“The Wicked Fairy At The Manger” by U.A. Fanthorpe
Read by John Warner 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.
“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.
I think we’ll make it
Public, prolonged, painful.
Right, said the baby. That was roughly
What we had in mind.
Darren Poley is the Scholarly Outreach and Theology librarian at Falvey Memorial Library. “If” was first published in 1920 in Kipling’s collection Rewards and Fairies, series of historical fiction short stories with linking contemporary narratives.
In his posthumously published autobiography Something of Myself, Kipling claimed that his poetic inspiration for the poem was based the military service of Leander Starr Jameson, who lead the failed Jameson Raid (December 1895 – January 1896) against South Africa to overthrow the Boer Government.
You can also listen to Gregg speak briefly about her approach to writing and read one of her other poems here.
“Arriving Again and Again Without Noticing”
By Linda Gregg
I remember all the different kinds of years.
Angry, or brokenhearted, or afraid.
I remember feeling like that
walking up a mountain along the dirt path to my broken house on the island.
And long years of waiting in Massachusetts.
The winter walking and hot summer walking.
I finally fell in love with all of it:
dirt, night, rock and far views.
It’s strange that my heart is as full
now as my desire was then.
“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost Introduced by Garrison Keillor
Read by Robert Frost
Submitted by Laura Bang
Laura Bang is Falvey Memorial Library’s Digital and Special Collections curatorial assistant, and she submitted “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” perhaps one of Frost’s most well known and beloved poems. It was included in Frost’s collection New Hampshire, published in 1923, for which he won the first of his four Pulitzer Prizes.
The speaker of “Stopping by Woods” is caught in a moment of choosing between the tranquility of nature and the responsibilities of life and society. One well-known interpretation suggests that the poem is a meditation on death and draws the distinction between eternal peace, rather than natural tranquility, and the hustle and bustle of daily life.
With the holiday season upon us it is easy to imagine oneself in the speaker’s shoes and the desire for moments of peacefulness at odds with all of the responsibilities that this time of year brings. If you find yourself feeling as though you have far too many miles to go before you sleep, try to find a few moments throughout the day to stop by your own metaphorical wood and take a few deep breaths to get you through all that lies ahead.
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
By Robert Frost
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Your hand in mine, we walk out
To watch the Christmas Eve crowds
On Fillmore Street, the Negro
District. The night is thick with
Frost. The people hurry, wreathed
In their smoky breaths. Before
The shop windows the children
Jump up and down with spangled
Eyes. Santa Clauses ring bells.
Cars stall and honk. Street cars clang.
Loud speakers on the lampposts
Sing carols, on juke boxes
In the bars Louis Armstrong
Plays White Christmas. In the joints
The girls strip and grind and bump
To Jingle Bells. Overhead
The neon signs scribble and
Erase and scribble again
Messages of avarice,
Joy, fear, hygiene, and the proud
Names of the middle classes.
The moon beams like a pudding.
We stop at the main corner
And look up, diagonally
Across, at the rising moon,
And the solemn, orderly
Vast winter constellations.
You say, “There’s Orion!”
The most beautiful object
Either of us will ever
Know in the world or in life
Stands in the moonlit empty
Heavens, over the swarming
Men, women, and children, black
And white, joyous and greedy,
Evil and good, buyer and
Seller, master and victim,
Like some immense theorem,
Which, if once solved would forever
Solve the mystery and pain
Under the bells and spangles.
There he is, the man of the
Night Before Christmas, spread out
On the sky like a true god
In whom it would only be
Necessary to believe
A little. I am fifty
And you are five. It would do
No good to say this and it
May do no good to write it.
Believe in Orion. Believe
In the night, the moon, the crowded
Earth. Believe in Christmas and
Birthdays and Easter rabbits.
Believe in all those fugitive
Compounds of nature, all doomed
To waste away and go out.
Always be true to these things.
They are all there is. Never
Give up this savage religion
For the blood-drenched civilized
Abstractions of the rascals
Who live by killing you and me.
*The Poetry Center Digital Archive is a Project of The Poetry Center at San Francisco State University.
As I Walked Out One Evening, By W.H. Auden Read by Tom Hiddleston
Submitted by Sarah Wingo
“As I Walked Out One Evening” was written in the mid-1930s, early in Auden’s career. In technical terms the poem is a literary ballad with ABCB quatrains and other elements of the lyric poem. The poem deals with love, mortality, and the steady march of time. Although there is melancholy in this poem, one of my favorite take aways from it is that although life is fleeting, and perhaps even more so because it is so fleeting “Life remains a blessing.” My favorite line comes near the end of the poem:
“You shall love your crooked neighbor
With your crooked heart.”
This line acknowledges the deep imperfections of humanity, while at the same time celebrating the human capacity for love.
Advent derives from the Latin word “adventus,” meaning approach or arrival. Advent is a time of expectation, a buildup and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity at Christmas (Christ’s first coming), and a reminder to prepare one’s soul for Christ’s expected return to earth on judgment day.
Advent is celebrated in different ways, but one cherished tradition that our readers in both religious and secular households may have grown up with is that of the Advent Calendar. In the spirit of the holiday season, Falvey Memorial Library has asked its staff to contribute one or two of their favorite poems to a Poetry Advent Calendar, which we will be creating on our blog. During Advent you can check in everyday for a new poem as we count down to Christmas.
This semester, Falvey Memorial Library presented a fall workshop series on Digital Humanities, organized by Laura Bang. Laura works in Special and Digital Collections and she is actively involved in the Philadelphia Digital Humanities community.
The fantastically informative workshops provided an introduction to DH techniques and applications and took place in Falvey on various Saturdays from 9AM to noon. Since we were provided with tons and tons of resources, I’d be glad to share some with you! For an overview of the individual workshops and the projects/softwares explored, keep scrolling.
September 6: Intro to DigitalHumanities
Our five-session workshop began with an introductory lecture by Mitch Fraas, the Schoenberg Scholar-in-Residence at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries. As you might guess, we talked about the most popular question on the block: what are digital humanities? As this intro lecture proved, the best way to figure it out is to jump into one of the many projects you can find online. Definition by application! Fraas provided tons of resources; here are some excellent places to start.
The second workshop was a fun and approachable introduction to coding by Kate Lynch. We used Processing, which is not only a programming language, but also a development environment with an enormous online community. The software is free to download and open source. The Processing site is loaded with beginner tutorials.
I pointillized ‘Lil Bub! On the left behind the kitty, you can see the Processing window and code.
October 4: Audio Editing
Workshop number three covered basic audio editing. We played around with Audacity, a free, open source audio recording and editing software. You can download it right from the Audacity page. You can find plenty of royalty free sounds and tracks on the web for your projects on websites like freesound.org. The Audacity page also has plenty of tutorials, but I find YouTube tutorials are the most helpful for software training. Search “Audacity” and you are sure to find hundreds!
October 25: WordPress as a Content Management System
The fourth workshop explored WordPress as a content management system. WordPress.com, as you might already know, allows you to create a free blog, but it is not highly customizable. Based on your wants and needs, it might be perfect for you. However, if you’re looking for a software script to create a website, check out WordPress.org. According to the About page,
WordPress started as just a blogging system, but has evolved to be used as full content management system and so much more through the thousands of plugins and widgets and themes, WordPress is limited only by your imagination. (And tech chops.)
To get started with the WordPress software you’ll need a web host, but the software itself is free and open source.
November 8: Mapping/GIS
The fifth and final workshop introduced basic data mapping and visualization. Using CartoDB and openly available data sets from OpenDataPhilly, we learned how to import and create tables and how to customize maps based on those tables.
Sarah Cordivano, the workshop instructor, enthusiastically expressed the importance of projects such as OpenDataPhilly, a resource that
“…is based on the idea that providing free and easy access to data information encourages better and more transparent government and a more engaged and knowledgeable citizenry… By connecting people with data, we’re hoping to encourage users to take the data and transform it into creative applications, projects, and visualizations that demonstrate the power that data can have in understanding and shaping our communities.”
For more information on OpenDataPhilly, visit the About Us page.
Article by Michelle Callaghan, graduate assistant on the Communication and Service Promotion team. She is currently pursuing her MA in English at Villanova University.
On Thursday, Oct. 30 at 3:00 p.m., in room 204 of Falvey Memorial Library, Claire Folkman and Kelly Phillips, co-editors of the all-girl comic anthology Dirty Diamonds, will discuss their comic careers, the life cycle of publishing small press comics, and the genesis of their joint publishing endeavors. They will walk through the development of the fifth issue of Dirty Diamonds, and detail the challenges and successes of their first foray into crowd-funding through Kickstarter.
Folkman maintains her studio at Mercer St. Studios in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia, where she works on her nationally-exhibited mail art, video performance, auto-bio comic and romance collage projects. Phillips is a cartoonist based out of West Philly. She is currently detailing the story of her teenage years as the moderately successful webmaster of a “Weird Al” Yankovic fan site in the comic series “Weird Me.” She likes to get angry, get food, and get to sleep. Their goal for Dirty Diamonds is to give the women of comics a dedicated outlet for telling their stories.
This event, sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library, the Writing Center, Gender and Women’s Studies, the English Department, and the Center for Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship, is free and open to the public.
For more information on Dirty Diamonds, Folkman, and Phillips, check out the links below, selected by Sarah Wingo, liaison librarian for English and theater.
Check out this picture of a few of our awesome librarians (Rob LeBlanc, Sarah Wingo, and Robin Bowles) hanging out at New York Comic Con 2014! I hope they were careful; Smaug looks like he’s planning something…
Dig Deeper links selected by Sarah Wingo, team leader – Humanities II, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre.
Portrait of a Man 1595-1600 Oil on canvas, 53 x 47 cm Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
To celebrate Hispanic Cultural Heritage Month, Agnes Moncy, PhD, professor of Spanish in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Temple University, will discuss El Greco. This event, held at 3:00 p.m. Oct. 23, in room 204, commemorates the 400th anniversary of El Greco’s death.
The event—co-sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Sigma Delta Pi and the Hispanic Honor Society—is free and open to the public.
El Greco, born Doménikos Theotokopoulos (c. 1547 – 1614) in Crete (a Greek island), moved to Italy as a young man. There he visited Venice, where he was influenced by the paintings of Titian and Tintoretto; El Greco also traveled to Rome where he saw Roman and Florentine Mannerist works. By 1577, he had moved to Toledo,Spain, where he remained for the rest of his life.
El Greco (“the Greek”) is considered a major Spanish Renaissance artist although his personal style reflects strong elements of Late Byzantine and Late Italian Mannerist art. He painted portraits and intensely emotional religious paintings such as “The Burial of Count Orgaz,” 1586, in Santo Tomé, Toledo, Spain.