What is Self To Do? Read, That’s What

Car is acting up again.  And, self still being besieged by students assigned to write papers on poem “Like the Molave.”  Why they keep going to self’s site, even though all she’s done is quote a very short excerpt of the poem, self can’t fathom. 

Since car is not safe to drive anywhere farther than a few miles, she can’t get to Costco in Mountain View, boo.

Anyhoo, at least she’s still reading Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders.  The book is very interesting, for author John Mortimer decided to do a “prequel.”  (Who was the first to think up this word, self wonders? Was it George Lucas, when he revealed that “Star Wars,” the first movie, was actually Episode IV of a series?) Mortimer shows us Rumpole as a young man just beginning his career, when his “wig was still pristine,” and before he married She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed.

He loses his first case, and is quite dejected.  But his client’s family is absolutely enthralled.  One of them goes up to Rumpole and says:  “You did great, Mr. Rumpole!  We never had a brief who put a judge in his place the way you did.  And that speech?  It brought my wife, Brenda, near to tears.  Let’s just hope this case is the first of many you do for the Timson family.”

Rumpole, somewhat mollified, returns home to his lonely flat and opens his trusty companion, the Oxford Book of English Verse.  And finds there a favorite poem by Wordsworth, the “Old Sheep of the Lake District”  (Is this, in fact, a poem?  What a very curious title!  Anyhoo, self quotes an excerpt from the poem, below, because it seems to speak to self’s current situation as well):

For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.– Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

A barrister quoting Wordsworth! That is what self loves so much about Rumpole.

In addition, self has the September/October issue of the Women’s Review of Books. And here are a few of the highlighted articles: The Young Women Workers of China’s Export Processing Zones * Juvenile Delinquency: It Wasn’t Just for White Boys * Ida B. Wells: Barnett and the Campaign Against Lynching * Alicia Ostriker on Feminism and Poetry

Isn’t that a most fascinating list? Self thinks she will have more than enough reading material to keep her occupied and productive for the remainder of the day.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.


  1. Penny said,

    September 24, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    Love Rumpole too!!! She Who Must Be Obeyed is my mother’s nickname. (She doesn’t know this, of course!)

  2. September 24, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    What’s so interesting about this “prequel” is that you see the various women Rumpole was dating, and it doesn’t seem like the one he married was the one he liked the best! (But, of course, that comes across in the later books). Basically, She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed did all the chasing!

    I just found out John Mortimer died in January of this year, oh sadness! No more Rumpole books to look forward to!

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