Jan 15: Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, pp. 943-953. I'd oft heard of this, but never read any of it. It certainly has it's own eerie beauty! Though I wonder whether this rhyming translation really keeps the original spirit of it...
Jan 16: Aesop's Fables, pp. 31-43. I'd read many of these before, but this one I think was new to me:
The Old Man and DeathJan. 17: Franklin's Autobiography, pp. 5-15. Personal stories from Franklin. The tone of the book is very personal, since he was writing it to his son.An old labourer, bent double with age and toil, was gathering sticks in a forest. At last he grew so tired and hopeless that he threw down the bundle of sticks, and cried out: "I cannot bear this life any longer. Ah, I wish Death would only come and take me!" As he spoke, Death, a grisly skeleton, appeared and said to him: "What wouldst thou, Mortal? I heard thee call me." "Please, sir," replied the woodcutter, "would you kindly help me to lift this faggot of sticks on to my shoulder?"
Jan 18: The Frogs, pp. 439-449. I read Aristophanes' The Clouds in 9th grade, and thought it was great fun. This is fun, too -- a lot of farce involving greek gods. I'd like to find a more modern translation, so I might understand it better.
Jan 19: The Poetic Principle, pp. 371-380. This is an essay by Edgar Allen Poe about what makes for good poetry. He has surprising views on the length that poems should be -- he talks a bit about interest curve, and points out that short poems are often forgotten, and long poems become tiresome.
Jan 20: Eve of St. Agnes, pp. 883-893. This was a poem by Keats that was hard for me to grasp at times, but it has moments of imagery that are incredibly real and powerful.
Jan 21: Andersen's Tales, pp. 301-310. I had never read this story, entitled The Emperor and the Nightingale. It's incredible! It's about robots, and what it means to be alive -- it has an unearthly quality that takes it out of time -- the nightingale represents everything that I desire to be.