Month: January 2006

Robert Graves

Like Snow She, then, like snow in a dark night, Fell secretly. And the world waked With dazzling of the drowsy eye, So that some muttered ‘Too much light’, And drew the curtains close. Like snow, warmer than fingers feared, And to soil friendly; Holding the histories of the night In yet unmelted tracks.…

Edward Abbey

Benedicto: May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets’ towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you – beyond the next turning of the canyon walls.…

A A Milne

Outdoor Hum For Snowy Weather The more it snows (Tiddely pom), The more it goes (Tiddely pom), The more it goes (Tiddely pom), On snowing. And nobody knows (Tiddely pom), How cold my toes (Tiddely pom), How cold my toes (Tiddely pom), Are growing.…

Walt Whitman

O Captain! My Captain! O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done; The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won; The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring: But O heart! heart! heart! O the bleeding drops of red, Where on the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead. O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells; Rise up – for you the flag is flung – for you the bugle trills; For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths – for you the shores a-crowding; For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning; Here Captain! dear father! This arm beneath your head; It is some dream that on the deck, You’ve fallen cold and dead. My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still; My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will; The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done; From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won; Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells! But I, with mournful tread, Walk the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead.…

The Square Root of Two

The Square Root of Two cannot be expressed as a ratio between two integers; that is it is an irrational number. Proof Let us assume the converse that the Square Root of two can be expressed as the ratio of two numbers a and b. In that case there must be an a and b which are not both even as if they are both even we get the same ratio by dividing each by two until at least one of them is odd. Therefore if a/b = SQRT (2) then a2/b2 = 2 a2= 2b2 and so a2 is even and therefore a is even; so a=2c for some c . Thus a2= (2c)2 and a2 = 4c2 2b2 = 4c2 b2 = 2c2 So b2 is even and therefore b is even. Therefore a and b are both even which is a contradiction. Therefore the Square Root of Two cannot be expressed as the ratio between two integers. QED.…

Philip Larkin

The North Ship Legend I saw three ships go sailing by, Over the sea, the lifting sea, And the wind rose in the morning sky, And one was rigged for a long journey. The first ship turned towards the west, Over the sea, the running sea, And by the wind was all possessed And carried to a rich country. The second ship turned towards the east, Over the sea, the quaking sea, And the wind hunted it like a beast To anchor in captivity. The third ship drove towards the north, Over the sea, the darkening sea, But no breath of wind came forth, And the decks shone frostily. The northern sky rose high and black Over the proud unfruitful sea, East and west the ships came back Happily or unhappily: But the third went wide and far Into an unforgiving sea Under a fire-spilling star, And it was rigged for a long journey.…

T S Eliot

The Journey of the Magi A cold coming we had of it, Just the worst time of the year For the journey, and such a long journey: The ways deep and the weather sharp, The very dead of winter.’ And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory, Lying down in the melting snow. There were times we regretted The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces, And the silken girls bringing sherbet. Then the camel men cursing and grumbling And running away, and wanting their liquor and women, And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters, And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly And the villages dirty and charging high prices: A hard time we had of it. At the end we preferred to travel all night, Sleeping in snatches, With the voices singing in our ears, saying That this was all folly. Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley, Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation; With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness, And three trees on the low sky, And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow. Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel, Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver, And feet kicking the empty wine-skins, But there was no information, and so we continued And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory All this was a long time ago, I remember, And I would do it again, but set down This set down This: were we led all that way for Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly, We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death, But had thought they were different; this Birth was Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death, We returned to our places, these Kingdoms, But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation, With an alien people clutching their gods. I should be glad of another death.…

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