Meg Rutherford: The Beautiful Island

My favorite book, Meg Rutherford’s The Beautiful Island (1969), has been filmed as a video. Can you sight-read it as the text pops up? Language points: isle – island memorials – memory – memorable, memorize / remember towers, cathedrals, palaces, church lone – lonely – alone crippled – cripple – crippling enchantment – enchanting – […]

Merz: The Starlight Night

The lyrics of this marvelous song by Merz (1999), are by Gerard Manley Hopkins, 1844–89, an English Jesuit and innovative poet who experimented with metre and developed what he called ‘sprung rhythm’, anticipating free verse. The Starlight Night Written Feb. 24, 1877. Published 1918 LOOK at the stars! look, look up at the skies! O […]

Limericks and the life of an English teacher

Stan Carey of the Sentence First blog and the MacMillan blog and sundry other lingusitic habitats is holding a limerick competition – yeah! – and there are some really great ones there, don’t miss them. Deadline: September 21st. My contributions are a bit dour for limericks, but such is the life of an English teacher: […]

Gil Scott-Heron: Where Did The Night Go?

Gil Scott Heron (1 April 1949 – 27 May 2011) – good profile on Wikipedia. Thanks to Ann Walsh for the link to this, a quieter, more personal side to the angry granddaddy of rap. Gil Scott-Heron: Where Did The Night Go? Long ago the clock washed midnight away Bringing the dawn Oh God, I […]

Kleiner, uralter Gott – Ancient little god

In a week we’ll be burying my mother’s ashes on Drummond. We’ve decided to read some of her poems, with a translation into English. She published a volume of them in the Wilhelm Andermann Verlag in Vienna in 1944 when she was 21; a miracle, since paper was so rare towards the end of the […]

Dorothy Parker: Superfluous Advice Play in new window | DownloadIan James presented a lovely recording tool, Vocaroo, on his blog, and I’ll be using it in online courses. But here on this blog, dear reader, it’s an easy way to record yourself and to practice your pronunciation. Listen to my recording to help with the more difficult words. […]

Recipe For Happiness Play in new window | DownloadRecipe For Happiness Khaborovsk Or Anyplace by Lawrence Ferlinghetti One grand boulevard with trees with one grand cafe in sun with strong black coffee in very small cups. One not necessarily very beautiful man or woman who loves you. One fine day. I wonder about the meaning of the […]