Author Archives: interestingliterature

The Best Worst Book Titles: How to Avoid Huge Ships

In this week’s Dispatches from The Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle enjoys some of the best funny book titles courtesy of How to Avoid Huge Ships

Old Tractors and the Men Who Love Them. How to Avoid Huge Ships. How Green Were the Nazis? Highlights of the History of Concrete. The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America. What to Say When You Talk to Yourself. Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers. Italian Without Words. The Book of Marmalade: Its Antecedents, Its History and Its Role in the World Today. These are all genuine book titles, which are included in How to Avoid Huge Ships: And Other Implausibly Titled Books, a 2008 compendium of some of the best funny book titles over the years which I discovered in a charity shop for £1.50.

As you can imagine, books like How to Avoid Huge Ships and Other Implausibly Titled Books is exactly the kind of book that appeals here at IL Towers, although Read the rest of this entry


10 of the Best Poems about Husbands

Previously, we’ve offered poems about mothers, poems about fathers, poems for sons, and poems for daughters. Now, it’s the turn of the spouses: here, specifically, ten of the best poems for husbands, or about husbands, whether real or fictional. Some of these husband poems are tender, some are sweet, some are sad, some are humorous.

Anne Bradstreet, ‘To My Dear and Loving Husband’. Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672) was the first person in America, male or female, to have a volume of poems published. In this, one of the earliest poems in English by a wife about her husband, Bradstreet praises her ‘dear and loving husband’, whom she regards as her complement, the one who completes her. His love is more valuable to her than all the riches of the East, all the gold in the world. Her love for him, too, can never be exhausted.

Phyllis Wheatley, ‘To a Lady on the Death of Her Husband’. As Laura Linker observed in a guest blog post for us, Phillis Wheatley (1753-84) was an eighteenth-century black slave who was taught to read by her owners and went on to compose over 100 poems, Read the rest of this entry

A Short Analysis of Emily Dickinson’s ‘Wild nights! Wild nights!’

‘Wild nights – Wild nights!’ The energy and exultation with which Emily Dickinson opens this, one of her most passionately felt poems, encourages us to share the excitement and passion, or at least dares us to try to resist it. Although ‘Wild nights – Wild nights!’ is not perhaps the opening line of Emily Dickinson’s that most readily springs to readers’ minds, the poem is worthy of close analysis.

Wild nights – Wild nights!
Were I with thee
Wild nights should be
Our luxury!

Futile – the winds –
To a Heart in port –
Done with the Compass –
Done with the Chart! Read the rest of this entry