“A Dream Within a Dream” by Edgar Allan Poe

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, on 19 January 1809, Edgar Allan Poe is widely recognised as one of the seminal voices of the American literature. Best known as the master of the macabre, his writings are very diverse, including numerous short stories, essays, and poems. Almost two centuries after his death, his Dark Romanticist writings continue …

A poem for the New Year: “Ring Out, Wild Bells” by Lord Alfred Tennyson

Last time we had a poem by Lord Alfred Tennyson here on the blog, it was his lovely short piece “The Owl”. In this post I’d like to present “Ring Out, Wild Bells”: it’s a classic New Year’s Eve poem, filled with good wishes and hopeful pleas. First published in 1850, it addresses everything from …

Do you know how many beans make five? – Expressions with the word ‘bean’

There are many different kinds of beans, from kidney beans and string beans to pinto and lima beans. Apart from being the key ingredient in many popular dishes all over the world, did you know that beans also happen to be an ingredient in a number of phrases and idioms in English? Let’s learn a …

Sumer is icumen in!

I haven’t blogged much about the history of the English language, but the arrival of summer is just begging for a quick introduction to something called Middle English. It's a form of English spoken in the Middle Ages, between the 11th and the 16th century. During that period, Old English underwent massive changes that eventually …