Can you believe it's already been 942 years since the Battle of Hastings? Seems like only yesterday. Garrison Keillor is celebrating all week on his Writer's Almanac radio segment, with interesting bits about the influence of the French-speaking Normans on the English language. If you missed today's radio broadcast, you can read a transcript, listen, or download the podcast.
On today's segment, Keillor also reads "Windows Is Shutting Down," a witty poem by Clive James, who's better known (to me) as a critic and essayist. I liked the poem so much that I'll be seeking out more of James's poetry. Here's the first stanza:
Windows is shutting down, and grammar are
On their last leg. So what am we to do?
A letter of complaint go just so far,
Proving the only one in step are you.
Read the rest of the poem here.
And as long as we're waxing nostalgic--it's the first day of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, after all--here's the Billy Collins poem "Nostalgia." It's the one that begins:
Remember the 1340's? We were doing a dance called the Catapult.
You always wore brown, the color craze of the decade,
and I was draped in one of those capes that were popular,
the ones with unicorns and pomegranates in needlework.
Everyone would pause for beer and onions in the afternoon,
and at night we would play a game called "Find the Cow."
Everything was hand-lettered then, not like today.