Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Wednesdays with Words: Go and Catch

I'm back to reading Sebastian St. Cyr novels.  I took a month off because I was really disconcerted by the anti-religion slant of the books, but as I thought about it, I realized that Harris isn't so much anti-religion as anti-hypocrisy.  She never once censures characters whose actions match their profession, rather lashes out at those who just talk about things - and often talk about them in judgmental ways. Yes, her main character professes to be atheistic, except when he doesn't.

So, I brought 3 books on vacation.  I finished book #3, Why Mermaids Sing on Monday.  On Tuesday I read half of book 5, What Remains of Heaven, before realizing it wasn't the next book (major spoilers there!) and went back to read most of book 4, Where Serpents Sleep.   Somewhat disappointing because I was really enjoying the mystery in book 5.

Anyway, I thought I'd include the John Donne poem, Go and Catch a Falling Star, that is the inspiration for the murder done in book #3 for you all today.  Poetry isn't my strong suit, but there are some interesting images here.  St. Cyr is supposed to be more of a poetic turn of mind than his deceased older brothers, which leads to his father's disappointment that he's the heir.  In the series, this is the first inkling of that, in my opinion.

Go and catch a falling star

By John Donne
Go and catch a falling star,
    Get with child a mandrake root,
Tell me where all past years are,
    Or who cleft the devil's foot,
Teach me to hear mermaids singing,
Or to keep off envy's stinging,
            And find
            What wind
Serves to advance an honest mind.

If thou be'st born to strange sights,
    Things invisible to see,
Ride ten thousand days and nights,
    Till age snow white hairs on thee,
Thou, when thou return'st, wilt tell me,
All strange wonders that befell thee,
            And swear,
            No where
Lives a woman true, and fair.

If thou find'st one, let me know,
    Such a pilgrimage were sweet;
Yet do not, I would not go,
    Though at next door we might meet;
Though she were true, when you met her,
And last, till you write your letter,
            Yet she
            Will be
False, ere I come, to two, or three.

What are you reading this week?


  1. Ah, I love Donne. My love for him started when I read the first verse of this poem in another book by an author I love -- Diana Wynne Jones's Howl's Moving Castle. The poem play a key role in that book, too.

    1. I probably should have a written TBR list because that book is in my long mental list.

  2. Dawn,
    I'm sorry I've missed so many Wednesdays. The weeks are flying by. Anyways, I do try to come read even if I have had nothing prepared. Thank you for continuing this tradition. I wish I had some brilliant comment on your poetry, but I'm afraid the day is too far spent for anything sensible to spill out. It's lovely just the same.

    1. No apologies necessary, this is a low pressure linkup; join when you can! I wish I had some brilliant comments to, but I don't. Happy that the WWW rules say I can just share the words without them!

  3. I ever know what to say on comments. I appreciate and enjoy lots of blog posts but getting that into a comment is so hard for some reason.

    1. I completely agree! I've set myself the goal of reading and commenting on all the posts that are linked in, and doing it in a manner that relates to the post and is interesting not just "I like it" is a struggle at times.


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