1066

One of the dates from history class

that stuck – William the Conqueror from Normandy

defeats British at the Battle of Hastings.

It changed the language. Adieu German.

Bonjour Latin and French. Hello Middle English.

Normans Bayeux.jpg
Normans Bayeux” Battle of Hastings – Tapestry de Bayeux   Wikimedia Commons.

Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America

Anne

This day in 1672, Anne Bradstreet died.

America’s first published poet, married at 16,

off to the New World to write

about her husband, children, God – this woman

eventually discontent with her Puritan woman’s life.

 


 

Her first and only volume of poetry was The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America, published in England in 1650. Her poems received a positive reception in both the Old World and the New World.

poetryfoundation.org/bio/anne-bradstreet

 

Anne Bradstreet Memorial N Andover Cem.jpg
Memorial marker for Anne Dudley Bradstreet in the Old North Parish Burial Ground,
North Andover, Massachusetts
” by  Sarnold17
Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Mary Had a Little Lamb

The Wizard of Menlo Park, New Jersey,

from telegraph to telephone to gramophone,

thinking he could record the human voice.

Stylus-made impressions on strips of paraffin paper.

Letters (gramma) given a new voice (phone).

 

Edison_and_phonograph

Thomas Edison with his second phonograph, photographed by Mathew Brady in Washington, April 1878 (LOC)

“Edison immediately tested the machine by speaking the nursery rhyme into the mouthpiece, ‘Mary had a little lamb.’ To his amazement, the machine played his words back to him.”  from a History of the Edison Cylinder Phonograph from the Library of Congress

Give Us This Day

a blue sky, and a few clouds

for relief that won’t dull the sun.

407 years since English settlers arrived here.

Men and boys, a Brave New World,

with hopeful prayer for a warm season.

It was on April 26, 1607 that about a hundred English settlers arrived at the Chesapeake Bay. I didn’t know until today that only after they landed did the Captain Christopher Newport open the sealed orders from the Virginia Company. There were several surprises. John Smith was named to the Governing Council. Smith had been charged with mutiny on the voyage and was scheduled to be hanged. The orders also directed them to choose an inland site for their colony. So, they left Cape Henry and made their way up the James River. A couple of weeks later, they landed on an island that seemed like a good location and named it Jamestown, in honor of their king, James I.

Back in England, William Shakespeare’s daughter, Susanna, would  have a June wedding. On the last day of the year, William’s brother Edmund would be buried. The Bubonic Plague (or Black Death) would ravage London again the next year. And The Bard would work on a new play based on reports coming back from the “brave new world” that he would call The Tempest (1611).

With some inspiration today from reading  A Brave Vessel: The True Tale of the Castaways Who Rescued Jamestown and Inspired Shakespeare’sThe Tempest