eBooks again

I hadn’t been looking at eBooks lately until this new computer and the excellent Calibre reader prompted me to take them up again. I did have a Kobo reader, but as I reported in 2014 it finally died. Fortunately I had my books stored also on a “My Passport” portable hard drive. I have been loading them up to this computer: nearly 2000 so far!

calibre-picture-1

There are so many sources of free eBooks. I am sure you have heard of Gutenberg, but there are some good local ones to check too, for example Free eBooks from University of Adelaide. There are amazing specialist, thoroughly up-to-date books and journals from the Australian National University Press.

So normal blogging resumes…

When I first posted on Facebook that I would be doing the poetry and music sequence I said: “I have resolved that when I resume my blog around Easter I will ignore for the moment whatever Trump/Putin might be up to, even if it is World War 3. Expect poetry and music for a week.”

Well. World War 3 hasn’t quite started yet, but not for lack of trying over the past week. Aside from Trump and Putin — the latter not getting much airtime lately — we have had this extremely weird guy:

North-Korean-leader-Kim-Jong-Un-2-485x269
Have a look at 20 little known facts about Kim Jong Un.

  1. Kim’s real birth date is a mystery. While his official birth year in 1982, the U.S. Treasury Department — after imposing sanctions on North Korea last July — officially identified his date of birth as Jan. 8, 1984.
  2. Kim is the world’s youngest leader, if we go by the birth date listed by the U.S. Treasury Department.
  3. Reports suggest that Kim attended a boarding school in Switzerland between 1998 and 2000. He is reported to have been enrolled in the school under the name “Pak Un.”
  4. Kim was reportedly caught with a porn magazine in his school days.
  5. The young North Korean leader was reportedly a fan of Chinese actor Jackie Chan in his school days.
  6. According to reports, Kim is a heavy smoker and a fan of Swiss cheese….

Meanwhile isn’t this interesting!  ‘Tricked badly!’ Despite talk, US ‘armada’ was a long way from North Korea.

Beijing: As tensions mounted on the Korean Peninsula, Admiral Harry Harris made a dramatic announcement: An aircraft carrier had been ordered to sail north from Singapore on April 8 toward the Western Pacific.

In reality, it was on its way to join Australian forces in the Indian Ocean….

I weep like a child for the past…

This is the final post in the poetry and music series memorialising my brother’s death.

D H Lawrence 1885-1930

Piano

Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings
And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.

In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song
Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong
To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside
And hymns in the cosy parlour, the tinkling piano our guide.

So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamour
With the great black piano appassionato. The glamour
Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast
Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past.

1918

With Anzac Day coming up I add this song. The lady herself appears near the end She turned 100 recently! A couple of years back I sent a copy to my brother, whose childhood was dominated by World War 2. Also unlike me his earliest memories were of Shellharbour and Wollongong. 

From “Last Poems” — A E Housman

A E Housman 1859-1936

Alfred_Edward_Housman

XXIX.
Wake not for the world-heard thunder
Nor the chime that earthquakes toll.
Star may plot in heaven with planet,
Lightning rive the rock of granite,
Tempest tread the oakwood under:
Fear not you for flesh nor soul.
Marching, fighting, victory past,
Stretch your limbs in peace at last.

Stir not for the soldiers drilling
Nor the fever nothing cures:
Throb of drum and timbal’s rattle
Call but man alive to battle,
And the fife with death-notes filling
Screams for blood but not for yours.
Times enough you bled your best;
Sleep on now, and take your rest.

Sleep, my lad; the French are landed,
London’s burning, Windsor’s down;
Clasp your cloak of earth about you,
We must man the ditch without you,
March unled and fight short-handed,
Charge to fall and swim to drown.
Duty, friendship, bravery o’er,
Sleep away, lad; wake no more.

Robert Frost: After Apple-picking

Robert Frost 18741963

After Apple-picking

MY long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it’s like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.