Tuesday, August 19, 2008

How This Works

Work is archived at Ana Verse since Jan. 2006. The earliest entries in real-time are a poem from 1983 and a photo from 1962. By referring to the index or using links to tagged genres, you may read along the lines of interest or view photos of the garden (which together make a narrative).

There are to date 261 entries, of which 224 are viewable & 37 listed as in draft form. If you wish to read the entire blog in the order it was written -- as a mixed-genre book -- it will help to know there are 12 display pages w/ 20 entries per page. I suggest reading the entries by the month.

Although I interspersed genres in ms. form before the internet, the weblog form has revolutionized this practice & created interesting questions about chronology not possible with print.

"Go, little book."

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A few things I'd like to remember from Russia

Peter the Great was 6'7".
St. Petersburg enjoys only 30 sunny days each year. We visited during three of them.
It stays light past 10 p.m. in July.
The Romanovs married German women.
The Romanovs married many women.
Serfs were freed by Czar Alexander two years before the American Emancipation Proclamation freed American slaves.
Bloody Sunday resulted from a peaceful protest by religious peasants.
One million died in Leningrad during the 900-day siege by the Nazis.
Peter the Great, who traveled with an entourage of 13 women, slayed his wife's lover and put his head in the square.
Lake Ladoga is the largest lake in Europe.
Onegin is the second largest lake in Europe.
Stalin secretly built a reservoir to give hydroelectric power to Moscow in 1941.
Kremlin means "fortress."
Great birch forests cover the landscape.
A ruble is a little less than a nickel.
Icons are painted on wood; frescoes are of stone.
Lacquer boxes are made of paper mache.
Vodka is taken very cold with pickles. Russian vodka is made of wheat and corn; Polish vodka is made of potatoes.
Czarina Elizabeth, daughter of Peter the Great, had expensive taste in palaces. She devoted her life to parties and to her own beauty.
Amber is a pine resin not a stone.
Rasputin washed up in a river two days after his murder by royal conspirators with the breath still in his lungs.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

St. Petersburg

We landed in St. Petersburg on Thursday and for three days we toured castles and museums and ate in terrific restaurants. We began with Catherine's Palace, built for Elizabeth, and named for her mother, Catherine, Peter the Great's second wife. The castle is famous for its ballrooms. Later, we toured churches and more castles, in particular, Peterhof, the "Russian Versailles," famous for its fountains and gardens and views of Gulf of Finland. We visited a war memorial that commemorates the 900-day siege of Leningrad by the Nazis during which 1 million residents of the city died, most of starvation. We saw Swan Lake one evening. We spent most of a day at the incredible Hermitage museum with its spectacular collection of Impressionist paintings. We finished with a private party with Russian band in a palace once owned by Russia's wealthiest family.

St. Petersburg, population 5 million, with its canal system and many rivers has been compared to Venice and is one of the world's most beautiful cities.