Rebecca's Reading Room
By Rebecca Budd
Welcome to my Reading Room where stories dwell and words ignite our imagination.
Rebecca’s Reading room is a virtual space that has been set aside for reading and reflection. It is a place where stories and poetry are given voice.
I am your host, Rebecca Budd. I look forward to sharing these moments with you
Rebecca’s Reading room is a virtual space that has been set aside for reading and reflection. It is a place where stories and poetry are given voice.
I am your host, Rebecca Budd. I look forward to sharing these moments with you
Is There a Santa Clause?
S2 E20: Is There A Santa Claus? December 24th Christmas Eve has arrived. With the last-minute shopping completed, we ready our hearts for this special evening anticipated since the beginning of December. All the plans have been made, the gifts have been wrapped and the baking completed. All of December has been in anticipation of Christmas Day. And yet, as I look back, it was Christmas Eve that held the magic. The lights of the Christmas tree flickered, spreading a warmth around us as we sipped hot chocolate and waited for Santa Claus to arrive. Of course, Santa would come. After all, he is one of the most ubiquitous figures in modern culture. Consider that Santa travels the world in one night, which makes his sleigh the fastest and oldest high-speed zero-emission vehicle in the world. And everyone knows, or should know, that Santa Claus is a Canadian citizen. Santa’s home at the North Pole lies in an area between Russia, Norway, Canada, the United States, and Denmark. But it was Canada that declared that St. Nick is legally considered to be Canadian. Indeed, it is official. Santa and his partner Mrs. Claus have been issued Canadian passports and a postal code H0H 0H0. Every December 24th, Mrs. Claus ensures that Santa has his passport with him when he leaves the North Pole. Santa Claus has been with us for many centuries and is steeped in the heart of Christmas traditions. Known as Saint Nicholas or Kris Kringle, Santa’s story goes back into the third century when Saint Nicholas walked among us and became the patron saint of children. Fast forward to the Renaissance, St. Nicholas was the most popular saint in Europe. During the Protestant Reformation, St Nicholas retained his popularity, even when the veneration of saints waned. In 1822, Clement Clarke Moore gave us the iconic “Twas the Night Before Christmas, that enlivens us with a description of a jolly elf, who wore red, and delivers toys to good girls and boys on Christmas Eve. Is Santa real? Of course, he is! There is reliable confirmation that dates to 1897, when eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote her famous letter. You may recall that it all began when Virginia asked her father, Dr. Philip O’Hanlon, whether there really was a Santa Claus. Her father’s answer was brilliant. Instead of responding himself, he suggested that she write direct to The Sun, one of New York’s most prominent newspapers at the time. He assured her that “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Virginia received a response from veteran newsman, Francis Pharcellus Church, a lead editorial writer for the New York Sun. Francis Church, who had seen great suffering as a war correspondent during the American Civil War, was a known skeptic, hardened cynic who had little tolerance for superstitious beliefs. And yet, he recognized the need for hope and faith in society. Perhaps it is when we see sorrow and grief, we are more able to answer a call for affirmation in the goodness of life. For that is what Virginia looked for when she asked whether there is a Santa Claus. More than a century later, the article written by Francis Church still maintains it standing as the most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps. Join me as I read Francis Church’s most famous editorial written in 1897 – Is there a Santa Clause? Dear friends, may the joy of Christmas Eve surround you and yours, with love, warmth, and wonder. Together, may we embrace hope and expectation as we enter a new year. Music by #EpidemicSound under Rebecca's Reading Room Creator License.
December 25, 2022
We Will Remember Them
S2 E19 We Will Remember Them On November 11th, Canada observes Remembrance Day. On this day, we will remember the members of our armed forces who have died in the line of duty. Across Canada, there will be a moment of silence at the 11th hour. In the year 1918, WWI hostilities formally ended “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.” I am wearing a red poppy, which is the Canadian symbol of Remembrance Day based on the poem “In Flanders Fields.” On May 3, 1915, Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae was moved to write the poem after he presided over the funeral of friend and fellow soldier Alexis Helmer, who died in the Second Battle Ypres. May we all continue to seek peaceful solutions…together. In Flanders Fields by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place: and in the sky The larks still bravely singing fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the dead: Short days ago, We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved: and now we lie In Flanders fields! Take up our quarrel with the foe To you, from failing hands, we throw The torch: be yours to hold it high If ye break faith with us who die, We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields Composed at the battlefront on May 3, 1915 during the second battle of Ypres, Belgium Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae Recitation by Rebecca Budd Music by Calm Shores “As Ice Melts” Epidemic Sound https://www.epidemicsound.com/track/v9whUplstD/
November 11, 2022
The Raven By Edgar Allan Poe
S2 E18: The Raven By Edgar Allan Poe Happy Halloween! On the days of October 31 and November 1, we celebrate traditions that have come to us through the centuries. The ancients who commemorated the Celtic Festival of Samhain would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts, marking the end of the harvest season and beginning of winter or “darker-half” of the year. All Saints Day originated with Pope Gregory III, in around 731 when he designated November 1st as a time to honour all saints. Soon, as is the way with legends and traditions, All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. What was first known as All Hallows Eve, became Halloween, a day where activities like trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, festive gatherings, donning costumes and eating treats have entertained us over the years. Fears come in the night and are exaggerated by darkness. What better time than now to recite “The Raven” the poem by Edgar Allan Poe. We find a young scholar reading books of “lore” by a dying fire on a dreary night in December. Lamenting the loss of love, the young scholar is seeking a way to forget the death of the beloved Lenore. A tapping at the chamber door reveals nothing. But the tapping is repeated more incessantly, now at the window. When the window is opened, a raven flutters into the chamber and the perches on a bust of Pallas above the door. As the poem progresses the young scholar begins as “weak and weary,” transitioning to regretful and grief-stricken, before passing into an angry frenzy when the raven says “nevermore” to being reunited with the beloved Lenore. Thank you for joining me in reciting The Raven. The dawn is near, morning is coming, and a new day will come again. Having faced darkness, it is time to live in the light. Until we meet again, dear friends, keep reading, keep reciting poetry, take care and be well. I leave you with these words by Edgar Allan Poe. “To elevate the soul, poetry is necessary.” Music by Spectacles Wallet and Watch "A Little Nightmare" Epidemic Sound https://www.epidemicsound.com/track/5u2xjoucP0/ Music by Howard Harper-Barnes "Mysterious Forest" Epidemic Sound https://www.epidemicsound.com/track/jR4dVTZ5wr/
November 01, 2022
Annunciation by Helen Hoyt
S2 E17: Annunciation By Helen Hoyt From “Poems of Life and Death” LIFE, The great Life, Came unto me: He of old ages, The eternal, The owner of all, Came, and his word was for me, Calling my name: And the radiance of his presence shone about me. With leaping heart I heard his voice And the entering of his steps over my threshold: Heard, and was not troubled; Because it was known to me a long time What answer I should make to Life. With outstretched, quiet hands, With unreluctant face, I stood before him, And let my eyes look into the eyes of Life: And I gave, and delivered up to Life, Myself: Utterly. Yielding me As one yields and delivers to another A dumb vessel. Mighty and splendid is the presence of Life. By a far road he comes And travels a great way before And sways the world. I trembled to be near his glory, But with unbowing head I stood before him, (See Note Below) With unbowing head and proud heart; Knowing my service that I should perform to the honoring of Life. And in his dignity I was exalted. Now for a term I am not my own, But Life is my master: And I dwell under his commandment, Beneath the fostering of his wings. Wrapped in the mantle of Life, Patient, by ways apart, I go; Bearing in my flesh his sign That I am one of his chosen: The instrument of his purpose; the way of his will. Slowly day follows day, Laying its hands upon me with invisible touch, Molding my flesh; And I tarry waiting upon Life Until the use he purposes for me shall be accomplished, And his intent be fulfilled: Until the wonder is wrought upon me that now possesses my days. Recitation by Sarah Ahmadi & Rebecca Budd Photography by Rebecca Budd #RebeccasReadingRoom Music by Storm “Vintergartan” #EpidemicSound https://www.epidemicsound.com/track/pomymHDcWb/ Note: One sentence was omitted from the recitation: "But with unbowing head I stood before him.
September 28, 2022
Sonnet 73 That time of year thou mayst in me behold
S2 E16: Sonnet 73 That time of year thou mayst in me behold Welcome to September, the month that leads into the brilliant autumn colours and the warmth of Harvest and Thanksgiving. September has a mellow poignancy that reminds us of the passing of years. Sonnet 73 by William Shakespeare brings forth natural metaphors to signify the coming of old age. We move ever forward in our timeline and recognize that “sunset fadeth in the west” comes to all. And yet, it is at the moment we face the inevitability of endings that love becomes stronger, more vibrant, more enduring. Please join me in reciting Sonnet 73 by William Shakespeare “ That time of year thou mayst in me behold” That time of year thou mayst in me behold When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang. In me thou see'st the twilight of such day As after sunset fadeth in the west, Which by and by black night doth take away, Death's second self, that seals up all in rest. In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire That on the ashes of his youth doth lie, As the death-bed whereon it must expire, Consum'd with that which it was nourish'd by. This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong, To love that well which thou must leave ere long. Recitation and Photography by Rebecca Budd Music by Johannes Bornlof “Serene” #Epidemic Sound https://www.epidemicsound.com/track/vFlIclgNCs/ Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
September 10, 2022
Speak Chuckaboo, Slang of the Victorian and Steam Eras, by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene
S2 E15 Speak Chuckaboo, Slang of the Victorian and Steam Eras, by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene Welcome to my Reading Room! Let’s talk about book! Speak Chuckaboo, Slang of the Victorian and Steam Eras, by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene arrived at my doorstep a few days ago. I knew that my sister, Sarah, would be very interested in this book and waited impatiently for our meeting on the Saturday following the delivery of Teagan’s book. Sarah and I have designated Saturdays as our “Book Day” - a special time when we talk about the books that we are currently reading. Please join Sarah and me as we explore Speak Chuckaboo and and the words of the Victorian and Steam Eras. The Blurb on the back of the Book Back in the days of steam engines and mannerly people, a chuckaboo was one’s dear friend. This volume contains slang from the Victorian Era, as well as the Steam Era, which began before the reign of Queen Victoria, and continued into the early 1900s. It combines language from the Victorian, Edwardian, and Steam Eras because there was a great deal of overlap. This slang dictionary also contains a sprinkling of vocabulary words of those eras, which have fallen out of use, along with some history and trivia. While every effort was made to be as historically accurate as possible, this compilation is not meant to be a scholarly work. It is intended for fictional use and entertainment purposes. Have fun speaking chuckaboo. You’re positively rum ti tum with the chill off! Simply hunky dory. Until next we meet, dear friends, safe travels wherever your adventures lead you.
August 30, 2022
Go Give the World by Otto Leland Bohanan
S2 E14 Go Give the World by Otto Leland Bohanan I do not crave to have thee mine alone, dear Keeping thy charms within my jealous sight; Go, give the world the blessing of thy beauty, That other hearts may share of my delight! I do not ask, thy love should be mine only While others falter through the dreary night; Go, kiss the tears from some wayfarer’s vision, That other eyes may know the joy of light! Where days are sad and skies are hung with darkness, Go, send a smile that sunshine may be rife; Go, give a song, a word of kindly greeting, To ease the sorrow of some lonely life! Recitation by Sarah Ahmadi Photography by Rebecca Budd Music by Megan Wofford “Little Memories” #EpidemicSound https://www.epidemicsound.com/track/UIW71pfe6a/
August 28, 2022
Seeking For Happiness By Ella Wheeler Wilcox
S2 E13: Seeking For Happiness By Ella Wheeler Wilcox Seeking for happiness we must go slowly; The road leads not down avenues of haste; But often gently winds through by ways lowly, Whose hidden pleasures are serene and chaste Seeking for happiness we must take heed Of simple joys that are not found in speed. Eager for noon-time's large effulgent splendour, Too oft we miss the beauty of the dawn, Which tiptoes by us, evanescent, tender, Its pure delights unrecognised till gone. Seeking for happiness we needs must care For all the little things that make life fair. Dreaming of future pleasures and achievements We must not let to-day starve at our door; Nor wait till after losses and bereavements Before we count the riches in our store. Seeking for happiness we must prize this - Not what will be, or was, but that which IS. In simple pathways hand in hand with duty (With faith and love, too, ever at her side), May happiness be met in all her beauty The while we search for her both far and wide. Seeking for happiness we find the way Doing the things we ought to do each day. Photography and poetry recitation by Rebecca Budd Music by Gavin Luke “All That You Will Be” #EpidemicSound https://www.epidemicsound.com/track/PbIHP0zsMX/ Location: Simon Fraser University, Burnaby Campus
June 23, 2022
The Spring Has Many Silences by Laura Riding Jackson
S2 E12: The Spring Has Many Silences by Laura Riding Jackson The spring has many sounds: Roller skates grind the pavement to noisy dust. Birds chop the still air into small melodies. The wind forgets to be the weather for a time And whispers old advice for summer. The sea stretches itself And gently creaks and cracks its bones…. The spring has many silences: Buds are mysteriously unbound With a discreet significance, And buds say nothing. There are things that even the wind will not betray. Earth puts her finger to her lips And muffles there her quiet, quick activity…. Do not wonder at me That I am hushed This April night beside you. The spring has many silences. This poem is in public domain. Born in 1901, the poet Laura Riding Jackson authored many books of poetry and prose. Photography and recitation by Rebecca Budd Music by Johannes Bornlöf “Ethos” #EpidemicSound https://www.epidemicsound.com/track/AhppQ6ysZK/ Location: Burnaby Mountain Simon Fraser University Campus
June 15, 2022
Here in the Time of the Winter Morn by William Moore
S2 E11: Here in the Time of Winter Morn by William Moore, Thank you for joining me in reciting the poetry of William H.A. Moore. A poet and a journalist, his poetry collection was called Dusk Songs Here in the time of the Winter morn, Love, I see the Sunlit leaves of changing hue Burn clear against a sky of tender blue, Here in the time of the Winter morn, Love. Here in the time of the Winter morn, Love, I hear the low tone bells of changing song Ring clear upon the air the full day long, Here in the time of the Winter morn, Love. I hear the bells, I see the changing leaves, And one lone heart for Summer silent grieves, Here in the time of the Winter morn, Love. This poem is in the public domain. Poetry recitation and photography by Rebecca Budd Music by Johannes Bornlof “Serene” #EpidemicSound https://www.epidemicsound.com/track/vFlIclgNCs/ Correction: The correct name of William Moore’s poem is “Here in the Time of the Winter Morn.” I recited it as “Here in the Time of Winter Morn” in my video.
May 21, 2022
The Flower at My Window by Lucian B Watkins
S2 E10: Lucian B. Watkins was an African American poet anthologized in The Book of American Negro Poetry. Born in 1878 (some say 1879), in Chesterfield, Virginia he was the author of Voices of Solitude (Donahue & Company, 1903). He worked as a teacher and served in World War I. Lucian Watkins’ passion for poetry was illustrated in a letter dated August 13, 1919 sent to W. E. B. Du Bois which is found at this link. Join me in reciting the words of Lucian B. Watkins, The Flower at My Window. The Flower at My Window Lucian B. Watkins – 1878-1920 O! my heart now feels so cheerful as I go with footsteps light In the daily toil of my dear home; And I’ll tell to you the secret that now makes my life so bright— There’s a flower at my window in full bloom. It is radiant in the sunshine, and so cheerful after rain; And it wafts upon the air its sweet perfume. It is very, very lovely! May its beauties never wane— This dear flower at my window in full bloom. Nature has so clothed it in such glorious array, And it does so cheer our home, and hearts illume; Its dear mem’ry I will cherish though the flower fade away— This dear flower at my window in full bloom. Oft I gaze upon this flower with its blossoms pure and white. And I think as I behold its gay costume, While through life we all are passing may our lives be always bright Like this flower at my window in full bloom. Recitation by Rebecca Budd Music by Johannes Bornlof “Secret Love” Epidemic Sound https://www.epidemicsound.com/track/FY08ZVs3lw/ Location: Vancouver British Columbia
May 12, 2022
“In April” by Rainer Maria Rilke
S2 E9: “In April” by Rainer Maria Rilke Welcome April with the reading of poetry. April is National Poetry Month! Spring, with its renewed energy after a Winter’s rest, awakens our hearts to the words of poetic inspiration. Poetry is one of the oldest creative endeavors – an art form that has the benefit of diversity. Haiku, sonnet, spoken word, epic, limerick, ode and so much more. Each generation adds to the collection that has come through the centuries. With poetry, we explore our innermost thoughts, feelings and impulses. We experience the world around us through vivid descriptions and the sound of words reverberating within our souls. Join me as I recite the poem “In April” by Rainer Maria Rilke In April by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) Again the woods are odorous, the lark Lifts on upsoaring wings the heaven gray That hung above the tree-tops, veiled and dark, Where branches bare disclosed the empty day. After long rainy afternoons an hour Comes with its shafts of golden light and flings Them at the windows in a radiant shower, And rain drops beat the panes like timorous wings. Then all is still. The stones are crooned to sleep By the soft sound of rain that slowly dies; And cradled in the branches, hidden deep In each bright bud, a slumbering silence lies. Kergord Woods Amidst Shetland Island’s wild and beautiful scenery, with its deeply indented coasts and enclosed steep hills, stands a solitary forest. Kergord Woods, located in Weisdale, is the only substantial woodland in the Shetland Islands. Planted between 1909 – 1921, the trees thrive, despite harsh winter weather, and invite woodland birds to make their home among their branches. Photography and Recitation by Rebecca Budd Location: Kergord Woods, Shetland Islands Music David Celeste “Life of Devotion” Epidemic Sound https://www.epidemicsound.com/track/YD13EzNuf5/
April 04, 2022
The Lake Isle of Innisfree By William Butler Yeats
S2 E8:The Lake Isle of Innisfree BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made; Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee, And live alone in the bee-loud glade. And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow, Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings; There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow, And evening full of the linnet’s wings. I will arise and go now, for always night and day I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore; While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey, I hear it in the deep heart’s core. Recitation and Photography by Rebeca Budd Music by Jo Wandrini “Governor Of The North” Epidemic Sound https://www.epidemicsound.com/track/VNVXvmgNiu/ Location Charleson Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
March 10, 2022
“Not What” by Mary Jo Malo
S2 E7: “Not What” by Mary Jo Malo Welcome to Poetry in the Evening. I am on a nature walk along the Vancouver Seawall with a poem by Mary Jo Malo. Please join me in reciting “Not What” by poet, Mary Jo Malo. Not What” by Mary Jo Malo Who spoke into being lily, sparrow, redwood tree and galaxies? Who lavishes light upon our eyes and deepens shadow for rest at night? Who cries out wisdom, the way of love? Who liberates the heart with law? Who calls each one by our secret name that none but Him has ever heard? Who is and has the first and last? Not what, but who. Undying Word Photography and Poetry Recitation by Rebecca Budd Music by Emily Rubye “Never” #Epidemic Sound https://www.epidemicsound.com/track/cjblCDIu0g/ Location: Vancouver Seawall, Vancouver, British Columbia
February 19, 2022
#WarAndPeace2022 February 15th Update
S2 E6: #WarAndPeace2022 February 15, Update Photography and Reading by Rebecca Budd Music by Christian Anderson “Big Passion” #EpidemicSound https://www.epidemicsound.com/track/3KZaoOvogC/ Reading Taken from Penguin Classics: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, Translated by Anthony Briggs Part 1 Chapter 25 p 114
February 15, 2022
Celebrating Love with Elizabeth Barrett Browning
S2 E5: Celebrating Love with Elizabeth Barrett Browning How Do I Love Thee, Sonnet 43 by Elizabeth Barrett Browning 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 every day’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 the 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. Photography by Rebecca Budd Poetry Recitation by Rebecca Budd Music by Howard Harper-Barnes “Whisper of Pines” #EpidemicSoung https://www.epidemicsound.com/track/9v0gTSCDUy/
February 14, 2022
2022 is the Year of Leo Tolstoy #WarAndPeace2022 Readalong
S2 E4: 2022 is the year of Leo Tolstoy. #WarAndPeace2022 Readalong I am involved in a global community reading War and Peace, which began on January 5, 2022 and will end on the stroke of midnight December 31, 2022. Chapter 1 welcomes us into the drawing room of the elegant Anna Pavlovna Scherer, maid of honour and confidante of the Empress Maria Fyodorovna. It is an evening in July 1805. There are rumours of war and talk of Napoleon Bonaparte. The detailed descriptions and the emotional conversations that swirled around the room captured my entire attention. I felt a sense of anticipation when Pierre, aka Pyotr Kirillovich Bezukhov, the illegitimate son of old Count Bezuchov walked into the room. Have you ever wondered what books were in Leo Tolstoy’s library? When not engaged in writing his epic novels, what books did he chose to read? Have I read the same books as Leo Tolstoy did over a century ago? These were the questions that I reflect upon in my January WarAndPeace2022 update. Photography & Voice by Rebecca Budd Music by Johannes Bornlof “One Voice” #EpidemicSound https://www.epidemicsound.com/track/dJjIL8ff50/ Citing: 25 books Leo Tolstoy strongly recommends adding to your reading list https://www.rbth.com/arts/327704-25-books-leo-tolstoy-recommends
February 05, 2022
Welcoming 2022 with Love Song by Rainer Maria Rilke
S2 E3: Welcoming 2022 with Love Song by Rainer Maria Rilke Photography and Poetry Recitation by Rebecca Budd Music by David Celeste “The Bloom of Her Skin” #EpidemicSound Love Song by Rainer Maria Rilke (Public Domain) How can I keep my soul in me, so that it doesn't touch your soul? How can I raise it high enough, past you, to other things? I would like to shelter it, among remote lost objects, in some dark and silent place that doesn't resonate when your depths resound. Yet everything that touches us, me and you, takes us together like a violin's bow, which draws one voice out of two separate strings. Upon what instrument are we two spanned? And what musician holds us in his hand? Oh sweetest song.
January 15, 2022
Welcoming 2022 With Poetry Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
S2 E2: Welcoming 2022 With Poetry Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Happy New Year! I love beginnings, a fresh start, a new adventure and promises of open roads and opportunities. Energy, anticipation, and hope are all wrapped up in “firsts.” Oh, the rush of adrenaline as we race into the future. I am thankful that we begin each new year in the winter season. I seek the winter walks where I meet with silence in the soft snow. As Henry Wadsworth Longfellow penned many years ago, “Out of the bosom of the Air, Out of the cloud-fold of her garments shaken….: January is my time for reflection, of preparation for all that will come when the earth awakens with spring rains. Special Note: Snow-Flakes was originally published on my blog, Clanmother! Snow-flakes BY HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW Out of the bosom of the Air, Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken, Over the woodlands brown and bare, Over the harvest-fields forsaken, Silent, and soft, and slow Descends the snow. Even as our cloudy fancies take Suddenly shape in some divine expression, Even as the troubled heart doth make In the white countenance confession, The troubled sky reveals The grief it feels. This is the poem of the air, Slowly in silent syllables recorded; This is the secret of despair, Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded, Now whispered and revealed To wood and field.
January 09, 2022
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
S2 E1: Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening By Robert Frost Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow. My little horse must think it queer To stop without a farmhouse near Between the woods and frozen lake The darkest evening of the year. He gives his harness bells a shake To ask if there is some mistake. The only other sound's the sweep Of easy wind and downy flake. The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.
January 02, 2022
Asking for Roses by Robert Frost
S1 E3: Asking for Roses by Robert Frost Robert Frost once wrote, “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” These words are a profound testament to his courage for living. As we enter 2022, may we be reminded of the beauty that comes when we read a poem, Asking for Roses by Robert Frost A house that lacks, seemingly, mistress and master, With doors that none but the wind ever closes, Its floor all littered with glass and with plaster; It stands in a garden of old-fashioned roses. I pass by that way in the gloaming with Mary; ‘I wonder,’ I say, ‘who the owner of those is. ‘Oh, no one you know,’ she answers me airy, ‘But one we must ask if we want any roses.’ So we must join hands in the dew coming coldly There in the hush of the wood that reposes, And turn and go up to the open door boldly, And knock to the echoes as beggars for roses. ‘Pray, are you within there, Mistress Who-were-you?’ ’Tis Mary that speaks and our errand discloses. ‘Pray, are you within there? Bestir you, bestir you! ’Tis summer again; there’s two come for roses. ‘A word with you, that of the singer recalling— Old Herrick: a saying that every maid knows is A flower unplucked is but left to the falling, And nothing is gained by not gathering roses.’ We do not loosen our hands’ intertwining (Not caring so very much what she supposes), There when she comes on us mistily shining And grants us by silence the boon of her roses.
December 28, 2021
Celebrating Christmas with Christina Rossetti
S1 E2 Welcome to my Reading Room. Thank you for joining me to recite ”In the Bleak Midwinter by Christina Rossetti. Several years ago, the Queen ended one of her Christmas speeches wit’s this poem. From my house to yours, Merry Christmas and all the very best of the special season to you and yours. In the Bleak Midwinter Poetry by Christina Rossetti Music Composed by Gustav Holst In the bleak mid-winter Frosty wind made moan Earth stood hard as iron, Water like a stone; Snow had fallen, snow on snow, Snow on snow, In the bleak mid-winter Long ago. Our God, heaven cannot hold Him Nor earth sustain, Heaven and earth shall flee away When He comes to reign: In the bleak mid-winter A stable-place sufficed The Lord God Almighty — Jesus Christ. Enough for Him, whom cherubim Worship night and day, A breastful of milk And a mangerful of hay; Enough for Him, whom Angels Fall down before, The ox and ass and camel Which adore. Angels and Archangels May have gathered there, Cherubim and seraphim Thronged the air; But only His Mother In her maiden bliss Worshipped the Beloved With a kiss. What can I give Him, Poor as I am? — If I were a Shepherd I would bring a lamb; If I were a Wise Man I would do my part, — Yet what I can I give Him, — Give my heart.
December 24, 2021
Welcome to the Launch of Rebecca’s Reading Room
S1 E1: Welcome to the Launch of Rebecca’s Reading Room. Welcome to my reading room, a virtual space that has been set aside for reading and reflection. It is a place where stories and poetry are given voice. Over the years, I have found reading rooms come in many forms, from a city library to a park bench, a seat on a public transit, a stool in a coffee shop, to a cozy corner of home. Whenever I have a book in hand, I am in a reading room. Rebecca
September 02, 2021