04 May, 2007

Bargains

Found a copy of the Doonesbury book One step at a time in the Oxfam bookshop this lunchtime. It's the story of BD losing his leg in Iraq. Amazing, and the only newspaper comic strip ever to make me cry.

Also picked up two books by my new favourite feminist Sheila Rowbotham: Woman, Resistance and Revolution and Woman's Consciousness, Man's World, and selected poems by the Czech poet Miroslav Holub. I haven't looked yet to see if it contains one of my favourite poems by him, Zito the Magician:

To amuse His Royal Majesty he will change water into wine.
Frogs into footmen. Beetles into bailiffs. And make a Minister
out of a rat. He bows, and daisies grow from his finger-tips.
And a talking bird sits on his shoulder.

There.

Think up something else, demands His Royal Majesty.
Think up a black star. So he thinks up a black star.
Think up dry water. So he thinks up dry water.
Think up a river bound with straw-bands. So he does.

There.

Then along comes a student and asks: Think up sine alpha greater than one.
And Zito grows pale and sad. Terribly sorry. Sine is
Between plus one and minus one. Nothing you can do about that.
And he leaves the great royal empire, quietly weaves his way
Through the throng of courtiers, to his home in a nutshell.

Miroslav Holub

3 comments:

weierstrass said...

easy. just choose alpha to be of the form u - i.pi/2, where u is a real positive number.

woodscolt said...

Smartarse.

Phil said...

hi - my blog's up and running now. I may also set up a similar book and film review blog.