“Just” a list: Ingredients for a toxic brew

Just in time for the annual appearance of children dressed up as ghosts, goblins, wizards, and witches, this “‘Just’ a list” post is from Shakespeare’s Macbeth (Act IV, scene 1), in which the three witches cook up a stew for conjuring apparitions of the dead. Suggesting the idea of a list as a container, the First Witch begins by mentioning the container for the brew; its ingredients follow.[1]

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“Just” a list: from Robert Herrick’s Hesperides

English poet Robert Herrick (1591-1674) is best known for his single, yet voluminous book of poems, Hesperides (1648), which includes such perennial favorites as “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time,” beginning with “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may”; and  “Delight in Disorder.” The collection is less well known for being, according to the Poetry Foundation, “the only major collection of poetry in English to open with a versified table of contents”: that is, with a list. Herrick gives this list the title “The Argument of His Book”: Continue reading ““Just” a list: from Robert Herrick’s Hesperides”

“Just” a list: Ovid’s gathering of trees

This post inaugurates a new Listology series entitled “’Just’ a list.” Each of the posts in this series will offer a list without commentary or analysis, just the list, which will be drawn from (or be added to) our list of literary lists. The quotation marks around “just” in the series’ title is meant to register our opinion that a list is never “just” or “merely” a list, as our posts that comment on lists always show. Timed to celebrate the grand leafing out of trees in the northeast of the US and in other regions of a similar latitude, our selection for this inaugural post in the “’Just’ a list” series is the list of trees that concludes Ovid’s story of Orpheus in his Metamorphoses.

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