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the archivist June 13, 2024

449 (I died for Beauty—but was scarce) Emily Dickinson I died for Beauty—but was scarce Adjusted in the Tomb When One who died for Truth, was lain In an adjoining Room— He questioned softly “Why I failed?” “For Beauty,” I replied— “And I—for Truth—Themself are One— We Brethren, are,” He said— And so, as Kinsmen, […]

the archivist June 8, 2024

A Moment Mary Elizabeth Coleridge The clouds had made a crimson crown     Above the mountains high. The stormy sun was going down     In a stormy sky. Why did you let your eyes so rest on me,     And hold your breath between? In all the ages this can never be     As if […]

the archivist June 6, 2024

A Letter from Sophia Peabody to Nathaniel Hawthorne Sophia Amelia Peabody (1809-71) was born in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1809, the youngest of three talented sisters. Sophia, though troubled by ill health for much of her life, was a painter and copyist. From 1833-35 she lived in Cuba, in the hope that the climate might there […]

the archivist May 24, 2024

Defeated Sophie Jewett When the last fight is lost, the last sword broken; The last call sounded, the last order spoken; When from the field where braver hearts lie sleeping, Faint, and athirst, and blinded, I come creeping, With not one waving shred of palm to bring you, With not one splendid battle-song to sing […]

the archivist May 23, 2024

Anne Hathaway Carol Ann Duffy ‘Item I gyve unto my wief my second best bed…’ (from Shakespeare’s will) The bed we loved in was a spinning world of forests, castles, torchlight, cliff-tops, seas where he would dive for pearls. My lover’s words were shooting stars which fell to earth as kisses on these lips; my […]

the archivist May 5, 2024

Green-Striped Melons Jane Hirshfield They lie under stars in a field. They lie under rain in a field. Under sun. Some people are like this as well— like a painting hidden beneath another painting. An unexpected weight the sign of their ripeness.

the archivist May 4, 2024

Review: A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life George Saunders Random House ISBN 9781984856029 PRICE $28.00 (USD) PAGES 432 George Saunders, the celebrated author of Lincoln in the Bardo and Tenth of December, invites readers on an intellectual journey with his […]

the archivist April 12, 2024

Ode to the West Wind Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) I O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being, Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing, Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red, Pestilence-stricken multitudes: O thou, Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed The […]

the archivist April 11, 2024

Fire and Ice Robert Frost Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would […]

the archivist March 26, 2024

The description: We believe we should work hard in order to be happy, but could we be thinking about things backwards? In this fast-moving and very funny talk, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that, actually, happiness inspires us to be more productive. Discover the Power of Reverse Psychology Unlocking true health isn’t just about the absence […]

the archivist March 24, 2024

VERNAL SENTIMENT. Theodore Roethke Though the crocuses poke up their heads in the usual places, The frog scum appear on the pond with the same froth of green, And boys moon at girls with last year’s fatuous faces, I never am bored, however familiar the scene. When from under the barn the cat brings a […]

the archivist March 23, 2024

Declassified Soviet joke courtesy the CIA: A train bearing Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev and Gorbachev stops suddenly when the tracks run out. Each leader applies his own, unique solution. Lenin gathers workers and peasants from miles around and exhorts them to build more track. Stalin shoots the train crew when the train still doesn’t move. […]

the archivist March 7, 2024

The Road Not Taken Robert Frost Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the […]

the archivist March 6, 2024

“Toasted bacon wrapped in tin trays, sonic dishwashers and fridges that appear from under the kitchen floor – this was how life was supposed to be 40 years ago. These pictures are from a 1962 book called 1975: And the Changes to Come by Arnold B. Barach. They predict what the world of the future […]

the archivist March 5, 2024

Clementine Churchill: A Life in Pictures Sonia Purnell From the publisher: Clementine Churchill: A Life in Pictures is a fully illustrated and abridged edition of Sonia Purnell’s acclaimed biography, First Lady, including over 100 stunning and rarely seen photographs. Without Winston Churchill’s inspiring leadership Britain could not have survived its darkest hour. Without his wife Clementine, however, he might […]