Thursday, March 8, 2012

Cabbie's Reading Corner, 2nd Edition

I feel extremely lucky to have found four volumes of the "Works of John Burroughs" at Twice Sold Tales for the steal of one dollar each.  Burroughs (04/03/1837-03/29/1921) you might know was an American naturalist of much renown in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  I read a small collection of his perhaps 10 years ago and was extremely pleased to discover these beautiful books complete with the most wonderful illustrations.  The publication date is unclear, along with the total number of books in the set.  I do know that each volume I have were published separately in various years.  The book I have started with, "Locusts and Wild Honey," was published in 1879 and listed as volume IV. I have a long way to go as I just finished the first 23 page essay "The Pastoral Bees."  In those distant literacy days writers did not fool around, composing in depth upon a given subject.  Here is an excerpt, a homely old stanza he called it:

                                             A swarm of bees in May
                                             Is worth a load of hay;
                                             A swarm of bees in June
                                             Is worth a silver spoon;
                                             But a swarm in July
                                             Is not worth a fly.

I have at least a months' reading ahead of me.  I am looking forward to it.  The other volumes I have:

                                             Fresh Fields, Volume VI, 1884
                                             Riverby, Volume IX, 1894
                                             Literary Values, Volume XII, 1902

Reading about the bees I was struck by its simplicity, by a country life portrayed before the horror that was the 20th Century.  I long to live in the country again, as I did as a child.  I am ready to join Burroughs and write about buzzing bees.  Anything but taxi!

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