…it’s noon at the office and you desperately need to get your head somewhere else; it’s Thursday after classes and you need help coming up with a topic for your next world lit essay; you’re bored out of your skull on the commuter train; your subscription to Smithsonian or The New Yorker has run out…
well, folks, you’ve come to the right place. You like The Rag Tree but think that its hundreds of posts, however interesting and beautiful, are a labyrinth you just don’t have time to negotiate. You’d love to explore if only it didn’t take so long to surf around the site.
This page is RT’s answer to your quandary. Pick one of the tours below and follow the path from post to post. Each tour is slanted towards a certain set of interests and time frame.
Tour 1. You love images and need to get away from things for 15 minutes.
Post 1. Lemur •• great photo of a lemur with fluffy white ears and beard
Post 2. Reload •• a very fine portrait of an older gentleman
Post 3. With Drops of Jupiter •• lovely hair and blue eyes
Post 4. Baby Owl •• owlet craddled gently by hand
Post 5. Window •• sweet reflection of a little girl
Post 6. Kari and Luis •• marvelous couple’s portrait
Post 7. Metaphysical Maps •• a beautiful old map
Post 8. Michael Royon •• seashells like you’ve never seen them…
Post 9. Aspects of the King •• a venerable flower
Post 10. Ying Yang •• waves, waves
Tour 2. You love poetry and need to get away for 30 minutes.
Post 1. O Sweet Spontaneous •• e.e. cummings at his most lyrical
Post 2. Euclid Alone has Looked •• Edna St. Vincent Millay’s homage to the Goddess
Post 3. The Daisy Follows Soft •• one of Emily Dickinson’s more romantic, formal poems
Post 4. Stephane Mallarme •• RT’s translation of “Apparition”
Post 5. Romeo and Juliet •• The Balcony Scene: “Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo…”
Post 6. Ode to a Nightingale •• It doesn’t get any more romantic…
Post 7. Tennyson •• “Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal” — evocative, erotic
Post 8. Poetic Tweets •• Some of RT’s favorite poet-tweeters
Post 9. Other Strangers •• An angel poem from a fine West Virginia poet
Post 10. Sappho •• RT’s translation of a powerful fragment
Tour 3. You love learning and have an hour handy…
Post 1. What’s Up? •• Hello, Madagascar!
Post 2. The K-T Event and Your Morning Cup of Coffee •• Boundary Events
Post 3. Edward Curtis •• A great and prolific photographer of American Indians
Post 4. The Elephant Bird •• The biggest bird ever– & Madagascar’s amazing ecosystem
Post 5. Gilgamesh and the Garden •• Why Gilgamesh? And RT’s new version of tablets 1-4
Post 6. Extinctions •• Forgotten languages and why they might be important
Post 7. How to Eat an Essay •• Get ready to tuck in…the delectable essay
Post 8. The Novgorod Codex •• An ancient book sheds light on Russia’s history
Post 9. Consider the Lilies •• RT’s interpretation of one of Jesus’s most beautiful teachings
Post 10. Why Write? •• Why do you write?
Tour 4. You need to sharpen your writing skills & want to have fun doing it…
Post 1. The Dragons of Grammar •• Willozoom Dragonspeare and help with grammar
Post 2. Dragonish: The Truth, Maybe the Truth, and Why are you Asking? •• Evidentiality?
Post 3. Phonetics: Surf’s Up! •• The path from speech to listening
Post 4. Words that Abduct your Audience •• “Key” and other problems
Post 5. Varmints! What to Do with Squigglies and Squeakies •• pesky umlauts & such
Post 6. Build me a Wing–the Ascent of Syntax •• Word order & feathers
Post 7. The International Phonetic Alphabet •• The world’s alphabet
Post 8. Synethesia: At Play in the Fields of Letterform •• coloring letters
Post 9. Quikscript: An English Alphabet for Everyone •• Easier, better writing
Post 10. Hangul, Literature, and Culture: What An Alphabet Can Do For You •• Featural
Tour 5. You are scholarly, poetic, or just plain curious…
Post 1. Black as a Raven, Red as Blood, White as Snow •• The wide-ranging implications of a beautiful metaphor.
Post 2. Did Jacob Climb his Ladder? •• The Elohist and his amazing stories.
Post 3. Mark & Peter: Origins of the First Gospel •• The first Gospel and recent revelations.
Post 4. The Magi •• Could the story be historical?
Post 5. Flowers •• An amazing quote from The Book of Tea.
Post 6. The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree •• RT’s reconstruction!
Post 7. The Beatitudes •• The reconstruction bug bites again.
Post 8. The Widow’s Mites •• And again!
Post 9. The Bible and the Z Revolution, Part I •• Biblical origins and the mysterious Zoroaster.
Post 10. Consider the Lilies •• RT’s take on one of his favorite Gospel passages.
& there are more tours to come… RT
Photo: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery conservator Jane Norman touching up the color over a repair on a thousand year old Chinese Buddha head. 1987. Author: John Tsantes. WikiCmns. Public Domain.