Posts Tagged ‘old favorites’

Sometimes, it’s not about what’s new, but wrapping oneself in the comfort of old friends.  Today is just a few of my favorites.

Emily Dickinson, of course:

I’m nobody! Who are you?

Are you nobody too?

Then there’s a pair of us — don’t tell!

They’d banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!

How public, like  a frog

To tell your name the livelong day

To an admiring bog!

How apropos today – as I sit here (semi-) anonymously adding my voice.  I’m nobody. Certainly the cults of personality exit (Ashton Kutcher, anyone?) but I can think of nothing more dreadful than to have to live in the public eye as so many seem willing to do – pick your version of reality tv if you’re not sure.

More fun, also Emily:

In a Library

A precious, mouldering pleasure ‘t is

To meet and antique book,

In just the dress his century wore;

A privilege, I think,

His venerable hand to take,

And warming in our own,

A passage back, or two, to make

To times when he was young.

His quaint opinions to inspect,

His knowledge to unfold

On what concerns our mutual mind,

The literature of old;

What interested scholars most,

What competitions ran

When Plato was a certainty,

And Sophocles a man;

When Sappho was a living girl,

And Beatrice wore

The gown that Dante deified.

Facts, centuries before,

He traverses familiar,

As one should come to town

And tell you all your dreams were true:

He lived where dreams were sown.

His presence is enchantment,

You beg him not to go;

Old volumes shake their vellum heads

And tantalize, just so.


books on a bookcart


Lucky me, I have met and held antique volumes in their vellum bindings.  The sense of history they impart never ceases to amaze me.  A book, older than the country in which I live, and I can hold it in my hand(s).  And yet, in spite of their age, many of the oldest books are in better condition than some from the turn of the last century, owing to the cheaper paper of the late 1800’s and early 20th century which allowed cheaper and more widespread printing but brought with it the curse of acidity which is now crumbling the books as they sit and concerning archivists, preservationists and conservators around the world.


And a quick trip to fancy, from an old book of mine, The Big Golden Book of Poetry; 85 Childhood Favorites (Golden Press, 1965) Jill Came from the Fair, by Eleanor Farjeon, p. 10.

Jill Came From the FairJill came from the Fair

With her pennies all spent;

She had had her full share

Of delight and content;

She had ridden the ring

To a wonderful tune,

She had flown in a swing

Half as high as the moon,

In a boat that was drawn

By an ivory swan

Beside a green lawn

On a lake she had gone,

She had bought a gold packet

That held her desire;

She had touched the red jacket

Of one who ate fire,

She had stood at the butt,

And although she was small

She had won a rough nut

With the throw of a ball,

And across the broad back

Of a donkey a-straddle,

She had jolted like Jack-

In-the-Box on a saddle —

Till mid frolic and shout

And tinsel and litter,

The lights started out

Making everything glitter,

And dazed by the noise

And the blare and the flare,

With her toys and her joys

Jill came from the Fair.