Saturday, 31 January 2015


Risultati immagini per spring tree

Risultati immagini per tree in autumn

Risultati immagini per the months in the trees

"January cold and desolate;
February dripping wet;
March wind ranges;
April changes;
Birds sing in tune
To flowers of May,
And sunny June
Brings longest day;
In scorched July
The storm-clouds fly,
August bears corn,
September fruit;
In rough October
Earth must disrobe her;
Stars fall and shoot
In keen November;
And night is long
And cold is strong
In bleak December."

Thursday, 29 January 2015


The Book Thief  is one of the most moving movies I have ever seen, one of those rare ones you treasure forever especially because it is about the power of words to make worlds.
Dealing with the horrors of World War II as well as the magic and healing powers of books, it is the chilling yet heart-warming tale of  a young girl living with her adoptive family in Nazi Germany. Taught to read by her benevolent foster father, the girl begins "borrowing" books and sharing them with the Jewish refugee being sheltered by her adoptive parents in their home. 
Here  and here you can read some good reviews of this beautiful movie.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015


Without memory, there is no culture. Without memory, there would be no civilization, no society, no future.
Elie Wiesel

Read here.

Monday, 26 January 2015


The Present Continuous is used:
  • to talk about actions and things that are happening now
  • with these words: now, at the moment, at present, at this time
  • to talk about future arrangements
  • with these words: later, tonight, tomorrow, this weekend, next week, next month, on Monday, in July 
Click here to find lots of exercises on the Present Continuous. 

Sunday, 25 January 2015


Today is Virginia Woolf's birthday! She  was born Adeline Virginia Stephen at 22 Hyde Park Gate in London on 25 January 1882.
Click here to discover everything about the life and legacy of Virginia Woolf whose works are of great importance in the history of the novel because of her experiments with narration, characterisation and style which classify her among the great modernists.

Saturday, 24 January 2015


"No one is so completely disenchanted with the world, or knows it so thoroughly, or is so utterly disgusted with it, that when it begins to smile upon him he does not become partially reconciled to it."

Friday, 23 January 2015


Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts on 19 January 1809. His parents, both professional actors, died before the poet was three years old, and John and Frances Allan raised him as a foster child in Richmond, Virginia. John Allan, a prosperous tobacco exporter, sent Poe to the best boarding schools and later to the University of Virginia, where Poe excelled academically. However he was forced to leave the university when Allan refused to pay his gambling debts. Poe returned briefly to Richmond, but his relationship with Allan deteriorated. In 1827, he moved to Boston and enlisted in the United States Army. His first collections of poems were published, but they didn't receive significant critical or public attention. Following his Army service, Poe was admitted to the United States Military Academy, but he was again forced to leave for lack of financial support. He then moved into the home of his aunt Maria Clemm and her daughter Virginia in Baltimore, Maryland.
Poe began to sell short stories to magazines at around this time, and, in 1835, he became the editor of the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond, where he moved with his aunt and cousin Virginia. In 1836, he married Virginia, who was fourteen years old at the time. Over the next ten years, Poe  established himself as a poet, a short story writer, and an editor. He published some of his best-known stories and poems, including “The Fall of the House of Usher", "The Tell-Tale Heart", "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", "The Oval Portrait""The Black Cat" and "The Raven". After Virginia’s death from tuberculosis in 1847, Poe’s lifelong struggle with depression and alcoholism worsened. He returned briefly to Richmond in 1849 and then set out for an editing job in Philadelphia. For unknown reasons, he stopped in Baltimore. On 3 October  1849, he was found in a state of semi-consciousness. Poe died four days later of “acute congestion of the brain.” The circumstances of his death remain obscure.
Poe’s work had a profound impact on American and European literature. He was one of the first critics to focus primarily on the effect of style and structure in a literary work. His stories mark him as one of the originators of both horror and detective fiction. Many anthologies credit him as "the father of the modern short story". In his view, a short story can be read "at one sitting", it must develop a single effect and all details that don't bring about that effect should be omitted. As a poet, Poe believed that a poem should not teach, but convey beauty, of which love is the highest expression, in consequence he has been seen as a forerunner to the “art for art’s sake” movement. French Symbolists such as Mallarmé and Rimbaud claimed him as a literary forerunner. Baudelaire spent nearly fourteen years translating Poe into French. Today, Poe is remembered as one of the first American writers to become a major figure in world literature.

Click here to read some of Poe's most famous short stories.

Monday, 19 January 2015


Today it is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day,  a federal holiday in the United States honouring the achievements of Martin Luther King, Jr. - the most important spokesman for non-violent activism in the civil rights movement to end racial segregation. It is celebrated on the third Monday of January each year, which is close to 15 January, his birthday. Continue reading here.

Sunday, 11 January 2015


When I consider everything that grows
Holds in perfection but a little moment,
That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows
Whereon the stars in secret influence comment;
When I perceive that men as plants increase,
Cheered and check'd even by the selfsame sky,
Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease,
And wear their brave state out of memory;
Then the conceit of this inconstant stay
Sets you most rich in youth before my sight,
Where wasteful Time debateth with Decay
To change your day of youth to sullied night;
And all in war with Time for love of you,
As he takes from you, I engraft you new.

Here and here you can find a text analysis of this sonnet.

Friday, 2 January 2015


A young widow discovers that her late husband has left her ten messages intended to help ease her sorrow  and begin a new life. This film about loss and love is definitely one of my favourites! 

Here you can read a review of this touching movie. 

Thursday, 1 January 2015



There is nothing in the world more beautiful than the forest clothed to its very hollows in snow.  It is the still ecstasy of nature, wherein every spray, every blade of grass, every spire of reed, every intricacy of twig,  is clad with radiance. 
William Sharp