Thursday, September 29, 2011

Happy New Year 5772!

Happy New Year to all my Jewish friends. I've included some new Shanah Tova greeting cards from my collection. These were published somewhere around 1900-1920 by the Williamsburg Art Company. Each has the Hebrew inscription "L'Shana Tova Tikatavu" which roughly translates into "May you be inscribed in the Book of Life for a good year." The other wording on the postcards is in the Yiddish language, however I have translations for only a few of the over 100 different cards in my collection. Any Yiddish speakers out there want to translate?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Poetry and a Hurricane

Here in New England we are just wrapping up with Hurricane Irene, only to be walloped in Connecticut once again with inches and inches of rain over the past few days. A fitting card for this week is an excerpt from the poem, "The Lighthouse," by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

The card has a view of White Head, which I'm guessing is near the Whitehead lighthouse near Camden, Maine, commissioned in 1803 by the U.S. Congress.

The poem is about a dozen stanzas long, with the one above somewhere in the middle. It is very typical of Longfellow's poetry: lyrical, full of symbolism and romanticism, and having mass appeal to his fans in the mid-1800's. If you're not familiar with Longfellow, you're probably familiar with some of the lines he made famous, including "footprints on the sands of time," "By the shores of Gitchee-Gumee," and "Into each life some rain must fall." Well, I'd say we've had more than "some" this round!