Former United States Poet Laureate, Billy Collins, reads his poem, The Dead. The animation was created by Juan Delcan of Spontaneous.
"The dead are always looking down on us, they say, while we are putting on our shoes or making a sandwich, they are looking down through the glass-bottom boats, of heaven as they row themselves slowly through eternity. They watch the tops of our heads moving below on earth, And when we lie down in a field or on a couch, Drugged perhaps by the hum of a warm afternoon, They think we are looking back at them, which makes them lift their oars and fall silent and wait, like parents, for us to close our eyes."
February 28, 2007
February 27, 2007
Born February 27, 1807, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote many favorites we still read now.
"Listen my children and you shall hear/ Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere..." If you want to know what happens, read the entire poem of Paul Revere's Ride. Also visit The Paul Revere House to find out the true story. Compare facts and the fiction that often arrives from artistic license.
All houses wherein men have lived and died
Are haunted houses. Through the open doors
The harmless phantoms on their errands glide,
With feet that make no sound upon the floors.
We meet them at the door-way, on the stair,
Along the passages they come and go,
Impalpable impressions on the air,
A sense of something moving to and fro.
There are more guests at table, than the hosts
Invited; the illuminated hall
Is thronged with quiet, inoffensive ghosts,
As silent as the pictures on the wall.
The stranger at my fireside cannot see
The forms I see, nor hear the sounds I hear;
He but perceives what is; while unto me
All that has been is visible and clear.
We have no title-deeds to house or lands;
Owners and occupants of earlier dates
From graves forgotten stretch their dusty hands,
And hold in mortmain still their old estates.
The spirit-world around this world of sense
Floats like an atmosphere, and everywhere
Wafts through these earthly mists and vapors dense
A vital breath of more ethereal air.
Our little lives are kept in equipoise
By opposite attractions and desires;
The struggle of the instinct that enjoys,
And the more noble instinct that aspires.
These perturbations, this perpetual jar
Of earthly wants and aspirations high,
Come from the influence of an unseen star,
An undiscovered planet in our sky.
And as the moon from some dark gate of cloud
Throws o'er the sea a floating bridge of light,
Across whose trembling planks our fancies crowd
Into the realm of mystery and night,--
So from the world of spirits there descends
A bridge of light, connecting it with this,
O'er whose unsteady floor, that sways and bends,
Wander our thoughts above the dark abyss.
Out of the bosom of the Air,
Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
Silent, and soft, and slow
Descends the snow.
Even as our cloudy fancies take
Suddenly shape in some divine expression,
Even as the troubled heart doth make
In the white countenance confession,
The troubled sky reveals
The grief it feels.
This is the poem of the air,
Slowly in silent syllables recorded
This is the secret of despair,
Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,
Now whispered and revealed
To wood and field.
Text from Nameless..:
"My train of thought just expired to a tired state which I no longer know. I sense the hole of my whole self getting smaller watching each step more carefully. A void can be avoided but not under circumstances of ones self doubt. As you trace the earth do you find yourself walking a vicious circle to a dead end? Can you comprehend a better way as you're lost to find a better day
The more you admit you are bound to an act of perversity the more cleansed you are not ...
Though is that of decadence more healthy and pure .. More innocent and natural. Who really wrote the rule book after all.. I didn't. Or maybe I did
Are you evolved or just uninvolved in what your instincts believe is what's necessary Is it me or has time gone faster in the presence of our last disaster When your heart hits the floor you drag the weight of it .. Not realizing it was you that made it fall. Why do you do that to yourself? Are you a glutton for this kind of foolishness? Yes..
Your life always deletes you.. It's a trivial matter at hand"
February 26, 2007
Follow the links compiled on The Victor Hugo Website for more information about Victor Hugo's life and work. Search for elusive facts and consider the poet's following words:
What matter it though life uncertain be
To all? What though its goal
Be never reached? What though it fall and flee -
Have we not each a soul?
Be like the bird that on a bough too frail
To bear him gayly swings;
He carols though the slender branches fail -
He know that he has wings!
The Grave and the Rose
The Grave said to the Rose,
'What of the dews of dawn,
Love's flower, what end is theirs?'
'And what of spirits flown,
The souls whereon doth close
The tomb's mouth unawares?'
The Rose said to the Grave.
The Rose said, 'In the shade
From the dawn's tears is made
A perfume faint and strange,
Amber and honey sweet.'
'And all the spirits fleet
Do suffer a sky-change,
More strangely than the dew,
To God's own angels new,'
The Grave said to the Rose.
February 23, 2007
Wish you could visit the Great Wall of China? You can. Walk over ancient stones. Look out of military spy towers. Gaze through windows overlooking thousands of miles of the Chinese landscape. Control what you see and where you go on this virtual tour of the Great Wall.
Which Chinese Zodiac animal are you? Look for your birthday and then click on the picture of each animal to read character traits.
Test your knowledge of the 12 animals by taking a Chinese Zodiac Signs quiz. If your computer does not support Flash then take the HTML version of the quiz here.
Gene Luen Yang [YA 741.5 YAN]
This book is the Michael L. Printz Award winner for 2007. Look on the golden cover of this new comic book/graphic novel into the bewildered eyes of a young boy gripping a Transformer toy. Jin Wang moves into a new neighborhood where he is one of only a few Asians. Negative perceptions flog him daily. He encounters ignorant bullies like Timmy who welcome him to his new school by publicly saying, "My momma says Chinese people eat dogs." Jin changes his name to Danny in a parallel with the great Chinese fable of the Monkey King. Neither wish to accept defeat. A third story within the book introduces an extremely stereotyped cousin visiting from China. The three tales intertwine.
Posted by Librarian
February 22, 2007
Ever heard of Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers? That band's name is not new. In the 1920's in Chicago, Jelly Roll Morton formed the Red Hot Peppers! It was a rough life back then, too. "Like so many of the Hot Jazz musicians, the Depression was hard on Jelly Roll. Hot Jazz was out of style. The public preferred the smoother sounds of the big bands. He fell upon hard times after 1930 and even lost the diamond he had in his front tooth, but ended up playing piano in a dive bar in Washington D.C." Read more from Red Hot Jazz or check out Jazz: My Music, My People from the library.Music-Map: The Tourist Map of Music
Like six degrees of separation, this site reveals relationships between people, in this case, which musical artists do other people like. Type the name of a musician you listen to into the easy search box. Now sit back and watch as dozens of other names swirl before you on the screen. Some are immediate neighbors and some skirt the edges, barely related at all. Each new name can be pursued by clicking on its hyperlink. A visual experience in honor of audio. New Neat Stuff's reviewer calls this website "an exploding map of musical relationships. "
Posted by Librarian
February 21, 2007
Rachel Cohn [YF COH]
Meet main character, Wonder Blake. "'Discovered' while working at a Dairy Queen, fifteen-year-old Wonder produces a demo, records an album, and goes on tour--all while grieving for her older sister, who died two years earlier just before signing her own record deal." (Horn Book Guide Reviews) This story is a fast read; light and fluffy like many of the current pop stars in the news.
Han Nolan [YF NOL]
"Nuthin' else in the world would matter if I could sing and people would listen." Janie (who changes her name to Leshaya) has a very rough life. She was only four years old when she nearly drowned due to her mothers neglect. Foster care became an unfulfilling escape, until she found a friend and her voice. Through her experiences of joining a blues band, drugs, and a dangerous world of careless sex, Leshaya struggles to accept herself, her race, talents, control, responsibility, and find the love, family, and life she has struggled for so unapologetically. Mature topics for high school readers.
Fat Kid Rules the World
"Seventeen-year-old Troy, depressed, suicidal, and weighing nearly 300 pounds, gets a new perspective on life when a homeless teenager who is a genius on guitar wants Troy to be the drummer in his rock band." Ever had stage fright with an upset stomach? Vomit makes a big splash (pun intended) in this book!
The Haunting of Hip Hop: A Novel
Bertice Berry [FIC BER]
The Haunting of Hip Hop: A Novel Bertice Berry [FIC BER] Is there a direct link between the drums of African tribesman and hip-hop music? Successful New York City hip-hop producer, Harry "Freedom" Hudson, finds a house in Harlem that may be haunted. He goes on a journey to acquire this building and finds more. Read in a Booklist Monthly Review from 2001, about "voices from the past demand[ing] that their stories be heard and implor[ing] the young rapper to change his musical style and recognize that the drum is a gift from the ancestors." Click on the "More Information" link in the catalog to read more reviews.
Kimberly Brubaker Bradley [YF BRA]
"Despite the horrors of World War II, a French teenager pursues her dream of becoming an opera singer, which takes her to places where she gains information about what the Nazis are doing--information that the French Resistance needs." Transport yourself back in time and let the music take you away.
February 16, 2007
Like to have fun with words?
That saved me achin' nose,
The biggest word you ever 'eard,
And this is 'ow it goes:
Did you know that Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoniosis is "a lung disease caused by breathing in particles of siliceous volcanic dust. This is the longest word in any English dictionary. However, it was coined by Everett Smith, the President of The National Puzzlers' League, in 1935 purely for the purpose of inventing a new "longest word". The Oxford English Dictionary described the word as factitious. Nevertheless it also appears in the Webster's, Random House, and Chambers dictionaries."
Challenge to brave writers... can you write a sentence with Floccinaucinihilipilification in it? And can you find the correct pronunciation to recite this difficult new sentence? Try the alphaDictionary for more views on these strange words. Good luck!
February 15, 2007
The Songwriter's Rhyming Dictionary
Sammy Cahn [423.1 CAH]
Over than fifty thousand entries! Arranged by vowels in many different configurations, syllables, and alphabetically. Easy to use.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Songwriting
Joel Hirschhorn [e-book]
If you have read any of the Complete Idiot's Guides on any subject, you will recognize this book. The information is not for idiots, but for anyone who want to learn the basics. There is a bit of history, talk of training, musical genres, specific industries (movies or TV), collaborations, publishers, agents, the Internet, and more.
The Secrets of Songwriting: Leading Songwriters Reveal How to Find Inspiration and Success
Susan Tucker [782.42 TUC and e-book]
Take a peek inside the Nashville music scene and gain secrets from "fifteen of the nations most accomplished songwriters [as they] reveal how they write, what inspires them, and how they are able to produce regularly, blending personal stories with serious discussion of the creative process."
Songwriter's Market: 1,300 Places to Market Your Songs
Edited by Ian C. Bessler [070.57 SON available and reference (at Warrenton)] A directory of names and addresses where you can mail your songs for publication.
"Music and the music business are two different things."
- Erykah Badu
Special guest Jason Bell of Haiti Empire Records, Inc., invites teens and adults to learn about the music industry. Read more by clicking on FREE events for ages 11-18. Adults are welcome to attend Jason Bell's program.
Books to examine on this subject:
All the Rave: The Rise and Fall of Shawn Fanning's Napster
Joseph Menn [025.06 MEN]
Get the inside story about Napster. How did 17 year old Shawn Fanning create a computer program that allowed thousands of people to share music files on the Internet? Read about the lawsuit that put this young man into world headlines. Look at the music industry now; post-Napster.
The Musician's Guide to Making & Selling Your Own CDs & Cassettes
Jana Stanfield [780.688 STA]
Try these practical tips to getting started marketing your music. The author's motivational style can help you get over fears of success. Small town musicians appreciate the step-by-step information in this book.
Making a Living in Your Local Music Market: How to Survive and Prosper
Dick Weissman [780.23 WEI]
"Can a Musician Make a Living Outside the Major Music Centers?" The opening chapter presents a question relevant to Fauquier County residents. As you may notice by the traffic, we are not living in downtown Washington D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, or New York City. What are the benefits to living in a small town community if you want to share your music with the world? How do you find financing, purchase equipment, market your music, spot opportunities, sign agreements, deal with rejection, deal with agents, book gigs,...? Want to be an Artist-in-Residence? Apply for a grant. What other honors come with helping or teaching experiences? What about publishing, producing, or spinning records the old-fashioned DJ way? This book is thorough.
Gigging: A Practical Guide for Musicians
Patricia Shih [780.23 SHI]
"Amateurs, semi-pros, part-timers, and even seasoned professionals will learn to make a living playing music in this practical guide. A 35-year music business veteran breaks down the steps to success by offering realistic advice, resources, and anecdotes for landing paid gigs. You will learn to find both traditional and unconventional outlets for performing, as well as how to gauge the compatibility of your music with specific venues." (Review from http://musicbooksplus.com). This book cover issues like paperwork, unions, health and insurance that musicians may want to forget about, but can't.
What They'll Never Tell You About the Music Business: The Myths, the Secrets, the Lies (& a Few Truths)
Peter M. Thall [780.23 THA]
Interested in insider information? Presented for the ambitious young musician and also for college reference. Where would you like to fit in the music industry today, tomorrow, or in history? Read a concise historical essay on "Urban Music: Hip-Hop". Consider classical music's demise in the music market, and the evolution of a song. Find out about "legal issues, royalties, personal management, touring, merchandising,... entrepreneurship, marketing and promotion, financing, contracts, self-publishing, and copyright." There is a bit of everything here.
All You Need to Know About the Music Business
Donald S. Passman [780.23 PAS]
"A resource for anyone in the music industry by a prominent entertainment lawyer covers every area of the business through a range of humorous and illustrative anecdotes... and information on record labels, royalties, budgets, tours, and copyright law."
Music, Money, and Success: The Insider's Guide to Making Money in the Music Industry
Jeffrey Brabec, Todd Brabec [780.23 BRA]
These particular insiders are Todd Brabec, Executive Vice President and Director of Membership for ASCAP, and Jeff Brabec, Vice President Business Affairs for the Chrysalis Music Group. They are graduates of NYU School of Law, Deems Taylor Award-winning writers for excellence in music journalism,and adjunct professors at the USC Thornton School of Music/Music Industry Department. This book is written for people approaching the business of music who are not only musicians, but songwriters, publishers, managers, and investors, too. How is money channeled through so many people and institutions? What about looking at foreign countries and their music market? This book may expand your horizons.
February 14, 2007
Take this Valentine's Day Quiz to find out how much you know about the origins of this holiday.Read an introductory essay about Cupid below. Click on the Fun Fact link to see the original article.
"Cupid is the most famous of Valentine symbols and everybody knows that boy armed with bow and arrows, and piercing hearts . He is known as a mischievous, winged child armed with bow and arrows. The arrows signify desires and emotions of love, and Cupid aims those arrows at Gods and Humans, causing them to fall deeply in love. Cupid has always played a role in the celebrations of love and lovers. In ancient Greece he was known as Eros, the young son of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. To the Roman's he was Cupid, and his mother was Venus.
There is a very interesting story about Cupid and His mortal Bride Psyche in Roman mythology. Venus was jealous of the beauty of Psyche, and ordered Cupid to punish the mortal. But instead, Cupid fell deeply in love with her. He took her as his wife, but as a mortal she was forbidden to look at him.
Psyche was happy until her sisters persuaded her to look at Cupid. as soon as Psyche looked at Cupid, Cupid punished her by leaving her. Their lovely castle and gardens vanished too. Psyche found herself alone in an open field with no signs of other beings or Cupid. As she wandered trying to find her love, she came upon the temple of Venus. Wishing to destroy her, the goddess of love gave Psyche a series of tasks, each harder and more dangerous then the last.
For her last task Psyche was given a little box and told to take it to the underworld. She was told to get some of the beauty of Proserpine, the wife of Pluto, and put it in the box. During her trip she was given tips on avoiding the dangers of the realm of the dead. She was also warned not to open the box. But Temptation overcame Psyche and she opened the box. But instead of finding beauty, she found deadly slumber.
Cupid found her lifeless on the ground. He gathered the deadly sleep from her body and put it back in the box. Cupid forgave her, as did Venus. The gods, moved by Psyche's love for Cupid made her a goddess."
February 9, 2007
Two (skeleton) lovers were recently found outside the fair city of Verona and they are at least 5000 years old!
"The two bodies, which cuddle closely while facing each other on their sides, were probably buried at the same time, an indication of a possible sudden and tragic death, Bondioli said. 'It's rare for two young people to die at the same time, and that makes us want to know why and who they were, but it will be very difficult to find out.'"
Read the full news story from CNN -
Check out books:
Mummies & Their Mysteries
Eyewitness Early Humans
Digging Into the Past: Pioneers of Archaeology
The Elephant Man
The Head Bone's Connected to the Neck Bone: the Weird, Wacky, Wonderful X-Ray
Posted by Librarian
Labels: book review
February 7, 2007
Who are you related to? Are you ready to spend your life finding out?
Visit the Virginiana Room in the Warrenton library or read an introduction online. "The Virginiana Room, housed in the Warrenton Library, has an extensive collection of materials focusing on state and local history and genealogical research."
Have you ever wondered who is that Uncle Marcus that everyone in your family thinks you look like? There may be pictures and documents out there to research...and even closer to home than you may think! Ask a librarian how to start thinking about a genealogical search. Is now a good time? Will it be too late if you wait? What information can you start gathering at family reunions and/or from old letters before you hit the stacks (browse the book shelves) at the library? You may discover an uncle or second cousin has already begun the search...and would like to join you.
Look at the online Sanborn Digital Maps for Virginia to "learn about the history, growth, and development of cities, towns, and neighborhoods in Virginia. They include information such as the outline of buildings and their size shape and function, street names, street and sidewalk widths, property boundaries, building use, and house and block numbers." Have you heard that your Granny Lou used to live on Main Street? Did she sit in the rocking chair in the back sun room every day for decades? Was there one window or two? If you can find her part of town in the Sanborn Digital Maps, you might be able to answer those precise questions. Or...how warm did your family stay 80 years ago in a house with one, or was it two, fireplaces? Had you considered wood burning stoves? Was the building next door a school or a residence? And on and on and on...
Need to visit the Local Historical Resources. Link to Afro-American Historical Association, Fauquier Heritage Society, Old Elk Run Church Site Preservation Project, Mosby Museum, Journey Through Hallowed Ground, Old Jail Museum, Teaching With Historic Places, Monroe Park, Goldvein, VA, John Singleton Mosby Heritage Area, Memorial Foundation of the Germanna Colonies in Virginia, Manassas National Battlefield Park, The Museum of Culpeper History, Library of Virginia's online resources, University of Virginia Library Genealogical Resources (Virginia Genealogy), and In the First Person ("an index to English language personal narratives, including letters, diaries, memoirs, autobiographies, and oral histories").
If you're not feeling up for searching newspapers, magazines, military records, or local history sources for such personal information today, how about browsing the records just for fun. You don't need a reason to browse. If you like looking at elegant handwriting, signatures, or dated penmanship, scan through random names for downloadable charts in Ancestry.com or HeritageQuest Online. Then pursue the meaning of all those swirls and dotted i's. Check out library books on handwriting analysis, also known as graphology. It's such a popular topic, The Complete Idiot's Guide has published their own version. Come back to genealogy later and read about forensic identification. Check out Hidden Evidence: 40 true crimes and How Forensic Science Helped Solve Them and Crime Lab 101: Experimenting with Crime Detection. Don't get too lost when you find at least 71 subject results (even more books) for " forensic" in the catalog. You have the tools to discover clues...to your own psychological, historical composition. Good luck.
Posted by Librarian
February 6, 2007
A technological insight into Black History Month. One man's call for "digital freedom at last!" Presented about YouTube.
February 4, 2007
Dream Deferred by Langston Hughes
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
You may read this Langston Hughes's poem in High School. You may have already. Did you know that the title to Lorraine Hansberry's drama, A Raisin in the Sun, came directly from this very poem, Dream Deferred? The library has the text, film, and even an unpublished original screenplay for A Raisin in the Sun. Check these out early and get ahead on your assignments. Read The Big Sea: An Autobiography by Langston Hughes about the his younger years living in Paris and Harlem in the 1920s. Or check out more Langston Hughes poetry (for all ages) for yourself...even if there is no assignment.
Dream Variations by Langston Hughes
To fling my arms wide
In some place of the sun,
To whirl and to dance
Till the white day is done.
Then rest at cool evening
Beneath a tall tree
While night comes on gently,
Dark like me, -
That is my dream!
To fling my arms wide
In the face of the sun,
Dance! whirl! whirl!
Till the quick day is done.
Rest at pale evening. . . .
A tall, slim tree. . . .
Night coming tenderly
Black like me.
As you are seeking answers, if the exact book you want is not in the FCPL collection today, ask about Inter-Library Loan (ILL) at the Reference Desk. We will try to find the book and get it to you right away, even if it means the book has to cross state lines to reach you.
Biography Website Celebrates Black History -
Red Hot Jazz and Langston Hughes -
February 1, 2007
Black History Month
Sample searches in the catalog:
African American Inventors
Black Pioneers of Science and Invention
Outward Dreams: Black Inventors and Their Inventions
African American Firsts in Science & Technology (Reference books always available)
Inventing Modern America [electronic resource]: From the Microwave to the Mouse
Autobiography of a People: Three Centuries of African American History Told by Those Who Lived It
The Black 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential African-Americans, Past and Present
The African-American Century: How Black Americans Have Shaped Our Country
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
People subject searches:
George Washington Carver (http://www.invent.org/hall_of_fame/30.html)
Elijah McCoy "The Real McCoy" (http://www.blackinventor.com/pages/elijahmccoy.html)
Nat Turner (http://library.thinkquest.org/J0112391/nat_turner.htm)
Harriet Tubman (http://www.harriettubman.com/)
Sojourner Truth (http://www.sojournertruth.org/)
Rosa Parks (http://www.rosaparks.org/index.html)
Booker T. Washington (http://www.gale.com/free_resources/bhm/bio/washington_b.htm) and in Virgina (http://www.nps.gov/bowa/)
Alvin Ailey (http://www.alvinailey.org/)
Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton (http://www.jazzitude.com/morton.htm)
Marian Anderson (http://www.mariananderson.org/)
Maya Angelou (http://www.mayaangelou.com/)
Zora Neale Hurston (http://www.zoranealehurston.ucf.edu/)
Michael Jordan (http://www.virtualfans.com/)
Alice Walker (http://www.pbs.org/now/arts/walker.html)
Tiger Woods (http://www.tigerwoods.com)
Barack Obama (http://www.barackobama.com/)
Savion Glover (http://www.js-interactive.com/savion/)
African American Artists (http://www.artcyclopedia.com/nationalities/African-American.html) and (http://www.liu.edu/CWIS/CWP/library/aavaahp.htm)
...countless numbers more contributed to the history of this nation.
Topic subject searches:
African American Business
African Americans History
African Americans in Literature
African Americans Medical Care
African Americans Study and Teaching
African Americans World War 1914 1918
Black History Month in the United Kingdom