Books 2010

Books 2009

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Friday, 13 November 2009


Shame on you - and I thought you were an educated, nay a Renaissance, man.

"To put your money where your mouth is" means to make good your boastings - for example, if you are loudly saying that England will win the World Cup, the phrase might be used to say "if you're so sure, stop talking and bet on it" - though it's not now confined to betting at all.

What a weird and uncommon topic for a poem. No doubt a rare occurrence in poetry, but why not after all? Anyway, I prefer by far Rough Country to this poem about money, whose meaning I hardly grasp. I can't figure out what "you put it where your mouth is" actually means?

I had to use a search engine to understand the reference to "Ginnie Maes". I see that is the registered trademark of the US Government mortgage-backed security. Presumably the silly name is related to the agency's real accronym GNMA. I also remembered the recent fuss over the discovery of ten unauthorised 1933 Double Eagles which were confiscated by the US Mint! You can read the most recent news about these infamous coins here:

Anyway I liked the poem!

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  • Standing among savage scenery, the hotel offers stupendous revelations. There is a French widow in every bedroom, affording delightful prospects. (Tyrolean inn brochure, according to Gerard Hoffnung)
  • (A doctor is at an elderly relative's deathbed) "The old sawbones, eh?" he bellowed ... "Just in the nick, perhaps. Haul the old girl back by the short hairs, if you ask me. Devilish smart at his work ... Always take a fence with more confidence when I know he's out with us."
  • Too often, when a man of Monty Godkin's mental powers is plunged in thought, nothing happens at all. The machinery just whirs for a while, and that is the end of it. (P G Wodehouse, Heavy Weather)
  • ...the breed that take their pleasures as Saint Laurence took his grid (Kipling, The Five nations)

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