World Book Day… in the UK…

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World Book Day is celebrated on 23rd April in most countries of the world, but not in the idiosyncratic “UK”, because there the 23rd April is reserved for St. George, the patron saint of England…

However, as Scotland (whose own patron saint is St. Andrew not St. George) is still officially part of the UK at the present time, Algy thought that it provided as good an excuse as any to spend a happy afternoon reading in the sunshine 🙂 So he tucked himself in among the spiky grasses on the warm sand dunes, and opened his book of “Poems of the Sea”. Just a hop and a flutter away in front of him, Algy could see the waves dancing and sparkling on the beach, with the whole expanse of the wide, blue ocean with its mysterious world beneath, and as he turned back to his book he read:

The world below the brine,
Forests at the bottom of the sea, the branches and leaves,
Sea-lettuce, vast lichens, strange flowers and seeds, the thick tangle, openings, and pink turf,
Different colors, pale gray and green, purple, white, and gold, the play of light through the water,
Dumb swimmers there among the rocks, coral, gluten, grass, rushes, and the aliment of the swimmers,
Sluggish existences grazing there suspended, or slowly crawling close to the bottom,
The sperm-whale at the surface blowing air and spray, or disporting with his flukes,
The leaden-eyed shark, the walrus, the turtle, the hairy sea-leopard, and the sting-ray,
Passions there, wars, pursuits, tribes, sight in those ocean-depths, breathing that thick-breathing air, as so many do,
The change thence to the sight here, and to the subtle air breathed by beings like us who walk this sphere,
The change onward from ours to that of beings who walk other spheres.

[Algy is reading the poem The World Below the Brine by the 19th century American poet Walt Whitman.]

5th March 2015, World Book Day…  and Algy had hoped to spend the day outside, reading in the open air. But in the event it did nothing but rain, rain, rain the entire day, and reading in the rain is far from ideal… for the books!

What was he to do? Algy consulted his assistant, and she suggested that he recall a happier time spent reading, when the weather was much kinder – about six months ago. So in honour of World Book Day, Algy presents this reworked version of a reading Adventure he enjoyed in September 2014, when he was lazing in his assistant’s deckchair in the sunshine, searching for a favourite poem in a volume of verse.

Happy Reading Everyone 🙂 And Algy hopes that you will find some nice, warm sunshine to read in, and will not try reading in the rain!