Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Two old books ~ on TWOsday

Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner ~ edited by Ellen E. Garrigues, 1895 and 1910

This is a slim little volume, with brown covers imprinted with slightly darker brown words.  That's why I photographed the title page instead of the cover.  I'll probably read the book before passing it on.  What fascinates me most is that it belonged to the aunt I was named for.  She wrote her name in the book three times:
Bonnie Reynolds      ― inside the front cover
Central High School

Bonnie Reynolds     ― inside the back cover

Bonnie Reynolds     ― one page in from the back
Sophomore
1921
She also annotated sections of the ballad and wrote a list of words in the back that her teacher must have been trying to teach them:
medifor ― [metaphor]
simile
Presonification ― [personification]
apostrophe
Oops on her spelling!  Since she's the one who taught me lots of big words, like "masticate" (to chew), I'd have fun teasing her if she hadn't died in 1979.  She also goofed when noting the meaning of a word.  "Apostrophe is addressing lifeless things or abstract things as though they were persons."  Nope, that would be personification.  Oh, well, it's fun to think my Auntie was once a girl in school.
1-3-17  Wendy corrected me (in the comments below):
The definition for apostrophe is correct.  It is a kind of personification in which the speaker addresses a concept or object.  An example:  "With how sad steps, o Moon, thou climbs't the sky."

I looked it up and found that Dictionary.com defines "apostrophe" as a digression in the form of an address to someone not present, or to a personified object or idea, as “O Death, where is thy sting?”  Ha!  I knew "apostrophe" sometimes meant a digression, but I didn't realize it was in the form of an address and I didn't connect it with personification.  So thanks to nearly-one-hundred-year-old notes from that teacher's class, Wendy's comment, and this explanation from an online dictionary, I've learned something!  Thanks, Wendy.
Adventures in Appreciation ~ by Luella B. Cook, Walter Loban, and Susanna Baxter, 1936, 1941, 1947, 1949, 1952
I rescued this book from a free bin outside a used bookstore many years ago, because it was one I'd used in high school myself.  Several names I remember are inscribed inside this 718-page anthology, so whoever used it was possibly in my class.  She also slipped a newspaper clipping of a boy in uniform (ROTC?) between the pages.  Since we didn't buy the books we used at our school, I can only surmise that, having stamped it repeatedly with the name of her club and having written all over it and checked each footnote she read, she was required by the school to pay for the damaged book ― and she kept it.
I recognize many of the stories, poems, articles, nonfiction, drama, and a complete novel (Silas Marner by George Eliot) included in this heavy tome (yes, I know that adjective is redundant).  Some of them stand out for me, and I may read them before donating the book to a book sale.
  • "By the Waters of Babylon" (pp. 36-47) ― a post-apocalyptic short story by American writer Stephen Vincent BenĂ©t, first published July 31, 1937, in The Saturday Evening Post as "The Place of the Gods"
  • "Outwitted" (p. 208) ― a poem (quatrain) by Edwin Markham
He drew a circle that shut me out ―
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!
  • "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" (p. 208) ― the music for this "Negro Spiritual" is on the facing page, and I'll probably run off a copy to play on the piano before I give away the book.

On this TWOsday, I share two old books I found while emptying a box to unclutter my home.

2 comments:

Wendy said...

The definition for apostrophe is correct. It is a kind of personification in which the speaker addresses a concept or object (e.g. "With how sad steps, o Moon, thou climbs't the sky.) I also used an Adventures in Appreciation anthology in high school, though a different edition. I was enchanted by "By the Waters of Babylon." It has always stuck with me.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

I added this in the post itself:

1-3-17 Wendy corrected me (in the comments below):
The definition for apostrophe is correct. It is a kind of personification in which the speaker addresses a concept or object. An example: "With how sad steps, o Moon, thou climbs't the sky."

I looked it up and found that Dictionary.com defines "apostrophe" as a digression in the form of an address to someone not present, or to a personified object or idea, as “O Death, where is thy sting?” Ha! I knew "apostrophe" sometimes meant a digression, but I didn't realize it was in the form of an address and I didn't connect it with personification. So thanks to nearly-one-hundred-year-old notes from that teacher's class, Wendy's comment, and this explanation from an online dictionary, I've learned something! Thanks, Wendy.

"By the Waters of Babylon" is unforgettable for those of us who really got into the story. Those who compiled the book agree with us and added these words at the top of the story:

"You won't easily forget 'By the Waters of Babylon.' It is a thrilling story full of suspense and -- for a time -- unexplained mysteries, but it is also a disturbing story, one to make you think about the modern world we live in. Like 'R%eport on the Barnhouse Effect' [by Kurt Vonnegut, 1950, just before this one in the anthology], it breaks down the boundaries between fantasy and science. It's imaginary, yet it is full of realistic details. The events described here never happened, and yet it seems as if we already knew about them. Strange . . . well, you'll see."