"I like to think of you reading my verses (though it took you five years to find them out). When I wrote them I was a strange lonely boy, walking about by myself at night and thinking that some day a girl would love me. But I never could speak to the girls I used to meet at houses. Their false manners checked me at once. Then you came to me. You were not in a sense the girl for whom I had dreamed and written the verses you find now so enchanting. She was perhaps (as I saw her in my imagination) a girl fashioned into a curious grave beauty by the culture of generations before her, the woman for whom I wrote poems like ‘Gentle lady’ or ‘Thou leanest to the shell of night.' But then I saw that the beauty of your soul outshone that of my verses. There was something in you higher than anything I had put into them. And for this reason the book of verses is for you. It holds the desire of my youth and you, darling, were the fulfilment of that desire." READ MORE
In honor of today's 3D release of The Phantom Menace, Wired has re-released their 1999 review of that film, also in GLORIOUS, EPIC 3-D. Were we ever this young READ MORE
Ben Zimmer, who writes a language column for the Boston Globe, has edited a series of clips featuring all of Downton Abbey's various verbal anachronisms. (SPOILER ALERT FOR AMERICANS: This video contains some non-plot relevant bits from episodes 7 and 8, both of which will air in the U.S. on PBS this Sunday, February 12th. Of course, it's possible that you are some kind of scofflaw and have already watched all of season two with some illegal Internet trickery. Shame on you, but yes, you can watch this video without fear.) READ MORE
Roberta Flack, singer and songwriter, is 75 today. She is wonderful.
To start: let's not get it twisted, I love fantasy author and Time book critic Lev Grossman. Love. (When "we" (I) write on the Internet, cool detachment and a superior attitude are practically policy, but let's not do that today. Okay?) Grossman is a smart man who consistently says smart things. Overwhelmed by the glut of flatly declarative "this sucks I hated it" reviews that populate Amazon and Goodreads, he argued yesterday for a clearer, better articulated standard of determining literary merit. This is definitely not a terrible idea. And Grossman is also diplomatic about how your love of terrible books is real and valid and you're entitled to it. So what is the problem? Well, this is part of it: READ MORE