“Meeting as the tall ships do, passing in the channel…”

As 2013 limps to its grave, I’m tempted to regret how rarely I update this blog—but then I look back and find myself pleased with what I eked out time to post. Thanks for visiting! Here’s the “Quid Plura?” year that was: a modest medley of medievalism, books, poetry, and (of course) gargoyles.

Medievalism flourishes! A new book explored the link between Renaissance fairs and the American counterculture, while tapestry-born unicorns popped up in a 1959 brassiere advertisement. This blog also posed a question fit for Grant Wood: What’s so “Gothic” about American Gothic?

Medievalism wanders! In my home state of New Jersey, a glorious house begat a weird fantasy world and post-Sandy medievalism settled over the Jersey Shore. We discovered a towering reminder of medieval Italy in downtown Baltimore and heard medieval echoes at a cemetery in Staunton, Virginia, and I concluded that I live in Washington’s most medieval-ish neighborhood.

Behold the gargoyles! I looked up to find gargoyles in rural Maryland. A famous Notre Dame grotesque showed up at baggage claim in a Colorado airport, while one of his cousins loomed from the facade of a Delaware pharmacy.

It was also an atypically Tolkien-heavy year. We looked into the newly published poem The Fall of Arthur, asked “What hath Gandalf to do with Methodism?,” and appreciated George Stephens, a “pioneering, erratic, and irascible” minor scholar in Tolkien’s shadow.

Translations abound! I dug up medieval radishes in Latin verse, tried in vain to translate untranslatable Latin, and worked to discern the tone in a short poem praising Charlemagne’s son.

P-p-p-poetry! This blog paid tribute to the late John Hollander and defended the much-maligned poetry expert “Dr. J. Evans Pritchard, Ph.D.” My favorite book of the year was Thaliad by Marly Youmans, a remarkable post-apocalyptic epic poem, and I kicked off what I hope will be a new tradition: writing an annual Christmas poem.

No matter whyever or whence-ever you visit this site, whether you leave comments or simply browse in bemused silence, I’m grateful for your inquisitive eyeballs! Please stick around for a (hopefully) more prolific new year; there’s always something left to say.

7 thoughts on ““Meeting as the tall ships do, passing in the channel…”

  1. I should have already obtained my copy (so I apologize here and elsewhere to the author), but you have become the nudge that I have needed to obtain and read Thaliad by Marly Youmans. Again, thanks go out to you, and an apology for my belatedness goes out to Marly.

    BTW, I enjoy what you are doing on your blog. Keep it up!

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  2. Well, I’m very glad that 2013 was the year I discovered your blog, which does much to satisfy my ever present but often fussy appetite for things mediaeval and related, proving that, though traffic is rather reduced and rarefied, blogging can still yield new treasures.

    Happy New Year

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  3. I loved Looking Up when I read it early this year, and I hope my niece enjoys it too – I’m giving it to her for Christmas. 2014 will be my year to read Ralph the Collier. Thanks for a great year, and great year to come!

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  4. Ah, so nice to see friends–I hope some of them came here via the recommendation. One likes to imagine that people might actually follow a recommendation, after all… But perhaps it’s all self-delusion!

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