. Re: C. S. Lewis, keep reading his work, and those about him. Some of his biographers are less trustworthy than others, but even those that are not even remotely hagiographic paint a portrait of a truly remarkable man.

  21. Mike

    Hagiographic? Yesterday some folks were discussing SAvannah and the sand fleas there? They said to also use the Avon skin soft. It drowns them- somehow. Hope to visit Savannag on my soujourn to the South. My maternal grandfather was a Carter from somewhere in West virginia who headed West after theCivil war. There is a picture of the family on a train heading westward.I hear there are a few Carters left in West Virginia.
    They discussed ” The pirate house” in Savannah and its relation to Treasure Island” Had not heard of this.
    Yes Andrew Jackson was a populist and won the election on regards to removing those pesky illegal Cherokee. Sound familiar? You have probably read Sarah Vowells essay, “Why I hate the 20 dollar bill.” She also claims Cherokee ancestry.
    I am reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein after the allusion to it by Solnitt.
    I have also found a tea house in Canton, but have not visited there yet. Yesterday it rained so much it seemed like Seattle. Today it is clear and cold.

    • Mike, I love using Skin So Soft to ward off insects, and I do think it works. In any case I like the smell and it’s bound to be less toxic than DEET. Someday I hope to make a trip to Savannah. Jeff and I always wanted to go but we never did get around to it. It seems really odd to have grown up in Atlanta and never made it to Savannah for even a brief trip. Hope you have some better weather there today.

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