". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Tale of Two Blog Titles

Well, how about that? Seems Yours Truly was named Issues, Etc. Blog of the Week (along with Rev. Paul McCain at Cyberbrethren). I am honored. My sincere thanks to Issues producer Jeff Schwarz for choosing me. How do I get my badge? :-)

Just one little nitpick. When he read my post on the air, Jeff referred to my blog as Round Unvarnish'd Table (with a "b" in the last word, as in a piece of furniture). But the title of my blog is not Round Unvarnish'd Table, but Round Unvarnish'd Tale (as in story, narrative, report, yarn, vignette, anecdote, chronicle, summary, write-up . . . you get the idea).

I told Jeff not to feel bad. My blog title has been misread countless times over the years. For the longest time my mom wasn't able to find it because she kept searching for a table rather than a tale. (Which I totally understand. My dad was a handy sort who used to make all kinds of things, including furniture, but who was much more interested in functionality than aesthetics. I think we probably had several round unvarnished tables sitting around our house when I was growing up.)

Anyway, considering my recent brush with fame, I thought now would be a good time to revisit the whole blog title thing. So, everyone, repeat after me. Three times, please. "Round Unvarnish'd Tale. Round Unvarnish'd TALE. Round Unvarnish'd TALE."

Thank you. :-)

And while we're on the topic, here's a little background on how I came to name my blog. When I started blogging roughly three years ago I imagined my blog would at times have a literary angle (seeing as how I used to be an English teacher). So I wanted a title that would reflect that by having something to do with writing or speaking. What better place to look than Shakespeare? So I went digging and was reminded of this quotation from Othello:

“Rude am I in my speech,
And little bless’d with the soft phrase of peace:
For since these arms of mine had seven years’ pith,
Till now some nine moons wasted, they have used
Their dearest action in the tented field,
And little of this great world can I speak,
More than pertains to feats of broil and battle,
And therefore little shall I grace my cause
In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,
I will a round unvarnish’d tale deliver
Of my whole course of love.” —Othello, 1.3.81-91

Obviously my blog has nothing to do with the subject matter in Othello. But this quotation says sort of what I wanted to say in starting a blog. Othello is speaking to Desdemona about his wish to speak his "whole course of love" for her. But he is not sure he can do a good job because he is "rude" (common, plain, ineloquent) in speech. All he knows about is "feats of broil and battle, " not matters of the heart. So he asks her to be patient with him as he gives it his best shot, still fearing that he may little "grace" (help) his "cause" (winning her devotion) in the process.

So how do Othello's words apply to me? Well, I think I'm a decent writer, but I am limited in what I am able to write convincingly about (a novelist or playwright I am not). My little blog is pretty insignificant as blogs go, and I can't speak about much more than pertains to my own experience of the world in my everyday life (which does have its own kinds of broils and battles!). So to paraphrase, in speaking for myself (writing a blog) I may not grace my "cause" (the relating of my life) very much, but if you will grant your patience (keep reading) I hope you will find my blog to be a complete and bluntly honest ("round") and unadorned ("unvarnish'd") representation of the life of a homeschooling Lutheran literary/musical mommy type, and that every once in a while it will even offer you some encouragement and enlightenment.

Make sense?


Rev. Paul T. McCain said...


Cheryl said...

Thank you, Pastor. Congratulations to you, too (although I know you're an old pro at this Blog of the Week thing).

Susan said...

If you find out how to get your little "Blog of the Week" button for your sidebar, let me know. I never got mine either.

Dan at Necessary Roughness said...

I got two for earlier ones but not for my latest one. Guess they are pretty busy.

If you REALLY REALLY want one, let me know and I'll photoshop one up.

Susan said...

Thanks, Dan, but I don't really REALLY need one. So, did they send you the first ones? You didn't have to go ask?

Unknown said...

Now I will try to be more patient when a listener informs me that he or she has been listening for years. It's his or her favorite show. I just love "Issues & Answers."

LambertsOnline said...


Johnny "Deb" said...

Way To Go! You never brag on yourself except for your husband, my brother, and your loving children...so...BRAG ON!!!