Monthly Archives: February 2015

Ogden Nash says

something appropriate for every occasion. Like this, for example:

Consider the auk;
Becoming extinct because he forgot how to fly, and could only walk.
Consider man, who may well become extinct
Because he forgot how to walk and learned how to fly before he thinked.

So relevant.

Recently, Ogden Nash has become my favourite poet, dethroning Shakespeare and Byron and such like. Can anyone blame me? He even wrote a poem about celery, not to mention senility, having a cold, fleas, people, and reflections on a wicked world (“Purity
Is obscurity.”)

This is where his poems are hiding:


But, but, there is another poet I like, Jan Brzechwa, Polish, but Jewish of course. Our Jewish soul. Anyway, Brzechwa had a poem for just about every type of person one could possibly meet in life. I have a 1967 edition of his poems ostensibly for children, Sto Bajek (One Hundred Fairy Tales). So there is this poem about a mule (not quite a person, but it’s a mule personified, like the rest of Brzechwa’s animals).

Był sobie taki muł.

Najlepiej muł się czuł,

Gdy stojąc przed wieczorem

Nad stawem lub jeziorem

Oglądał swe odbicie

I wołał: “Czy widzicie?

Wprost oczom swym nie wierzę,

Żem takie piękne zwierzę…”






More places

Forgot about another wonderful article, also from the Guardian, “800 year of British history in 20 day trips”. Beautiful places and so much to be said about each one of them.

I’m rethinking my aversion to travelling. Maybe it’s not as overrated a pastime as it seemed to me before. I’d do a cruise down the Seine, or around the Mediterranean. Or I’d walk up and down Poland or the UK. Also, I would go on the Trans-Siberian Express, visiting places which my grandfather visited courtesy of the Soviet Union labour camp system in the late 1940’s.


Great article in the Guardian about some of the oldest cities in the world. Quite a few of them are in the Middle East, and one in particular, Aleppo, might just be the oldest continuously inhabited city. I wish we had gone there when we could. Now it’s in ruins, bombed, burnt down, devastated.  It’s a good job we saw Damascus when it was still standing, with Assad Senior’s pictures all over. It reminded me of the communist times in Eastern Europe where they used to adorn public spaces with idiotic political slogans and gigantic pictures of party leaders.