More sonnets of Brooke Boothby

Joshua Reynolds – Penelope Boothby (1788)

Joshua Reynolds – Penelope Boothby (1788)

In the post Brooke Boothby: Sorrows, I copied 3 sonnets from Sorrows. Sacred to the Memory of Penelope, the collection of poems written by Brooke Boothby in memory of his daughter Penelope, who died one month before her sixth birthday. Here I transcribe three more sonnets (and correct another). CONTINUE READING…


Who loves working class children?

One seldom finds persons who really love all children. Most people show themselves selective in their affection, while some don’t like children at all. Usually it is a family affair, one loves one’s own children, but not those of other people, and this attitude gets a wide support in society, since children are implicitly considered as their parents’ property.

Otherwise, one can have preferences for one age range or for one gender. I can understand this, I am myself guilty of such bias. Boys and girls, older and younger ones, have different minds and quite distinct charms. However I find it more questionable to distaste children because of their ethnicity or their lower social background. CONTINUE READING…


~The Sun~

Girl - from Wolf Publishing

Girl – from Wolf Publishing

Wolf Publishing organized a poetry contest around this image of a girl. Here is my favourite one, it is full of love. The other entries are not bad either.

[2016/02/25: This was a reblog from the WP site of Wolf Publishing, which was removed. The poem is lost.]


Poetry by readers

This entry does not belong to the blog’s standard topics, it is rather a tribute to its readers. I will give here links to poems published on WordPress blogs by users who made themselves known to me by following Agapeta or by liking or commenting its posts. This should encourage further readers to express their appreciation. Know that I always give a look at the blog of anyone who likes, comments or follows my young bud. CONTINUE READING…

George Gordon Byron: Maid of Athens, ere we part

Pierre-Auguste Renoir - Irène Cahen d’Anvers (ca 1880) - from Wikisource

Pierre-Auguste Renoir – Irène Cahen d’Anvers (ca 1880) – from Wikimedia Commons

In 1809–10, the poet George Gordon Byron briefly resided in Athens. He fell in love with the 12 years old Teresa Makri (Τερέζα Μακρή), in whose mother’s house he lodged. In a letter to Henry Drury he said to be “dying for love of three Greek Girls at Athens”: “Teresa, Mariana, and Kattinka”. Before departing for Istanbul, he wrote for Teresa the poem Maid of Athens, ere we part. The poem was first published in Childe Harold in 1812. CONTINUE READING…

Thomas Edison’s repellent high-tech dolls

I came across an article in the HuffPost about talking dolls marketed by the inventor Thomas Edison in the 1890s (there is an abridged French version of it in the Huffington Post). His idea was to insert a miniature phonograph cylinder inside their body. This represented a technological breakthrough, which was commented in journals like Scientific American. But this was their only quality. I reproduce from the HuffPost the photograph of one such doll, she is really ugly:

Edison Talking Doll - from HuffPost Weird News

Edison Talking Doll – from HuffPost Weird News

Her huge forehead evokes hydrocephalus, or Doctor Frankenstein’s monster impersonated by Boris Karloff. Her eyes look dumb. Her hands open out like claws.

The phonograph cylinders do not function anymore now, but their sound has been recovered thanks to another feat of technology. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory made a 3D scan of the cylinders, from which their recordings could be extracted. One can listen to them here. A hoarse voice croaks (rather than “sings”) a song amid a hissing background noise.

The HuffPost adds that the doll costed US$10 undressed, and between $12 and $20 fully clothed, which was quite expensive, the equivalent of between US$267 and $534 today. Production lasted only one month, with only 2500 sales.

Clearly Edison’s mind was dominated by the search for technological novelty, and he had forgotten a simple thing: dolls are made to be loved, they should have a beautiful smiling face, gentle hands and a sweet voice.

See my lovely dolls on Pigtails in Paint. They do not sing, but they have bright eyes and a beautiful smile.

After Many Years

A little girl gassed in Auschwitz

Auschwitz remains the best known of all Nazi death camps. In fact it was a kind of vast industrial complex of slave labour and extermination. First arose Auschwitz I, the original camp set up for Polish political prisoners, then came Auschwitz II-Birkenau, where approximately 1 million Jews died, and Auschwitz III-Monowitz, a slave labour camp at the service of the I.G. Farben chemical trust, plus 45 satellite subcamps in the surrounding area, where prisoners worked as slaves for various companies such as Krupp (armament) or Siemens-Schuckert (electrical engineering). Even the dead were made as profitable as possible, by collecting their belongings, clothes, and even their hair and golden teeth.

The Nazi Holocaust is a story of greed, plunder, imperialist conquest and elimination of “unwanted” populations, organized methodically by a powerful bureaucracy, and sanctified by an ideology of racial hatred. The most horrible aspect of it is the organized mass murder of children.  CONTINUE READING…