Paul Bunyan

 


 

Poetry Quote of the Day

This version of the poem is from Shel Silverstein’s book of poems for children, “Where the Sidewalk Ends” published in 1974. A slightly different version of “Paul” is sung by Bobby Bare in his 1973 album, “Lullabys, Legends and Lies”. He begins with an introduction, “You know, American folklore is filled with legendary characters like… Billy The Kid, Johnny Appleseed, Pecos Bill… and probably the greatest one of all has got to be Paul Bunyan, ’cause he was the meanest and the biggest and dirtiest, tobacco chewin’est, and the funkiest and the best woodchopper of all of ’em”. Paul Bunyan is a lumberjack of huge size and strength in American folk tales. Usually included in these Tall Tales is his companion, Babe the Blue Ox, a giant creature of extraordinary strength.

He rode through the woods on a big blue ox,
He had fists as hard as choppin’ blocks,
Five hundred pounds and nine feet tall…that’s Paul.

Talk about workin’, when he swung his axe
You could hear it ring for a mile and a half.
Then he’d yell “Timber!” and down she’d fall…for Paul.

Talk about drinkin’, that man’s so mean
That he’d never drink nothin’ but kerosene,
And a five-gallon can is a little bit small…for Paul.

Talk about tough, well he once had a fight
With a thunderstorm on a cold dark night.
I ain’t sayin’ who won,
But it don’t storm at all…round here…thanks to Paul.

He was ninety years old when he said with a sigh,
“I think I’m gonna lay right down and die
‘Cause sunshine and sorrow, I’ve seen it all…says Paul.

He says, “There ain’t no man alive can kill me,
Ain’t no woman ’round can thrill me,
And I think heaven just mught be a ball”…says Paul.

So he died…and we cried.

It took eighteen men just to bust the ground,
It took twenty-four more just to lower him down.
And we covered him up and we figured that was all…for Paul.

But late one night the trees started shakin’,
The dogs started howlin’ and the earth started quakin’,
And out of the ground with a “Hi, y’all”…comes Paul!

He shook the dirt from off his clothes,
He scratched his butt and wiped his nose.
“Y’know, bein’ dead wasn’t no fun at all”…says Paul.

He says, “Up in heaven they got harps on their knees,
They got clouds and wings but they got no trees.
I don’t think that’s much of a heaven at all”…says Paul.

So he jumps on his ox with a fare-thee-well,
He says, “I’ll find out if there’s trees in hell.”
And he rode away, and that was all…we ever seen…of Paul.

But the next time you hear a “Timber!” yell
That sounds like it’s comin’ from the pits of hell,
Then a weird and devilish ghostly wail
Like somebody’s choppin’ on the devil’s tail,
Then a shout, a call, a crash, a fall–
That ain’t no mortal man at all…that’s Paul!

Lemons

Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Daily Inspiration – Daily Quote

When life gives you lemons, Make Lemonade.
– Anonymous saying

Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.
– Charles R. Swindoll

Being defeated is often a temporary condition.
Giving up is what makes it permanent.
– Marilyn vos Savant

Close scrutiny will show that most “crisis situations”
are opportunities to either advance,
or stay where you are.
– Maxwell MaltzĀ 

The Last Samurai

By Helen DeWitt

Helen DeWitt’s extraordinary debut, The Last Samurai, centers on the relationship between Sibylla, a single mother of precocious and rigorous intelligence, and her son, who, owing to his mother’s singular attitude to education, develops into a prodigy of learning. Ludo reads Homer in the original Greek at 4 before moving on to Hebrew, Japanese, Old Norse, and Inuit; studying advanced mathematical techniques (Fourier analysis and Laplace transformations); and, as the title hints, endlessly watching and analyzing Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece, The Seven Samurai. But the one question that eludes an answer is that of the name of his father: Sibylla believes the film obliquely provides the male role models that Ludo’s genetic father cannot, and refuses to be drawn on the question of paternal identity. The child thinks differently, however, and eventually sets out on a search, one that leads him beyond the certainties of acquired knowledge into the complex and messy world of adults.The novel draws on themes topical and perennial–the hothousing of children, the familiar literary trope of the quest for the (absent) father–and as such, divides itself into two halves: the first describes Ludo’s education, the second follows him in his search for his father and father figures. The first stresses a sacred, Apollonian pursuit of logic, precise (if wayward) erudition, and the erratic and endlessly fascinating architecture of languages, while the second moves this knowledge into the world of emotion, human ambitions, and their attendant frustrations and failures.

The Last Samurai is about the pleasure of ideas, the rich varieties of human thought, the possibilities that life offers us, and, ultimately, the balance between the structures we make of the world and the chaos that it proffers in return. Stylistically, the novel mirrors this ambivalence: DeWitt’s remarkable prose follows the shifts and breaks of human consciousness and memory, capturing the intrusions of unspoken thought that punctuate conversation while providing tantalizing disquisitions on, for example, Japanese grammar or the physics of aerodynamics. It is remarkable, profound, and often very funny. Arigato DeWitt-sensei.

The Falling Machine

By Andrew P. Meyer

This new steampunk series opens in 1880, when women aren’t allowed to vote, much less dress up in a costume and fight crime. But twenty year-old socialite Sarah Stanton still dreams of becoming a hero. Her opportunity arrives in tragedy when the leader of the Society of Paragons, New York’s greatest team of gentlemen adventurers, is murdered right before her eyes.
To uncover the truth behind the assassination, Sarah joins forces with the amazing mechanical man known as The Automaton. Together they unmask a conspiracy at the heart of the Paragons that reveals the world of heroes and high-society is built on a crumbling foundation of greed and lies.
When Sarah comes face to face with the megalomaniacal villain behind the murder, she must discover if she has the courage to sacrifice her life of privilege and save her clockwork friend.

The Prophecy Machine

By Neal Barrett Jr.

Hooters, Hatters, and menacing evil…

Even in a mystical world where centuries ago animals were magically changed into humans, the land of Makasar is considered strange. Its two major religions are Hatters and Hooters. During the day, Hatters, wearing hats of course, wander about jabbing pointy sticks into bystanders. The night is ruled by the Hooters, who hoot and set fire to people and things. Hospitality is considered a capital crime. And Newlies, the humanized animals, are treated lower than scum.

So when Finn, the Master Lizard Maker, finds himself stranded in Makasar–along with his lover, an attractive Newlie named Letitia, and the grandest, most magical creation of his illustrious career, a talking, thinking, rather cantankerous mechanical lizard named Julia Jessica Slagg–his first thought is a quick exit.

But the Nuccis–strongman son, mad father, and ever madder grandfather–have other plans for Finn and his loyal companions. There’s an odd machine in their basement that needs fixing, and who better to do it than a Master Lizard Maker? There’s more here than meets the eye, however, and Finn soon realizes that the future he faces could be very dark indeed.

 

Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

By Robert Tressel

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists tells the story of a group of working men who are joined one day by Owen, a journeyman-prophet with a vision of a just society. Owen’s spirited attacks on the greed and dishonesty of the capitalist system rouse his fellow men from their political quietism. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists is both a masterpiece of wit and political passion and one of the most authentic novels of English working class life ever written