Monday, April 12, 2010

Books + birthdays = bliss

On the 10th of April 1791 the poet Robert Burns' third son was born... a few days before his illegitimate daughter was born.
On the 10th of April 1794 the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge was discharged from the Army as 'insane'.
On the 10th of April 1818 the poet John Keats wrote his Preface to Endymion. You know the one - it starts with: 'A thing of beauty is a joy forever: Its loveliness increases, it will never pass into nothingness...' In his Preface, Keats warned readers that they 'must soon perceive great inexperience, immaturity, and every error denoting a feverish attempt, rather than a deed accomplished' in the poetry that followed. Reviewer John Gibson Lockhart agreed, saying the poem was one of 'calm, settled, imperturbable, drivelling idiocy.' (I, and millions more, disagree with both of them.)
And on the 10th of April 2010 it was my birthday. Yay! Booklovers must be the easiest people to shop for. Here's a glimpse of the bookish treasures I gleefully unwrapped... Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond (the book from the Musée d'Orsay collection at the National Gallery of Australia); Shakespeare's Sonnets; Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger; a pair of crisp white bookends; a dreamy Camille Pissarro bookmark (also from the exhibition) and a delicate metal mandala bookmark all the way from a bookstore in New York. Lucky me!

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