Monday, 23 April 2012

A-Z Blogging Challenge -"U"

Hi and welcome to my site!

As a very young girl I lived with my paternal grandmother for three formative years. Being an enthusiastic teacher and lover of words, she invariably had quotations written all over the house... literally. On the backs of cupboard doors, on calendars, napkins or wherever she happened to be.  With this in mind I am finding the authors, in alphabetical sequence, of many of her favorite quotations and am adding some of those that are special to my family as well.  Hope you enjoy!

The full size  piece of plywood used for the 

Although there are numerous authors that start with the letter "U", Robert Upton, Johann Karl Unger , John Updike, to name a few, I am using this opportunity to share a piece of poetry that has fascinated me for many, many years. I did, indeed, learn it from my grandmother, but it was reinforced by my father, who was also a great fan.  I have inserted different parts of it in "Google" but have been unsuccessful in finding the author. Please make me aware if you know who wrote this. In the meantime it is "Unknown"

It is important to note that  in his later years at home, my Dad, who suffered from  Emphysema, or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, always found ways to pass his time.  One of these ways was to "burn" letters on wood, one dot at a time, using only a magnifying glass and the sun. He possessed patience and a steady hand, neither of which  was passed  on to me!
 Over the years I have read and recited it hundreds of times and every time I find something else that  points out the ironies and cold hard facts of life.

The Unknown

Heaven in her mercy, hides the Book of Fate
All but the page prescribed, our present state.

From beasts what man doth know, from man what spirits know
Or who could endure being here below.

The lamb thy riot doomed shall die today
Had he thy wisdom, would he skip and play?

Nay! Pleased to the last he crops the flowery food
And licks the hand just raised to shed his blood.

Close up view of  the work involved.

Over the years, Dad made several wood burnings and gave to other members of my family, but this is my favorite.


  1. This is so touching! I can almost see Dad sitting on the veranda, with the sun at his back and magnifying glass in hand,as he carefully and patiently burned out each letter.

    If one letter wasn't dark enough, or deep enough into the wood, he's wipe it of with a rag and re-burn it to make it stand out more. Thanks for posting this and for the great memory.

    I too treasure mine.

    Kathy at Oak Lawn Images

    1. Thanks, Kathy. Those were the exact thoughts I "saw" when doing this letter.
      Patricia, Sugar & Spice & All Things ? Nice

  2. I can picture that too Kathy, he was a very patient and kind man. He was so sick but never complained. Thanks for the post Pat and for the nice memories.

    1. Thanks for the nice comment, Monica. You are right, I never heard him complain and always tried to smile! :-)

  3. Wood burnings are cool :) I made a few in High School.

    Happy A to Z-ing!

  4. Nice to have the memento :)
    #51 Following

  5. I can't believe he made that with a magnifying glass and the sun. It's amazing. And some beautiful words too!

    1. Thanks, Julie. Dad was an amazing person and I miss him.
      Enjoy the rest of the challenge
      Patricia, Sugar & Spice & All Things ? Nice