When Lincoln Delivered The Emancipation, Who Knew that, one year earlier, in 1862, he’d signed and approved the order for the largest public execution in the United States History? Who did they execute? “Mulatto, mixed-bloods, and Indians.” Why did they execute them? “For uprising against the State and her citizens.” Where did they execute them? Mankato, Minnesota. How did they execute them? Well, Abraham Lincoln thought it was good. And Just To Hang Thirty-eight Sioux simultaneously. Yes, in front of a large and cheering crowd, thirty-eight Indians dropped to their deaths. Yes, thirty-eight necks snapped. But before they died, thirty-eight Indians sang their death songs. Can you imagine the cacophony of thirty-eight different death songs? But wait, one Indian was pardoned at the last minute, so only thirty-seven Indians had to sing their death songs. But, O, O, O, O, can you imagine the cacophony of that one survivor’s mourning song? If he taught you the words, do you think you would sing along?(less)
After a full summer battling Infinite Jest (and thoroughly enjoying it), this book was welcome relief. It is a mix of homespun wisdom and incredibly i...moreAfter a full summer battling Infinite Jest (and thoroughly enjoying it), this book was welcome relief. It is a mix of homespun wisdom and incredibly insightful commentary. While very accessible, Masters is astute. He has a lot to say about living, death, and regret (and a surprising amount on lawyers). This is the kind of book you can give to your Grandma, with a nice note that says "I love you," and then have something to discuss over the holidays as you help her wash the dishes.
On morality's drive, for instance, from Sexsmith the Dentist: "Why, a moral truth is a hollow tooth / Which must be propped with gold." Some wisdom from old Lucinda Matlock: "What is this I hear of sorrow and weariness, / Anger, discontent and drooping hopes? / Degenerate sons and daughters, Life is too strong for you -- / It takes life to love Life." And something about living from Davis Matlock: "Well, I say to live it out like a God / Sure of immortal life, though you are in doubt, / Is the way to live it. / If that doesn't make God proud of you / Then God is nothing but gravitation, / Or sleep is the golden goal."
I'm now heeding the call of George Gray: "To put meaning in one's life may end in madness, / But life without meaning is the torture / Of restlessness and vague desire -- / It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid." And I'm living life as Fiddler Jones, my acreage be damned (you'll have to read that one on your own: http://tiny.cc/796r5). (less)
Bloom presents short notes on poetry, plays and novels. Shakespeare. The book is Shakespeare fast paced. It provides an intelligent laundry Shakespear...moreBloom presents short notes on poetry, plays and novels. Shakespeare. The book is Shakespeare fast paced. It provides an intelligent laundry Shakespeare list of classics. I enjoyed his "hows" of reading a lot more than his "whys." Shakespeare. His encouragement to read difficult works deeply and to memorize poetry gave me Shakespeare a renewed vigor. I may yet tackle Paradise Lost. I was a little surprised by the modern novels he chose to feature, as most are favorites: Moby Dick, Blood Meridian, As I Lay Dying and the Crying of Lot 49. Have mentioned that he brings up Shakespeare about 17 times per page? Shakespeare. It becomes rather distracting. (less)
A very moving set of poems that guides us through the death of Mr. Hall's wife. Presented as a timeline, the poems progress along with the cancer. Hal...moreA very moving set of poems that guides us through the death of Mr. Hall's wife. Presented as a timeline, the poems progress along with the cancer. Hall provides plenty of perspective, both long and short term. After death, the poems shift to touching letters. A very enjoyable and thoughtful read. Certainly not the poetry of "passive suffering" that Yeats decries. (less)