A riddle from 1859;
“My first in winter loads the burthen’d plain, my next, of fluid is a portion small, my whole when Spring resumes her gentle reign, smiles on the mead, and Hope restores to all.”
What am I?
Sitting in the car creeping forward, I think, through sludge and slush.
All around the fields wear a vest of ribbed white snow.
At last, home, and freckles of fluff whirl around chaotic, then waft and kiss and meld .
Kettle on, toast in, boots off.
The radio tells me that the guest editor receives 2000 manuscripts to munch through, per year.
Two make it to the top table. The others end their days in a ditch of letters and words and cast off cliches.
Not enough reading, she says. You can’t write without mass reading. And inwardly. Ban the word inwardly.
So I don’t inwardly smile to myself, but I do reach for Lucky Dip Number Four.
The Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations published in 1907 by Funk and Wagnalls, London and New York.
(Green, bottle green, tooled leather, thick double cream faded pages.)
1 Reading maketh a full man – Bacon
2 Through the sharp air a flaky torrent flies, Mocks the slow sight, and hides the gloomy skies; The fleecy clouds their chilly bosoms bare, And shed their substance on the floating air – Crabbe
3 Ut ameris, amabilis esto – Ovid
4 The conscious utterance of thought, by speech or action, to any end, is art – Emerson
5 On n’est jamais si heureux, ni si malheureux, qu’on se l’imagine – La Rochefoucauld