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Post by Marnie on Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:21 pm

Elizabeth Barrett Browning...(1805-1861)

"Elizabeth Barrett Moulton-Barrett was born March 6, 1806 in Durham,
England. Her father, Edward Moulton-Barrett, made most of his
considerable fortune from Jamaican sugar plantations, and in 1809 he
bought Hope
End, a 500-acre estate near the Malvern Hills. Elizabeth lived a
privileged childhood, riding her pony around the grounds, visiting
other families in the neighborhood, and arranging family theatrical
productions with her eleven brothers and sisters. Although frail, she
apparently had no health problems until 1821, when Dr. Coker prescribed
opium for a nervous disorder. Her mother died when she was 22, and critics mark signs of this loss in Aurora Leigh."

How Do I Love Thee?

How do I love thee? Let me count
the ways.

I love thee to the depth and
breadth and height

My soul can reach, when feeling
out of sight

For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive
for Right;

I love thee purely, as they turn
from Praise.

I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my
childhood's faith.

I love thee with a love I seemed
to lose

With my lost saints, --- I
love thee with the breath,

Smiles, tears, of all my life!
--- and, if God choose,

I shall but love thee better
after death.


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Post by Marnie on Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:50 pm

Rudyard Kipling..(1865-1936)

Joseph Rudyard Kipling was born on 30 December 1865 in Bombay (now Mumbai) India, son of Alice née
MacDonald (1837-1910) and John Lockwood Kipling (1837-1911) Head of the
Department of Architectural Sculpture at the Jejeebhoy School of Art
and Industry in Bombay. Some of Kipling’s earliest and fondest memories
are of his and sister Alice’s trips to the bustling fruit market with
their ayah or nanny, or her telling them Indian nursery rhymes
and stories before their nap in the tropical afternoon heat. His
father’s art studio provided many creative outlets with clay and
paints. Often the family took evening walks along the Bombay Esplanade
beside the Arabian Sea, the dhows bobbing on the glittering waters.

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!


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Post by Marnie on Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:35 pm

The best of the best and, IMO, the greatest English writer of all time. The Bard, William Shakespeare...

"William Shakespeare was born in 1564 in a half-timbered house
in Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon. His father was John Shakespeare,
a glove maker and wool dealer, and his mother was Mary Arden, daughter
of a farmer from Wilmcote.
Young William attended Stratford Grammar School from the age of
7 until he was 14. The grammar school was held on the upper floor
of the old Guildhall, and here the classes were held in Latin,
concentrating on grammar and the ancient classics of Greece and
Shakespeare was withdrawn from school due to his familiy's financial
difficulties, and never completed his education, which makes his
subsequent accomplishments all the more remarkable.
At the age of 18 Shakespeare married, to Anne Hathaway, daughter
of a yeoman farmer from Shottery, close to Stratford. The marriage
may have been forced, as Anne was already 3 months pregnant with
a daughter, Susanna. This first child was followed by twins Hamnet
and Judith in 1585.
The next 7 years of Shakespeare's life are a mystery, though he
is rumoured to have worked as a school teacher. Sometime before
1592 Shakespeare fled his home and family to follow the life of
an actor in London.
London's theatres were closed in January 1593 due to an outbreak
of the plague, and many players left the capital to tour the provinces.
Shakespeare preferred to stay in London, and it was during this
time of plague that he began to gain recognition as a writer, notably
of long poems, such as Venus and Adonius, and Rape of
He was fortunate to find a patron, Henry Wriothsley, Earl of Southampton,
to support him in his writing. Venus and Adonius was wildly
successful, and it was this work that first brought the young writer
widespread recognition.
Apart from his longer poetry, Shakespeare also began writing his
sonnets during this period, perhaps at the behest of Southampton's
mother, who hoped to induce her son to marry.
When the theatres reopened in late 1594, Shakespeare was no longer
a simple actor, but a playwright as well, writing and performing
for the theatre company called "Lord Chamberlain's Men",
which later became "The King's Men".
Shakespeare became an investor in the company, perhaps with money
granted him by his patron, Southampton. It was this financial stake
in his theatre company that made Shakespeare's fortune. For the
next 17 years he produced an average of 2 plays a year for The
King's Men.
The early plays were held at The Theatre, to the north
of the city. In 1597 the company's lease on The Theatre expired,
and negotiations with the landlord proved fruitless. Taking advantage
of a clause in the lease that allowed them to dismantle the building,
the company took apart the place board by board and transported
the material across the Thames to Bankside.
There they constructed a new circular theatre, the grandest yet
seen, called The Globe. The Globe remained London's premier
theatre until it burned down in 1613 during a performance of Shakespeare's Henry
Shakespeare held a share in the profits from the Globe, which
netted him a princely yearly income of £200-£250. His financial
success enabled Shakespeare to purchase New Place, the second largest
house in Stratford. It was here that he retired around 1611.
When he died in 1616, William Shakespeare divided up his considerable
property amongst his daughters (his son Hamnet had died in childhood),
but left only his second best bed to his wife, Anne. Shakespeare
was buried in the chancel of Holy Trinity church."

Sonnet 116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.


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