Clark, E. (2013). A Man from Ohio: An autobiography. Somerville, MA: Montpelier Press, p. 207.
Please be aware that our Online Catalog and Full-Text Finder will be down for maintenance on Friday 5/2/2014 from 2-3PM. Please see a librarian for help at any time. Thank you.
Five years ago this week, Craig Arnold disappeared while hiking the island of Kuchinoerabu-jima, off the coast of Japan. He was an acclaimed poet and winner of the Yale Younger Poets award for his first book, Shells (1999). His second book, Made Flesh, was published in 2008. Craig traveled the world, won various awards and fellowships, and taught at the University of Wyoming. He was also a friend of mine, and I share one of his poems to honor his memory.
~Whitney Wilson, Instruction Librarian
While the trees on Avenue Louis Pasteur are still relatively leafless, you can get a good view of the quotation on the side of the library building: “A good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit.”
If you recognized John Milton as the author of these words, give yourself a pat on the back! The line comes out of his 1644 prose work Areopagitica: A Speech of Mr. John Milton For the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing to the Parliament of England, which is now read primarily for its defense of freedom of the press.
Here’s the full sentence in context:
…who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God’s image; but he who destroys a good book, kills reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were in the eye. Many a man lives a burden to the earth; but a good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life. ‘Tis true, no age can restore a life, whereof perhaps there is no great loss; and revolutions of ages do not oft recover the loss of a rejected truth, for the want of which whole nations fare the worse.
You can read the full text in Areopagitica, and Of Education; with Autobiographical Passages from Other Prose Works, available in the Emmanuel Main Stacks or online at Project Gutenberg and Bartleby.com.
~ Erica Jensen, Reference Librarian
Mary Oliver is a local treasure, having resided in Provincetown Massachusetts since the early 1960s. Her Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry focuses mainly on nature, and she is known for her close observations expressed in simple, elegant language. Oliver’s later poetry has expanded to include more internal reflections.
The best introduction to Mary Oliver is her publisher’s website, where you can find biographical information, awards and honors, a list of her books, and other features. Under “Recent Media Attention” there are links to audio and video of Oliver reading her poetry, and a rare filmed interview.
Listen to Mary Oliver reading “The Summer Day” and notice the last lines:
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
~ Pam Perry, Reference Librarian
Four hundred and fifty years ago today, in 1564, William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon. (Or, more accurately, April 23 is held to be his birthday, based on the records of his baptism three days later.) Celebrate the Bard’s birthday by reading from the plays or sonnets, or take inspiration from one of the following ideas!
- Shakespeare scholar Stephen Greenblatt (Harvard University) will speak tonight at the Harvard Bookstore about Shakespeare’s Montaigne: The Florio Translation of the Essays, A Selection. Greenblatt wrote the introduction to this “adroitly modernized” version of the translation of Montaigne that Shakespeare would have read. The free event begins at 7 p.m.
- Check out a playlist of songs “inspired by Shakespeare,” chosen by the Folger Shakespeare Library. The Folger’s website lists numerous birthday-related events in the Washington, D.C. area, and always provides access to educational materials and the digital texts of 38 plays .
- Watch Shakespeare performed and transformed in productions from around the world, at MIT Global Shakespeares.
- Celebrate National Poetry Month and Shakespeare’s birthday at the same time! Access online versions of the Sonnets, Venus and Adonis, and The Rape of Lucrece through Project Gutenberg, where you’ll also find online texts of all of the plays.
~ Erica Jensen, Reference Librarian
Here are two fun and inexpensive ways to keep poetry in your life all year long (and pretty up your dorm room). All you need is a color printer, nice paper, and a poem you love.
~ Meghan Malone
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