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>Walking after Midnight

>When I can’t think of anything in particular I want to listen to on the subway for my morning commute, I ask Miss Pod to play a random selection of songs that I haven’t yet heard, an easy task since my accumulation of music is more vociferous than my listening to it (the juvenile stamp-collector retains his habits). So after hearing “Hail! Great Parent” from The Fairy Queen and “All This Time (Black Mix)” by Jonathan Peters, all of a sudden I’m listening to Coleridge’s “Frost at Midnight,” something I’m convinced Miss Pod downloaded on the sly, and probably on company time. But God bless her–what a great poem.

(But nobody beats Hazel Rochman for classy headphone listening. Her favorite in-flight entertainment is an old tape of Eliot’s Four Quartets.)

One might think that Coleridge’s wintry imagery might have put me in the mood for the morning’s task: Martha and I are assigning holiday books for review. But just imagine how different English literature might look if the person from Porlock arrived with seven different (albeit alike in their utter lack of necessity) versions of The Night before Christmas in hand. Not pretty at all, no.

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. Anonymous says:

    >This means I should change the names to everyone in my household to A. Person from Porlock.

  2. >i love Ipod surprises. I have mine on shuffle songs so I get something like this on my drive to work: Dar Williams– A Tribe Called Quest– Christopher Walken reading “The Raven”– A chapter of Pema Chodron’s teachings–Jimmie Rodgers– A chapter of Anansi Boys, Cassandra Wilson– No wonder I walk in to work so completly disorganized!

  3. >Aren’t i-Pods fun? They’re like this little bitty music toy and I could just play with them all day long. I’ve got Roger Miller, Kelley Hunt, Noa (she’s out of Israel), Queensryche, Weird Al Yankovic, Jay McShann (as far as I know he’s still alive and playing), a bunch of country music from the 60’s and 70’s including “Eastbound and Down” by Jerry Reed, and a couple of poems, though I still need to download “Underwear” by Lawrence Ferlenghetti.

    Oh, don’t forget “Nessum Dorma” by Aretha Franklin! Remember when she filled in for Pavarotti at the ’98 Grammys and just blew the doors off the building? Oh MAN. She’s awesome.

    What I like is to beg for mix CD’s from my friends and then put them in the mix. Got some chillout and some ska and some really crunchy metal that way. That’s even more fun because then I get my horizons expanded — with mix CD’s, I’m like, “Okay, if my friend really likes these songs, then I will probably like them too.” So I listen to them more.

    I get all wound up talking about music — just want to drop entire playlists into my posts, “Man, you’ve got to listen to this!” Too fun.

  4. rindamybyers says:

    >I am wondering when that old tanker “multiculturalism” is going to the car masher place? I know Roachman used it a lot because the publishers use it and every else too, but, when, please, will change come?

    I’m from two different cultures and from at least three different races….

    The term “multicultural” always makes me feel like I’m supposed to be divided up into clumps of different things, and I’m not.

    I’m interracial. I’m intercultural, a whole being, not a divided one.

    I looked up “multi” and “inter” and “intra” in the dictionary even. Just to make sure that I was right……

    Thanks as always for giveing me something USEFUL to think about…

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