Thursday, December 18, 2014

Poetry Friday--"Stars"

We have some older volumes of poetry on our shelves that contain poems that can still speak to a reader today. One such book is The Collected Poems of Sara Teasdale [811.54 TEA]. The collection was copyrighted in 1937 and our copy was printed in 1951. I'm going to pair a poem from that book, "Stars," with a photo from NASA that allows us to be an up-close "Witness/Of so much majesty."

Photo courtesy HubbleSite.


Alone in the night
   On a dark hill
With pines around me
   Spicy and still,

And a heaven full of stars
   Over my head,
White and topaz
   And misty red;

Myriads with beating
   Hearts of fire
That aeons
   Cannot vex or tire;

Up the dome of heaven
   Like a great hill,
I watch them marching
   Stately and still,

And I know that I
   Am honored to be
   Of so much majesty.

The Library is hosting a Skywatch on Monday December 22 (snowdate: December 29) and participants will be guided through their viewing by members of the NH Astronomical Society. Call the Library at 432-7154 to see if space is still available.

The Poetry Friday Round-Up will be held today at Buffy's Blog.

Next Friday, the Library, along with other Windham Town offices will be closed, so January 2 will be our next poetry-filled Friday at Kurious Kitty. You can have a poetry-filled day every day at the Library, just browse our 800s section! You can even check out poetry books after hours by going to our catalog, using "poetry" as your search term. After the search results come up, narrow your results by clicking "Ebook" under "Type of Material."

Happy Hanukkah!

Tuesday at sundown marked the beginning of Hanukkah! Happy Hanukkah to all of our friends who celebrate the miracle at the ancient Temple. Foods cooked in oil are part of the Hanukkah experience. (If you're not familiar with the holiday, you can learn the basics here.)

Many people have heard of the potato pancakes fried in oil, known as latkes, which are made during Hanukkah. But, I wonder how many people know how to make them?

If you'd like to try to make them for your family, borrow one of these books:

Brownstein, Rita Milos. Jewish Holiday Style. [394.267 BRO]

Fellner, Judith B. In the Jewish Tradition: A Year of Foods and Festivities. [394.267 FEL]

Nathan, Joan. The Jewish Holiday Kitchen. [641.5676 NAT]

Zoloth, Joan. Jewish Holiday Treats: Recipes and Crafts for the Whole Family. [641.5676 ZOL]

Some people may not find plain potato pancakes to their liking. If you're one of them, Buzz-Feed did a piece this week titled, "21 Next-Level Latkes You Need To Try." There are amazing looking latkes, some in bright colors!

The photo above is from a blog called What Jew Wanna Eat: This Ain't Yo Bubbe's Blog. Click here for even more photos and latke recipes.

Jewish or not, enjoy a potato latke this holiday month--or any month for that matter!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

It's Amazing What You Can Find in the Back of the Freezer!

Lost in an archives near the frigid Arctic Circle was a 1927, early Disney Christmas cartoon film, Empty Socks. The film stars Oswald, the Lucky Rabbit, a Disney character that came before Steamboat Willy, otherwise known as Mickey Mouse. It has been found and was written up in The Guardian. Read the story here.

Steamboat Willie was first seen in 1928, and Mickey Mouse's appearance and demeanor has changed greatly over the years.

Look for the DVD, Walt Disney's Vintage Mickey [DVD WAL] to see several Mickey Mouse cartoons that were released between 1928 and 1934. Learn more about Mickey in the book Mickey Mouse from Walt Disney Productions [741.5 WAL], which has "Eleven adventures of Mickey Mouse and his friends in comic strip form and a brief discussion of Mickey's evolution from an animated film character to the official host for Disneyland and Walt Disney World."

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A LEGO Wonderland...

It has been amusing to watch all the kids who have spent hours in front of our display case looking at the LEGO® display of Christmas settings and LEGO® characters. The display was set up by the Town IT department head, Eric DeLong. Many thanks, Eric!

Not only does the library have LEGO® building books, we also have books starring specific LEGO® characters.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Even More Suggestions for Gift-Giving

Ten more days, but who's counting?

Have you ever thought of giving a "cultural" gift. I'm thinking about tickets to a theater production. Small theaters productions are generally fun, and almost always cost a whole lot less than a show in Boston.

Nearby we have the Merrimack Repertory Theatre in Lowell, MA. Productions are staged in the beautiful old, and well-maintained, Liberty Hall (located next to the Lowell Memorial Auditorium) and free parking is available. The schedule for the 2014-2015 season can be viewed here.

Also less than a half-hour from Windham is the stately Palace Theatre in Manchester. Many events are hosted at the Palace and you can check the calendar here.Coming up in January is Mid-Life! The Crisis Musical. How can you resist a musical about "mammogram appointments, the sudden need for reading glasses, [and] proctology exams"?

In Portsmouth, there is the Seacoast Rep. The Rep recently performed a children's musical production, Run, Turkey, Run!, based upon the picture book of the same name by Kurious Kitty's alter-ego, Diane Mayr [JP MAY]. If you'd like to watch it, click here.

The Music Hall, also in Portsmouth, hosts a variety of performances from theater to music. Diana Krall is scheduled for March. We have several of Krall's CDs in our collection, including Quiet Nights [CD JAZZ KRA], one of my favorites. The Music Hall has a full calendar of events that can be seen here.

In Epping you'll find the Leddy Center for the Performing Arts. When last I checked, the 2015 season offerings were not listed, but, since auditions were recently held for Steel Magnolias, I think it's a safe bet that the Leddy Center will be presenting that drama some time soon. (You could always give a card with a promise to attend an upcoming production. Throw in dinner at the Holy Grail and I'm sure you'd make someone very happy! For those of you not familiar with the Holy Grail, it is in a building that was originally a church, so the pub has stained glass windows, and seating in the choir loft!)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Poetry Friday--It's Sweater Poetry Day!

Yesterday I wrote briefly about the British traditional ugly Christmas jumper, and how today is officially Christmas Jumper Day.

Since it has gotten decidedly colder here in NH over the past week, and as warm sweaters are now a daily necessity, I decided to look for a sweater poem to share. Alas, they are not in abundance in the books in our collection, but I did find some on the Hello Poetry site.

I found today's poem in the collection Winter Eyes by Douglas Florian [J 811.54 FLO]. A sweater only gets a mention, but, that's enough to count as a sweater poem!
Winter Wool

Woolen socks
And woolen vest,
In woolen shirts
And skirts we're dressed.
Woolen sweaters,
Woolen caps--
The ones that have two woolen flaps.
Woolen gloves
And woolen coats
With woolen scarves
Around our throats,
Woolen here
And woolen there.
Our heads are growing
Woolen hair.

The above poem will be particularly relevant come Chinese New Year, February 19, 2015, which will usher in the Year of the Sheep!

One of the most poignant poems I have ever read, is called "Irish Sweaters" by Shirley Graves Cochrane. I posted it in 2012. Please reread it, I think it is stunning.

Let me know of any good sweater poems you come across and I'll start a list for next year.

Check out the Poetry Friday Round-Up at These 4 Corners.

The Season's Best Party Idea

I subscribe to a new online newsletter that sends notice of the week's events. On Monday I received word that on Friday--that's tomorrow--it's
Ugly Sweater Party Day
Global, Friday, Dec 12th 2014, All Day

In England, where sweaters are called "jumpers," it appears that the ugly Christmas jumper is a holiday tradition, albeit a fairly recent one. And, Christmas Jumper Day was begun by the charitable organization Save the Children, just a year ago.

The whole ugly jumper thing is enough of a British tradition that it has it's own Wikipedia entry!

For those who are familiar with the movie, Bridget Jones' Diary [DVD BRI], starring Renée Zellweger, you will remember Mr. Darcy's ugly Christmas jumper. (However, the ugly jumper may be easily forgotten as it is overshadowed by the lovely Colin Firth who is wearing it.)

At the Library we often can be seen wearing our official, seasonal Nesmith Library sweatshirt during the lead-up to Christmas. Stop by the Library tomorrow and see how many you can spot!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Today's Birthday Girl

Is Emily Dickinson! She was born December 10, 1830 in Amherst, Massachusetts. During her lifetime, she published only seven poems, but after her death, several thousand more were found among the bits and scraps of paper she left behind. The Emily Dickinson Archive collects those pieces of paper that have survived.

Let's celebrate her today as a real American original! The Library of Congress in Washington, DC, did just that on Monday with an early birthday celebration.

The Poetry Foundation has an extensive collection Dickinson-related work, from several dozens of her poems, to essays, to audios of others reading her work.

Children can enjoy some of Dickinson's poetry due to its simple structure and its familiar subjects such as birds and insects. Her life, too, real and imagined, may be of interest to children because she, like most children, was never able to stray too far from home.

There is no Frigate like a Book

There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry--
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll--
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears the Human Soul.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Happy Dance Time!

Next summer or fall there will be a brand new Peanuts movie hitting the big screens! It's been a long time between theatrical releases, the last was in 1980! There were many tv releases after that day, but it took 25 years to get the Peanuts gang back in the theaters.

We have lots of Peanuts films and specials in out collection. They continue to be popular despite the fact that creator, Charles M. Scultz passed away back in 2000!

Here are the titles currently in our collection: