This week, we’ve got the whimsy of monkeys and Wonderland, the poetry of passing, and some harsh but inspirational words for creative neophytes…
The Walrus and the Carpenter, by Lewis Carroll
Read by Diane Havens
One of my storytelling presentations for elementary school aged children is called “Nonsense and Stuff” featuring the best of classic whimsy. Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll were always included, and I’d introduce the stories and poems with a more modern quote from the Marx Brothers’ movie “Horsefeathers”–
(Quote: Connie: Oh, Professor, you’re full of whimsy.
Professor Wagstaff: Can you notice it from there? I’m always that way after I eat radishes.)
“The Walrus and the Carpenter” is taken from the well known and loved Alice tale “Through the Looking Glass”. It’s pure silliness, but often over zealous adults who love to analyze and literary critics (whose job that is, after all) look for meaning in the madness. Is there a moral? Well, as the Duchess says in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, “Everything’s got a moral, if only you can find it”.
From F. Scott Fitzgerald to Frances Turnbull…a letter
Read by Xe Sands
This came my way via the wonderful Letters of Note, although I’ve since found it plastered all over the web…and no wonder. It’s a wonderful and honest bit of advice from a seasoned writer to a budding one.
Fitzgerald’s commentary on what is required of new writers, the “price of admission,” as he calls it, reminds me very much of Ira Glass’s commentary on the the progression of a creative career. Actually, the two pieces complement each other perfectly. What Fitzgerald is really saying is that when you’re lacking in the expertise to artfully execute your craft (which you will be at the beginning), you have to give it absolutely everything you’ve got in place of that expertise.
I couldn’t agree more.
Gone from My Sight, by Henry Van Dyke
Read by Karen Commins
This poem attributed to Henry Van Dyke is a lovely and thoughtful analogy for the soul’s passage from this life to the next. I dedicate this piece to the memory of my dearest friend Michael Estrada, a beautiful, kind, and gentle soul who passed much too quickly from this life on 10 July 2012. It is my hope that his friends and family, as well as anyone who is grieving the loss of a loved one, may find comfort and solace in its words.
The Autobiography of a Monkey, by Albert Bigelow Paine
Read by Mike Vendetti
The whimsical tale of a monkey moving from the jungle to civilization.