Answer July, by Emily Dickinson

Emily always comes through for us – here’s a poem for this month!

Answer July—
Where is the Bee—
Where is the Blush—
Where is the Hay?

Ah, said July—
Where is the Seed—
Where is the Bud—
Where is the May—
Answer Thee—Me—

Nay—said the May—
Show me the Snow—
Show me the Bells—
Show me the Jay!

Quibbled the Jay—
Where be the Maize—
Where be the Haze—
Where be the Bur?
Here—said the Year— 

I hope you are all finding safe ways to get outdoors especially in our cooler mornings and evenings. We are missing our regular trip to San Diego so I guess I’ll have to spend more time exploring our own river here in Sacramento. Stay well, Readers!

Between the Lines Book Club: Persuasion Discussion Questions

Between the Lines Book Club is back, and we are reading Persuasion by Jane Austen! We will be meeting via Zoom on July 25, 2020 at 10:30AM.

Here are some discussion questions. These questions are from jansa.org, and I may add some more prior to our meeting. Consider these as you read!

Persuasion is often described as “autumnal.” Why? How does “autumnal” describe Anne Elliot’s situation? Jane Austen’s?

  1. Consider the opening of the novel. What does it tell the reader about both the characters in the novel and the condition of Britain in 1815, the year Persuasion is set?
  2. What values do Sir Walter Elliot and Elizabeth represent? Captain Wentworth, the Crofts,the Harvilles and Benwick?
  3. How are Sir Walter’s values displayed through his words and actions? Consider his relationship with his tenants, those who work for him, and each of his daughters.
  4. What do Sir Walter’s fiscal problems suggest about the condition of the upper class and aristocracy in Britain? Does Sir Walter recognize his failures?
  5. How are Elizabeth and Mary like their father? How are Mary Musgrove’s values displayed through her words and actions?
  6. What is Austen’s own view of the two, and how is it conveyed?
  7. Jane Austen described her heroine in a letter to her niece Fanny Knight (23-25 March 1817), “You may perhaps like the Heroine, as she is almost too good for me.” Do you agree?
  8. What arguments are there for Anne’s having listened to Lady Russell eight years earlier? How does Anne view this persuasion by the end of the novel?
  9. What does the navy represent in the novel? Compare and contrast the two worlds of the novel: the aristocracy and upper class on one hand and the British navy on the other.
  10. The characters are subject to different types of persuasion. Who is persuaded by rank/class/family connections? Who is persuaded by self-interest? Who is persuaded by self-importance?
  11. Does the novel embody a feminist viewpoint? Consider Anne’s conversation with Harville. Consider Mrs. Croft’s character and actions.

July Tarot: Tarot and Poetry

I don’t know about you guys, but July is kicking my butt and as of writing this it’s only July 10. With that in mind, this month I have links for you! By the way, WordPress just changed…everything, so until I take the time to figure out the new system I’m not doing much with images over here. Curses, new system. Curses.

OK, first off, here’s a wonderful article by Benebell Wen on Poets and the Tarot. I highly recommend Wen’s book Holistic Tarot which is comprehensive and amazing!

Here is a link to Classic Tarot Poems You Can Read Online, from a blog by the editors of Arcana: The Tarot Poem Anthology

Want to go shopping? Check out The Poet Tarot and Guidebook. I have this as an app but I think it works better as an actual, physical deck. It uses poets and writers for creative inspiration!

Message me if you would like a reading!

Between the Lines Book Club is Back!

Hello everyone! We will be meeting via zoom for the foreseeable future. Our upcoming book is Persuasion, by Jane Austen. We will meet to discuss it on July 25, 2020, at 10:30AM. If you haven’t gotten the zoom invite, let me know in the comments.

Persuasion is a complicated book. Here is a list of the characters in Persuasion and their relationships to each other. In reading Austen, pay attention to who is related to whom, and how they address one another! Also, note ages – this book is unusual among Austen’s novels for having a romance between a couple in middle age, and everyone’s ages take on great importance as the book progresses!

Persuasion – Characters

Ages Given Where Known

Anne’s Family

Sir Walter Elliot, Bt: (Age: mid fifties) Anne’s dad, a widow. Likes Mrs. Clay, a widow. 

Elizabeth Elliot: (Age 29): Anne’s older sister.

Anne Elliot:  (Age 27) Our heroine. In love with Wentworth.

Mary Musgrove: Anne’s younger sister. Married to Charles, who proposed to Anne, was shot down, and then proposed to Mary, who accepted. Is a hypochondriac with several children.

Charles Musgrove: Mary’s husband.

Little Charles: Son of Charles and Mary. Breaks his collarbone, causing Anne and Wentworth to finally reunite.

Louisa Musgrove (Age 19): Charles Musgrove’s sister. Likes Wentworth but ends up engaged to Benwick.

Henrietta Musgrove (Age 20): Louisa’s sister. Likes Charles Hayter (her cousin), then likes Wentworth, then likes Charles again.

Lady Russell: A family friend who is Anne’s surrogate mother.

The Renters and Their Friends

Sophia Croft: (Age 38) Captain Wentworth’s sister and Admiral Croft’s wife. Has happy marriage.

Admiral Croft: adores his wife, admires Wentworth, his brother-in-law

Captain Wentworth: (Age: 31): proposed to Anne many years ago and was rejected. Likes Louisa, then likes Anne again. Ends up with Anne. Is Sophia Croft’s brother.

People in Bath and Lyme

Mrs. Clay: (Age: in her 30s): widow who charms Elizabeth and Sir Walter but might end up with William Elliot.

Captain Benwick: was engaged to Captain Harville’s sister, who recently died. He was devastated, but then seemed to like Anne, and promptly ended up with Louisa. Is a friend of Wentworth and Harville.

Captain Harville: Friend of Wentworth and Benwick.

William Elliot: distant relation and heir presumptive of Sir Elliot. Originally it was hoped he would marry Elizabeth, then he married a rich woman who died, now he likes Anne and also wants to distract Mrs. Clay from Sir Walter. Might end up with Mrs. Clay. 

Mrs. Smith: (Age 30): childhood friend of Anne’s. Widow of friend of William Elliot’s, who will not help her. Gets help from Anne and Wentworth.