Q. What award is given to an alpine cow that no-one can catch?
Tonight, here, a very little snow
Hardly worth writing about
Still a surprise.
Q. What did the worm sob, as he threw himself over the cliff?
A. See comment
"Now I must go", she said.
I will write whenever I can.
If it does not distress you.
We often scramble in our heart-rubbish
For shattered glass.
Sobbing to think it was broken.
Q. What ring does a baby swan wear?
A. See comment
Bad financial news today from the Assassins' Guild, who are going into liquidation.
We asked the mother ship to bear
Us to a golden star, and there
Everything was just right.
Christmas, past and
New Year here.
Easter beckons, a
Time to roll eggs. Watch.
In our stars we see red giants.
White and blue too.
Why no green ones?
Distemper! A Marcel Proust moment for me, with paint in place of cake. Not only do I remember the wall that half a century ago I was sent to distemper, I remember too the colour (a sort of orange my mother wanted). I can see now details of the room: where the windows are; the dressing table; the adjoining washroom with its obscure glass window and fanlight; the coat-hook on the door. I feel the texture of the wall, grasp the handle of my broad, black-bristled paintbrush.
Distemper has been and is still is used as an art medium. Here's an attractive example from 1918. What a super composition! And there is an interesting story surrounding it; try looking up "The Grand Teddy Tea Rooms paintings."
The wind is cold,
and the birds fly home.
"Would a star burn a flag?", was whispered in my ear.
Then was I saved; for I could neither see nor hear.
Flags should be ashamed of the beauty of the skies. Watch episode 1 to learn why.
That hot day
Cicadas bellowed at us.
"One chance, one chance."
The greatest poets have written lines memorable even in translation. Here is one I read for the first time ever today
Death will come, and she will have your eyes.
I remembered it instantly (even though I got it wrong) after reading it here. And I was drawn there by a reference in Primo Levi's book The periodic table. Specifically the chapter on Nickel.
Levi himself was a poet, and a good one: as well as much else. But he doesn't come near "Death will come.." in my eyes, and the young translator of this captured an eternal voice.
These roads I must feel
Travelling alone in the night.
Morning please look out
And kiss my eyes.
Keep your toenails carefully filed. Then you won't lose them.
This is another mondegreen I've collected. Last night I heard someone say "She's an heiress".
What they actually said was "She's hilarious".
This is another example of Steve Pinker's observation that the phrase the listener hears is often less plausible than the actual utterance.
The person being spoken about is indeed very funny, but I'm pretty sure she isn't an heiress. However "heiress" was what it sounded like to me.
Entering the cathedral of Kraców, you can't help noticing, that high on the left-hand side, are huge bones, bound by rusty chains.
These, in legend, are the remains of the local dragon, Smok Wawelski (pictured below). The exact details vary a bit, but a long time ago this dragon lived in a cave lower down on the rock than the modern cathedral (and still accessible to visitors).
The dragon terrorized and ravaged the land thereabout, because dragons do ("fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, dragons gotta terrorize and ravage"). However, as happens often with mega-fauna, open conflict with the interests of humans led to it being slain.
Wawelski" sounds like the dragon's personal name (usually not mentioned
in dragon-lore). But Smok is just old Polish for dragon or snake (like "worm" in Anglo-Saxon),
and the second part comes from the location, Wawel being the rock on
which the cathedral was founded, post-dragon. So this was just the Wawel
"Smok" might be the origin — and it's controversial — of the word schmuch (and many variant spellings), which means "a contemptible person", according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The origin is the Yiddish word for penis (I never knew that before!), and it's a taboo word in that language. The possible connection is with snake. The OED records the slang term "trouser snake" to mean, well, penis.
Many scholars don't agree with this derivation. No-one will never know the etymology for sure: unless there is a continuous documentary record of a word's use we can never be certain where it came from: and in fact the origin of a word can follow two or more parallel strands. Given the taboo associations it's even more hard to trace.
Coffins in the crypt hold those of Jagiellonian kings. Bones on the wall belonged to Pleistocene whales.
And I wonder where the name "Smaug" came from.
The latest from the Elves, based on field notes we fed them
Question: Why aren't recycling bins made standard?
Answer: Because the system's rubbish.
dear mater and pater
a Physics teecher put me in a nasty box, it was HOORIBLE with know air holes I didnt no if i was alive or ded
Yours sincerly Felix
(With apols to Nigel Molesworth)
Gran paraded us the pedigree again.
"Descendants of Pavlov's dogs."
"Frankly my dear, I don't give a spit."
Cold winter rain
Made us cry
But not for long
Your warm hands
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