Category Archives: Literature

America Burning

Originally posted on Margaret Langstaff:
Three years ago I posted the comments below never dreaming our national sin and shame of exploitation of the poor and tacit and overt racism would intensify to the pass they have reached in recent…

Posted in Literature | Leave a comment

Here’s Another Truthful Humdinger

The last words of John Keats’ “Ode to a Grecian Urn” that I clumsily alluded to but did not mention yesterday: When old age shall this generation waste,                 Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe Than ours, a … Continue reading

Posted in Literature | 2 Comments

“The World Is Too Much With Us” — William Wordsworth

The last several months have been a challenge to our abilities to verbalize and speak clearly and coherently. Many resorted to ineffectual ranting and raving. Some simply gagged and swallowed their tongues. I myself fell silent before the onslaught of … Continue reading

Posted in Literature | 4 Comments

Einstein’s Desk and Mine: A Sort of Comparative Analysis

  Having been the butt of derision and mockery for too many years for my “messy” desk (and office), I believe I have at last  found an effective remedy for silencing my many sneering critics once and for all. This … Continue reading

Posted in Albert Einstein, Literature, Space | Tagged | 42 Comments

Shameless Self-Promotion (wink)

  Get out the kleenex!

Posted in Christmas stories, fiction, Holidays, Literary Classics, Literature, Santa Claus | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

“Hunting the Deceitful Turkey” – Mark Twain

Originally posted on Margaret Langstaff:
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! This is from a 1906 issue of Harpers magagine.  Twain’s dry wit and lame brained (fake) susceptibility to always be out witted by any animal that ever tread the earth (so sweet, amusing)…

Posted in Literature | 1 Comment

America Burning

Three years ago I posted the comments below never dreaming our national sin and shame of exploitation of the poor and tacit and overt racism would intensify to the pass they have reached in recent days. Perhaps the civil unrest … Continue reading

Posted in America, Literature | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

A Bit of Advice

A friend of mine sent this to me recently.  I can’t imagine why.

Posted in book reviewing, Editing, Literature, writers, writing | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

In the Game of Life, Bad Spelling is Like Bad Breath

Why You Should Bother About Spelling I love the BBC.  They are so smart and always take time to do things right. They dot their I’s and cross their T’s, you know what I mean?. I stumbled on this excellently … Continue reading

Posted in Editing, Literature, Margaret Langstaff Editorial, online communication, Spelling, writing | 9 Comments

Emily Dickinson’s Summer Reveries

(c) Copyright 2017 Margaret Langstaff, All Rights Reserved Summer, The Dickinson Homestead, Amherst, Mass. Emily Dickinson, one of America’s most beloved and misunderstood poets was an astute observer and student of the natural world.  Nature’s changing pageantry, big bold and … Continue reading

Posted in American Literature, Emily Dickinson Poetry, Literary Classics, Literature, poetry, poets | Tagged , | 2 Comments

From the new and edgy digital mag “Real Life”

Worth Reading. Warning: Thought required. “All My Ghosts” The intensity and immediacy of online correspondence accelerate the intimacy of relationships — and the ghosting Ruby Brunton June 13, 2017 Image: Evening Star (2016) by Tim Gardner. Oil on canvas. © Tim Gardner, … Continue reading

Posted in Digital Correspondence, Digital Journalism, Literature | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THE ART OF MEMOIR by Mary Karr (author of The Liar’s Club)

Originally posted on Margaret Langstaff:
[NOTE: Having just finished editing two massive and interesting/ well written memoirs, ‘The Art of Memoir,’ by Mary Karr is of immense interest. Questions are raised that can’t be answered conclusively, yet they must be…

Posted in Literature | Leave a comment

Merciful Travels with Anne Lamott

Originally posted on Sarah e McIntosh:
Thought 2: Reading Anne Lamott’s books never fail to impress and inspire. Years ago I was given a copy of her book Bird by Bird, and being in the midst of my addiction to…

Posted in Literature | 2 Comments

It Happened Here

Most writers today who publish eventually have to come to terms with plagiarism and the low-down rip-off artists who practice it. It’s everywhere now, to be sure, and no place is it more common and flagrant than online. The motives … Continue reading

Posted in journalism, Literature, Plagiarism, publishing | 11 Comments

“I’m Nobody/Who are You?” Emily Dickinson: Major New Book & Exhibit

Posted in American Literature, Emily Dickinson Poetry, Literature, poetry | 1 Comment

Is It Just Me, or that “The World Is too Much with Us?”

I woke up at two a.m. this morning with this well-known masterpiece by the incomparable English bard Wordsworth coiling through my mind. This sonnet was penned in Britain just as the Industrial Revolution was upending the trusted old courtesies and … Continue reading

Posted in Literary Classics, Literature, poetry, poets | Tagged | 9 Comments

Baby, it’s cold inside …

The “Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.” Wallace Stevens was a seminal, groundbreaking American modernist poet.  A contemporary of Eliot, he flipped the archetype of the wan, pale, misunderstood verbal virtuoso.  Instead, he pursued a lucrative … Continue reading

Posted in American Literature, Literature, poetry, poets | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

The Father’s Eye. . .

I clipped this beautiful poem from the New York Times years ago.  It still remains one of my all-time Christmas favorites. So subtle, understated and allusive.  Thought I’d share while wishing you the joy of this miraculous season! Pardon the … Continue reading

Posted in Joseph Brodsky, Literature, poetry, poets | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Joy to the World!

Joy to the World , the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King; Let every heart prepare Him room, And Heaven and nature sing, And Heaven and nature sing, And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing. Joy to the … Continue reading

Posted in Literature | Leave a comment

My Life as a Turkey (really)

Apropos of the holiday, I thought I’d share a curious life-changing experience I had this year with respect to (you got it) turkeys. For some reason, a number of large wild turkey mamas decided to use my place to feed … Continue reading

Posted in Humor, Literature | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Lady Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor,/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free ….”

The New Colossus By Emma Lazarus Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the … Continue reading

Posted in American Literature, Literature, poets, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Bob Dylan Wins the Nobel Prize for Literature

Forever Young   From CNN today: Book Critic Jay Parini on “Why Bob Dylan Deserves the Nobel Prize” WORTH READING Bob Dylan Lyrical Genius Album: Blonde on Blonde [1966] All lyrics are property and copyright of their respective owners and … Continue reading

Posted in American Literature, Literary Lions, Literature, poetry, poets | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Mark Twain for President – 1879

MARK TWAIN * A Presidential Candidate I have pretty much made up my mind to run for President. What the country wants is a candidate who cannot be injured by investigation of his past history, so that the enemies of … Continue reading

Posted in American Literature, American Literature, Literary Lions, Literature, Mark Twain, Politics, Rants, writers, writing | 8 Comments

Ben Lerner’s ‘The Hatred of Poetry’ Revels in Paradox

Heads up, Poets. This review in Flavorwire (6/9/16) of Ben Lerner’s recent book-length essay on the disappointments and shortcomings of poetry is worth reading. Says reviewer Jonathan Sturgeon, “The Hatred of Poetry is an important essay because it doubles as … Continue reading

Posted in American Literature, literary theory, Literature, poetry, poets | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Abhorrent Grammar Mistakes #1

This is a public service announcement and (maybe) the first in an erratic series of fusillades fired in the direction of blithely ignorant practitioners of faulty grammar. Not that it’ll make any difference, but 1) this exercise will make me … Continue reading

Posted in grammar, Literature | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Too Many Books?

One of my favorite literary websites is LitHub. It’s smart, clever and full of important, insightful book news, very often news you can use.  The editors at LitHub aggregate current interesting pieces from other important sites as well as create … Continue reading

Posted in books, Literature, personal library, reading | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments

A Votive Light for Nabokov

  Ambushed, waylaid, ravished by an unexpected encounter tonight with Pale Fire, Nabokov’s powerful daemonic masterpiece. An oddity of a novel told in four cantos, 999 lines of seductive, sensuous verse.  A virtuoso piece, a showcase for the author’s extraordinary … Continue reading

Posted in fiction, Literary Classics, Literary Lions, Literature, poetry | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Whitman, Democracy’s Bard

Walt Whitman popped into my thoughts unannounced yesterday as I was listening to a nasty political discussion on NPR. Honestly, it’s hard to avoid the contentious, angry political noise in the air these days that’s camouflaged as debate and dialogue. People … Continue reading

Posted in American Literature, Literature, poetry, poets, walt Whitman | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Of Poets and Poetasters: National Poetry Month

So what’s a poetaster? Most people are pretty sure they know what a poet is, but poetaster, first used by Ben Jonson in 1600, has fallen into disuse. Well, fact is, though we throw the word poet around with flippant … Continue reading

Posted in American Literature, Literature, poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

What Rough Beast?

“William Butler Yeats is widely considered to be one of the greatest poets of the 20th century.” The Poetry Foundation  And I certainly agree. At the risk of becoming a Yeats “bore,” I am going to provide my readers with … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, poetry | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

A Woman’s Rx for a Long and Happy Life! Smart Aging for Women by Elizabeth Rigley, R.N., M.H.S.

A ground breaking new book coming soon from Canadian publisher Borealis Press An Interview with Elizabeth Rigley, R.N. Author of SMART AGING FOR WOMEN: A Guide to a Healthier, Happier and Longer Li… Source: A Woman’s Rx for a Long … Continue reading

Posted in Literature | 2 Comments

A Woman’s Rx for a Long and Happy Life! Smart Aging for Women by Elizabeth Rigley, R.N., M.H.S.

  A ground breaking new book coming soon from Canadian publisher Borealis Press An Interview with Elizabeth Rigley, R.N., M.H.S. Author of SMART AGING FOR WOMEN: A Guide to a Healthier, Happier and Longer Life © Copyright 2016, Margaret Langstaff … Continue reading

Posted in Author Interview, book publishing, editing, Literature, Margaret Langstaff Editorial | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“A Prayer for My Daughter” –William Butler Yeats

And now, dear friends, enjoy one of the greatest poets in the English language and one of his most highly regarded poems. I’ve been dipping into Yeats’ Collected Poems and savoring them for many years, but recently this one  really … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, poetry, poets, Reading | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Back from Computer Hell

News flash. My computer crashed nearly a week ago. I’ve been unable to access my online accounts for that period of time. Continue reading

Posted in computers, editor, Literature | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Love is the slowest form of suicide–Fiza Pathan

AN INTERVIEW WITH AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR FIZA PATHAN OF MUMBAI, INDIA
Fiza Pathan, a very young self-published author, recently was awarded three prestigious book prizes, one at the London Book Fair and two at the New England Festival of Books.

This is a penetrating interview with her editor, Margaret Langstaff, about how and why she writes. Shocking candor, shocking themes.
Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, editing, fiction, Literature, novel, novelists, writers, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

BIG NEWS! FIZA PATHAN, One of my clients, took awards at the London Book Festival and …

Award winning fiction Continue reading

Posted in fiction, Literature | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Gigging a Gig! Journalists, for what it’s worth

  (As you know if you’ve been hanging around here for a bit, there is almost no kind of writing or editing I haven’t done over the years, with the exception of erotica and other icky or brutalizing stuff.  So … Continue reading

Posted in journalism, Literature | 4 Comments

#shortstory Zoya’s Christmas Eve-a short story from my book S.O.S. Animals And Other Stories

Originally posted on insaneowl:
Zoya’s Christmas Eve-a short story from my book S.O.S. Animals And Other Stories.

Posted in Literature | 2 Comments

#shortstory Zoya’s Christmas Eve-from my book S.O.S. Animals And Other Stories

Originally posted on insaneowl:
Zoya was a girl living a normal Christian life with her family in a small apartment overlooking the sea. Zoya was a happy child and was thoroughly spoilt by her parents, uncles and aunts because she…

Posted in Literature | Leave a comment

“A Child Was Born in a Cave to Save the World”

Joseph Brodsky was an emigre poet from the Soviet Union who lived in New York City, and won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1987. He was an amazingly gifted, modest man.  He wrote in English after emigrating as an … Continue reading

Posted in Literary Classics, Literary Lions, Literature, poetry, poets | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Get the Kleenex out! HOME FOR CHRISTMAS: BEST LOVED STORIES OF ALL TIME

An anthology guaranteed to bring tears to your eyes. A filled-to-the-brim treasure chest of over 500 pages of heart-warming Christmas stories from days gone by. Wonderful stories from O. Henry, L. Frank Baum, Henry Van Dyke and many others guaranteed to … Continue reading

Posted in American Literature, Christmas stories, Literary Classics, Literature | 11 Comments

“Hunting the Deceitful Turkey” – Mark Twain

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! This is from a 1906 issue of Harpers magagine.  Twain’s dry wit and lame brained (fake) susceptibility to always be out witted by any animal that ever tread the earth (so sweet, amusing) is in full flower here. … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, Literary Classics, Literary Lions, Literature, Reading, writers | 15 Comments

GOODREADS HORROR STORY: Writers, Listen Up!

Consider this a public service announcement for authors.  I can’t believe it, but it happened. And it happened to me. Two days ago I simply changed my GR password and email –for security reasons –and my whole account, five years … Continue reading

Posted in Amazon, book marketing, book reviewing, Goodreads, Reading, writing | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

How Extravagant! My Christmas Present to Myself! Everything My Hero Ever Wrote!

[an “aside” in a stage whisper:] “When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.”–Erasmus, 1469-1536 Mark Twain is the funniest, most original, wholly American literary genius this country has … Continue reading

Posted in American Literature, Humor, Literary Classics, Literary Lions, Literature | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Book Review: The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr

Originally posted on A View From My Summerhouse:
Mary Karr’s newly released The Art of Memoir couldn’t have arrived at a better time for me. As bestselling author of The Liar’s Club, Cherry and Lit, and teacher of the form…

Posted in Literature | 7 Comments

THE ART OF MEMOIR by Mary Karr (author of The Liar’s Club)

[NOTE: Having just finished editing two massive and interesting/ well written memoirs, ‘The Art of Memoir’ by Mary Karr is of immense interest to me. Questions are raised that can’t be answered conclusively, yet they must be raised. Very intelligent … Continue reading

Posted in Literature | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

“Beauty crowds me till I die.” Emily Dickinson

Here are some of my favorite lines from my favorite poets–just to share and for the heck of it.  Poetry (the really good stuff) has always been my favorite genre as both a reader and writer. The above line is … Continue reading

Posted in Literature | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

“The Frog in my Boot by the Door” a prose poem

Note: I have been so busy editing books for other writers that I have had almost no time to do my regular blogging.  I hope you’ll forgive me dear friends, but I have come up with sort of a makeshift … Continue reading

Posted in Literature | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Time to Update Your Book Marketing Methods!

I ran across the following article online the other day and thought it was quite timely and helpful for most authors.  Here is a brief excerpt, and you can (and should!) read the rest by clicking on the link at … Continue reading

Posted in publishing, writing | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

“It all comes out of that first line.”– E.L. Doctorow, 1931-2015

Writing advice and memories from prolific, revered literary American Novelist, E.L. Doctorow (Ragtime, The March, Billy Bathgate and more!) From The New York Times (with video interview!) E. L. Doctorow: 1931-2015   (link) By Emily B. Hager | Jul. 22, … Continue reading

Posted in American Literature, American novels, Book Reviews, fiction, Literary Lions, Literature, New Yorl Times Book Review, NYTBR, publishing | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments