SAFARI seems to no longer work
for comments...use another browser?

Friday, January 01, 2021

Year ends, year begins

(CC by 2.0, Tim Reckmann at Wikipedia via flicker) 

Good wishes, plus a polkadot jot...

Indulgent feast with progeny save the one stranded in Montreal, much champagne, a game of Catan, and much pot-beating to chase away the annus horribilis! Happy new year, friends, and have a marvelous trip around the sun in 2021.

The polkadot jot of caution

The very late P. G. Wodehouse for early 2021: "I’m not absolutely certain of the facts, but I rather fancy it’s Shakespeare who says that it’s always just when a fellow is feeling particularly braced with things in general that Fate sneaks up behind him with the bit of lead piping." 


                                                   Image by Helen Montague Prichard Foster


Lists for Year's End

Stephen J. Anderson at Medium
"2020: A Few of My Favorite Things"
5 January 2021
I think this book will become a classic. It should, at any rate. It’s an epic set in early colonial North America, full of danger, devils, mythical beasts, wilderness, splendid 17th century vocabulary, and of grace. Charis comes of age in an untamed time in a world of wonders. Everything about it fits. More people need to know about this book.

"What we read (and loved) this past year"
30 December 2020
Rosemary Callenberg, Associate Editor: My favorite work of fiction this year was Charis in the World of Wonders, by Marly Youmans. This novel was beautiful. The language was rich and poetic without ever crossing the line into 'too much,' and I felt a great sense of intimacy with the main character in both her struggles and joys.

December 2020
"Twelve Important Fiction Books of 2020"
December 2020
Description and excerpt.

“The Best Books I Read in 2020"
18 December 2020
Catherine Harmon: Charis in the World of Wonders by Marly Youmans. A close contender for my favorite book of the year. Like Eifelheim, this novel also treats its historical setting and characters with respect—Youmans’ 17th-century men and women are recognizable to us in their humanity, with faults, foibles, and virtues we can see in ourselves and those around us, but they are also, clearly, the inhabitants of a time very different from our own, from which we can learn much. Youmans’ “World of Wonders” is a grace-filled, sacramentally-charged landscape that reminded me of Flannery O’Connor’s world, different as it is in time and place.

John Wilson, "A Year of Reading: 2020" 
26 November 2020
Youmans’s latest novel, one of her best, is set in 17th-century Puritan New England. My copy is a thicket of Post-it Notes. Here I will simply repeat what I wrote for the back of the book: “Charis in the World of Wonders confirms once more Marly Youmans’ place among the magi. There is indeed ‘a dark and amazing intricacy in Providence,’ as this spellbinding novel attests.”



Thanks to editor Patrick Key for an acceptance on the first of January--a good start to 2021! And today the poems are up:  After the Pandemonium, George Herbert, and Child with a Bird Shrine. And if you want more, check out Reverie, Silk, and Metamorphoses in the October issue. Nonce stanzas, Herbertian stanzas, poulter's measure, blank verse... Happy 10th day of Christmas!

Updatery, again...

A bit of Burne-Jones for Epiphany  (PD Wikimedia Commons)

All I can do for a chaotic, upside down world is to add my daily jot of making to the sum of beauty, truth, and goodness in the world. And we may all add our mites to that strange and marvelous sum because each of us is homo faber, the maker who can transform self and world.

Manuscript page with an image of Christine Pizan writing, 
The Book of the Queen, c. 1410, 
British Library, public domain.


  1. Here's to a happier, healthier 2021, Marly! (After midnight, when I had some quiet time to myself, I began reading The Book of the Red King. Because of my own projects, I fell behind on your work, but now I am endeavoring to catch up...)

    1. Oh, thank you for reading, Jeff! And I'm looking forward to the fruits of those endeavors!

  2. Wow, Marly. "Charis in the World of Wonders" has become ne favorite book. I'm almost through it. I was given it for Christmas. Thank you.

    1. Hope you enjoy the last bit of the journey! Thank you! That makes me glad...

  3. I'm going to read all your stuff now!

    1. Roalgeroc, that's my favorite sort of response to a book... and thank you for that! Happy reading! People say that I never do the same thing twice, so...hold on to your hat!


Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.