"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Review and quotes: HOW LOVELY THE RUINS

Published by Random House in 2017
A few days ago a godsend arrived in my library inbox, a poetry book for my e-reader, HOW LOVELY THE RUINS: INSPIRATIONAL POEMS AND WORDS FOR DIFFICULT TIMES edited by Spiegel and Grau. Reading this small volume was like taking a long drink of water on a hot day, refreshing and necessary. The title pretty much tells you why. We are experiencing bad times like no other and while we are home alone or feeling isolated, how refreshing to read poems and essays which speaks right to those feelings. We are frustrated by an administration who are doing nothing to help us or protect us. We are indignant that black people keep losing their lives just because they are black. We are worried about the future.  Here are some quotes from the book which spoke to me especially this week...

"Out Beyond Ideas" by Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks, pg. 18
"Differences of Opinion" by Wendy Cope, pg. 30
Robert F. Kennedy, June 8, 1964, pg. 34
"Global Warming" by Jane Hirshfield, pg. 43

Carl Sagan, pg, 86

"Praise Song for the Day" by Elizabeth Alexander, pg. 95

"Prayer of Sunrise" by James Weldon Johnson, pg. 164

pg. 151

 p. 180

I am not sure why I can read poetry, indeed need to read poetry, when I can barely make myself read anything else these days. Yet, I know that a lot of you don't care for poetry and find it very tedious to read. I hope the way I presented this makes it possible for you to read some of the poems and pieces of essays to find little jewels of inspiration for yourself today.



  1. These are very inspiring, but mostly not poetry? Quotes or short essays. Thanks so much for sharing. I intend to borrow a couple. :)

    1. Most of the items were poems, though I may have only grabbed a few lines from each. Then of course the essays or words from speeches are pretty easy to identify.

  2. So lovely to have just the right book show up when you need it! For me, nature shows and the Great British Baking Show are the equivalent.

  3. I put in an order at our independent bookstore last week for this book. So glad to hear that you enjoyed it.


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