Tag Archives: Poetry

1899: O ye whales and all that move on the waters bless ye the Lord

Edward Arthur Fellowes Prynne: O ye whales and all that move on the waters bless ye the Lord (1899); from the Prayer of Azariah, a passage that appears in the book of Daniel in some versions of the Christian Bible: … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

1828: Sala Dante

Joseph Anton Koch’s frescos of Dante’s Inferno (1825-28) decorate the Sala Dante in the Casino Massimo, a Roman Villa. Several scenes from the poem are illustrated here, including Dante and Virgil’s ride on the monster Geryon (upper right) and Count … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1750 BC: Let Man Bear the Load of the Gods!

In one of the oldest surviving creation myths, humankind originates from a labor action. The story, told in the Babylonian Atrahasis Epic, goes like this: long before humankind, only gods exist, with some more powerful than others. These greater gods—the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

1964: Oh, My Mangled Head!

In his book Alice in Many Tongues (1964), Warren Weaver spends the last chapter using a curious method to evaluate various translations of Alice in Wonderland. He takes the same passage from each translation—a portion of the Mad Tea-Party—and asks … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

1946: First They Came

Although this is one of the world’s most famous poems, there is no definitive version of it. Indeed, there is no clear evidence that its author, the Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller, ever put it into poetic form. Several variations exist, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

1871: Wasp in a Wig

In 1870, illustrator John Tenniel wrote to Lewis Carroll suggesting that he delete an episode from Through the Looking-Glass: Don’t think me brutal, but I am bound to say that the ‘wasp’ chapter doesn’t interest me in the least, & … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

1802: The Mammoth Cheese

On the first day of 1802, President Thomas Jefferson received a gift of mythic proportions. Amid great fanfare, a “mammoth” Cheshire cheese was delivered to the President’s House by the itinerant Baptist preacher and political gadfly Elder John Leland (1754-1841). … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment