Liberal Arts Blog — Louise May Alcott (1832–1888): A Collage (Orion) for Valentine’s Day

John Muresianu
3 min readFeb 7, 2023

Liberal Arts Blog — Tuesday is the Joy of Literature, Language, Religion, and Culture Day

Today’s Topic: Louise May Alcott (1832–1888): A Collage (Orion) for Valentine’s Day

Or you might call it a bouquet of roses. Or tulips. Whatever your favorite flower is. If you absolutely love a writer, what better gift to a loved one than making a bouquet of your favorite lines? Picking favorite lines can be like picking a favorite child. It might feel wrong. A violation. But life is harsh. No tough decisions — no bouquet. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.

ORION’S BELT — Alnilam (center), Alnitak (right), Mintaka (left)

1. “Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents, grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.” (opening line of Little Women)

2. “She is too fond of reading. It has turned her brain.”

3. “I like good strong words that mean something.”

THE TWO UPPER STARS — Betelgeuse (right) and Bellatrix (left)

1. “I am not afraid of storms because I am learning how to sail my ship.”

2. “There are many Beths in the world, shy and quiet, sitting in corners till needed and living for others so cheerfully that no one sees the sacrifices till the little cricket on the hearth stops chirping, and the sweet, sunshiny presence vanishes, leaving silence and shadow behind.”

THE TWO LOWER STARS: Saiph (right), Rigel (left)

1. “I ask not for any crown but that which all may win, Nor try to conquer any world except the one within.”

2. “Love is a great beautifier.”

FOOTNOTE — The absolute torture of picking just seven…

1. “Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success.”

2. “You don’t need scores of suitors. You need only one… if he’s the right one.”

3. “Some people seemed to get all sunshine, and some all shadow…”

NB: “You are the gull, Jo, strong and wild, fond of the storm and the wind, flying far out to sea, and happy all alone.”

PS: Have you seen all six film versions of “Little Women”? If so, which is your favorite? why?

Louisa May Alcott — Wikipedia

Louisa May Alcott Quotes (Author of Little Women)

Little Women — Wikipedia

Orchard House — Wikipedia

Greta Gerwig Gave ‘Little Women’ a Totally Different Ending Than It Had in the Book

Proper right and proper left — Wikipedia

QUOTE OF THE MONTH:

“In my walks, every man I meet is in some way my superior and in that I can learn of him.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

ATTACHMENTS BELOW:

#1 A graphic guide to justice (9 metaphors on one page).

#2 “39 Songs, Prayers, and Poems: the Keys to the Hearts of Seven Billion People” — Adams House Senior Common Room Presentation, 11/17/20

PDF with headlines — Google Drive

YOUR TURN

Please share the coolest thing you learned this week related to words, language, literature, religion, culture. Or, even better, the coolest or most important thing you learned in your life related to Words, Language, Literature (eg. quotes, poetry, vocabulary) that you have not yet shared.

This is your chance to make someone else’s day. Or to cement in your own mind something that you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than otherwise about something dear to your heart. Continuity is key to depth of thought.

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John Muresianu

Passionate about education, thinking citizenship, art, and passing bits on of wisdom of a long lifetime.