August 31, 2010

When You Come

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--Description: 21st C, Angelou M., Love, Memories, Youth--
When you come to me, unbidden,
Beckoning me
To long-ago rooms,
Where memories lie.

Offering me, as to a child, an attic,
Gatherings of days too few.
Baubles of stolen kisses.
Trinkets of borrowed loves.
Trunks of secret words,

I CRY.



Maya Angelou

--Did You Know: (born Marguerite Ann Johnson on April 4, 1928), Angelou is an American autobiographer and poet who has been called "America's most visible black female autobiographer" by scholar Joanne M. Braxton. She is best known for her series of six autobiographical volumes, which focus on her childhood and early adulthood experiences. The first, best-known, and most highly acclaimed, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), focuses on the first seventeen years of her life, brought her international recognition, and was nominated for a National Book Award. Angelou has had a long and varied career, holding jobs such as fry cook, dancer, actress, journalist, educator, television producer, and film director. She was a member of the Harlem Writers Guild in the late 1950s. She was active in the Civil Rights movement, and served as Northern Coordinator of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Angelou has been highly honored for her body of work, including being awarded over 30 honorary degrees. Read more at: Maya Angelou

--Word of the Day: orthoepy \awr-THOH-uh-pee\, noun:
1. The study of correct pronunciation.
2. The study of the relationship between the pronunciation of words and their orthography.
Example:
Another etymology, still more ancient, and sanctioned by the countenance of our ever to be-lamented Dutch ancestors, is that found in certain letters still extant, which passed between the early governors and their neighboring powers, wherein it is called indifferently Monhattoes, Munhatos, and Manhattoes, which are evidently unimportant variations of the same name; for our wise forefathers set little store by those niceties either in orthography or orthoepy, which form the sole study and ambition of many learned men and women of this hypercritical age.
-- Washington Irving, Knickerbocker's History of New York

--Quote of the Day: "What you bring forth out of yourself from the inside will save you. What you do not bring forth out of yourself from the inside will destroy you."
-- Gospel of Thomas

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August 30, 2010

Song of Fairies Robbing an Orchard

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--Description: 19th, Hunt J.L., Children, Fantasy, Nature-- 


 
We, the Fairies, blithe and antic,
Of dimensions not gigantic,
Though the moonshine mostly keep us,
Oft in orchards frisk and peep us.

Stolen sweets are always sweeter,
Stolen kisses much completer,
Stolen looks are nice in chapels,
Stolen, stolen, be your apples.

When to bed the world are bobbing,
Then's the time for orchard-robbing;
Yet the fruit were scarce worth peeling,
Were it not for stealing, stealing.

James Leigh Hunt

--Did You Know: (19 October 1784 – 28 August 1859) Hunt was an English critic, essayist, poet and writer. Leigh Hunt was born at Southgate, London, where his parents had settled after leaving the USA. His father, a lawyer from Philadelphia, and his mother, a merchant's daughter and a devout Quaker, had been forced to come to Britain because of their loyalist sympathies during the American War of Independence. Hunt's father took holy orders, and became a popular preacher, but was unsuccessful in obtaining a permanent living. Hunt's father was then employed by James Brydges, 3rd Duke of Chandos as tutor to his nephew, James Henry Leigh, after whom Leigh Hunt was named. Read more at: James L.Hunt

--Word of the Day: ruction \RUHK-shuhn\, noun:
A disturbance, quarrel, or row.
Example:
"If ever a ruction starts we haven't a chance. And we've all got our women and children to recollect. We've got to be peaceable at any price, and put up with whatever dirt is heaped on us."
-- Jack London, The Star Rover

--Quote of the Day: Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.
- Henry David Thoreau

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August 28, 2010

Ephemera

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--Description: 20th C, Yeats, W. B., Love, Separation--


"Your eyes that once were never weary of mine
Are bowed in sorrow under pendulous lids,
Because our love is waning."
And then She:
"Although our love is waning, let us stand
By the lone border of the lake once more,
Together in that hour of gentleness
When the poor tired child, passion, falls asleep.
How far away the stars seem, and how far
Is our first kiss, and ah, how old my heart!"
Pensive they paced along the faded leaves,
While slowly he whose hand held hers replied:
"Passion has often worn our wandering hearts."
The woods were round them, and the yellow leaves
Fell like faint meteors in the gloom, and once
A rabbit old and lame limped down the path;
Autumn was over him: and now they stood
On the lone border of the lake once more:
Turning, he saw that she had thrust dead leaves
Gathered in silence, dewy as her eyes,
In bosom and hair.
"Ah, do not mourn," he said,
"That we are tired, for other loves await us;
Hate on and love through unrepining hours.
Before us lies eternity; our souls
Are love, and a continual farewell."

W. B. Yeats

--Did You Know: (13 June 1865–28 January 1939) Yeats was an Anglo-Irish poet and dramatist and one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments, in his later years Yeats served as an Irish Senator for two terms. In 1923, he was awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature for what the Nobel Committee described as "inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation;" and he was the first Irishman so honored. Yeats is generally considered one of the few writers whose greatest works were completed after being awarded the Nobel Prize; such works include The Tower (1928) and The Winding Stair and Other Poems (1929). Yeats was born and educated in Dublin, but spent his childhood in County . He studied poetry in his youth, and from an early age was fascinated by both Irish legends and the occult. Those topics feature in the first phase of his work, which lasted roughly until the turn of the century. His earliest volume of verse was published in 1889, and those slowly paced and lyrical poems display debts to Edmund Spenser and Percy Bysshe Shelley, as well as to the lyricism of the Pre-Raphaelite poets. From 1900, Yeats' poetry grew more physical and realistic. Read more at: W.B. Yeats

--Word of the Day: Mam is a tragic figure when transported to New York by her successful sons -- querulous, unable to get a decent cup of tea.
-Maureen Howard, "McCourt's New World", New York Times, September 19, 1999

--Quote of the Day: There are only two creatures of value on the face of the earth: those with the commitment, and those who require the commitment of others.
-John Adams

Coffee Table Poetry for Tea Drinkers is updated often. Subscribe by selecting E-mail or RSS Reader. Also, come follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Poets and Advertisers-please contact us to post your press releases, new book info, graphics and more at: coffeetablepoet@gmail.com

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August 27, 2010

The Face That Launched A Thousand Ships

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--Description: 16th C, Marlowe C., Adoration, Beauty, Love, War-- 

 
Was this the face that launch'd a thousand ships,
And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?
Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss.
Her lips suck forth my soul: see where it flies!
Come, Helen, come, give me my soul again.
Here will I dwell, for heaven is in these lips,
And all is dross that is not Helena.
I will be Paris, and for love of thee,
Instead of Troy, shall Wittenberg be sack'd;
And I will combat with weak Menelaus,
And wear thy colours on my plumed crest;
Yea, I will wound Achilles in the heel,
And then return to Helen for a kiss.
O, thou art fairer than the evening air
Clad in the beauty of a thousand stars;
Brighter art thou than flaming Jupiter
When he appear'd to hapless Semele;
More lovely than the monarch of the sky
In wanton Arethusa's azur'd arms;
And none but thou shalt be my paramour!


Christopher Marlowe

--Did You Know: (1564-1593) Marlowe was an English dramatist, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era. The foremost Elizabethan tragedian next to William Shakespeare, he is known for his blank verse, his overreaching protagonists, and his own mysterious and untimely death. Marlowe was born to a shoemaker in Canterbury named John Marlowe and his wife Catherine. His date of birth is not known, but he was baptised on 26 February 1564, and thus born a few days before. He attended The King's School, Canterbury (where a house is now named after him) and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge on a scholarship and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1584. In 1587 the university hesitated to award him his master's degree because of a rumour that he had converted to Roman Catholicism and intended to go to the English college at Rheims to prepare for the priesthood. However, his degree was awarded on schedule when the Privy Council intervened on his behalf, commending him for his "faithful dealing" and "good service" to the Queen. The nature of Marlowe's service was not specified by the Council, but its letter to the Cambridge authorities has provoked much speculation, notably the theory that Marlowe was operating as a secret agent working for Sir Francis Walsingham's intelligence service. No direct evidence supports this theory, although the Council's letter is evidence that Marlowe had served the government in some capacity. Read more at: Christopher Marlowe

--Word of the Day: foudroyant \foo-DROI-uhnt\, adjective:
1. Overwhelming and sudden in effect.
2. Pathology. (Of disease) beginning in a sudden and severe form.
3. Striking as with lightning.
Example:
When it suddenly occurred to John, however, that this perhaps had some share in the ladies' hasty decision, that Mrs. Dennistoun perhaps (all that was objectionable was attributed to this poor lady) had been so abominably clear-sighted, so odiously presuming as to have suspected this, his sudden blaze of anger was foudroyant.
-- Margaret Oliphant, The marriage of Elinor

--Quote of the Day: “When emotions are managed by the heart, they heighten your awareness of the world around you and add sparkle to life. The result is new intelligence and a new view of life.”
-- Doc Childre and Howard Martin

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August 25, 2010

Macavity the Mystery Cat

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--Description: 20th C, Eliot T.S., Children, Humor, Nature-- 


Macavity's a Mystery Cat: he's called the Hidden Paw -
For he's the master criminal who can defy the Law.
He's the bafflement of Scotland Yard, the Flying Squad's despair:
For when they reach the scene of crime - Macavity's not there!

Macavity, Macavity, there's no one like Macavity,
He's broken every human law, he breaks the law of gravity.
His powers of levitation would make a fakir stare,
And when you reach the scene of crime - Macavity's not there!
You may seek him in the basement, you may look up in the air -
But I tell you once and once again, Macavity's not there!

Mcavity's a ginger cat, he's very tall and thin;
You would know him if you saw him, for his eyes are sunken in.
His brow is deeply lined with thought, his head is highly domed;
His coat is dusty from neglect, his whiskers are uncombed.
He sways his head from side to side, with movements like a snake;
And when you think he's half asleep, he's always wide awake.

Macavity, Macavity, there's no one like Macavity,
For he's a fiend in feline shape, a monster of depravity.
You may meet him in a by-street, you may see him in the square -
But when a crime's discovered, then Macavity's not there!

He's outwardly respectable. (They say he cheats at cards.)
And his footprints are not found in any file of Scotland Yard's.
And when the larder's looted, or the jewel-case is rifled,
Or when the milk is missing, or another Peke's been stifled,
Or the greenhouse glass is broken, and the trellis past repair -
Ay, there's the wonder of the thing! Macavity's not there!

And when the Foreign Office find a Treaty's gone astray,
Or the Admiralty lose some plans and drawings by the way,
There may be a scrap of paper in the hall or on the stair -
But it's useless to investigate - Mcavity's not there!
And when the loss has been disclosed, the Secret Service say:
`It must have been Macavity!' - but he's a mile away.
You'll be sure to find him resting, or a-licking of his thumbs,
Or engaged in doing complicated long-division sums.

Macavity, Macavity, there's no one like Macavity,
There never was a Cat of such deceitfulness and suavity.
He always has an alibi, and one or two to spaer:
At whatever time the deed took place - MACAVITY WASN'T THERE!
And they say that all the Cats whose wicked deeds are widely known
(I might mention Mungojerrie, I might mention Griddlebone)
Are nothing more than agents for the Cat who all the time
Just controls their operations: the Napoleon of Crime!



T. S. Eliot

--Did You Know: (26 September 1888–4 January 1965) Eliot was a poet, playwright, and literary critic. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948. Among his most famous writings are The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, The Waste Land, "The Hollow Men", Ash Wednesday, Four Quartets, Murder in the Cathedral, The Cocktail Party and "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats". Eliot was born in Saint Louis, Missouri and moved to the United Kingdom in 1914 (at age 25). He became a British subject in 1927 at the age of 39. Of his nationality and its role in his work, Eliot said: "[My poetry] wouldn't be what it is if I'd been born in England, and it wouldn't be what it is if I'd stayed in America. It's a combination of things. But in its sources, in its emotional springs, it comes from America." Eliot was born into the Eliot family of St. Louis, Missouri. His father, Henry Ware Eliot (1843–1919), was a successful businessman, president and treasurer of the Hydraulic-Press Brick Company in St. Louis; his mother, born Charlotte Champe Stearns (1843–1929), wrote poems and was also a social worker. Eliot was the last of six surviving children; his parents were both 44 years old when he was born. His four sisters were between eleven and nineteen years older than him; his brother was eight years older. Known to family and friends as Tom, he was the namesake of his maternal grandfather Thomas Stearns. Read more at: T.S. Eliot

--Word of the Day: gormandize \GAWR-muhn-dahyz\, verb:
To eat greedily or ravenously.
Example:
I have never in my life seen men gormandize to be compared with those men. And the curious thing was that as course followed course their appetite seemed to increase.
-- Frank Harris, John F. Gallagher, My Life and Loves

--Quote of the Day: A somebody was once a nobody who wanted to and did.
- John Burroughs

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August 23, 2010

Jenny Kissed Me

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--Description: 19th C, Hunt J.L., Friendship, Humor, Joy-- 


 
JENNY kiss'd me when we met,

Jumping from the chair she sat in;

Time, you thief, who love to get

Sweets into your list, put that in!

Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,

Say that health and wealth have miss'd me,

Say I'm growing old, but add,

Jenny kiss'd me.


Note: The Jenny in question was Jane Welsh Carlyle, wife of Thomas
Carlyle. Hunt had just recovered from an extended battle with influenza,
and when he went to tell the Carlyles the news, Jenny (in a very
uncharacteristic move) leaped up and kissed him.

James Leigh Hunt

--Did You Know: (19 October 1784 – 28 August 1859) Hunt was an English critic, essayist, poet and writer. Leigh Hunt was born at Southgate, London, where his parents had settled after leaving the USA. His father, a lawyer from Philadelphia, and his mother, a merchant's daughter and a devout Quaker, had been forced to come to Britain because of their loyalist sympathies during the American War of Independence. Hunt's father took holy orders, and became a popular preacher, but was unsuccessful in obtaining a permanent living. Hunt's father was then employed by James Brydges, 3rd Duke of Chandos as tutor to his nephew, James Henry Leigh, after whom Leigh Hunt was named. Read more at: James L.Hunt


--Word of the Day: vellicate \VEL-i-keyt\, verb:
1. To touch (a body part) lightly so as to excite the surface nerves and cause uneasiness, laughter, or spasmodic movements.
2. To irritate as if by a nip, pinch, or tear.
3. To move with spasmodic convulsions.
Example:
Thus, if you vellicate the throat with a feather, nausea is produced; if you wound it with a penknife, pain is induced, but not sickness.
-- Erasmus Darwin, Zoonomia, Volume 1


--Quote of the Day: A kiss without a hug is like a flower without the fragrance.
~Proverb

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August 21, 2010

His Poetry His Pillar

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--Description: 19th C, Herrick R ., Life, Poetry-- 

 
Only a little more
I have to write:
Then I'll give o'er,
And bid the world good-night.

'Tis but a flying minute,
That I must stay,
Or linger in it:
And then I must away.

O Time, that cut'st down all,
And scarce leav'st here
Memorial
Of any men that were;

--How many lie forgot
In vaults beneath,
And piece-meal rot
Without a fame in death?

Behold this living stone
I rear for me,
Ne'er to be thrown
Down, envious Time, by thee.

Pillars let some set up
If so they please;
Here is my hope,
And my Pyramides.



Robert Herrick

--Did You Know: (baptized 24 August 1591 – buried 15 October 1674) Herrick was a 17th century English poet.His reputation rests on Hesperides, and the much shorter Noble Numbers, spiritual works, published together in 1648. He is well-known for his style and, in his earlier works, frequent references to lovemaking and the female body. His later poetry was more of a spiritual and philosophical nature. Among his most famous short poetical sayings are the unique monometers, such as "Thus I / Pass by / And die,/ As one / Unknown / And gone."
Herrick sets out his subject-matter in the poem he printed at the beginning of his collection, The Argument of his Book. He dealt with English country life and its seasons, village customs, complimentary poems to various ladies and his friends, themes taken from classical writings and a solid bedrock of Christian faith, not intellectualized but underpinning the rest. Herrick never married, and none of his love-poems seem to connect directly with any one beloved woman. He loved the richness of sensuality and the variety of life, and this is shown vividly in such poems as Cherry-ripe, Delight in Disorder and Upon Julia’s Clothes. Read more at: Robert Herrick

--Word of the Day: gerent \JEER-uhnt\, noun:
A ruler or manager.
Example:
And to cap everything he had to call the gerent over, or whatever the man was, to complain glowering about this champagne, was it ullaged or what? and as the fellow scuttled off for a fresh bottle, snapped after him "Not even your bar's the same!" - this once familiar room changed now as those redecorated hearts; all he'd known vanishing; so that what was there that once had been and still was.
-- William Mode Spackman, An Armful of Warm Girl

--Quote of the Day: Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.
~Leonard Cohen

Coffee Table Poetry for Tea Drinkers is updated often. Subscribe by selecting E-mail or RSS Reader. Also, come follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Poets and Advertisers-please contact us to post your press releases, new book info, graphics and more at: coffeetablepoet@gmail.com

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August 20, 2010

Flower Gathering

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--Description: 20th C, Frost R., Love, Nature, Seasons--



I left you in the morning,
And in the morning glow,
You walked a way beside me
To make me sad to go.
Do you know me in the gloaming,
Gaunt and dusty gray with roaming?
Are you dumb because you know me not,
Or dumb because you know?

All for me? And not a question
For the faded flowers gay
That could take me from beside you
For the ages of a day?
They are yours, and be the measure
Of their worth for you to treasure,
The measure of the little while
That I've been long away.

Robert Frost

--Did You Know: (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963) Frost was an American poet. He is highly regarded for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech. His work frequently employed settings from rural life in New England in the early twentieth century, using them to examine complex social and philosophical themes. A popular and often-quoted poet, Frost was honored frequently during his lifetime, receiving four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry. Frost was 86 when he spoke and performed a reading of his poetry at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy on January 20, 1961. Some two years later, on January 29, 1963, he died, in Boston, of complications from prostate surgery. He was buried at the Old Bennington Cemetery in Bennington, Vermont. His epitaph reads, "I had a lover's quarrel with the world." Frost's poems are critiqued in the "Anthology of Modern American Poetry", Oxford University Press, where it is mentioned that behind a sometimes charmingly familiar and rural façade, Frost's poetry frequently presents pessimistic and menacing undertones which often are either unrecognized or unanalyzed. Read more at:

--Word of the Day: cynosure\SY-nuh-shoor; SIN-uh-shoor\, noun:
1. An object that serves as a focal point of attention and admiration.
2. That which serves to guide or direct.
Quote:
The monarch, at the apex of court power and centre of its ritual, and the greatest patron of the arts, was the cynosure of this culture, standing (or, more usually, sitting) at the centre of a system of artistic practice intended to represent his or her sacred omnipotence and monopoly of power.
-John Brewer, The Pleasures of the Imagination

--Quote of the Day: A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease.
-John Muir

Coffee Table Poetry for Tea Drinkers is updated often. The easiest way to get your regular poetic inspiration is to subscribe by selecting E-mail or RSS Reader. Also, come follow us on Twitter. We look forward to making every day memorably intriguing for you.

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August 19, 2010

A Meditation For His Mistress

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--Description: 17th C, Herrick R., Aging, Love, Nature, Seasons--


You are a Tulip seen to-day,
But, Dearest, of so short a stay,
That where you grew, scarce man can say.

You are a lovely July-flower;
Yet one rude wind, or ruffling shower,
Will force you hence, and in an hour.

You are a sparkling Rose i'th' bud,
Yet lost, ere that chaste flesh and blood
Can show where you or grew or stood.

You are a full-spread fair-set Vine,
And can with tendrils love entwine;
Yet dried, ere you distil your wine.

You are like Balm, enclosed well
In amber, or some crystal shell;
Yet lost ere you transfuse your smell.

You are a dainty Violet;
Yet wither'd, ere you can be set
Within the virgins coronet.

You are the Queen all flowers among;
But die you must, fair maid, ere long,
As he, the maker of this song.


Robert Herrick

--Did You Know: (baptized 24 August 1591 – buried 15 October 1674) Herrick was a 17th century English poet.His reputation rests on Hesperides, and the much shorter Noble Numbers, spiritual works, published together in 1648. He is well-known for his style and, in his earlier works, frequent references to lovemaking and the female body. His later poetry was more of a spiritual and philosophical nature. Among his most famous short poetical sayings are the unique monometers, such as "Thus I / Pass by / And die,/ As one / Unknown / And gone."
Herrick sets out his subject-matter in the poem he printed at the beginning of his collection, The Argument of his Book. He dealt with English country life and its seasons, village customs, complimentary poems to various ladies and his friends, themes taken from classical writings and a solid bedrock of Christian faith, not intellectualized but underpinning the rest. Herrick never married, and none of his love-poems seem to connect directly with any one beloved woman. He loved the richness of sensuality and the variety of life, and this is shown vividly in such poems as Cherry-ripe, Delight in Disorder and Upon Julia’s Clothes. Read more at: Robert Herrick

--Word of the Day: panoply (PAN-uh-plee) (noun):
1. A wide-ranging array of resources.
2. A full suit of armor.
3. A protective covering.
4. A ceremonial attire or paraphernalia.
"Ask one of those corporate bosses in receipt of a fat bonus why they need an incentive to do their job to the best of their ability when workers ranging from surgeons to school caretakers do not, and they are usually at a loss for a coherent explanation.
The panoply of bonuses and awards has simply become the norm."
-Julia Finch; Bonus Scam Admitted At Last; The Guardian (London, UK); Jun 9, 2009.

--Quote of the Day: "I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see."
-John Burroughs

Coffee Table Poetry for Tea Drinkers is updated often. The easiest way to get your regular poetic inspiration is to subscribe by selecting E-mail or RSS Reader. Also, come follow us on Twitter. We look forward to making every day memorably intriguing for you.

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August 18, 2010

Life

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--Description: 19th C, Bronte C., Encouragement, Life, Perseverance-- 

 

Life, believe, is not a dream
So dark as sages say;
Oft a little morning rain
Foretells a pleasant day.
Sometimes there are clouds of gloom,
But these are transient all;
If the shower will make the roses bloom,
O why lament its fall ?

Rapidly, merrily,
Life's sunny hours flit by,
Gratefully, cheerily,
Enjoy them as they fly !

What though Death at times steps in
And calls our Best away ?
What though sorrow seems to win,
O'er hope, a heavy sway ?
Yet hope again elastic springs,
Unconquered, though she fell;
Still buoyant are her golden wings,
Still strong to bear us well.
Manfully, fearlessly,
The day of trial bear,
For gloriously, victoriously,
Can courage quell despair !


Charlotte Bronte

--Did You Know: (21 April 1816 – 31 March 1855) Brontë was a British novelist, the eldest of the three famous Brontë sisters whose novels have become standards of English literature. Charlotte Brontë, who used the pen name Currer Bell, is best known for Jane Eyre, one of the most famous English novels. Charlotte was born in Thornton, Yorkshire, England, in 1816, the third of six children, to Patrick Brontë (formerly "Patrick Brunty"), an Irish Anglican clergyman, and his wife, Maria Branwell. At home in Haworth Parsonage, Charlotte and the other surviving children — Branwell, Emily and Anne — began chronicling the lives and struggles of the inhabitants of their imaginary kingdoms. Charlotte and Branwell wrote Byronic stories about their country — Angria — and Emily and Anne wrote articles and poems about theirs — Gondal. The sagas were elaborate and convoluted (and still exist in part manuscripts) and provided them with an obsessive interest in childhood and early adolescence, which prepared them for their literary vocations in adulthood. Read more at: Charlotte Bronte

--Poetry Terminology: Stanza -
One or more lines that make up the basic units of a poem - separated from each other by spacing.

--Word of the Day: penumbra \pi-NUHM-bruh\, noun:
1. An area in which something exists to an uncertain degree.
2. Astronomy. The partial or imperfect shadow outside the complete shadow of an opaque body, as a planet, where the light from the source of illumination is only partly cut off.
3. The grayish marginal portion of a sunspot.
Example:
But there is a penumbra about the Magna Carta, a shadow cast in which its vision of an ideal nearly eclipses the mundane circumstances of its origins.
-- Edward Rothstein, "It Was a Royal Pain, but It Ended Well", New York Times, May 2010

--Quote of the Day: Courage doesn't always roar.
sometimes courage is the quiet voice
at the end of the day, saying,
"i will try again tomorrow."
- Mary Anne Radmacher

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August 17, 2010

One Happy Moment

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--Description: 17th C, Dryden J., Love--



O, no, poor suff'ring Heart, no Change endeavour,
Choose to sustain the smart, rather than leave her;
My ravish'd eyes behold such charms about her,
I can die with her, but not live without her:
One tender Sigh of hers to see me languish,
Will more than pay the price of my past anguish:
Beware, O cruel Fair, how you smile on me,
'Twas a kind look of yours that has undone me.

Love has in store for me one happy minute,
And She will end my pain who did begin it;
Then no day void of bliss, or pleasure leaving,
Ages shall slide away without perceiving:
Cupid shall guard the door the more to please us,
And keep out Time and Death, when they would seize us:
Time and Death shall depart, and say in flying,
Love has found out a way to live, by dying.


John Dryden

--Did You Know: (9 August 1631 – 1 May 1700) Dryden was an influential English poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright who dominated the literary life of Restoration England to such a point that the period came to be known in literary circles as the Age of Dryden. Walter Scott named him "Glorious John." After the Restoration, Dryden quickly established himself as the leading poet and literary critic of his day and he transferred his allegiances to the new government. Along with Astraea Redux, Dryden welcomed the new regime with two more panegyrics; To His Sacred Majesty: A Panegyric on his Coronation (1662), and To My Lord Chancellor (1662). These poems suggest that Dryden was looking to court a possible patron, but he was to instead make a living in writing for publishers, not for the aristocracy, and thus ultimately for the reading public. Read more at: John Dryden

--Word of the Day: rhapsodize \RAP-suh-dahyz\, verb:
1. To talk with extravagant enthusiasm.
2. To speak or write rhapsodies.
Example:
Restaurateur-turned-produce-broker Andy Ayers is never hesitant to rhapsodize about his experiences with locally grown food.
-- Joe Bonwich, "Melon mania," Great Falls Tribune, July, 2010.

--Quote of the Day: "Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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August 16, 2010

Calm Is All Nature As A Resting Wheel

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--Description: 19th C, Wordsworth W., Nature-- 

 

Calm is all nature as a resting wheel.
The kine are couched upon the dewy grass;
The horse alone, seen dimly as I pass,
Is cropping audibly his later meal:
Dark is the ground; a slumber seems to steal
O'er vale, and mountain, and the starless sky.
Now, in this blank of things, a harmony,
Home-felt, and home-created, comes to heal
That grief for which the senses still supply
Fresh food; for only then, when memory
Is hushed, am I at rest. My Friends! restrain
Those busy cares that would allay my pain;
Oh! leave me to myself, nor let me feel
The officious touch that makes me droop again.


William Wordsworth

--Did You Know: (7 April 1770 – 23 April 1850) Wordsworth was a major English Romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with the 1798 joint publication Lyrical Ballads. Wordsworth's magnum opus is generally considered to be The Prelude, a semi-autobiographical poem of his early years which the poet revised and expanded a number of times. The work was posthumously titled and published, prior to which it was generally known as the poem "to Coleridge". Wordsworth was England's Poet Laureate from 1843 until his death in 1850. The second of five children born to John Wordsworth and Ann Cookson, William Wordsworth was born on 7 April 1770 in Wordsworth House in Cockermouth, Cumberland—part of the scenic region in northwest England, the Lake District. His sister, the poet and diarist Dorothy Wordsworth, to whom he was close all his life, was born the following year, and the two were baptised together. They had three other siblings: Richard, the eldest, who became a lawyer; John, born after Dorothy, who would become a poet and enjoy nature with William and Dorothy until he died in an 1809 shipwreck, from which only the captain escaped; and Christopher, the youngest, who would become an academician. Their father was a legal representative of James Lowther, 1st Earl of Lonsdale. Read more at: William Wordsworth

--Word of the Day: fantod \FAN-tod\, noun:
1. A state of extreme nervousness or restlessness (usually expressed in the plural.)
2. A sudden outpouring of anger, outrage, or a similar intense emotion.
Example:
"Well, as your grandmother says, there's no use getting in a fantod about it," my mother said. "
-- Margaret Laurence, Isabel Huggan, A bird in the house

--Quote of the Day: "...focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it."
-- Greg Anderson

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August 14, 2010

Never Give All The Heart

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--Description: 20th C, Yeats W.B., Disillusion, Love--



Never give all the heart, for love
Will hardly seem worth thinking of
To passionate women if it seem
Certain, and they never dream
That it fades out from kiss to kiss;
For everything that's lovely is
But a brief, dreamy, kind delight.
O never give the heart outright,
For they, for all smooth lips can say,
Have given their hearts up to the play.
And who could play it well enough
If deaf and dumb and blind with love?
He that made this knows all the cost,
For he gave all his heart and lost.


William Butler Yeats

--Did You Know: (13 June 1865–28 January 1939) Yeats was an Anglo-Irish poet and dramatist and one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments, in his later years Yeats served as an Irish Senator for two terms. He was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival, and along with Lady Gregory and Edward Martyn founded the Abbey Theatre, and served as its chief during its early years. In 1923, he was awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature for what the Nobel Committee described as "inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation;" and he was the first Irishman so honored.Yeats is generally considered one of the few writers whose greatest works were completed after being awarded the Nobel Prize. Yeats had a life-long interest in mysticism, spiritualism, occultism, and astrology. He read extensively on the subjects throughout his life, became a member of the paranormal research organization "The Ghost Club". The mystical life is the centre of all that I do and all that I think and all that I write."His mystical interests—also inspired by a study of Hinduism

--Word of the Day: equipoise\EE-kwuh-poiz; EK-wuh-\, noun:
1. A state of being equally balanced; equilibrium; -- as of moral, political, or social interests or forces.
2. Counterbalance.
Quote:
What matters is the poetry, and the truest readings of it "are those which are sensitive to the strangeness of Marvell's genius: its delicate equipoise, held between the sensual and the abstract, its refusal to treat experience too tidily, the uncanny tremor of implication that makes the poems' lucid surfaces shimmer with a sense of something undefined and undefinable just beneath."
-James A. Winn, "Tremors of Implication", New York Times, July 9, 2000

--Quote of the Day: When the tide of life turns against you
And the current upsets your boat,
Don't waste tears on what might have been,
Just lie on your back and float.
-Anon.

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August 11, 2010

It Is Not A Word

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--Description: 20th C, Teasedale S., Love--


It is not a word spoken,
Few words are said;
Nor even a look of the eyes
Nor a bend of the head,

But only a hush of the heart
That has too much to keep,
Only memories waking
That sleep so light a sleep.


Sarah Teasedale

--Did You Know: (August 8, 1884 – January 29, 1933) Teasedale was an American lyrical poet. She was born Sarah Trevor Teasdale in St. Louis, Missouri. Throughout her life, Teasdale suffered poor health and it was only at age 9 that she was well enough to begin school. In 1898 she went to Mary Institute and to Hosmer Hall in 1899 where she finished in 1903. In 1913 Teasdale fell in love with poet Vachel Lindsay. He wrote her daily love letters, but nevertheless she married Ernst Filsinger in 1914 when she was 30; he was a rich businessman. Teasdale and Lindsay remained friends throughout their lives. In 1918, her poetry collection Love Songs won three awards: the Columbia University Poetry Society prize, the 1918 Pulitzer Prize for poetry and the annual prize of the Poetry Society of America. She was not happy in her marriage, becoming divorced in 1929. In 1933, she committed suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills. The poem "There Will Come Soft Rains" from her 1920 collection Flame and Shadow inspired and featured in a famous short story of the same name by Ray Bradbury. Read more at: Sara Teasedale

--Word of the Day: fantod \FAN-tod\, noun:
1. A state of extreme nervousness or restlessness (usually expressed in the plural.)
2. A sudden outpouring of anger, outrage, or a similar intense emotion.
Example:
"Well, as your grandmother says, there's no use getting in a fantod about it," my mother said. "
-- Margaret Laurence, Isabel Huggan, A bird in the house

--Quote of the Day: You are the Michelangelo of your own life. The David that you are sculpting is you. And you do it with your thoughts.
- Joe Vitale

Coffee Table Poetry for Tea Drinkers is updated often. Subscribe by selecting E-mail or RSS Reader. Also, come follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Poets and Advertisers-please contact us to post your press releases, new book info, graphics and more at: coffeetablepoet@gmail.com



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