Friday, September 28, 2007

Doctor Who Quote of the Week

The Doctor: Sonic blaster, 51st Century... Weapon factories at Villengard?
Capt. Jack: Yeah. You've been to the factories?
The Doctor: Once.
Capt. Jack: They're gone now. Reactor went critical. Vaporised the lot.
The Doctor: Like I said, once. There's a banana grove there now. I like bananas. Bananas are good.

("The Doctor Dances", Season 1 New Doctor Who)

Poetry Friday 67

As you'll know if you're a regular reader, I'm obsessed with "Doctor Who". At the moment I'm particularly obsessed with the character of the Tenth Doctor's Companion, Martha Jones, so when I spotted this poem by Walter de la Mare this morning, I jumped on it (although the description of Martha here doesn't fit the lovely Freema Agyeman (pictured above) who plays Martha Jones):


"Once...Once upon a time..."
Over and over again,
Martha would tell us her stories,
In the hazel glen.

Hers were those clear gray eyes
You watch, and the story seems
Told by their beautifulness
Tranquil as dreams.

She'd sit with her two slim hands
Clasped round her bended knees;
While we on our elbows lolled,
And stared at ease.

Her voice and her narrow chin,
Her grave small lovely head,
Seemed half the meaning
Of the words she said.

"Once...Once upon a time..."
Like a dream you dream in the night,
Fairies and gnomes stole out
In the leaf-green light.

And her beauty far away
Would fade, as her voice ran on,
Till hazel and summer sun
And all were gone:--

All fordone and forgot;
And like clouds in the height of the sky,
Our hearts stood still in the hush
Of an age gone by.

This week's round up is hosted by AmoXcalli.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Edge of the Forest Volume II - September Issue

The September issue of The Edge of the Forest is now up. There are many exciting features for you, as well as the usual interviews, reviews, and more.

Here is what's in store this month:

Don't forget to subscribe to The Edge of the Forest with the Subscribe feature. Just enter your name and e-mail address and you'll receive notification when each new issue is published.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Poetry Friday 66

My poetry choice this week is by Alfred, Lord Tennyson:

Come Into the Garden, Maud

COME into the garden, Maud,
For the black bat, Night, has flown,
Come into the garden, Maud,
I am here at the gate alone;
And the woodbine spices are wafted abroad,
And the musk of the roses blown.
For a breeze of morning moves,
And the planet of Love is on high,
Beginning to faint in the light that she loves
On a bed of daffodil sky,
To faint in the light of the sun she loves,
To faint in his light, and to die.
All night have the roses heard
The flute, violin, bassoon;
All night has the casement jessamine stirr'd
To the dancers dancing in tune:
Till a silence fell with the waking bird,
And a hush with the setting moon.
I said to the lily, "There is but one
With whom she has heart to be gay.
When will the dancers leave her alone?
She is weary of dance and play."
Now half to the setting moon are gone,
And half to the rising day;
Low on the sand and loud on the stone
The last wheel echoes away.
I said to the rose, "The brief night goes
In babble and revel and wine.
O young lordlover, what sighs are those
For one that will never be thine?
But mine, but mine," so I sware to the rose,
"For ever and ever, mine."
And the soul of the rose went into my blood,
As the music clash'd in the hall;
And long by the garden lake I stood,
For I heard your rivulet fall
From the lake to the meadow and on to the wood,
Our wood, that is dearer than all;
From the meadow your walks have left so sweet
That whenever a March-wind sighs
He sets the jewelprint of your feet
In violets blue as your eyes,
To the woody hollows in which we meet
And the valleys of Paradise.
The slender acacia would not shake
One long milk-bloom on the tree;
The white lake-blossom fell into the lake,
As the pimpernel dozed on the lea;
But the rose was awake all night for your sake,
Knowing your promise to me;
The lilies and roses were all awake,
They sigh'd for the dawn and thee.
Queen rose of the rosebud garden of girls,
Come hither, the dances are done,
In gloss of satin and glimmer of pearls,
Queen lily and rose in one;
Shine out, little head, sunning over with curls,
To the flowers, and be their sun.
There has fallen a splendid tear
From the passion-flower at the gate.
She is coming, my dove, my dear;
She is coming, my life, my fate;
The red rose cries, "She is near, she is near;"
And the white rose weeps, "She is late;"
The larkspur listens, "I hear, I hear;"
And the lily whispers, "I wait."
She is coming, my own, my sweet;
Were it ever so airy a tread,
My heart would hear her and beat,
Were it earth in an earthy bed;
My dust would hear her and beat,
Had I lain for a century dead;
Would start and tremble under her feet,
And blossom in purple and red.

This week's Poetry Friday round-up is hosted by Sara Lewis Holmes at Read Write Believe.

Doctor Who Quote of the Week

The Doctor: Funny little human brains. How do you get around in them?
Rose: When he gets stressed, he likes to insult species.

("The Doctor Dances", Season 1 New Doctor Who)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

High Culture Meets Popular Culture Contest

Proving that (a) "I aten't dead" yet and (b) that I am reading Blogs still, I'm linking to the latest contest by Nancy at Journey Woman - High Culture Meets Popular Culture.

Here's what Nancy says:

Here is your mission, if you want to play:

Submit your comments here with examples of TV shows, popular songs, or movies that used references or quotes from famous poets or authors in a way that may have caught people by surprise. Caught by surprise? I mean, don't include the movie Sense and Sensibility, where half of it was quotes from poetry because two of the characters sat around and read each other poetry throughout. Don't include Shakespeare in Love or Hamlet, where of course there will be a lot of, um, Shakespeare.

Give me movies like Porky's II, or songs like Dire Straits "Romeo and Juliet." Better yet, give me quotes from The Simpsons. Any extra explanation you can include, similar to mine above about Porky's II, will gain you extra points.

You also get extra points for posting about this contest on your blog.

Deadline: October 12
Prizes: Good. I'll randomly draw 4 winners and I'll send them gift cards worth real money ($10 to 25).

Enjoyment factor: 10

Oh, and I'll create a post of all the submissions. Please include links to videos, or pictures, if you can, because that will make the post more fun.

My own response (this will surprise no one who knows me) was as follows:

"Doctor Who": Season 1 - we had a meeting with Charles Dickens (doing his "A Christmas Carol" one-man show) in "The Unquiet Dead"; Season 3 - we had a meeting with Shakespeare (lots of quotations in "The Shakespeare Code", plus references to Dylan Thomas' "Do Not Go Gentle", Harry Potter and the "Back to the Future" fims - talk about giving me a Nerdgasm !), poetry quotations from T S Eliot in "The Lazarus Experiment", and part of Laurence Binyon's "For The Fallen" at the end of "The Family of Blood". In addition there were the episodes with historical themes (The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, Tooth and Claw, The Girl in the Fireplace, The Idiot's Lantern, Evolution of the Daleks/Daleks in Manhattan, and Human Nature/Family of Blood).

And that doesn't include the many, many meetings with literary and/or historical characters that were scattered throughout the Classic Who series.

Plus which, David Tennant's going to be playing in "Hamlet" and "Love's Labour's Lost" next summer/autumn - that's bound to get at least a few non-Shakespeare fans into the theatre !

And yes, I AM going to see David in "Hamlet" - my family have agreed to fund a trip to Stratford as my 40th birthday present next year - and a friend who's an RSC member is hoping to get us both a ticket once the online booking opens this week - so hopefully I'll get the date I want (September 5) which is a matinee performance with a full-cast "talkback" session afterwards. And did I mention Patrick Stewart of Star Trek: The Next Generation and X-Men fame is also in "Hamlet"? That makes it major Nerdgasm territory for me !!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Poetry Friday 65

It would have been Roald Dahl's 91st birthday yesterday - and as some of you know, my brain currently resides in the Whoniverse, so I thought this poem would be apt:


The most important thing we've learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set –
Or better still, just don't install
The idiotic thing at all.

* * * * * *
"All right!" you'll cry. "All right!" you'll say,
"But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children! Please explain!"
We'll answer this by asking you,
"What used the darling ones to do?
How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?"
Have you forgotten? Don't you know?
We'll say it very loud and slow:
THEY... USED... TO... READ! They'd READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
TO READ some more.

You'll find the poem in full here.

Oh, and in case you're wondering - I AM still reading - I'm not spending all my spare time in watching Doctor Who, but I've just got very lax about posting reviews because all my writing energy is going into my Tenth Doctor/Martha Jones stories. I was slightly appalled to discover this week that I've completed 26 of them since mid-July, at a total of nearly 70, 000 words (that's actually the equivalent of a novel in three months!) But writing these stories is helping me to stay a bit saner whilst I'm working from home so I guess it's not that surprising that I've written so much !

Doctor Who Quote of the Week

[The Doctor, Capt. Jack and Rose are cornered by the "Empty children".]

The Doctor: Go to your room. Go to your room! I mean it. I'm very, very angry with you. I'm very, very cross! Go to your room!
[The children lurch away.]
The Doctor: I'm really glad that worked. Those would have been terrible last words.

("The Doctor Dances", Season 1 New Doctor Who)

Friday, September 07, 2007

Poetry Friday 64

Today's poetry offering is from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

My Lost Youth

Often I think of the beautiful town
That is seated by the sea;
Often in thought go up and down
The pleasant streets of that dear old town,
And my youth comes back to me.
And a verse of a Lapland song
Is haunting my memory still:
"A boy's will is the wind's will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts."
I can see the shadowy lines of its trees,
And catch, in sudden gleams,
The sheen of the far-surrounding seas,
And islands that were the Hesperides
Of all my boyish dreams.
And the burden of that old song,
It murmurs and whispers still:
"A boy's will is the wind's will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts."

I remember the black wharves and the slips,
And the sea-tides tossing free;
And Spanish sailors with bearded lips,
And beauty and mystery of the ships,
And the magic of the sea.
And the voice of that wayward song
Is singing and saying still:
"A boy's will is the wind's will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts."

I remember the bulwarks by the shore,
And the fort upon the hill;
The sunrise gun, with its hollow roar,
The drum-beat repeated o'er and o'er,
And the bugle wild and shrill.
And the music of that old song
Throbs in my memory still:
"A boy's will is the wind's will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts."

I remember the sea-fight far away,
How it thundered o'er the tide!
And the dead captains, as they lay
In their graves, o'erlooking the tranquil bay
Where they in battle died.
And the sound of that mournful song
Goes through me with a thrill:
"A boy's will is the wind's will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts."

I can see the breezy dome of groves,
The shadows of Deering's Woods;
And the friendships old and the early loves
Come back with a Sabbath sound, as of doves
In quiet neighborhoods.
And the verse of that sweet old song,
It flutters and murmurs still:
"A boy's will is the wind's will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts."

I remember the gleams and glooms that dart
Across the schoolboy's brain;
The song and the silence in the heart,
That in part are prophecies, and in part
Are longings wild and vain.
And the voice of that fitful song
Sings on, and is never still:
"A boy's will is the wind's will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts."

There are things of which I may not speak;
There are dreams that cannot die;
There are thoughts that make the strong heart weak,
And bring a pallor into the cheek,
And a mist before the eye.
And the words of that fatal song
Come over me like a chill:
"A boy's will is the wind's will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts."

Strange to me now are the forms I meet
When I visit the dear old town;
But the native air is pure and sweet,
And the trees that o'ershadow each well-known street,
As they balance up and down
Are singing the beautiful song,
Are sighing and whispering still:
"A boy's will is the wind's will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts."

And Deering's Woods are fresh and fair,
And with joy that is almost pain
My heart goes back to wander there,
And among the dreams of the days that were,
I find my lost youth again.
And the strange and beautiful song,
The groves are repeating it still:
"A boy's will is the wind's will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts."

Doctor Who Quote of the Week

[Captain Jack commenting on the Doctor's leather jacket and Rose's Union Jack top.]

Jack: The way you guys are blending in with the local color- I mean flag girl is bad enough, but U-Boat captain?

("The Empty Child", Season 1 New Doctor Who)