Ex Libris Kirkland

Ex Libris Kirkland is my self-centered way to keep track of what I read, what I like, and what I want to remember.


Recently Quoted

  • Carrion Comfort

    Not, I'll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee;
    Not untwist — slack they may be — these last strands of man
    In me ór, most weary, cry I can no more. I can;
    Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.
    But ah, but O thou terrible, why wouldst thou rude on me
    Thy wring-world right foot rock? lay a lionlimb against me? scan
    With darksome devouring eyes my bruisèd bones? and fan,
    O in turns of tempest, me heaped there; me frantic to avoid thee and flee?

    Why? That my chaff might fly; my grain lie, sheer and clear.
    Nay in all that toil, that coil, since (seems) I kissed the rod,
    Hand rather, my heart lo! lapped strength, stole joy, would laugh, chéer.
    Cheer whom though? the hero whose heaven-handling flung me, fóot tród
    Me? or me that fought him? O which one? is it each one? That night, that year
    Of now done darkness I wretch lay wrestling with (my God!) my God.

    an excerpt from Gerard Manley Hopkins, written by Gerard Hopkins in 1889

  • Glory be to god for dappled things...

    an excerpt from Gerard Manley Hopkins, written by Gerard Hopkins in 1889

  • God's Grandeur

    The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
    It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
    It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
    Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
    Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
    And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
    And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
    Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.


    And for all this, nature is never spent;
    There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
    And though the last lights off the black West went
    Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
    Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
    World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

    an excerpt from Gerard Manley Hopkins, written by Gerard Hopkins in 1889

Recently Noted

  • Erika bought this for us for Christmas 2017, and we've been reading through it as prescribed - we start each bedtime with that night's poem. It's really great! There are a lot of poems we didn't enjoy, but a TON of great ones. Lots that I knew before and delighted to have a reason to read out loud with the kids, and lots of new ones that we discovered.

    Several turned into real games with the kids: we wrote our own versions, we practiced memorizing them. I'm really both surprised that we managed to stick with the pattern, and I'm excited to re-read the poems in 2019.

    an note about A Poem for Every Night of the Year, written by Various in 2016

  • This is a 1906 retelling of the Odyssey, a few pages of narration for each Book of the original poem. I read it out loud as bedtime stories for the kids, and Trudy especially was very into the actual adventure parts: cyclops and shipwrecks, sirens and so forth. But man, there's a lot of it that dragged. I had read a lot of the new Emily Wilson translation earlier this year, and it's a striking comparison.

    an note about The Odyssey for Boys and Girls, written by Alfred J Church in 1906

  • Did I like Persuasion? Honestly, it's been a few months and I don't remember. It's a solid Austen, and has a more acerbic angle - dare I say grim - than I expected. But maybe I've been away from the real Austen for too long. But I read this in a progression of Trollope > Eliot > Austen, which is a weird one.

    an note about Persuasion, written by Jane Austen in 1818

Looking for more recent books? Check out the Personal Timeline.



Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
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