Last year I tore a tiny strip from the New York Times and taped it to my desktop. I meant to blog about it, the snippet of a poem by British poet Mark Ford but instead it stayed as a blogger mantra until now. All bloggers have bad days or bored, inspiration doldrums but unlike a diary under your bed, blogging online with every angsty error is forever. Well, unless the web server host isn’t paid and the Wayback Machine misses it, will remain in posterity. Or in my case, the disastrous loss of six years of content from a botched migration to WordPress.
I have no idea why the accomplished Prof. Ford who lectures at Oxford and is not on social media would write a poem about blogging, but I’m glad he did.
The entire poem can be read here. The poem inspired a photo quote but I wanted to find a suitable image to marry the words with. Enter serendipity and a verdigris aged sundial I hance on this summer from an utterly charming Victorian home: The Observatory Cottage, 407 Broadway in Draper Park in Hastings-on-Hudson N.Y. It was the home of John William Draper, took the first daguerreotypes of the moon in the winter of 1839-1840.
From their website:
The Draper Family revolutionized the way that we see the universe and our place in it. In a hand-built observatory, on a spot with “uninterrupted horizon commanded in every direction,” Henry Draper was able to shoot the clearest photos of the moon yet seen. His photos’ publication by the Smithsonian Institution inspired amateur astronomers nation- and worldwide to start grinding lenses and shooting photographs of the heavens. The former observatory was eventually remodeled into a cottage by Henry’s younger sister Antonia Draper Dixon. Today, it is home to the offices and archive of the Hastings Historical Society.