Tuesday, 29 December 2009

The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy

By the century's deathbed

I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-gray,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.

The land’s sharp features seemed to be
The Century’s corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware

(written in 1900)

Wednesday, 16 December 2009


"Size isn't everything by any means," he said aloud to the dog, as if suspecting her of entertaining high ideas. "Take my word for it, freedom is of more account than the height of a roof beam. I ought to know; mine cost me eighteen years' slavery. The man who lives on his own land is an independent man. He is his own master. If I can keep my sheep alive through the winter and can pay what has been stipulated from year to what -- then I pay what has been stipulated; and I have kept my sheep alive. No, it is freedom that we are all after, Titla. He who pays his way is a king.He who keeps his sheep alive through the winter lives in a palace."

From "Independent People" by Halldor Laxness

How true.

Monday, 14 December 2009


'If there were ten men insured against either weath or starvation, and offered a green ribbon for five hours' work a day and a blue ribbon for ten hours' work a day, nine out of ten of them would be trying for the blue ribbon. That competitive instinct only wants a badge. If the size of their house is the badge they'll sweat their heads off for that. If it's only a blue ribbon, I damn near believe they'll work just as hard.'

'To hold a man a woman has to appeal to the worst in him.'

From "This Side of Paradise" by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I like his expression.

Saturday, 12 December 2009


"I discovered that physical courage depends to a great extent on the physical shape a man is in. I found that I was as brave as the next man--it used to worry me before."
"What else?"
"Well, the idea that men can stand anything if they get used to it and the fact that I got a high mark in the psychological examination."

From "This Side of Paradise" by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Friday, 11 December 2009

A signpost

A week ago there was a day I felt a surge of energy in me after having breakfast with my granny and thoughts of carpe diem kind of returned, for a moment. This term has gone in a flash. I have been busy. Haven't learnt as much as I could have but I guess I have indeed stretched my timetable enough.

For that reason I have sadly abandoned this blog so long. I know there are a few good friends who still read this from time to time, so I should keep this up, to open my world up to you.

In order to encourage myself to read up the books on my shelves I've decided to add a literary element to this blog and cite some quotes :)

Quote for today:

'Women she detested. They represented qualities that she felt and despised in herself--incipient meanness, conceit, cowardise and petty dishonesty. She once told a roomful of her mother's friends that the only excuse for women was the necessity for a disturbing element among men.'

From 'This Side of Paradise' by Scott Fitzgerald