The Anglo-Saxon pit-house was a big step backward from the Roman villa

Cross-posted from The Brothers Brick.

I just finished reading Peter Heather’s excellent The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians. After my visit to Room 49 in the British Museum a couple summers ago, I wrote in my Moleskine “Post-Roman Britain=Post-Apoc.”

So, does this diorama by Harry Russell (Karrde) featuring an Anglo-Saxon pit-house fall under ApocaLEGO?

LEGO Anglo-Saxon Pit-House

Nah. But I’ll use any excuse to blog an archaeologically inclined LEGO model.

(Hat-tip to Legobloggen for helping me to catch up after a busy, busy month.)

Speedboat to Polynesia!

Cross-posted from The Brothers Brick.

From Madagascar to Rekohu and from Hawai’i to the South Island of Aotearoa, the people we know today as Austronesians have occupied more of the surface of our planet than nearly any other group of related human beings.

This remarkable ocean-going culture expanded at an astonishing rate across the Pacific and Indian Oceans, resulting in hundreds of scenes like the one illustrated in LEGO microscale by Eldert (evhh):

LEGO outriggers and island

The volcanic island dwarfs the tiny outrigger canoes, and for me symbolizes human ingenuity in the face of what might appear to be insurmountable odds. It’s achievements like this that make me proud to be human, and makes it easy to imagine tiny outrigger spaceships arriving on the shores of a distant island in the sky not too far in the future…

(Post title courtesy Jared Diamond in Guns, Germs, And Steel.)

“The Great Order of the Universe” turns out to be LEGO

Cross-posted from The Brothers Brick.

I’m a little bit behind on my poetry journals, so I was very pleased to receive a link from Vito to an item featured in the current issue of Poetry Magazine.

The Great Order of the Universe by Christian Bok

The text on the left is a translation of a section from “The Great Order of the Universe” by Greek philosopher Democritus and the text on the right is from the 1959 LEGO brick patent by Godtfred Kirk Christiansen. The two texts are anagrams.

Now, my inner poet was rather disappointed that Christian Bök beat me to a LEGO-themed item in a major poetry journal. Sadly, my pair of poems published in Prairie Schooner last year were free of little plastic bricks. I take some consolation in the fact that Bök’s piece is in the “Flarf & Conceptual Writing” section. Perhaps I can write that Great LEGO Poem yet.

I’m glad I’m not the only LEGO fan who also reads Poetry, Vito.

Wind, bird, and tree / Water, grass, and light…

Cross-posted from The Brothers Brick.

It’s not often I attempt to honor someone I’ve actually met in real life as a LEGO minifig.

Earlier this year, I took a class at Richard Hugo House from one of my favorite poets, David Wagoner. I spent ten weeks listening to David’s stories about studying under Theodore Roethke and his friendships with poets as diverse as Dylan Thomas and Richard Hugo (the poet whose name graces Hugo House). I also learned a lot about my craft — David’s feedback helped me truly grow as a writer.

Adding to my other Northwest poet minifigs, here’s David in LEGO form:

You can read some of David’s poems on Poets.org.