Monday, 13 April 2020

Poetry Revisited: Ostern – Easter by Marie Rudofsky


(aus Schulter an Schulter.
: 1915)

Noch bläst es scharf vom Bergwaldkamm,
Wenn abendlich die Sonne scheidet;
Die tiefversteckte steile Klamm
Liegt windverweht in Schnee gekleidet.

Noch steht die weite Flur so kahl,
Wie in des Winters dunklen Tagen,
Und aus dem Bach im Wiesental
Nur scheue Weidenkätzchen ragen.

Und dennoch naht, du ahnst es kaum,
Auf weichen, bunten Falterflügeln
Der alte Auferstehungstraum
Und läßt nicht hemmen sich, nicht zügeln.

Er schwirrt mit Zaubermacht und Pracht
Durch Feld und Au und Waldesengen,
Und über Nacht ist froh erwacht:
Ein Keimen, Sprudeln, Leben, Drängen.

Leicht schmilzt des Winters letzter Rest,
Die Erde taut aus harten Schollen;
Sie rüstet sich zum Frühlingsfest—
Ein neuer Segen ist erquollen.

Und neues Hoffen sproßt und schwillt
Im qualerstarrten Menschenherzen;
Mit wehmutsvollem Trost gestillt,
Ruh’n ausgesöhnt bezwung’ne Schmerzen.

Der frohe Osterglockenklang
Hell übertönt die dumpfen Klagen,
Es will beim Allelujasang
Ein lichtes, freies Werden tagen.

Es will in jeder deutschen Brust
Die Hoffnung tiefe Wurzeln schlagen,
Und nach des Lenzes Blütenlust
Auch reiche, volle Früchte tragen.

Marie Rudofsky (1869-1946)
böhmisch-österreichische Dichterin


(from Side by Side.
War Poems
: 1915)

Still it blows sharply from the mountain ridge,
When the sun parts in the evening;
The deeply hidden steep gorge
lies blown over, clad in snow.

Still the wide corridor is so bare
Like in winter’s dark days
And from the brook in the grassland valley
Only shy catkins protrude.

And yet, is approaching, you hardly suspect it,
On soft, colourful butterfly wings
The old dream of resurrection
And cannot be delayed, nor restrained.

It buzzes with magic power and splendour
Through fields and meadows and forest narrows,
And woke up happily overnight:
A germination, bubbling, living, pushing.

Easily melts the remaining winter’s rest,
The earth thaws from hard clods;
It is gearing up for the Spring Festival—
A new blessing has gushed.

And new hope sprouts and swells
In the torment-frozen human heart;
Satisfied with wistful comfort
Rest reconciled overcome pains.

The happy sound of Easter bells
Drowns out brightly the dull complaints,
With the song of Hallelujah will
Be born a bright, free becoming.

In every German breast wants
To take deep roots Hope
And after spring’s lust for flowers
Also to bear rich, full fruit.

Marie Rudofsky (1869-1946)
Bohemean-Austrian poet

Monday, 6 April 2020

Poetry Revisited: Song by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


(from Kéramos and Other Poems: 1878)

Stay, stay at home, my heart, and rest;
Home-keeping hearts are happiest,
For those that wander they know not where
Are full of trouble and full of care;
                    To stay at home is best.

Weary and homesick and distressed,
They wander east, they wander west,
And are baffled and beaten and blown about
By the winds of the wilderness of doubt;
                    To stay at home is best.

Then stay at home, my heart, and rest;
The bird is safest in its nest;
O’er all that flutter their wings and fly
A hawk is hovering in the sky;
                    To stay at home is best.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)
American poet and educator

Monday, 30 March 2020

Poetry Revisited: Loneliness by Sophie M. Hensley


(from The Heart of a Woman: 1906)

Dear, I am lonely, for the bay is still
     As any hill-girt lake; the long brown beach
     Lies bare and wet. As far as eye can reach
  There is no motion. Even on the hill
     Where the breeze loves to wander I can see
     No stir of leaves, nor any waving tree.

There is a great red cliff that fronts my view
     A bare, unsightly thing; it angers me
     With its unswerving-grim monotony.
  The mackerel weir, with branching boughs askew
     Stands like a fire-swept forest, while the sea
     Laps it, with soothing sighs, continually.

There are no tempests in this sheltered bay,
     The stillness frets me, and I long to be
     Where winds sweep strong and blow tempestuously,
  To stand upon some hill-top far away
     And face a gathering gale, and let the stress
     Of Nature's mood subdue my restlessness.

An impulse seizes me, a mad desire
     To tear away that red-browed cliff, to sweep
     Its crest of trees and huts into the deep;
  To force a gap by axe, or storm, or fire,
     And let rush in with motion glad and free
     The rolling waves of the wild wondrous sea.

Sometimes I wonder if I am the child
     Of calm, law-loving parents, or a stray
     From some wild gypsy camp. I cannot stay
  Quiet among my fellows; when this wild
     Longing for freedom takes me I must fly
     To my dear woods and know my liberty.

It is this cringing to a social law
     That I despise, these changing, senseless forms
     Of fashion! And until a thousand storms
  Of God's impatience shall reveal the flaw
     In man's pet system, he will weave the spell
     About his heart and dream that all is well.

Ah! Life is hard, Dear Heart, for I am left
     To battle with my old-time fears alone
     I must live calmly on, and make no moan
  Though of my hoped-for happiness bereft.
     Thou wilt not come, and still the red cliff lies
     Hiding my ocean from these longing eyes.

Sophie Margaretta Almon Hensley (1866-1946)
Canadian writer and educator

Monday, 23 March 2020

Poetry Revisited: Spring by Gerard Manley Hopkins


(from Robert Bridges (ed.). Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins: 1918)

Nothing is so beautiful as spring—
     When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
     Thrush's eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
     The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
     The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.

     What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth's sweet being in the beginning
     In Eden garden.—Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
     Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid's child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)
English poet and Jesuit priest

Friday, 20 March 2020

Bookish Déjà-Vu: Puffball by Fay Weldon

Many dream of a secluded life in the country although it certainly isn’t right for everybody. Those who are used to the permanent commotion of city life may find it not just a big change, but also a challenge to have just a few neighbours to talk to all day long and only a handful of places to go to for meeting people. At this difficult time that requires social distancing – or rather physical distancing –, most of us have become painfully aware of how important social interaction actually is for us human beings. Introverts like me will find it less hard to stay at home than extraverted people whose mental well-being depends to a considerable extent on the personal exchange with numerous others. The loneliness that the female protagonist of Puffball by Fay Weldon feels having moved from London to a country cottage with her husband makes her fall victim to false friends…

Read my review »

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Back Reviews Reel: March 2017

My reads of three years ago were diverse as ever and comprised three contemporary and two classical works of literature from the pens of female and male writers from Europe and the Americas. The first two were The Painted Kiss by Elizabeth Hickey and The Pope’s Daughter by en-Nobel-ed writer Dario Fo, namely biographical novels bringing to life Austrian fin-de-siècle painter Gustav Klimt and the much defamed beauty Lucrezia Borgia from Renaissance Italy respectively. The short-story collection The Country Road by forgotten writer Regina Ullmann took me on a trip across rural Switzerland of the 1920s, while The Roots of Heaven by Romain Gary, an award-winning French classic from the 1950s set in Africa, advocated the protection of wild life and more generally of the environment. Finally, I got absorbed in a fictitious Brazilian painter’s arbitrary train of thoughts running through the pages of non-narrative Água Viva by Clarice Lispector.

Monday, 16 March 2020

Poetry Revisited: The Idea by Agnes Mary F. Robinson

The Idea

(from Songs, Ballads and a Garden Play: 1888)

Beneath this worlcj of stars and flowers
     That rolls in visible deity,
I dream another world is ours
     And is the soul of all we see.

It hath no form, it hath no spirit;
     It is perchance the Eternal mind;
Beyond the sense that we inherit
     I feel it dim and undefined.

How far below the depth of being,
     How wide beyond the starry bound;
It rolls unconscious and unseeing,
     And is as Number or as Sound.

And through the vast fantastic visions
     Of all this actual universe,
It moves unswerved by our decisions
     And is the play that we rehearse.

Agnes Mary Frances Robinson (1857-1944)
English poet, novelist, essayist, literary critic, and translator

Monday, 9 March 2020

Poetry Revisited: The Sparrow by Albert Durrant Watson

The Sparrow

(from Heart of the Hills: 1917)

A little meal of frozen cake,
A little drink of snow,
And when the sun is setting,
A broad-eaved bungalow.

A little hopping in the sun
Throughout the wintry day,
A little chirping blithely
Till March drifts into May:

A little sparrow’s simple life,
And Love, that life to keep,
That careth for the sparrow
Even when it falls asleep.

Albert Durrant Watson (1859-1926)
Canadian poet and physician

Monday, 2 March 2020

Poetry Revisited: Spring by Lesbia Harford


(from The Poems of Lesbia Harford: 1941)

The hot winds wake to life in the sweet daytime
My weary limbs,
And tear through all the moonlit darkness shouting
Tremendous hymns.

My body keeps earth’s law and goes exulting.
Poor slavish thing!
The soul that knows you dead rejects in silence
This riotous spring.

Lesbia Harford (1891-1927)
Australian poet, novelist and political activist

Monday, 24 February 2020

Poetry Revisited: Bесна – Spring by Fyodor Ivanovich Tyutchev


(из книги Стихи и
политические статьи: 1886)

Зима недаром злится,
Прошла ее пора —
Весна в окно стучится
И гонит со двора.

И все засуетилось,
Все нудит Зиму вон —
И жаворонки в небе
Уж подняли трезвон.

Зима еще хлопочет
И на Весну ворчит.
Та ей в глаза хохочет
И пуще лишь шумит…

Взбесилась ведьма злая
И, снегу захватя,
Пустила, убегая,
В прекрасное дитя…

Весне и горя мало:
Умылася в снегу,
И лишь румяней стала,
Наперекор врагу.


Фёдор Иванович Тютчев (1803–1873)
Русский поэт, Диплома́т и государственный деятель


(from Poems and
Political Articles: 1886)

The winter not without reason grows wroth:
Her season is past,
Spring knocks at the window
And drives her out of doors.

And everything has begun to stir,
Everything drives the winter away
And the larks in the sky
Have already raised their chime.

Winter still makes trouble,
And grumbles at the spring,
But she laughs in her face,
And only clamours more.

The angry witch grew furious
And, snatching up the snow,
Threw it, running away,
At the pretty child.

For spring it was but little concern:
She washed herself in the snow,
And became only rosier
In spite of her foe.


Fyodor Ivanovich Tyutchev (1803–1873)
Russian poet, diplomat and statesman

Translation as published in
B. A. Rudzinsky, Stella Gardiner: Poems
selected from Karamzin, Pushkin, Tyutchev,
Lermontov, Count A. Tolstoy, Nikitin,
Pleshcheyev, Nadson, and Sologub.
H. S. Marshall, London; J. Menzies,
Edinburgh and Glasgow 1917.

Friday, 21 February 2020

Bookish Déjà-Vu: In Diamond Square by Mercè Rodoreda

Even in our modern times it can be quite a challenge for a woman to stand her own in a society that can’t deny its patriarchal and sexist heritage, moreover one that men still live either because they belong to those few who cling stubbornly to anachronistic views or because in their regions of the world it’s common practice. In a past, when in the Western world, too, to be born a woman almost inevitably meant to be doomed to a life of submission and suffering, only few had the chance and the courage to claim power over their own destiny. In Barcelona of the 1930s, the protagonist of In Diamond Square by Mercè Rodoreda, another bookish déjà-vu, vegetates beside her all-controlling husband until the need to feed her family and the adversities of the Civil War wake her up and force her to take life into her own hands…
Read my review »

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Back Reviews Reel: February 2017

The literary form of the epistolary novel was in my review focus this month three years ago. In So Long a Letter by Mariama Bâ a Senegalese woman writes to her friend abroad about the grief when her husband took a second wife after over twenty years of marriage and then died. The correspondence of a divorced couple trying to lead their rebel son back in the right way in 1970s Israel builds the story of Black Box by Amos Oz. The Letters to Felician by Austrian writer Ingeborg Bachmann reveal the heart of a young woman who after the horrors of World War II yields to her romantic phantasies about an imagined lover. And finally, the mail of an English businessman and the diary of his brother preparing to become a Hindu monk reveal their views of each other and lead near Culcutta of the 1960s to A Meeting by the River by Christopher Isherwood.

Monday, 17 February 2020

Poetry Revisited: Winter and Spring by Hannah Flagg Gould

Winter and Spring

(from The Youth's Coronal: 1851)

“Adieu!“ Father Winter sadly said
To the world, when about withdrawing,
With his old white wig half off his head,
And his icicle fingers thawing.

“Adieu! I am going to the rocks and caves,
And must leave all here behind me;
Or, perhaps I shall sink in the Northern waves,
So deep that none can find me.“

“Good luck! good luck, to your hoary locks!“
Said the gay young Spring, advancing;
“You may take your rest mid the caves and rocks,
While I o'er the earth am dancing.

“But there is not a spot where your foot has trod,
You hard, and clumsy old fellow,
Not a hill, nor a field, nor a single sod,
But I must make haste to mellow.

“And then I shall carpet them o'er with grass,
Which will look so bright and cheering,
That none will regret that they let you pass
Far out of sight and of hearing.

“The fountains that you locked up so tight,
When I shall give them a sunning,
Will sparkle and play with my warmth and light,
And the streams will set to running.

“I'll speak in the earth to the palsied root,
That under your reign was sleeping;
I'll teach it the way in the dark to shoot,
And draw out the vine to creeping.

“The boughs that you cased so close in ice
It was chilling e'en to behold them,
I'll deck all over with buds so nice,
My breath can alone unfold them.

“And when all the trees are with blossoms dressed,
The bird with her song so merry
Will come to the branches to build her nest,
With a view to the future cherry.

“The earth will show by her loveliness,
The wonders I am doing,
While the skies look down, with a smile, to bless
The way that I'm pursuing!“

Said Winter, “Then I would have you learn
By me, my gay new-comer,
To push off too, when it comes your turn
And yield your place to Summer!“

Hannah Flagg Gould (1789-1865)
American poet

Monday, 10 February 2020

Poetry Revisited: Winter Heavens by George Meredith

Winter Heavens

(from A Reading of Earth: 1888)

Sharp is the night, but stars with frost alive
Leap off the rim of earth across the dome.
It is a night to make the heavens our home
More than the nest whereto apace we strive.
Lengths down our road each fir-tree seems a hive,
In swarms outrushing from the golden comb.
They waken waves of thoughts that burst to foam:
The living throb in me, the dead revive.
Yon mantle clothes us: there, past mortal breath,
Life glistens on the river of the death.
It folds us, flesh and dust; and have we knelt,
Or never knelt, or eyed as kine the springs
Of radiance, the radiance enrings:
And this is the soul's haven to have felt.

George Meredith (1828-1909)
English novelist and poet

Monday, 3 February 2020

Poetry Revisited: There’s A Certain Slant of Light by Emily Dickinson

There’s A Certain Slant of Light

(from Poems by Emily Dickinson. Series 1: 1890)

There's a certain slant of light,
On winter afternoons,
That oppresses, like the weight
Of cathedral tunes.

Heavenly hurt it gives us;
We can find no scar,
But internal difference
Where the meanings are.

None may teach it anything,
'T is the seal, despair,—
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the air.

When it comes, the landscape listens,
Shadows hold their breath;
When it goes, 't is like the distance
On the look of death.

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
American poet

Friday, 31 January 2020

Book Review: Industrial Park by Patrícia Galvão
The steadily growing divide between rich and poor isn’t a new phenomenon, or else Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels would never have had reason to write the Communist Manifest and the blood-soaked October Revolution of 1917 might never have massacred the Russian Tsar along with his family to put the idealistic principles of Marxism into practice. During the first decades of the new regime, people worldwide dreamt of following the country’s example unawares of the fact that Lenin, Stalin and their likes turned their egalitarian Soviet utopia into the dystopian oligarchy, even monocracy of totalitarian Bolshevik leaders. Set in the working-class district Brás in São Paulo, Brazil, the proletarian novel Industrial Park by Patrícia Galvão, first published under the pseudonym Mara Lobo in 1933, shows the daily struggles of women who have to cope not just with cutthroat capitalism but also with machismo. The communists among them call for fight…

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

*New* Decade Challenge 2020 @ GOODREADS Bookcrossers: The List

Click on the image to go straight
to the *New* Decade Challenge post
in the GOODREADS Bookcrossers group

1 January - 31 December 2020

12 Volumes of Representative Fiction
from 120 and 1 Years of World Literature

– planned and completed –
(subject to change)

1900-09: Robert Walser: The Assistant (1908), original German title: Der Gehülfe
1910-19: Tormay Céline: The Old House (1914), original Hungarian title: A Régi ház
1920-29: José Eustasio Rivera: The Vortex (1924), original Spanish title: La vorágine
1930-39: Patrícia Galvão: Industrial Park (1933), original Brazilian Portuguese title: Parque industrial 
1940-49: Ivo Andrić: Bosnian Chronicle (1945), original Croatian title: Travnička hronika
1950-59: Hayashi Fumiko: Floating Clouds (1951), original Japanese title: 浮雲
1960-69: Giuseppe Dessì: The Deserter (1961), original Italian title: Il disertore
1970-79: Sevgi Soysal: Noontime in Yenişehir (1973), original Turkish title: Yenişehir'de Bir Öğle Vakti
1980-89: Hwang Sok-yong: Shadow of Arms (1985), original Korean title: 무기의 그늘
1990-99: Olga Tokarczuk: House of Day, House of Night (1998), original Polish title: Dom dzienny, dom nocny
2000-09: Samrat Upadhyay: The Guru of Love (2003)
2010-19: Emmi Itäranta: Memory of Water (2013), original Finnish title: Teemestarin kirja

Monday, 27 January 2020

Poetry Revisited: Midwinter Thaw by Sir Charles G. D. Roberts

Midwinter Thaw

(from Songs of the Common Day and AVE!: 1893)

How shrink the snows upon this upland field,
          Under the dove-grey dome of brooding noon!
          They shrink with soft reluctant shocks, and soon
In sad brown ranks the furrows lie revealed.
From radiant cisterns of the frost unsealed
          Now wakes through all the air a watery rune—
          The babble of a million brooks atune,
In fairy conduits of blue ice concealed.

Noisy with crows, the wind-break on the hill
          Counts o'er its buds for summer. In the air
Some shy foreteller prophesies with skill—
          Some voyaging ghost of bird, some effluence rare;
And the stall-wearied cattle dream their fill
          Of deep June pastures where the pools are fair.

Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts (1860-1943)
Canadian poet and writer

Friday, 24 January 2020

Bookish Déjà-Vu: Vienna by Eva Menasse

Austria in the 1930s was no bed of roses. Neither people, nor economy had fully recovered from World War One and its aftermaths, when the Great Depression pushed people back into misery and despair. Many destitute gladly accepted the Jewish scapegoat offered to them eloquently by know-all busybodies. In Germany, Hitler and his National Socialists took advantage of the general feeling to be elected into Parliament and to shape the country according to their ideas – dictatorship, holocaust and war included. In Austria, a declaredly Christian Austrofascist regime seized power in an attempt to ward off National Socialism, but Germany annexed the country in March 1938 and turned upside-down the lives retold in Vienna by Eva Menasse, another one of my bookish déjà-vus. The novelised seventy years of true family history begin with the birth of the author’s father to a mixed Catholic-Jewish couple in the Austrian capital in spring 1930…
Read my review »

Monday, 20 January 2020

Poetry Revisited: Winter by Frances Anne Kemble


(from Poems: 1859)

I saw him on his throne, far in the North,
Him ye call Winter, picturing him ever
An aged man, whose frame with palsied shiver
Bends o’er the fiery element, his foe.
But him I saw was a young god whose brow
Was crown’d with jagged icicles, and forth
From his keen spirit-like eyes there shone a light
Broad, glaring, and intensely cold and bright.
His breath, like sharp-edged arrows, pierced the air ;
The naked earth crouched shuddering at his feet ;
His finger on all murmuring waters sweet
Lay icily, motion nor sound was there;
Nature seem’d frozen dead; and still and slow
A winding sheet fell o’er her features fair,
Flaky and white from his white wings of snow.

Frances Anne Kemble (1809-1893)
British actress and writer

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Back Reviews Reel: January 2017

Regarding reviewed books, the first month of 2017 was extremely varied as prove my archives. Between the covers of two contemporary and two classical novels, I found people trying to understand their surroundings. There was the Austrian woman in Angel of Oblivion by Maja Haderlap who reconstructed her late parents’ lives before, during and after World War II to fathom their true characters. A young Spanish restorer of paintings discovered a century-old chess riddle in The Flanders Panel by Arturo Pérez-Reverte and found herself drawn into a murderous search of the truth. The Japanese boy in The River With No Bridge by Sumii Sué learnt in the years before World War I that his family origins alone sufficed to make others hate and discriminate him. And finally, a German architect looked back on his own, his family’s and his country’s past in Billiards at Half Past Nine by Heinrich Böll.

Monday, 13 January 2020

Poetry Revisited: Dirge for the Year by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Dirge for the Year

(from Posthumous Poems: 1824)

Orphan hours, the year is dead;
          Come and sigh, come and weep;
Merry hours smile instead,
          For the year is but asleep:
See, it smiles as it is sleeping,
Mocking your untimely weeping.

As an earthquake rocks a corse
          In its coffin in the clay,
So white Winter, that rough nurse,
          Rocks the dead-cold year to-day.
Solemn hours ! wail aloud
For your mother in her shroud.

As the wild air stirs and sways
          The tree-swung cradle of a child,
So the breath of these rude days
          Rocks the year: be calm and mild,
Trembling hours; she will arise
With new love within her eyes.

January grey is here,
          Like a sexton by her grave;
February bears the bier,
          March with grief doth howl and rave;
And April weeps but, O ye hours!
Follow with May's fairest flowers.

January 1, 1821

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)
English Romantic poet

Friday, 10 January 2020

Bookish Déjà-Vu: The Beautiful Mrs. Seidenman by Andrzej Szczypiorski

National Socialism brought the horrors of totalitarianism, race hatred and war virtually all over Europe, but without doubt, Poland was one of the places where it showed its evil face most clearly. Many of the Jewish ghettos and German concentration camps were on occupied Polish territory and the war swept over the country first eastwards, then back westwards. Moreover, there was the well-organised and strong Polish Resistance giving the occupants a hard life and the prosecuted every possible support. Thanks to the excellent forged papers provided by it and to her model Aryan looks, the protagonist of The Beautiful Mrs. Seidenman by Andrzej Szczypiorski, which I picked as a bookish déjà-vu, managed to escape sure deportation from Warsaw for years. When an old acquaintance and Jewish informer crosses her way and hands her over to the Nazi authorities to save his own skin, the Resistance comes to her rescue again…

Read my review »

Monday, 6 January 2020

Poetry Revisited: En la festividad de los Santos Reyes – On the Feast of the Holy Kings by St. Teresa of Avila

En la festividad
de los Santos Reyes

(de Obras de Sta Teresa de Jesús,
Tomo VI: 1919)

Pues la estrella
es ya llegada,
vaya con los Reyes
la mi manada.

Vamos todas juntas
a ver el Mesías,
pues vemos cumplidas
ya las profecías.
Pues en nuestros días,
es ya llegada,
vaya con los Reyes
la mi manada.

Llevémosle dones
de grande valor,
pues vienen los Reyes,
con tan gran hervor.
Alégrese hoy
nuestra gran Zagala,
vaya con los Reyes
la mi manada.

No cures, Llorente,
de buscar razón,
para ver que es Dios
aqueste garzón.
Dale el corazón,
y yo esté empeñada:
vaya con los Reyes
la mi manada.

Santa Teresa de Jesús (1515-1582),
nombre secular Teresa Sánchez
de Cepeda Dávila y Ahumada
monja, mística y esritora española

On the Feast
of the Holy Kings

(from Works of St. Teresa of Avila,
Volume VI: 1919)

Now that the star
Has aready arrived,
Go With the Kings
My flock.

Let’s go all together
To see the Messiah,
Now that we see fulfilled
Already the prophecies.
Now that in our days
It has already arrived,
Go With the Kings
My flock.

Let’s bring him presents
Of great Worth,
Now that the Kings are coming
With such great surge.
Today she rejoices
Our great young girl,
Go With the Kings
My flock.

Don’t bother, Llorente,
To search a reason,
To see that it’s God
This young boy.
Give him the heart
And I be indebted:
Go With the Kings
My flock.

St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582),
secular name Teresa Sánchez
de Cepeda Dávila y Ahumada
Spanish nun, mystic and writer

Literal translation:
© Edith Lagrazaiana 2020

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

2020 Reading Challenges

Happy New Year! So here we are again at the beginning of a year, even of a new decade this time. Let’s hope that it will have many literary treats – contemporary and classical – in store for us! On Edith’s Miscellany I intend to take things easier in 2020 although my reading list is just as full as usual. I’ve already made my preliminary choice of twenty-six books to review in the odd weeks to come, but if I feel like it I might present the one or other additional one in an even week. As for reading challenges, I decided to sign up again for one that I did already a few times and to continue with the posts for the perpetual one that I’ve been in since 2014. Otherwise, I’ll fill my lines, i.e. I’ll see to it that by the end of the year there will be just as many female as male authors for every letter of the alphabet in my all-time review list.

In 2020, I’m participating in the *New* Decade Challenge of the GOODREADS Bookcrossers Group for the third time in a row. My plan for the next twelve months is to read for it 12 Volumes of Representative Fiction from 120 and 1 Years of World Literature starting in the early 1900s through the decade that has just ended. As usual, I’ll have an eye on linguistic diversity choosing books originally written in twelve different languages although I’m afraid that most of them will come from European countries, after all. Literature from other cultures isn’t always easy to get hereabouts, even less in English translation, but I’ll do my best. And of course, I’ll post my book reviews on Edith’s Miscellany and teasers on GOODREADS.

»»» follow my progress on my reading list for 12 Volumes of Representative Fiction from 120 and 1 Years of World Literature or with the GOODREADS Bookcrossers Group.

The perpetual reading challenge that I mentioned above is called Read the Nobels. Aloi aka the Guiltless Reader has been hosting it for years with the declared aim to give the writings of the now 116 recipients of the Nobel Prize in Literature more attention. It’s really a pity that I’m almost the only one left who still posts review duplicates on the Read the Nobels blog. On my own list of en-NOBEL-ed writers, I’ve already ticked off the names of half of the laureates… which leaves me the other half still to discover or to get back to as in the case of Ernest Hemingway or Henryk Sienkiewicz respectively. I expect to read books from the pens of at least four more of them by the end of this year.

»»» see my post for Read the Nobels with the complete list of winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature and the links to my own book reviews here on Edith's Miscellany and on Lagraziana’s Kalliopeion.