These paper boats of mine are meant to dance on the ripples of hours, and not reach any destination... Rabindranath Tagore

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past...F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby

We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories.
On the way to the river are the old dormitories, used for something else now, with their fairy-tale turrets, painted white and gold and blue. When we think of the past it's the beautiful things we pick out. We want to believe it was all like that.
--from Margaret Atwood - The Handmaid's Tale

Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another's skin, another's voice, another's soul.
- Joyce Carol Oates

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Necklace

File:La Parure - Gil Blas.jpg
The Necklace (1884) ~ Guy de Maupassant

Beauty equalises females
From a male point of view

But an attractive woman
Scourged with the shabbiness of poverty
And longing to shine
Aches for a wardrobe
Beyond her reach

Such a woman was Madame Loisel

One night of giddy 
Ecstatic illusion 
Ten years of squalid debt

A debt 
Bound in


The Necklace and Other Short StoriesThe Necklace and Other Short Stories by Guy de Maupassant
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(This review focuses on The Necklace, originally published in the French newspaper Le Gaulois in 1884.)
The beauty of Madame Loisel was born to poverty. Little did she know that for one night, for one cloud of happiness, she would sink deeper into the bowels of poverty. Diamonds betrayed her; ignorance tainted her dreams and mocked her. A short story that could easily recycle into 21st century social column news.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Discovery of the High Lama

The Discovery of the High Lama (2009) by Sushma Joshi (ebook on Short Stories)
The spin of apparent circumstance settles into a life purpose for one and a humbling experience for another.

Dead Rose Tigerbalm in the Insight Bar

So far from the studies of Boston

Strumming lop-sided chords on the guitar

A Kathmandu backwater 

So far from marketed fortunes

A potato stuffed mentality
Ripe for
Chopping boards

And remote

Bigyan thought he was on a quest for
Black belt success

But the Enlightened One decided


The Discovery of the High LamaThe Discovery of the High Lama by Sushma Joshi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Elusive be "the simple science of inner knowledge" for those burdened with bookish academics; for those who have concocted their own template of superiority. While his "friends" travel to Boston or Australia to seek mercenary, intellectual status, Bigyan, with his black belt in kyo-kushin karate, travels from Kathmandu to Mongolia to compete. He wins a silver medal and stumbles into the delighted welcome of monks. A bizarre, but fascinating sequence of circumstantial scenarios give birth to a multi-faceted awakening.

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Linking to:
Poets United - Poetry Pantry

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Three Strangers

Stories by English Authors: England

I have just read "The Three Strangers" (1883) by Thomas Hardy - one of the stories in the collection Stories by English Authors.

In the pastoral, rain drenched world of night outside Casterbridge unfolds the mysterious connection of three strangers who drop by a shepherd's hut!
A beautiful short story etched with the subtle tensions of questions!


Description bristles with substance - Five miles of irregular upland, during the long, inimical seasons, with their sleets, snows, rains, and mists, afford withdrawing space enough to isolate a Timon or a Nebuchadnezzar; 

Atmospheric alliteration - surging hiss of the flying rain on the sod

Always get the feeling with Hardy that a passing comment on Nature has another level of foreshadowing or  "insinuation".
The house was thus exposed to the elements on all sides.

First stranger - light satire - his gait suggested that he had somewhat passed the period of perfect and instinctive agility, 

Suspicious riddles keep the mystery flowing - The man at the table took up the hedge-carpenter's remark, and added smartly, "True; but the oddity of my trade is that, instead of setting a mark upon me, it sets a mark upon my customers."

Beautiful imagery - Beyond all this winked a few bleared lamplights. 

A reality becomes a legend - In brief, the bass-voiced man of the chimney-corner was never recaptured.

Imagine singing
By a fire with a hangman
One rainy deep night


  The Three Strangers, and an Imaginative Woman (Dodo Press)The Three Strangers, and an Imaginative Woman by Thomas Hardy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have read the short story The Three Strangers (1883).
In the pastoral, rain drenched world of night outside Casterbridge unfolds the mysterious connection between three strangers who drop by a shepherd's hut!
A beautiful short story etched with the subtle tensions of suspicious connections, a wheelwright, a hangman and another all gathered round a fireplace of questions!
Another glorious vignette of Hardy's Wessex!

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