I finished three books over the last week, and all include lots of interesting illustrations. I read TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, illustrated by Edward Gorey, DUMB by Georgia Webber, and A Child’s Bouquet of Yesterday by Gerda Vautier.
This book of poetry came to me when I was visiting my brother in Fredericksburg, Virginia a few weeks ago. I lived pretty close to the Edward Gorey house when I lived in Buzzard’s Bay, and even got to go visit it once — a very cool spot, and lots to learn about this interesting artist. The poems are fun (and all about cats!)– I especially enjoyed a few lines:
From “The Naming of Cats” where we learn that cats have to have 3 names, and of the third cat name:
But above and beyond there’s still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover–
But the cat himself knows, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.
Here is the illustration for “The Naming of Cats” by Edward Gorey:
This gives me a lot to think about when I admire cats now!
From “The Ad-Dressing of Cats”
How would you ad-dress a Cat?
So first, your memory I’ll jog,
And say: a cat is not a dog.
Here is the illustration from “The Ad-Dressing of Cats” by Edward Gorey:
The second book I read, DUMB, by Georgia Webber was given to me as a book swap from Daniela. If anyone wants to have a read, please let me know and I’m happy to send around! This was an awesome beach book I read when I was hanging on Sullivan’s Island last week– it is a powerful story about the author who experiences loss of her voice. I know that many readers and bloggers here would identify with this story, and so I do not want to take away from this special book by saying too much. Webber does a fantastic job of really bringing you into her day-to-day, coping with the stupid things that people say (even when they mean well), as well as a defunct healthcare system (she is Canadian). Posting one photo from the book to give you a sense of what’s inside:
The third book I read came also from Fredericksburg when I was visiting my brother– I love the illustrations in this one. The concept of the book is a bouquet of illustrations from different artists and are coupled with short stories, poems and other child-related quotes. A quote from the introduction that stuck with me, “My selection of pictures of children’s books and poetry of many lands and centuries was not prompted by scientific ambition; I picked them as one would pick beautiful flowers not knowing what the bouquet eventually would look like.” – Gerda Vautier
Here are two pages from the book:
I hope you enjoyed this wayward journey through some of my reading the last week!