Friday, January 20, 2017

Poetry Friday--"Turner to His Critic"

Have you seen the 2015 movie Mr. Turner [DVD MR] about the English painter J. M. W. (Joseph Mallord William) Turner who led a rather eccentric life? If you recall, in the film there's a scene where Turner has himself tied to the mast of a ship so that he can experience, first hand, the effects of a storm. As a result, Turner painted "Snow Storm - Steam-Boat off a Harbour's Mouth Making Signals in Shallow Water, and Going by the Lead."

The painting above is also found in Side by Side: New Poems Inspired by Art from Around the World, edited by Jan Greenberg [808.81 SID]. The poem, "Turner to His Critic," by Grace Nichols, is written in the voice of the painter in response to one of the many critics of his work.
Turner to His Critic

Soapsuds and whitewash, Critic?
Man, don't make me livid.
I was tied in a snowstorm
To the mast of a ship.
Do you have the foggiest of it?
Do you know what it is to be buffeted?

The buzzard of a blizzard
And the waves churning over me
The wildness of the whirlwind
The horses foaming at my feet

Why, even the sea can see through
Her storm-spectacles
That this work is a masterpiece.
Soapsuds and whitewash indeed!
If I had my way, you, Sir, would be
Soap-sudded to the bottom of the sea.

Turner was nothing if not passionate about his painting, and, his critics. If you're not familiar with his work, please visit The Athenaeum where you'll find more than a thousand paintings and drawings.

Visit Violet Nesdoly/Poems for the Poetry Friday Round-Up.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Noise vs. Noise

Sometimes, you need to block out unwanted noise--like when you're staying at a hotel and you can't get to sleep. There are some pretty effective sound machines now available, which sounds counter-intuitive since you're creating noise to block out noise. These machines provide white noise and/or ambient noise, that is, noises that generally peaceful and relaxing. Steadily falling rain and waves crashing on shore are two examples. But, do you really want to pack something else in your overnight bag?

If you have a smart phone, you can download an app which provides relaxing noise. Or, you can go to a website like and sample sounds to your heart's content. For sleeping you may find exactly what you need in the category titled, "All sort of weather atmospheres." Try "Dreaming Rain" on for size!

You can also come to the Library to borrow Rainforest Magic a CD of ambient sounds, one of which is "Summer Rain" [CD MISCELLANEOUS RAI].

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


If you, or someone you know, is preparing for U.S. citizenship, we recently added a kit of citizenship preparation materials to our collection: Civics and Citizenship Toolkit: A Collection of Educational Resource for Immigrants [KIT 323.62 CIV 2016].

What will you find in the kit?

5 Handbooks: Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States, The Citizen's Almanac, Expanding ESL, Civics, and Citizenship Education in Your Community: A Start-Up Guide, Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants, Bienvenidos a los Estados Unidos de América: Guía para inmigrantes nuevos

1 Naturalization Test

1 audio CD version of the Naturalization Test

1 DVD: The USCIS Naturalization Interview and Test)

1 DVD and CD-ROM set: Civics and Citizenship Multimedia Presentation

1 set flash cards

1 quick start guide

The kit was prepared by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Visit the website, for more information and additional resources.

The end goal of all the studying and testing is this:

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Yoga for All!

I've posted many times about our collection of yoga books and DVDs. Today I'd like to remind you that yoga is everyone. From young to old, everyone can benefit from this centuries-old form of exercise.

Need an activity to do with the kids? Check out this article on "6 Yoga Moves You Can Do Together."

Here are more items on yoga and kids:

Garabedian, Helen. Itsy Bitsy Yoga: Poses to Help Your Baby Sleep Longer, Digest Better, and Grow Stronger. [649.122 GAR]

Harper, Jennifer Cohen. Little Flower Yoga for Kids: A Yoga and Mindfulness Program to Help Your Child Improve Attention and Emotional Balance. [FT 613.7 HAR]

Komitor, Jodi B. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Yoga with Kids. [613.7 KOM]

Pajalunga, Lorena V. Yoga for Kids: Simple Animal Poses for Any Age. [JP PAJ]

Schwartz, Ellen. I Love Yoga: A Guide for Kids and Teens. [YA 613.7046 SCH]

YogaKids. [J DVD 613.7 YOG]

Friday, January 13, 2017

Poetry Friday--National Hot Tea Month

January is National Hot Tea Month, and yesterday was National Hot Tea Day! In my book, every day is hot tea day, so I'm taking the liberty of celebrating today. Here's a short poem by Eileen Spinelli from Tea Party Today: Poems to Sip and Savor [J 811 SPI].


The air's a whiff of minty tea
A froth of cream spills from the sea
The sun is golden soup, so hot
The sky, a big blue porcelain pot
Brown sugar beach is soft and sweet
The day is good enough to eat.

This is a great poem for teachers to use in teaching metaphor, don't you think?

Head over to visit my friend Keri at Keri Recommends. She's hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up, and, I wouldn't be surprised if she has a pot of tea brewing. Be sure to ask for some honey in that tea!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

National Film Registry

"The National Film Registry selects 25 films each year showcasing the range and diversity of American film heritage to increase awareness for its preservation."

The 25 films added to the 2016 National Film Registry are:

  • Atomic Cafe (1982) [on order]
  • Ball of Fire (1941)
  • Beau Brummels, The (1928)
  • Birds, The (1963) [DVD BIR]
  • Blackboard Jungle (1955) [on order]
  • Breakfast Club, The (1985) [DVD BRE]
  • Decline of Western Civilization, The (1981)
  • East of Eden (1955) [DVD EAS]
  • Funny Girl (1968) [DVD FUN]
  • Life of an American Fireman (1903)
  • Lion King, The (1994) [J DVD LIO]
  • Lost Horizon (1937) [DVD LOS]
  • Musketeers of Pig Alley, The (1912) [on order]
  • Paris Is Burning (1990)
  • Point Blank (1967) [on order]
  • Princess Bride, The (1987) [DVD PRI]
  • Putney Swope (1969) [on order]
  • Rushmore (1998) [DVD RUS]
  • Solomon Sir Jones films (1924-28)
  • Steamboat Bill, Jr. [on order](1928)
  • Suzanne, Suzanne (1982)
  • Thelma and Louise (1991) [on order]
  • Walk in the Sun, A (1945) [on order]
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) [DVD WHO]

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Sesame Street

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, the Sesame Street character, Alistair Cookie, was based on the original host of "Masterpiece Theatre," Alistair Cooke.

Alistair Cookie was not the first, and is certainly not the last character based on a real person. Do you remember Meryl Sheep? Here, the Muppet character is playing against the in-the-flesh actress, Susan Sarandon!

If you enjoyed the two clips above, you're sure to like the two DVDs full of Sesame Street parodies, titled The Best of Sesame Spoofs, volumes 1 and 2 [J DVD SES]. Most of the people and things being parodied should be familiar, but some may have slipped away from memory, like Hill Street Blues, the 1980s police series upon which Sesame Street's "Hill Street Twos" is based. Others are quickly fading, like the reality stars, Jon and Kate Gosselin, parodied in "Jon and Kate Count to 8."