All in literature

An Enchanted Vision

There’s a painting I’ve loved for a long time now. It depicts scenes from the life of the Cyclops, the famous one eyed monster of Greek mythology. I first discovered it completely by chance a few years ago when searching on the internet for something or other. Ah the wonders of google! You can see a photograph of it above this piece. It was in fact one of several wall murals that were discovered during the excavation of the Augustan Villa at Boscotrecase in Italy.

A Reading Hour

When I look back into the past I can not locate the moment at which I first discovered the novelist Mary Stewart. In the days when, as teenagers, we would make weekly family trips to the library I was always happy to discover one of her novels unfamiliar and unread. In later years the delight came from rediscovering one to read again. I must have read all of her novels ten times over or more.

View from a Window

I’ve discovered a new children’s illustrator recently. Her name is Kinyuko Craft and her creations are exquisite. My daughter is discovering the magic of fairy tales and reading these wonderful stories accompanied by such a depth of visual wonder is a beautiful experience. 

The Fire of Time

I’ve been wandering alone in this beautiful town of dreams recently during the times of day when my children are happily occupied at school. There’s a song that’s been on my mind for weeks now that tells a tale full of the bitter power of memory and the bone shaking timeless grief that the loss of a loved one can brings.

Tread Softly

Sing of Hermes, Muse, the son of Zeus and Maia,…..a son resourceful and cunning, a robber, a rustler of cattle, a bringer of dreams, a night watcher, a gate lurker, who was soon to display deeds of renown among the immortal gods: born in the morning, by midday he was playing the lyre, and in the evening he stole the cattle of far-shooting Apollo- on the fourth of the month, the day the lady Maia bore him… Hermes it was who first crafted the singing tortoise. (Homeric Hymns: To Hermes)

Bringing it all Back Home

There’s a line from The Little Prince that’s often on my mind these days. The book is full of wisdom and beauty and I’ve loved it at various stages of life. I think I first discovered it as a child and was captivated by the drawings of the elephant digesting a boa constrictor. Then, during my later teenage years, it was the Fox and the Rose with whom I became fascinated and I must confess that it is to them that my thoughts usually return. 

A Very Roman Hero

As summer’s end appears on the horizon the knowledge that I will soon be back in Europe becomes more tantalizing with each day that passes.  The prospect of a trip back home has had me thinking about family and about an old Roman hero by the name of Aeneas.