Here at Books We Love, we love books. We love writing them, we love talking about them, and most of all we love sharing them with our readers. Welcome book lovers, here you will find original content written by the member authors of the Books We Love publishing community. Visit us at www.bookswelove.net and enter our latest contest
For nearly two decades Emily Pauline Johnson, known by her
stage name as Tekahionwake, thrilled audiences at the turn of the century
across Canada and Europe with her recitals. Born half native Mohawk and Caucasian
in Brantford Ontario. Although more white than native, by Canadian law she was
classed as a native.
Her father was head chief of the six nations tribes and her
mother of pure English bloodlines. Their marriage shocked Canadian society, at
the time in the late 1800’s. Pauline went on to continue that wave of awe
during her stage performances with many of her plays and poetry stood up for
native beliefs, unheard of in her time.
Her health, precarious as a child,
led to her early death in Vancouver where she died of breast cancer at an early
middle age in 1913. Pauline grew up devouring poetry and read most of
Shakespeare, Longfellow and Byron, among others. One night her lucky break
occurred when she was part of a Canadian authors reading night. She recited a
poem about the plight of the Indian’s side of the North-west rebellion, titled
‘A cry From An Indian Wife’. The assembled crowd went nuts and she was the only
one to be given an encore. From there Pauline Johnson went on publish several
books of poetry and tour Europe and North America for nearly two decades.
All her poems, recitals and comedy sketches she wrote and
produced at a time when the country was still in its infancy and women were not
known, for the most part, to take control of their own lives. While not really
classed as a feminist, she was proud of her native heritage.
Most of the time she toured the country in rickety horse
drawn buggies, slept at flea bitten hotels, or worse in sheds. Although on one
trip to the log mile houses of BC she was treated so well Pauline was quoted as
saying ‘slept like a baby, laughed like a child and ate like a lumberjack’. In
many towns where the populations were less than the cows surrounding it, word
would spread like wild fire and soon people would be packing into the place.
She also attracted the attention of many famous people, presidents, prime
ministers and dined with royalty while in London.
She eventually befriended Joseph Capilano, the Squamish
chief, at the time, which lead to the publishing of the book ‘Legends of
Vancouver’, detailing many of Vancouver area oral stories.
The streets of Vancouver were lined with hundreds of people
for her funeral procession. A memorial built to honor her in Stanley Park now
sits now mainly forgotten under a stand of trees next to the Teahouse
For those who love poetry, I’ve condensed below her
most famous poem, ‘The Song My Paddle Sings’.
West wind, blow from
your prairie nest, Blow from the mountains, blow from the west
The sail is idle, the
sailor too; O! wind of the west, we wait for you. Blow, blow!
I have wooed you so, But
never a favour you bestow.
You rock your cradle
the hills between, But scorn to notice my white lateen.
I stow the sail,
unship the mast: I wooed you long but my wooing's past;
My paddle will lull
you into rest. O! drowsy wind of the drowsy west,
Sleep, sleep, By your
mountain steep, Or down where the prairie grasses sweep!
Now fold in slumber
your laggard wings,
For soft is the song
my paddle sings. August is laughing across the sky,
paddle, canoe and I, Drift, drift,
Where the hills
uplift, On either side of the current swift.
The river rolls in
its rocky bed; My paddle is plying its way ahead;
Dip, dip, While the
water flip In foam as over their breast we slip.
And oh, the river
runs swifter now; The eddies circle about my bow. Swirl, swirl!
How the ripples curl,
In many a dangerous pool awhirl! And forward far the rapids roar,
Fretting their margin
for evermore. Dash, dash, With a mighty crash,
They seethe, and
boil, and bound, and splash. Be strong, O paddle! be brave, canoe!
The reckless waves
you must plunge into. Reel, reel.
On your trembling
keel, But never a fear my craft will feel.
We've raced the
rapid, we're far ahead! The river slips through its silent bed.
Sway, sway, As the
And fall in tinkling
tunes away. And up on the hills against the sky,
A fir tree rocking
its lullaby, Swings, swings,
Its emerald wings,
Swelling the song that my paddle sings.
A Master Passion - A Founder's Marriage Angelica, older sister to Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, was a piece of work. Perhaps you've met someone like her--enchanting, intelligent, daring, filled with boundless energy, bubbling over with wit. She was also a champagne tastes kind of gal who brought the party along with her, brightening any room she entered. Men and women alike adored her. She had admirers not only in America, but in France and in Britain, too, among them the leading lights of the time. The French Statesman Talleyrand, the Whig Leader, Charles Fox, the play-write Richard Brinsley Sheridan, as well as Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, and the Marquis de Lafayette were among the many luminaries who fell beneath her spell. We can no longer see the glamor in this picture of her and her first child, painted by Trumbull. Fashions in beauty change. In one letter to his father-in-law, Hamilton speaks of Angelica and his wife Elizabeth as "our b…
As a writer
I know the power of words, and I’m constantly searching for the right words to
make my stories live. But recently I discovered the word “feminism” has been
misunderstood. I had no idea until daughter Andrea received a rude response
after she admitted she was a feminist. Made me wonder, why has this word been
demonized? Dictionary.com defines feminism as “advocating social,
political, legal and economic rights for women equal to those of men.”
Merriam-Webster has a similar definition. The term feminism originated in 19 century
France, I learned. A second-wave began in the United States during the early 1960s
with Betty Friedan’s book The Feminine
Mystique. Friedan wrote this book after talking with friends, who had
given up their careers to become housewives. These women felt unfulfilled in
their domestic roles, Friedan claimed. She blamed women’s magazines, run by men,
for encouraging women to become mothers and housewives, rather than career
women. A dif…
I grew up in
an engineering family and worked many years at Boeing. There, great flying
machines are built to stay in the air for literally hours and hours and jet halfway around the world without refueling. This is well engineered
stuff. With that in
mind, I’ve always considered the human body a high maintenance machine. It is
fragile and can’t take much without breaking down. It must regenerate (sleep) for
a huge amount of its shelf-life. It requires hours of upkeep, always needs wiping
down or, over the years, completely submersed in water with gallons of soap.
The human body must be constantly refueled which produces prodigious amounts of
venting waste. This turns out to be an expensive, never ending maintenance slog.
have thunk this a good design? Not me. I’d really like a conversation with the
designer and tell him my thoughts on how the human body could be improved. But
with that conversation unlikely, I’ll have to stew over poor engineering. Let’s take
one of the abo…