Tuesday, April 19, 2016


photo © Mark Butkus
A game of chance?

La Sirena
El Mundo
La Mano

Cartas de loteria
The first game I played en español
con frijoles to mark the cards
as we sat around the dinner table

Monday, April 11, 2016

Play Ball! Baseball’s Sad Lexicon or Tinkers to Evers to Chance

photo © Mark Butkus 2011
The historic center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field.

Written from the perspective of a New York Giants fan, the legendary baseball poem written by Franklin Pierce Adams — Baseball's Sad Lexicon —  pays tribute to the Chicago Cubs Hall of Fame trio of infielders; shortstop Joe Tinker, second baseman Johnny Evers and first baseman Frank Chance.

At the time it was written in 1910, the Cubs had won two World Series in four years besting the Giants along the way. They have yet to win another Series and last appeared in the World Series in 1945. Tabbed by many prognosticators as the favorite to win the 2016 World Series, the Cubs have their home opener today at Wrigley Field against the Cincinnati Reds.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Library Walk: Richard Eberhart is in the NYPL Reading Room

photo © Mark Butkus 2011
Happy Birthday Richard Eberhart! Born April 5, 1904.

Alive when his plaque was unveiled on Library Way in 1996, Richard Eberhart was described by the New York Times upon his death at 101 as, "...a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet considered one of the foremost writers of lyric verse in the 20th century..."

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Quaint Sayings of Uncle Jeff: On Faith

Uncle Jeff ruminated on thoughts and themes from sorrow to happiness at the turn of the last century. His niece, Iva, noted nine such sayings. As a young woman of 26 in 1929, Iva was determined to collect and write down the quaint sayings of her Uncle Jeff for posterity's sake. She wrote down his homespun adages within the pages of her second-hand copy of Three Centuries of American Poetry and Prose.

Uncle Jeff had this to say about faith...

Friday, April 1, 2016

The Rainy Day of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

What is it about April Showers?

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.