Of course it is the books and comics that interest me most, 99% French language, and it is especially interesting to see so many famous authors in translation from English. At one stall I noticed some 40 Agatha Christie titles but current and past big name authors were well represented.I also noticed a pair of Laurel and Hardy bookshelves which I would have snapped up were we not so far from home and with ongoing luggage weight worries.
I also stumbled on to a stall being run by an English couple who live in the district where I picked up a copy of Feet on the Ground - An Approach to Modern Verse by Margaret J. O'Donnell Pub. Blackie in 1946 and reprinted 23 times before this 1963 edition. It cost me the equivalent of NZ80 cents.
Here are a couple of verses of poems committed to memory all those years ago that appear in my purchase:
NOD - Walter De La Mare
Softly along the road of evening,
In a twighlight dim with rose,
Wrinkled with age, and drenched with dew,
Old Nod, the shepherd goes.
CARGOES - John Masefield
Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack
Butting through the Channel in the mid mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays
TARANTELLA - Hilaire Belloc
Do you remember an Inn,
Do yo remember an inn?
And the tedding and the spreading
of the straw for a bedding,
And the fleas that tease in the high Pyrenees,
And the wine that tasted of tar?
And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteers
(Under the vine of the dark verandah)?
LEISURE - W.H.Davies
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait til her mouth can
Enrich that smile that her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
"W.H.Davies......pre-eminently the poet of simplicity; in words almost all of one syllable, he sets forth his simple philosophy".
The Bookman suggests it is a philosophy we might all consider...............