Noor Inayat Khan and the SOE
The other day I pulled together some resources for those who might be interested in finding out about Noor Inayat Khan, a female SOE agent during WWII. As I mentioned in the post itself, I am far from an expert in this field, so if you have more resources to suggest, please let me know!
From the post: “In the end, it’s easy to get hung up on the romantic details of Noor Inayat Khan’s short life. But what strikes me is her bravery, her resourcefulness, and her sheer toughness in the face of conditions that would overwhelm most people.”
"Accepting rebuke, he relapsed into silence, while she studied his half-averted face. Considered generally, as a facade, it was by this time tolerably familiar to her, but now she saw details, magnified as it were by some glass in her own mind. The flat setting and fine scroll-work of the ear, and the height of the skull above it. The glitter of close-cropped hair where the neck-muscles lifted to meet the head. A minute sickle-shaped scar on the left temple. The faint laughter-lines at the corner of the eye and the droop of the lid at its outer end. The gleam of gold down on the cheekbone. The wide spring of the nostril. An almost imperceptible beading of sweat on the upper lip and a tiny muscle that twitched the sensitive corner of the mouth, the slight sun-reddening of the fair skin and its sudden whiteness below the base of the throat The little hollow above the points of the collarbone.
He looked up; and she was instantly scarlet, as though she had been dipped in boiling water. Through the confusion of her darkened eyes and drumming ears some enormous bulk seemed to stoop over her. Then the mist cleared. His eyes were riveted upon the manuscript again, but he breathed as though he had been running."
Scots, wha hae wi’ Wallace bled,
Scots, wham Bruce has aften led;
Welcome to your gory bed,
Or to victorie!
Now’s the day, and now’s the hour;
See the front o’ battle lour:
See approach proud Edward’s pow’r—
Chains and slaverie!
Wha will be a traitor-knave?
Wha can fill a coward’s grave?
Wha sae base as be a slave!
Let him turn and flee!
Wha for Scotland’s king and law
Freedom’s sword will strongly draw,
Freeman stand, or freeman fa’,
Let him follow me!
By oppression’s woes and pains!
By our sons in servile chains!
We will drain our dearest veins,
But they shall be free!
Lay the proud usurpers low!
Tyrants fall in every foe!
Liberty’s in every blow!—
Let us do or die!
- Robert Burns, “Bruce to His Men at Bannockburn”
This has been stuck in my head all day, probably because of the news. (Not a political declaration! Just an earworm! I don’t know enough to have a political opinion.)
"I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain—and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light."
-Robert Frost, “Acquainted with the Night”
It was rainy last night and I kept thinking of this poem and its almost elegaic feel.
Favorite Authors: RJ Anderson
I’ve been doing a series on my favorite authors, and the latest post is about R.J.Anderson. A Canadian author of mg and YA SFF, fellow Sounisian and Lord Peter Wimsey fan, RJ writes some great books which you should definitely check out.
"Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun."
-WB Yeats, “Song of the Wandering Aengus”
Look, I know the gender stuff here is super iffy, but I can never not love Yeats, even when I completely disagree with him.