classic literature

The Bookworms


Arnold, Wendell, and Mabel were at the Jane Austen convention, for the two hundred and first anniversary of the Regency Period author’s passing.



“Remember,” Mabel told her friends, “Try to pass for really smart. We want to blend in.”



Χαίρετε” , her friends intoned in unison.



“Not quite that smart,” she chided them.



They enjoyed a nice leisurely weekend listening to speeches about life in Georgian England, and finding out all about the object of their admiration.



At the end of it all, Wendell opined:  “One of these days we should at least read something of hers.”



Welcome back yet again, one and all to Rochelle Wisoff~Fields’ Friday Fictioneers, the rules of which may be found at her site.  



Ted Strutz

has kindly agreed to supply this week’s photo prompt.


The Browning Version..A Poetry Recital


It was April 6, 1889, in Victoria’s England. Robert Browning, aged 76, was attending a party hosted by artist Rudolf Lehmann.


Colonel Gouraud brought out an Edison Talking Machine. At the company’s behest, Browning began reciting his poem, “How They Brought the Good News From Ghent To Aix”, but his memory lapsed.


“I’m sorry,” he stated. “I can’t remember me own verses, but one thing that I shall remember all me life is the astonishing…by your wonderful invention.”


He died on December 12 that year at the home of his son . Browning was the first poet whose voice was recorded for posterity.


Robert Browning 



The photo prompt was provided by Roger Bultot.  As always, Rochelle guides us weekly through Friday Fictioneers.



The Dead Writers’ Society

mindlovemiseryHarry and Blanche finally found their dream house. Having always been both nature lovers and bookworms, they’d fantasized for years about the perfect combination of their two loves.


“You’ll see, sweetheart,” the proud husband gushed. “Once all these trees start blooming, it will be such a beautiful environment.”



“Yes, Harry,” Blanche intoned. “Until then we can get our books arranged. We’ll start with the Romantic poetry and Regency period novels. Then we can move on to the Victorian novels and poetry.


You never know, of course, when Coventry Patmore and Jane Austen might stop by~or the Bronte’s and Browning’s~perhaps even the Shelley’s,” she imagined aloud.


“People will claim it can’t be done,” Harry admitted reluctantly. “‘You do understand they’re all currently deceased’, they’ll point out.”



“Little do folks know,” Blanche continued, “The rapport we’ve always had with the great literary giants of yore. Of course, all anyone needs is a library card and a keen set of eyes and ears. With our new purchase, though, we have even much more of an advantage.”



Here’s me entry, based upon a photo prompt from Tale Weaver #172



Goblin Market


“Watch out for those boots,” Mitt warned Keef as they approached the Goblin Market. “Don’t you remember what happened to Lizzie’s sister Laura?”


“They’re a reminder of the goblins,” his friend conceded. “They’ll stop at nothing to sell us their poisonous fruits.”


It’s odd,” the former continued, “How such ugly little fellows can make such an enchanting pitch. It just goes to show how delightful a charm the fruits can have.


They went on along their way, strolling past the local graveyard and mental institution. The goblins, in the background, continued their irresistible, incessant chant, determined to entice the locals.


It’s time, yet again, for Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers . Follow the link for an explanation.  Courtney Wright has supplied this week’s photo prompt.



A Faerie Tale


“You’re taking quite a gamble,” Elzo reminded Ennio. “It’s never a wise move to follow the Pipes of Pan.”


“Quite true, Old Bean!” his friend admitted. “It would be wise to beware, while we’re here, all the unicorns, rainbows, and banshees, among other risks.”


“That’s true metaphorically too,” the former continued. “Everyone knows that Keats’ ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’ wasn’t really just a lovely faerie nymphomaniac, but that she was a symbol of an obsession of his.”


“We can relax here for a while and go home better able to deal with life’s unicorns, rainbows, and banshees.”


Welcome back yet again to Friday Fictioneers where Rochelle leads us weekly through our hundred~word story. This week her husband Jan W. Fields has supplied the photo prompt.



The Rule of Three


Here’s the park where famous threesomes, real and fictional, congregate,” Ralph told Sam, to the latter’s incredulity.

“Oh yeah,” Ralph went on. “They have Stooges, Wise Men, Blind Mice, Musketeers~you name it.

“In their world they have a weird sense of humor, so often the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, or the Magnificent Seven, will try to sneak in.”

“Naturally,”  Sam admitted. “I especially like the Three Witches from ‘MacBeth.'”


“Don’t let their cutesy rhymes fool you,” Ralph warned. “They can be trouble.”


“Oh, absolutely!” Sam conceded.


This went on for a while as Sam continued to listen politely.


Here we are, yet again, for Friday Fictioneers.  Rochelle leads us weekly in our hundred~word story based upon a photo prompt.  This week’s prompt has been provided by Fatima Fakir Deria


art and life

Ralph was to be married in a few days. To help him relax, his best man Sam took him to his favorite hangout so they could read poetry for a while.

They found the Norton Anthology of Victorian Poems and began reading.

First they read Tennyson’s “Locksley Hall”, a tale of a soldier jilted by his old girlfriend, now a wife and mother, whose parents can’t stand him. Throughout the poem he wallows in bitterness.

They then turned to Robert Browning’s “My Last Duchess”. The Duke’s widowhood was self-inflicted.

“Is it always this way?” Ralph asked, anxiously pondering his decision.

This week’s photo prompt was provided by J. Hardy Carroll. Friday Fictioneers is our weekly attempt at writing a one hundred-word story, with the help of our fearless leader, Rochelle Wisoff~Fields.

the bookworms

“Whenever I see a daffodil,” chanted Francis to his friend Gunther, “I can never forget my girlfriend Muriel, the English major. Wordsworth’s ‘I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud’ was always her favorite.”

“Oh I know that poem,” Gunther mused. “Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy were walking near a lake at Grasmere in Cumbria County. He was inspired by a shore lined with daffodils. It’s a classic of English Romantic poetry.”

“Wow!” Francis reminded him.” I wish we could get away from this dreary city to that relaxing environment.”

“Well,” Gunther nudged him, “Your habit of hanging around with bookworms helps.”

This week’s photo prompt was supplied by the Reclining Gentleman. Rochelle Wisoff~Fields, each week, guides us with Friday Fictioneers.

yet another beckett moment

“I’ve always had such a fondness for airports,” Albert told the pretty stewardess he met at the local terminal.

“When I was a boy, I lived within two miles of La Guardia, and my father practically always worked at Kennedy. In 1981 I even flew to Buffalo on the same plane as Cab Calloway.”

She kept him company as he waited for a friend of his, whom he was expecting within a half hour.

Hours went by and his friend never showed up.

“That miserable Godot has done it again!” he complained. “That’s at least the second time I know of”.

This week’s photo prompt is supplied by Melanie Greenwood. Rochelle Wisoff~Fields leads us weekly in Friday Fictioneers, an attempt to write a story of only one hundred words.

a midsummer night’s solstice

As I’ve said so very many times before I’ve simply never been able to stand either cold weather or an early sunset.     I’ve always so thoroughly enjoyed the warmth and long days of spring and summer.   It would never strike me as the least bit surprising to hear that people generally tend to get more depressed in dark gloomy cold weather.   I should be so very happy if only daylight saving time could last all year long.   It’s not because I’m very active but somehow an early sunset for me represents so wellshakespeare the  gloomy depressing side of life.   During the warm months I don’t bother to take much advantage of the extra sunlight by engaging in any extra activity but I simply enjoy the feeling I get from all the extra light.    In my imagination and experience, an early sunset has always  been inextricably associated with snow and ice, fog and all things miserable.    The cumulative impact of all that trouble gets me crazy.   As a literature major I can’t possibly overlook the nasty imagery.    It’s such a perfect metaphor for pain and unhappiness.    Whenever possible I always go to bed early anyway so it’s not as if I take advantage of the sunshine by staying up late.   Most of it is  probably in my imagination.   Midsummer has also always been associated with one of St. John the Baptist’s feast days too.   There’s a lot of symbolism in the fact that, from now on, the days start getting longer until about Christmas Eve.    Yet again there’s a reference to darkness and evil there.    Unfortunately all this perfection can’t possibly last.   As long as it’s here, though, I shall be on the absolute top of the world.    My lifelong tendency to over react to things is frequently a disadvantage, but in warm weather, with a late sunset, it’s perfection.