Friday, March 24, 2017

Poetry Friday--Derek Walcott

Poet Derek Walcott passed away last week at the age of 87. Walcott taught for many years in Boston, and did readings in the Boston area. I was lucky enough to have heard him read his work a few years back.

Walcott, born on the island of St. Lucia, was a poet of world renown. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992.

He had a distinctive voice, which you can experience by listening to him read his poem, "Sea Grapes."

I'd like to share part III of poem 16. "In the Village" from White Egrets: Poems [811.54 WAL]:
Who has removed the typewriter from my desk,
so that I am a musician without his piano
with emptiness ahead as clear and grotesque
as another spring? My veins bud, and I am so
full of poems, a wastebasket of black wire. The notes outside are visible; sparrows will
line antennae like staves, the way springs were,
but the roofs are cold and the great grey river
where a liner glides, huge as a winter hill,
moves imperceptibly like the accumulating
years. I have no reason to forgive her
for what I brought on myself. I am past hating,
past the longing for Italy where blowing snow
absolves and whitens a kneeling mountain range
outside Milan. Through glass, I am waiting
for the sound of a bird to unhinge the beginning
of spring, but my hands, my work, feel strange
without the rusty music of my machine. No words
for the Arctic liner moving down the Hudson, for the mange
of old snow moulting from the roofs. No poems. No birds.

We are all "waiting for the sound of a bird to unhinge the beginning of spring," but we'll no longer have Derek Walcott to show us how beautiful it will be.

Reading to the Core is the place to be for this week's Round-Up--check it out!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

OK? Okay!

On this day in 1839, the initials "O.K." are first published in The Boston Morning Post. Meant as an abbreviation for "oll korrect," a popular slang misspelling of "all correct" at the time, OK steadily made its way into the everyday speech of Americans.
from On This Day in History

OK = oll korrect? Who knew? Not me, at least not until now. Okay as it is sometimes written, has been around for a long time! It has made its way into popular culture and into these items in our collection:

Butts, Lauren. OK, So Now You're a Vegetarian: Advice and 100 Recipes from One Vegetarian to Another. [YA 641.5636 BUT]

Dorfman, Andi. It's Not Okay Turning Heartbreak into Happily Never After. [eAudio

Dunbar, Dayna. The Saints and Sinners of Okay County. [F DUN]

Eaton, Maxwell. Okay, Andy. [J CX EAT]

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. [DVD GUN]

Hirst, Daisy. Alphonse, That Is Not OK to Do! [JP HIR]

LaCour, Nina. We Are Okay. [YA LAC, eBook]

Nichol, Jeff. Is My Dog OK?: How to Know...When Your Dog Won't Say. [636.7 NIC]

Parr, Todd. It's Okay to Be Different. [JP PAR]

Schmidt, Gary D. Okay for Now. [YA SCH, eBook]

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

It's National Goof Off Day!

National Goof Off Day is celebrated on March 22. There's no official website, and no official proclamation, but if you need an excuse to goof off, then today is the day to do it!

So, how to celebrate? Watch Ferris Bueller's Day Off [DVD FER] or National Lampoon's Animal House [DVD NAT] or Pee-wee's Big Adventure [J DVD PEE]!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Free from NASA

If you're a geeky-type person, you probably already know this, but NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) periodically releases free software to the general public. Their latest released happened a few weeks ago. The 2017-2018 Catalog can be accessed here.

As you would expect, a lot of what is available has to do with aeronautics, but there may be items of interest for the general population, for example Eyes on the Earth 3D "provides a generic means for people to interactively view the real-time location, speed and recent data gatherings of several of NASA's Earth observing Satellites using a 3-D graphical interface." Or, Station Spacewalk Game App, which "features simulations of Extravehicular Activities (EVAs) conducted by NASA astronauts on missions to the International Space Station." has preselected a few things for you to look at, so that you don't have to go through pages and pages of software offerings, click here.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Chick Knits

This is not a joke--knitters in a MA retirement community make sweaters for chickens! You must click here for the photos.

So, in recent years we've seen articles on sweaters for penguins, elephants, and now, chickens. Who knows what creature will be sporting a sweater next?

Speaking of knitters, did you know that we have a group that meets at the Library twice a month on the first and third Thursdays at 12:30? They offer knitting companionship and expertise, and are willing to help with a knitting question or problem you may encounter with your own projects.

If you've been knitting for any length of time, you probably have a stash of yarn that isn't quite enough for a project, yet too good to simply toss away. If so, we have a collection box at the Library where you can leave your yarn. The American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 63, of Salem uses the yarn to make lap robes for veterans at the VA facilities in Manchester and Tilton, NH.

Charitable knitting is a time-honored tradition in the United States, from knitting scarves for active duty soldiers, to making chemo caps for the sick, to making blankets for premature babies. It's an activity that will give you a real sense of accomplishment. And anyone can do it!

Knit Your Bit by Deborah Hopkinson [JP HOP]

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Poetry Friday--William Butler Yeats

Since it is St. Patrick's Day, it is only natural to pick an Irish poet to feature, and probably the Irish poet most familiar to Americans is William Butler Yeats. Yeats not only wrote poetry, but he also worked to preserve the old tales and legends of the Irish people.

In our children's collection, Yeats' work appears in one of the splendidly illustrated "Poetry For Young People" volumes issued by Sterling Publishing (we about about 20 titles in the series) [J 821.8 YEA].

Of the poems presented, "To a Squirrel at Kyle-Na-No" is my favorite. The editor of the collection provided this helpful bit of information, "the Irish language place-name "Kyle-na-no" means the wood of nuts.
To a Squirrel at Kyle-Na-No

Come play with me;
Why should you run
Through the shaking tree
As though I'd a gun
To strike you dead?
When all I would do
Is to scratch your head
And let you go.

Don't go messing with any squirrels or leprechauns today, but do stop by Life On the Deckle Edge where Robyn is hosting this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up.

Happy Birthday Alice Hoffman!

Prolific novelist, Alice Hoffman, was born on this day in 1952. She is officially a senior citizen, but, I'm sure writing will keep her forever young.

Hoffman has written at least 26 novels for adults and another dozen for children and young adults.

Here are her most recent titles:

The Dovekeepers. [F HOF, LP HOF]

Faithful. [F HOF, AB/CD HOF, LP HOF, eBook, eAudio]

The Museum of Extraordinary Things. [F HOF, AB/CD HOF, LP HOF, eAudio]

Nightbird. [J HOF, eBook]

The Marriage of Opposites. [F HOF, AB/CD HOF, LP HOF, eBook, eAudio]

The Red Garden. [F HOF, AB/CD HOF, eBook, eAudio]

Hoffman's early novel, Practical Magic, was made into a film of the same name [DVD PRA] starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman.

Happy Birthday, Alice Hoffman!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Family That Started It All

The movie, The Godfather [DVD GOD], based on the book of the same name by Mario Puzo [F PUZ], was released on this day in 1972. That's 45 years ago! I'll bet many of our more mature readers will remember going to the movies to see it. It was a smash hit, and went on to spawn The Godfather: Part II [DVD GOD] in 1974 and The Godfather: Part III [DVD GOD] in 1990.

The prequel to the novel, The Godfather, was written by Edward Falco and published five years ago as The Family Corleone [AB/CD FAL, also eAudio].

The Corleone family started the whole mafia family craze that also included the movie, GoodFellas [DVD GOO] and the television series The Sopranos [DVD TV SERIES SOP].