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Advent Poetry Calendar – Day 12 – “And In the Red Box”

  • Posted by: Sarah Wingo
  • Posted Date: December 8, 2016
  • Filed Under: Uncategorized

 “And In the Red Box” by Alice Walker

Submitted by Barbara Quintiliano. Barbara Quintiliano is the nursing, life sciences, and instructional services librarian at Falvey Memorial Library and she submitted this poem by Alice Walker. In the hustle and bustle of the holiday it can be easy to get caught up in the festivities and forget about those less fortunate than us, and children who aren’t hoping for the latest high tech gadget, but proper school supplies.

“And In the Red Box”
By Alice Walker

And in the red box
tied with red ribbons
tell me justice lies
and school books for children
tell me there is
a sandwich
for the man
on the corner.
Tell me when Christmas
and a warm fire
an end
to selfishness
comes with it.


Advent Poetry Calendar – Day 11 – “Miss Hooligan’s Christmas Cake”

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“Miss Hooligan’s Christmas Cake”
Submitted by Joanne Quinn. Joanne Quinn is the team leader for Communications and Marketing at Falvey Memorial Library, and she submitted this fun filled Christmas ballad with the comment, “I like this one ’cause it reminds me of my own cookin’!” While I’m sure Joanne isn’t quite so bad, it certainly reminds me of her larger-than-life sense of humor.

While looking for information on this ballad I came across this piece from the National Library of Scotland’s digital archive, and decided to share it since it gives a great explanation of the ballad and its origins. You can also view the article and a digital facsimile of the original printing of the ballad here.

“Verse 1: ‘As I sat at my windy one evening, / The letter man brought unto me / A little gilt edged invitation, / Saying, Gilhooly, come over to tea. / Sure I knew that the Hooligans sent it, / So I went just for old friendship’s sake, / And the first thing they gave me to tackle / Was a piece of Miss Hooligan’s cake.’ The text beneath the title reads: ‘Sung by Harry Melville and J.M. Oates with success.’ The song was published by the Poet’s Box, 10 Hunter Street, Dundee, priced one penny.

This comic ballad describes a monstrous Christmas cake that poisons everyone who eats it. Although the broadside was apparently published in Dundee, some surnames and phrases in the ballad suggest that it is about a group of Irish acquaintances. The large number of Irish-themed broadsides found in Scotland reflects the high level of Irish migration to Scotland during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. As a major urban industrial centre, Dundee become home to a large Irish migrant population.

The Dundee Poets’ Box was in operation from about 1880 to 1945, though it is possible that some material was printed as early as the 1850s. Most of the time it had premises at various addresses in Overgate. In 1885 the proprietor J.G. Scott (at 182 Overgate) had published a catalogue of 2,000 titles consisting of included humorous recitations, dialogues, temperance songs, medleys, parodies, love songs, Jacobite songs. Another proprietor in the 1880s was William Shepherd, but little is known about him. Poet’s Box was particularly busy on market days and feeing days when country folk were in town in large numbers. Macartney specialised in local songs and bothy ballads. Many Irish songs were published by the Poet’s Box. Many Irishmen worked seasonally harvesting potatoes and also in the jute mills. In 1906 John Lowden Macartney took over as proprietor of the Poet’s Box, initially working from 181 Overgate and later from no. 203 and 207.

It is not clear what the connection between the different Poet’s Boxes were. They almost certainly sold each other’s sheets. It is known that John Sanderson in Edinburgh often wrote to the Leitches in Glasgow for songs and that later his brother Charles obtained copies of songs from the Dundee Poet’s Box. There was also a Poet’s Box in Belfast from 1846 to 1856 at the address of the printer James Moore, and one at Paisley in the early 1850s, owned by William Anderson.

Early ballads were dramatic or humorous narrative songs derived from folk culture that predated printing. Originally perpetuated by word of mouth, many ballads survive because they were recorded on broadsides. Musical notation was rarely printed, as tunes were usually established favourites. The term ‘ballad’ eventually applied more broadly to any kind of topical or popular verse.”

“Miss Hooligan’s Christmas Cake”
As sung by Harry Melville and J. M. Gates

As I sat at my windy one evening,
The letter man brought unto me
A little gilt edged invitation,
Saying, Gilhooly, come over to tea.
Sure I knew that the Hooligans sent it,
So I went just for old friendship’s sake,
And the first thing they gave me to tackle
Was a piece of Miss Hooligan’s cake.

There was plums and prunes and cherries,
And citron and raisins and cinnamon too,
There was nutmeg, cloves, and berries,
And the crust it was nailed on with glue.
There was carraway seeds in abundance,
Sure ‘twould build up a fine stomach ache,
‘Twould kill a man twice after ‘ating a slice
Of Miss Hooligan’s Christmas cake.

Miss Mulligan wanted to taste it,
But really there wasn’t no use,
They worked at it over an hour,
And they couldn’t get none of it loose.
Till Hooligan went for the hatchet,
And Killy came in with a saw,
That cake was enough, by the powers,
To paralyze any man’s jaw.

Mrs Hooligan, proud as a peacock,
Kept smiling and blinking away,
Till she fell over Flanigan’s brogans,
And spilled a whole brewing of tay.
’Oh, Gilhooly,’ she cried, ‘you’re not ‘ating,
Try a little bit more for my sake,’
’No, Mrs Hooligan,’ sez I,
’But I’d like the resate of that cake.’

Maloney was took with the colic,
M’Nulty complained of his head,
M’Fadden lay down on the sofa,
And swore that he wished he was dead.
Miss Daly fell down in hysterics,
And there she did wriggle and shake,
While every man swore he was poisoned,
Through ‘ating Miss Hooligan’s cake.

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BrowZine – “The best thing to happen to e-journals ever!” says Robin Bowles

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BrowZine – What is it? As its name (browse + magazine) suggests it is “a visual browsing interface for our journal subscriptions.” And, as Falvey’s Nursing and Life Sciences librarian, Robin Bowles says, “It’s the best thing to happen to e-journals ever!” BrowZine provides “a streamlined user interface with personalization tools for students and faculty. BrowZine makes your journals more user-friendly than ever before.”

You cannot walk over to a bookshelf, pick up an e-journal and skim through it to see what is available in the most recent issue as you might with a print journal. BrowZine makes it possible to leaf through e-journals in the same way as you do with printed ones and the journals are only those to which Falvey subscribes.

Browzine is found on the Falvey homepage to your left under Databases A – Z or use this link: <http://browzine.com/libraries/764/subjects > This takes you to the BrowZine Library where you see a list of topics such as Arts and Humanities, Biological Sciences, Mathematics and Statistics, and more. If you click on one of these topics, journals for this category (only those to which the Library subscribes) appear on the right.  You can open a journal, look at its table of contents and select an article of interest, just as you do with printed journals.

You can save journals of interest to My Bookshelf; you have four bookcases, each with four shelves. By using My Bookshelf you can follow titles that interest you and you will be notified when a new article is published.

In addition to your computer, BrowZine can be accessed from your smartphone or tablet once you download the app. This enables you to read your saved articles offline – your BrowZine bookshelf is portable!

To learn more, watch this informative video, “Getting Started with BrowZine,” or contact Robin Bowles.


Robin resizeRobin Bowles, Nursing and Life Sciences librarian. Room 220, 610-519-8129.





Photograph by Alice Bampton; bookshelf image courtesy of pixabay.com.

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Advent Poetry Calendar – Day 10 – “God’s Grandeur”

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“God’s Grandeur” by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Submitted by Judy Olsen

Judy Olsen, who retired in 2013 as Falvey Memorial Library’s Humanities librarian and Communication and Publications team leader, returned to Falvey in 2014 to provide part-time support for Communication and Psychology while Falvey was short-staffed. She is once again retired.

“God’s Grandeur” is an Italian sonnet—it contains fourteen lines divided into an octave and a sestet, which are separated by a shift in the argumentative direction of the poem. Reverend Father Gerard Manley Hopkins (28 July 1844 – 8 June 1889) was an English poet, Roman Catholic convert, and Jesuit priest. He became famous after his death as one of the leading Victorian poets. He is known for his experimental explorations in prosody, particularly his use of sprung rhythm, and his use of imagery which was extremely innovative for a period of time in which traditional verse was still very much in vogue.

If you’re interested in learning more about Gerard Manley Hopkins or his poetry you may wish to check out “The Columbia Granger’s index to poetry in anthologies” here.

God’s Grandeur by Gerard Manley Hopkins

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.



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Need a charge? No need to wait!

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Over the fall break UNIT installed a courtesy cell phone charging station on the first floor of Falvey. The charging station can charge eight cellphones simultaneously. It is located along the same wall as the photocopy machines and the scanners, to the left of the entrance and circulation counter. Library visitors can conveniently charge their phones while pursuing research or studying in Falvey.

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Photographs by Alice Bampton, Communications and Marketing Dept.

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Advent Poetry Calendar – Day 9 – “Letters to a Young Poet”

 “Letters To A Young Poet” by Lisa Sewell

Submitted by Lisa Sewell

When it was announced that we would be doing a poetry advent calendar, Becky Whidden, at that time (2014) an Access Services Specialist at Falvey, suggested that we ask Lisa Sewell, PhD, if she would like to submit one of her poems from her upcoming book Impossible Object, for which Dr. Sewell had been awarded the first annual Tenth Gate Prize. The Tenth Gate Prize consists of $1,000 and publication by the Word Works. The prize will be given annually for a poetry collection by a U.S. poet who has published two or more books.

Dr. Sewell is an associate professor of English, director of programming for Gender and Women’s Studies at Villanova, and an active participant in many of Falvey Memorial Library’s events throughout the year. When we reached out to her, she very kindly provided us with not only a poem for our Advent calendar but also the description of her book provided below.

“The poems in Impossible Object trace the experience of the self as reader, treating books as formative, a central part of life — as important to the construction of identity and memory as events or experiences. The poems interact with a wide range of books, from Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods to Freud’s Civilization and Its Discontents, investigating the formation of the lyric self in relationship to reading along several trajectories: as an event, as the background to world events, and as the background to significant events in my own life.”

If you’re interested in other works by Dr. Sewell you can view Falvey’s current holdings here.

“Letters to a Young Poet”
by Lisa Sewell

Out of our arguments with ourselves, what is lost
in translation is news that stays news, a small (or large)
machine made of words that makes nothing
happen, comes nearer to vital truth than history
and must go in fear, be as new as foam, as old
as the rock, have something in it that is barbaric
vast and wild, a way of taking life by the throat.
And out of this turning within, out of this immersion
in your own world, as if the top of my head were taken off
for lack of what is found there or in the journal
of a sea animal living on land wanting to fly in the sky
in the best words, in the best order, put things before
his eyes: imaginary gardens with real toads that spring
from genuine feeling that the mind is dangerous
and my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me—


Peek at the Week: Dec. 5-9

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“The rapid nightfall of mid-December had quite beset the little village as they approached it on soft feet over a first thin fall of powdery snow. Little was visible but squares of a dusky orange-red on either side of the street, where the firelight or lamplight of each cottage overflowed through the casements into the dark world without,” –Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows.

I’m told Villanova is lovely in December, so I’m very excited for this month
(and thus, the snap chats I’ll send home to my friends).


This is roughly  what I’m picturing (photo from Pixabay.com)

This week at the Library:
Monday, December 5th,
Center for Undergraduate Research & Fellowships (CURF) Information Table, 6:00-9:00 p.m.

Chewing gum’s various properties have been well documented in our library: it can potentially improve gum inflammation, aid concentration, alter pain perception, and even perhaps influence grocery store shopping. I (personally) use gum to stay calm in high stress situations (for instance, on highway 476 or every day from now until finals are over). If any of these applications appeal to you, I recommend picking up (sugar-free!) gum from the next gas station/grocery store/friend who offers it to you. It’s inexpensive, so worst case scenario you’ve wasted two dollars (but still have minty breath!).


Actually, the real  worst case scenario is probably closer to this (photo from pixabay.com)

Save the Date:
Monday, Dec. 12th, 
-Final Day of Classes
Tuesday, Dec. 13th, 
-Reading Day (yay!)

Stories for snow:
The Snow Child: A Novel, Eowyn Ivey
Winter: Five Windows on the Season, Adam Gopnik
The Winter’s Tale,William Shakespeare, who created the world’s most perfect stage direction:
[Exit, pursued by a bear.]


Just a visual representation (photo from flickr.com, K. Mueller, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters)

#FalveyPeek at the Week provided by Hunter Vay Houtzer, a graduate assistant on the Communications and Marketing Team at the Falvey Memorial Library. She is working toward an MA in Communication at Villanova University, and on increasing her accuracy in medical self-diagnoses based solely on internet knowledge. Send your thoughts/suggestions to Hunter at #falveypeek. See you next Monday for more!

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Advent Poetry Calendar – Second Sunday of Advent – “God’s Beast”

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“God’s Beast” by Madeleine L’Engle is written from the viewpoint of  a beast of burden, a donkey. This poem was submitted by Alice Bampton, Communications and Marketing Dept., who loves animals, although she has yet to meet a donkey.


God’s Beast by Madeleine L’Engle

Least important of all animals, I am a beast
of burden. I can carry heavy loads,
and I am more patient than a camel,
gentler of nature, though occasionally stubborn.
I am not considered intelligent,
and my name is used as an insult.

But when I see an angel in my path
I recognize a messenger of God
“Stop!” the angel said to me, and I stopped,
obeying God rather than my master Balaam
who hit me and cursed me and did not see
the angel’s brilliance barring our way.

Later I took the path to Bethlehem
bearing God’s bearer on my weary back,
and stood beside her in the stable, trying to share
her pain and loneliness, and then the joy.

I carried on my back the Lord himself,
riding, triumphant, through Jerusalem,
But the blessings turned to curses,
Hosanna into Crucify him! Crucify him!

Least important of all animals, beast of burden,
my heaviest burden is to turn the curse into a blessing,
to see the angel in my path,
to bear forever the blessing of my Lord.


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Advent Poetry Calendar – Day 7 – “The Wicked Fairy at the Manger”

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 “The Wicked Fairy At The Manger” by U.A. Fanthorpe
Submitted by Barbara Quintiliano. Barbara Quintiliano is the nursing, life sciences, and instructional services librarian at Falvey Memorial Library, and she submitted this cheeky little poem, which has fun with the story of Jesus’s birth and life. In Fanthorpe’s poem she sends a wicked fairy with a “gift” to baby Jesus, like Maleficent to Aurora in sleeping beauty.

Falvey has two books of Fanthorpe’s poetry plus other works.

“The Wicked Fairy At The Manger” 
by U.A. Fanthorpe

My gift for the child:
No wife, kids, home;
No money sense. Unemployable.
Friends, yes. But the wrong sort —
The workshy, women, wogs,
Petty infringers of the law, persons
With notifiable diseases,
Poll tax collectors, tarts;
The bottom rung.
His end?
I think we’ll make it
Public, prolonged, painful.
Right, said the baby. That was roughly
What we had in mind.




Foto Friday: It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

It's beginning to

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Ev’rywhere you go …”


Christmas carol written by Meredith Willson in 1951 and recorded by many artists.


Photograph by Alice Bampton, Communications and Marketing Dept.

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Last Modified: December 2, 2016