Dorothy Wordsworth was born on December 25, 1771, and is the lesser-known Wordsworth writer compared to William. She is more of a diarist, with some poems written here and there. If you were unfamiliar with her until now, let me walk you through her ‘Grasmere Journals‘ containing some amazing diary entries about the area she grew up in: Cockermouth, Cumberland.
image via poeticous
The ‘Grasmere Journals’ are split up into sections, with there being four in total. Each section is filled with such amazing imagery and details that you can picture exactly what Dorothy was seeing when she was writing.
Section 1 largely talks about the different kinds of people that Dorothy encounters after leaving her home. Without her brother, Dorothy finds herself lost in nature and her own feelings of melancholy. Her most vivid writing in this section comes from this emotion.
image via britannica
Section 2 mentions Mary and Tom Hutchinson visiting Grasmere. Tom and Dorothy enjoy horseback riding, while the day remains rainy, unfortunately for Dorothy! Later, Dorothy helps William, her brother, with composing poetry. This section is more relaxed than the previous one.
In Section 3, Dorothy starts off my recording her visit to her and William’s friends, the Clarksons, in Eusemere. Winter is in full effect, and Dorothy focuses a lot on nature again, mentioning the snow and ice that’s plaguing the land. Her descriptions make the weather come to life.
image via the guardian
Finally, Section 4 finishes with Dorothy spending New Year’s with the Coleridge family in Keswick. She continues talk about how cold and harsh the weather has been, while detailing all the things she is doing indoors.
Dorothy did not focus on poetry as much as William, but her entries in this journal are nothing to sneeze at. Her knack for capturing actions and images through words is something that will amaze anyone.
featured image via young poets network
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Antarctica is a wild and mysterious continent, a place to remind us that awesome is not the synonym of the understated nicebut is instead closer to the overwhelming, the tremendous. Known for its famous Midnight Sun—the continent’s season of uninterrupted sunlight—the landscape is just as often submerged in months of darkness. While many envision Antarctica as a flat, featureless expanse, the opaque snowdrift at the bottom of the globe, this is an inaccurate picture. Antarctica is home to a collection of what could just as easily be natural wonders or horrors—Deep Lake, so salty it never freezes, and the McMurdo Dry Valleys, where the wind is so intense and dehydrating that no snow can accumulate. There, only the lichens can survive, hiding deep within the rock. The only true no man’s land, Antarctica has seen only ten births, the first as recent 1979. But it has seen death.
Image Via Blogspot
Nobody owns Antarctica. But there was a lot of commotion over who might claim the discovery. In 1910, a dangerous race to the continent transpired between British Robert Falcon Scott and Norwegian Roald Amundsen, along with their respective crews. Their great ambition garnered both teams a less-than-great response—although Amundsen received funding to explore the North Pole, he kept his true objective a secret even from his own crew. Only once his vessel departed did he reveal his aim: the deadly Southern continent. And it was deadly—just not to Amundsen. Scott and his entire crew would die in the harsh conditions, martyred by their own ambitions. Today, a seller has revealed details of a long-lost journal, written by the man who discovered Scott’s body.
Image Via Earth Magazine
Through Scott’s own journals, we know of his crew’s devastating fate. Edgar Evans passed away first. Lawrence Oates died shortly after, his last words: “I am just going outside and may be some time.” Scott supposes he sacrificed himself to preserve the team’s dwindling resources—his sacrifice was in vain. It was his thirty-second birthday. Nearing their destination, three crew members remained. They were eleven miles away. But eleven miles becomes a lot further for someone too weak to move. In his last entry, Scott writes: “we shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker, of course, and the end cannot be far. It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more.” The crew was on its return trip, the men loaded heavy with the truth: they had completed their journey to the pole, but they were not the first to do it. They had taken their chance at a place in history—it, in turn, had taken them.
Image Via BBC
Tryggve Gran, a Norwegian explorer, was part of the 1912 rescue mission to recover Scott’s team. Ultimately, he recovered only their bodies. In his previously unpublished journals, he describes the raw horror:
The frost had made the skin yellow & transparent & I’ve never seen anything worse in my life. [Scott] seems to have struggled hard in the moment of death, while the two others seem to have gone off in a kind of sleep […] We buried them this morning – a solemn undertaking. Strange to sea [sic] 11 men bareheaded whilst the wind blew. I must say our Expedition is not given much luck […] some sleep will do good after such a day as this. The sun shines lovely over this place of death
Gran also recalls using Scott’s skis instead of his own, a weighty gesture on behalf of a man he so clearly reveres. “They must finish the journey,” he writes, “and they will.”
Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine, has just released her debut book, Useless Magic. Published under Penguin Random House and released yesterday, July 5th, this collection of personal poems, illustrations, and more is stunningly unique, and something you definitely don’t want to miss!
Since the start of her career, Welch has always brought something entirely otherworldly to the table; her voice acting as an instrument all it’s own, on par with the voices of artists like Kate Bush or Björk, giving her music a dream-like quality and creating a sound you recognize as hers the moment you hear it. Her past work has had a much bigger instrumental sound (including the use of wind chimes, drumming on multiple surfaces, bells, electric guitars, etc.) while her newest release, High as Hope, feels more stripped-down and raw; her voice feels more conversational, her lyrics more poetic. This is also the first album on which Welch herself is listed as the producer.
Listening to this album feels more personal; Welch has been open about much of the lyrics deriving directly from poems and journal entries (Hungersmacks you right from the get-go with it’s opening line, as does Sky Full Of Songwith the bridge “I thought I was flying but maybe I’m dying tonight“) creating a listening experience that feels completely relatable and entirely human.
And now, with the release of Useless Magic, Florence Welch has taken the full dive into letting us truly see her inner world. Reading this collection feels as though you’re reading someone’s journal filled with their direct and most personal thoughts; not to mention the mystical, ethereal quality Welch is famous for seems to pour from within the pages, giving the collection a prophetic-like feel.
Image via Amazon
This book is beautiful in how it shows someone as their most realistic, not-always-put-together self. Welch is open about her struggles with eating disorders, alcoholism, anxiety, and more; she writes of those who’ve hurt her, of the things she feels afraid of, of the things she feels ashamed for having done. There is no sugar-coating here, no rose colored glasses, nor smoke or mirrors. It’s the sort of work you’ll read and think, “oh my god, I’ve felt that way, too!”
Useless Magic is the more than simply another inside look at a successful artist and her musical process; it’s a look at someone in all of her graceless, messy, miserable, terrified, and fallible humanity. It’s clouded and scribbled and just so, completely gorgeous in how heartbreakingly relatable every word, note, poem, and illustration are. (Being a person is scary; none of us really have any idea what we’re doing or why we’re here or if we’re living our lives the way we were meant to, and Welch has been fearless in opening up about that.)
Image via Amazon
Watching an artist blend poetry with music, and openly speak about the power poems and writing and words can hold, is so exciting. I’m a big believer that reading poems and writing your own (in whatever way feels right) can cause you to grow, shift, change, and realize thoughts and you feelings you never knew you had. Poetry can sometimes tend to gain a bit of a bad reputation as something boring and difficult to understand because of the way many school systems teach us to read poems from a technical, as opposed to emotional, standpoint; it’s refreshing to see someone who holds such a powerful place in the mainstream media release poems; now fans of Welch who may not have necessarily considered themselves fans of poetry before will be buying and reading a book of poems, and that’s insanely cool. (This all part of the poetry-community’s plan to get everyone in the world to read poetry, obviously. We’re after a poetry-ruled world, baby!)
Useless Magic will allow you to see someone in an intimate light we are rarely granted. You don’t want to miss this, order here! Also, be sure to check out Florence Welch’s Instagram-based book club, Between Two Books, now!
…a prediction comes true and I couldn’t do anything to stop it, so it seems like a kind of useless magic.
In 2016, John’s Hopkins University Press received a $938,000 grant courtesy of The Andrew Mellon Foundation, which allowed them the funds to continue building an Open Access (OA) platform for monographs in humanities and social sciences.
This was all part of MUSE Open, a non-profit organization aimed at making scholarly texts, journals, articles, and more readily accessible. The organization was founded in 1995 and, in the past twenty-three years, has teamed up with nearly 300 publishers to make works from all categories available online.
via Project MUSE
This is vital because people who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to read and learn from these texts have been given a platform to do exactly that.
In April, Johns Hopkinsreceived another grant for $200,000 from both The Andrew Mellon Foundation and The National Endowment for the Humanities which will allow them to take over 200 out-of-print works and release them back into the world via MUSE.
Expanding their database to include texts that were previously out-of-print will give these books new life and allow them to be seen again for the first time in years.
Johns Hopkins has taken the lead on this, but maybe in the future we’ll see more out-of-print works raised from the dead, along with other Open Access platforms making texts accessible for all!
I don’t know about you, but I never make it past the second page in a journal. When I was twelve, I had high hopes of my journal becoming a huge deal and being sold, hardcover bound, all over the world. However, in order for that to happen I would have had to have some really important things to say. I probably also would have needed to do some pretty influential things.
Take Father of Evolution, Charles Darwin. I reckon most sane people would agree he’s done important work in the world of science. His journals overflow with interesting and profound information. And, great for book loving people like us, he included a reading list that he kept updated as soon as he finished books.
Image Via Pinterest
Before computers and the internet, writing everything down was the best (and only) way to keep track of information. And if you were lucky to avoid flooding or fires, crucial information would be readily available for years to come. I still write most things down, I have sticky notes and scrap papers placed neatly and methodically around my apartment.
To be quite honest, my reading list doesn’t look like anything close to this. I am not as smart as Charles Darwin, nor am I going to pretend I am. Additionally, my reading list is basically the complete opposite. It can’t even compare. Mine’s at about ninety percent fiction while Darwin’s is… not. But, I love books and I think this is super cool. Now I can pretend I know more about him than I really do.
What about you? Do you keep a physical reading list?