For the Love of Longfellow

“The love of learning, the sequestered nooks, And all the sweet serenity of books. “
hwlon
Born today in 1807:
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
(February 27 – March 24, 1882)
An American poet and educator whose works include “Paul Revere’s Ride”, The Song of Hiawatha, and Evangeline. He was also the first American to translate Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, and was one of the five Fireside Poets.

“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times
we call a man cold when he is only sad.”

 

As the most widely known and best-loved American poet of his lifetime, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow achieved a level of national and international prominence previously unequaled in the literary history of the United States.

 

I adore Longfellow. I fell in love with his poignant yet beautiful poetry early on, and he has remained a favorite of mine. He has a way of mournfully telling you how wonderful life and love are, and someone it makes the meaning stick with a realness that is more lasting. A Psalm of Life was the first poem I ever committed to memory, every line enchanted me.

Afternoon in February

The day is ending,
The night is descending;
The marsh is frozen,
The river dead. 

Through clouds like ashes
The red sun flashes
On village windows
That glimmer red. 

The snow recommences;
The buried fences
Mark no longer
The road o'er the plain; 

While through the meadows,
Like fearful shadows,
Slowly passes
A funeral train. 

The bell is pealing,
And every feeling
Within me responds
To the dismal knell; 

Shadows are trailing,
My heart is bewailing
And tolling within
Like a funeral bell.

I end with a quote from my all time favorite:
“Let us, then, be up and doing, with a heart for any fate; still achieving,
still pursuing, learn to labor and to wait.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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A Brief Origin of Coffee

images (1)The earliest origins of coffee are from Ethiopia. There is not an exact history about how people started roasting and drinking “coffee” only legends and myths. However, it was originally viewed as a food. The Ethiopians chewed the plant for it’s obvious stimulant properties, and also ate the fruit raw (the pulp is sweet and caffeinated.)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
They also pounded coffee cherries and mixed it with animal fat to mold into pellets. There are records that show the cherries were also used to make wine.

artists_thumbnailThe earliest use of coffee as a hot beverage entailed roasting the entire hull over an open fire and then mixing with boiling water for 30 minutes until a yellowish liquid came through.

9The drink stayed a green drink until aprx. the 13 century when they began to first dry the beans. With more  experimentation, the process was adapted further, and the practice of roasting formed.

22adf105-ebf0-4ca9-a446-e7a2789166dc Once coffee became the dried, roasted, and brewed drink we know it as today, it was mainly used for “medicinal” purposes and in religious practices. However, once it became increasingly popular, and a demand grew, the original coffee houses started opening.
Coffee-House1Persian cities became known for having stylish and elaborate coffee houses. They were reputed for serving coffee quickly and efficiently. They became famous social spots, where people gathered not just for coffee but also music, talking, and even dancing.

Turkish-CoffeeGradually the coffee house trend made its way to Turkey. The Turkish however drank just as much coffee in home as at coffee houses. This increased popularity and demand. By the 1600’s news spread and export and trade began throughout the Middle East; supplying Venetians and Europeans with beans.
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Eventually the coffee tree made its ways to the East Indian Dutch colony of Java. From there plantations started sprouting in neighboring colonies; Sumatra, Timor, Bali, and Celebes.

ExploreWithEd_FoodThrough the efforts of the British East India Company, coffee became popular in England as well. Oxford’s Queen’s Lane Coffee House, established in 1654, is still in existence today. Coffee was introduced in France in 1657, and in Austria and Poland after the 1683 Battle of Vienna, when coffee was captured from supplies of the defeated Turks.

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The coffee economy was therefor set in motion and began to adapt and increase  more and more, as it is still increasing even today.

A beverage as black as ink,
useful against numerous illnesses, particularly those of the stomach. It’s consumers take it in the morning, quite frankly, in a porcelain cup that is passed around and from which each one drinks a cupful. It is composed of water and the fruit from a bush called bunnu.

— Léonard Rauwolf, Reise in die Morgenländer (in German)

Book Love-Poem

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It is a day of love, and how better
to express that love, than with a love-poem:

for-the-love-of-books-valentines-contest

There is no Frigate like a Book

To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot

That bears the Human Soul –

~Emily Dickinson
Book-Week-Childhood-101Fun Fact: “There is No Frigate Like a Book” comes from a letter written in 1873, and was actually originally published in Volume I of her Letters (1894), not in a book of poems.