Vulpes Libris

A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.

Ulysses by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

And this gray spirit yearning in desire To follow knowledge like a sinking star, Beyond the utmost bound of human thought. ~o~O~o~ Much of Tennyson’s finest poetry is informed by … Continue reading

November 8, 2017 · 2 Comments

Poems from Oby, by George MacBeth

A few weeks ago I shared here my discovery that the tiny settlement of Oby in the Norfolk Broads had a dual literary heritage – the setting for Sylvia Townsend … Continue reading

May 15, 2017 · 2 Comments

Poetry Week on VL

Welcome to our 9th Annual Poetry Week! It’s the week every spring where Vulpes Libris highlights the undervalued art of verse. This year we have a bit more of a … Continue reading

May 14, 2017 · 2 Comments

Rude and rowdy Roman poets

Guest reviewer Colin Fisher has been reading Roman poetry ….  We all, I am sure, have images of Ancient Rome – the Empire and the city. Mine are probably a … Continue reading

August 28, 2015 · Leave a comment

Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost

This poem is probably most familiar from S.E. Hinton’s first teen novel The Outsiders and the later film based upon it. I was aware of the poem before that, but … Continue reading

May 19, 2014 · 4 Comments

Poetry Week on VL

Welcome to our 6th Annual Poetry Week! Every Spring we celebrate this overlooked art form and we continue that tradition. This year we have very famous poets and some unfamiliar … Continue reading

May 18, 2014 · Leave a comment

How to take a poem apart

First, why do this? Because if you can find the poem’s structure, you’ll know more about it. You’ll know what the poet was working from when she was fitting the … Continue reading

June 11, 2013 · 8 Comments

Medieval Irish Love Poem

My love is no short year’s sentence. It is a grief lodged under the skin, Strength pushed beyond its bounds; The four quarters of the world, The highest point of … Continue reading

May 20, 2013 · 6 Comments

The Romantics weren’t all boys

Imagine a conventional literary scene: men and women writing, arguing, publishing, in ‘creative dialogue’ with each other, as the textbooks have it, and selling well, or less well, or struggling. … Continue reading

June 21, 2012 · 12 Comments

“Often rebuked …” by Emily Brontë?

A Question of Attribution Often rebuked, yet always back returning To those first feelings that were born with me, And leaving busy chase of wealth and learning For idle dreams … Continue reading

June 20, 2012 · 8 Comments

The Ballad of the Harp Weaver by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Poetry, for me, is an emotional thing. I ignore all that stuff about meter and grammar, and react purely on how it makes me feel. That may be an uneducated … Continue reading

June 18, 2012 · 6 Comments

Poetry Week: ‘Love Bade Me Welcome’ and ‘Virtue’ by George Herbert.

It was singing in two contrasting choral pieces by Vaughan Williams recently that sent me back to the 17th century poet and divine George Herbert. I sang in the choir … Continue reading

May 19, 2011 · 11 Comments

Poetry Week on Vulpes Libris

Welcome to the Third Annual Poetry Week here on VL! This year we have a wide range of styles, time periods and themes, from the silly to the serious. So … Continue reading

May 15, 2011 · 2 Comments

Funeral Blues by W.H. Auden

For Valentine’s Day Most people will recognize this poem as the one John Hannah so stirringly recited in the film “Four Weddings and a Funeral”. It probably conveys the most … Continue reading

February 14, 2011 · 12 Comments



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  • (The header image is from Aesop's Fables, illustrated by Francis Barlow (1666), and appears courtesy of the Digital and Multimedia Center at the Michigan State University Libraries.)