Archive for July, 2011

Johnny Rhymes

Posted in Inspiring poetry with tags , , on July 31, 2011 by echostains

A very short post today (day 5 in the blog everyday on bookstains challenge) and I make no apology for featuring another John Cooper Clarke poem.  He is one of my favorite poets and has featured in a few posts of mine. 

A little bit of Burnley

This one is called  ‘I don’t want to go to Burnley’ and the poet very cleverly rhymes Northern towns – sometimes with the most incongruous words (yes I’m talking to you Elsa Lanchaster!)  I went to Burnley for the first time the other week – and it was great by the way!  I certainly don’t think the poet meant any offence to the towns mentioned (at least I think he didn’t ūüėÄ )

Elsa Lanchaster

Vidoe by  with thanks

Elsa Lanchester image from here

Burnley images taken last week

Happy Birthday Emily Bronte!

Posted in Authors Birthdays, Inspiring poetry, POETS BIRTHDAYS with tags , , , , , , , , on July 30, 2011 by echostains

Emily Jane Bronte

Today is the birthday of writer and poet Emily Bronte (b.1818 – 1848 Thornton Yorkshire).¬† She¬†was the fifth child of Patrick Branwell and Maria¬† Branwell, parents of the famous Bronte’s of Haworth Yorkshire.¬† Emily wrote poetry and one novel ‘Wuthering Heights‘ before she died in 1848 after catching cold at her brother Branwell’s¬†funeral, refusing all medical aid until it was too late.¬† Emily is always depicted as the quiet Bronte, other worldly, spiritual.¬† But she was also a home body too and pined for her home and the moors when she was sent away to school at Roe Head.

Wuthering Heights has inspired many films

Wuthering Heights, a tale of passion, tragedy and love beyond the grave was published in 1847 and received mixed reviews, but it was become a literary classic.  Much has been written about Emily Bronte the woman and there has been a lot of speculation about this quiet, private and almost mystical author.

Angria artifacts

As children the Bronte’s devised stories and poems about the exploits of their toy soldiers who inhabited an imaginary kingdom¬†called Angria.¬† When Emily was 13, she and her sister Ann¬†¬†left Angria¬†and built Gondal¬†– an imaginary island in the South Pacific.¬†They wrote stories about Gondal, but only the¬†Gondal ¬†names and places and some diary papers survive.¬† Her poems are often described as spiritual and passionate.¬† The following comes from Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell in 1846 (Emily is of course ‘Ellis’

How clear She Shines

How clear she shines! How quietly
I lie beneath her guardian light;
While heaven and earth are whispering me,
“To morrow, wake, but dream to-night.”
Yes, Fancy, come, my Fairy love!
These throbbing temples softly kiss;
And bend my lonely couch above,
And bring me rest, and bring me bliss.

The world is going; dark world, adieu!
Grim world, conceal thee till the day;
The heart thou canst not all subdue
Must still resist, if thou delay!

Thy love I will not, will not share;
Thy hatred only wakes a smile;
Thy griefs may wound–thy wrongs may tear,
But, oh, thy lies shall ne’er beguile!
While gazing on the stars that glow
Above me, in that stormless sea,
I long to hope that all the woe
Creation knows, is held in thee!

And this shall be my dream to-night;
I’ll think the heaven of glorious spheres
Is rolling on its course of light
In endless bliss, through endless years;
I’ll think, there’s not one world above,
Far as these straining eyes can see,
Where Wisdom ever laughed at Love,
Or Virtue crouched to Infamy;

Where, writhing ‘neath the strokes of Fate,
The mangled wretch was forced to smile;
To match his patience ‘gainst her hate,
His heart rebellious all the while.
Where Pleasure still will lead to wrong,
And helpless Reason warn in vain;
And Truth is weak, and Treachery strong;
And Joy the surest path to Pain;
And Peace, the lethargy of Grief;
And Hope, a phantom of the soul;
And life, a labour, void and brief;
And Death, the despot of the whole!

The Bronte’s themselves have inspired many books, plays and songs – Wuthering Heights especially.¬†

Here’s two videos the first inspired by¬† Emily Bronte’s novel and the second by¬†her poem above:-

More about Emily here and this wonderful site here

Emily Bronte image here and Bronte parsonage books here

Wuthering Heights still here

Bronte Parsonage Museum website

Bronte Parsonage Blog

Poem from here with thanks

Kate Bush video from  with thanks

How Clear she shines video from

There are more of my Bronte related posts in the Bronte category on the right side of the blog

Well Read?

Posted in Authors I've read with tags , , , , , on July 29, 2011 by echostains

It’s the third day of the ‘blog every day for a whole week on bookstains¬†challenge’ and I’ve been wondering¬†which is¬†the worlds most best-selling¬†book..¬† The answer¬†is surprising.¬† I would have thought it was the bible – ¬†but it isn’t.¬† The¬†sales of these¬†¬†best-selling¬†books are over 1 million copies.¬† They are-

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens  1859 sold over 200 million

The Lord of the Rings by J RR Tolkien  1854-1855 sold 150 million

The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien 1937 sold over 100 million

 (Dream of the Red Chamber) Cao Xuegin  1759 -1791 sold over 100 million

And then there were None by Agatha Christie 1939  sold over 100 million


You could say that I have contributed to those sales, having bought and read ‘A Tale of Two Cities’, ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’.¬† Also rans¬† (between 50 million and a million) are;-

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’¬† by C S Lewis

She by H Rider Haggard
Le Petit  Prince (The Little Prince) Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

The Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger

The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho

Steps to Christ by Ellen G White

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Heidi’s years of wandering and learning¬†by Johanna¬†Spyri

The Common Sense book of baby and Childcare by Dr Benjamin Spock

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

SHE is Ursula Andress

Out of those, I’m¬†surprised to find that ¬†I’ve¬†actually¬†read The Lion the Witch and the wardrobe, The Little Prince, Heidi, Catcher in the Rye,¬† Lolita, Anne of Green Gables, Black Beauty and The name of the Rose.¬†¬†¬† I might add, that most of these books were read¬†years ago¬† and of my choosing¬†–¬†¬†not through required reading.¬† My relationship to Dr Spock is a bit tenuous.¬† I am a product of his advice ūüėĬ†

Well how many of these particular books have your read?¬† More than me I bet ūüėÄ – and what did you think of that list?

List from here and includes other interesting book lists

Heidi Book image from here
She image and book review here

Annabel Lee

Posted in Inspiring poetry with tags , , , , on July 28, 2011 by echostains

It’s the second day of my ‘post each day on Bookstains for a week’ challenge.¬† I came across this poem by Edgar Allan Poe, (1809 – 1849) the American mystery and horror writer.¬† The poem is about Poe first love Annabel Lee and is the last completed poem Poe wrote.¬† The subject, as well as being about lost love is also about death.¬† The poem was written in 1849 and published that same year – which coincidently was also the year the writer died.¬† The poem speaks of a love that can transcend¬†death.¬† No one really knows who the woman¬† was, though some think¬†that lady may have been¬† his wife Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe.

If the poem seems a little familiar to you, that may be¬†because it featured in the 1971 film Play misty for me which starred Clint Eastwood as the unwitting Radio DJ who got himself embroiled with one of his listeners who turned out to be a demented mad woman.¬† Annabel Lee was the woman’s favorite poem and it is quoted in the film.¬† Dangerous love.

One of Poe’s favorite themes was the death of a beautiful woman and this one fulfills the criteria.¬† the poem is about an ideal love – a love that not even death can break.¬† Here’s the poem in its entirety-

Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me-
Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we-
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.
 Poem from Poemhunter with thanks

More about this poem  and its possible source here

Play Misty image here

Poe poster from here

All Behind – and a personal challenge – Day one

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on July 27, 2011 by echostains

You have heard the expression ‘getting ahead of yourself?’ Well I am getting all behind with myself – especially¬†as far as¬†my Bookstains blog is concerned.¬†¬† I’ve been so busy with other stuff.¬† I have book reviews to post, films to mention and there’s a couple of new poetry challenges to be posted.¬† All these posts have been started – and¬†lie in various states of incompletion.¬† I shall have to get myself more organised as¬† the future looks to be even busier.

One year I spent every day blogging for the entire year.¬† I still don’t know how I did it really.¬† That was on echostains, I have never tried that on Bookstains.¬† However, I intend to post a post on here each day for one week as a personal challenge to myself (and because I feel guilty for leaving it for a couple of weeks.¬†

I can’t promise an in-depth¬†post every day, but I may even get round to finishing some posts that really need to be posted – that will be an achievement in itself for me.¬† So what you may expect? (though it’s probably more likely not to expect) book reviews;- Notebooks of a Naked Youth by Billy Childish, Grayson PerryPortrait of the artist as a young girl¬†by Wendy Jones, among others.¬†

32 Brinkburn Street

Also 32 Brinkburn Street (a¬† period drama shown on TV) Dexter (also televised) and at least one poetry challenge.¬† Now lets see if I can deliver for one week ūüėČ

Cartoon from here with thanks

Grayson Perry book image here

Brinkburn Street image here

Billy Childish book image here

The Listeners by Walter de La Mare

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on July 8, 2011 by echostains

One of my favorite childhood poets is Sir Walter de la Mare.¬† the first poem which we had to memorise¬†at school was ‘Five Eyes’ and to this day, I still remember it line for line.¬† De La Mare¬†was born at Charlton, Kent, England 25 April 1873 ‚Äď 22 June 1956.¬† He came from¬† quite a well off family.¬† His father, James Edward de la Mare, was an official of the Bank of England. His mother, Lucy Sophia (Browning) de la Mare was related¬†to the poet Robert Browning. He was educated¬†in London at St. Paul’s Cathedral Choir School, which he left at age 16. From 1890 to 1908 he worked in London in the accounting department of the Anglo-American Oil Company. His career as a writer started from about 1895 and he continued to publish to the end of his life. His first published story, ‘Kismet’ (1895), appeared in the Sketch under the pseudonym Walter Ramal.¬†¬†¬† The Listeners is one of his most famous poems – full of atmosphere and imagination.

Read about this poet Walter De La Mare Society and here

Video  with thanks!