Saturday, September 22, 2012


The wreck of the past?

What an interesting summer.  Last season I sold tons of paintings and not many books; this season many books and fewer paintings.  I've been idly considering what it would take to reopen my shop and I don't think the advantages would outweigh the expense, not to mention the toll such a move would take on my available painting time.  But don't think I haven't thought of it.  The years since I closed the bookshop have been wonderful, so much so that even shopkeeping has taken on a rosy glow.  I have forgotten many of the day-to-day irritations and frustrations.  But not the monthly climb up the mountain carrying a giant boulder, i.e. earning enough to pay the rent and utilities.  That lingers. 

Anyway, I am happy to be able to say that my book booth at the Antiques Marketplace is thriving.  And I must mention a lovely write-up it received, from Thomas over at My Porch.  Thank you - the pleasure of sending good books to good homes is one of the reasons I remain a bookseller!

Back to Byron for a moment.  I just read his long poem The Corsair, and more shorter poems, which are beginning to smack of genius, and am now in the middle of volume IV of the Letters and Journals, entitled Wedlock's the devil.  While we are meditating on the rosy glow of years gone by, here is the final stanza from his poem Stanzas to -, published in the same volume as The Corsair:   

"From the wreck of the past, which hath perish'd,
     Thus much I at least may recall,
It hath taught me that what I most cherish'd
     Deserved to be dearest of all:
In the desert a fountain is springing,
     In the wide waste there still is a tree,
And a bird in the solitude singing,
     Which speaks to my spirit of thee."

Oh bookshop, Oh Byron.  Oh dreams of my youth.

Hail to Lord Byron who brought you back
From Byron's "Journal" - November 24th, 1813: "Who would write, who had anything better to do?"

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