October 29, 2010

A Study (A Soul)

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--Description: 19th C, Rossetti C., Night, Perseverance, Sonnet-- 

She stands as pale as Parian statues stand;
Like Cleopatra when she turned at bay,
And felt her strength above the Roman sway,
And felt the aspic writhing in her hand.
Her face is steadfast toward the shadowy land,
For dim beyond it looms the light of day;
Her feet are steadfast; all the arduous way
That foot-track hath not wavered on the sand.
She stands there like a beacon thro' the night,
A pale clear beacon where the storm-drift is;
She stands alone, a wonder deathly white;
She stands there patient, nerved with inner might,
Indomitable in her feebleness,
Her face and will athirst against the light.

Christina Georgina Rossetti

--Did You Know: (5 December 1830 – 29 December 1894) Christina Rossetti was a British poet, who wrote a variety of romantic, devotional, and children's poems. She is best known for her long poem Goblin Market, her love poem "Remember", and for the words of what became the popular Christmas carol "In the Bleak Midwinter". Rossetti was born in London and educated at home by her mother. Her siblings were the artist and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Michael Rossetti, and Maria Francesca Rossetti. Their father, Gabriele Rossetti, was an Italian poet and a political asylum seeker from Naples; their mother, Frances Polidori, was the sister of Lord Byron's friend and physician, John William Polidori, author of The Vampyre. In the 1840s her family was stricken with severe financial difficulties due to the deterioration of her father's physical and mental health. When she was 14, Rossetti suffered a nervous breakdown and left school. In the early 20th century Rossetti's popularity faded as many respected Victorian writers' reputations suffered from Modernism's backlash. Rossetti remained largely unnoticed and unread until the 1970s when feminist scholars began to recover and comment on her work. In the last few decades Rossetti's writing has been rediscovered and she has regained admittance into the Victorian literary canon. Read more at: Christina Rossetti

--Poetry Terminology: paeon -
A metrical foot (of Greek origin) containing one long syllable and three short syllables. The position of the long syllable can be varied hence the so-called first, second, third or fourth paeon.
--Word of the Day: bricolage \bree-koh-LAHZH; brih-\, noun:
Construction or something constructed by using whatever materials happen to be available.
Example:
The Internet is a global bricolage, lashing together unthinkable complexities of miscellaneous computers with temporary lengths of phone line and fiber optic, bits of Ethernet cable and strings of code.
-- Bernard Sharratt, "Only Connected", New York Times, December 17, 1995

--Quote of the Day: If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again.
~Flavia Weedn, Flavia and the Dream Maker


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October 27, 2010

Beauty XXV

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--Description: 20th C, Gibran K., Beauty, Love, Nature-- 



And a poet said, "Speak to us of Beauty."
Where shall you seek beauty, and how shall you find her unless she herself be your way and your guide?
And how shall you speak of her except she be the weaver of your speech?
The aggrieved and the injured say, "Beauty is kind and gentle.
Like a young mother half-shy of her own glory she walks among us."
And the passionate say, "Nay, beauty is a thing of might and dread.
Like the tempest she shakes the earth beneath us and the sky above us."
The tired and the weary say, "beauty is of soft whisperings. She speaks in our spirit.
Her voice yields to our silences like a faint light that quivers in fear of the shadow."
But the restless say, "We have heard her shouting among the mountains,
And with her cries came the sound of hoofs, and the beating of wings and the roaring of lions."
At night the watchmen of the city say, "Beauty shall rise with the dawn from the east."
And at noontide the toilers and the wayfarers say, "we have seen her leaning over the earth from the windows of the sunset."
In winter say the snow-bound, "She shall come with the spring leaping upon the hills."
And in the summer heat the reapers say, "We have seen her dancing with the autumn leaves, and we saw a drift of snow in her hair."
All these things have you said of beauty.
Yet in truth you spoke not of her but of needs unsatisfied,
And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy.
It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth,
But rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted.
It is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear,
But rather an image you see though you close your eyes and a song you hear though you shut your ears.
It is not the sap within the furrowed bark, nor a wing attached to a claw,
But rather a garden forever in bloom and a flock of angels for ever in flight.
People of Orphalese, beauty is life when life unveils her holy face.
But you are life and you are the veil.
Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
But you are eternity and you are the mirror.

Khalil Gibran

--Did You Know: (January 6, 1883 – April 10, 1931) Kahlil Gibran was a Lebanese American artist, poet, and writer. Born in the town of Bsharri in modern-day Lebanon (then part of the Ottoman Mount Lebanon mutasarrifate), as a young man he immigrated with his family to the United States where he studied art and began his literary career. He is chiefly known in the English speaking world for his 1923 book The Prophet, a series of philosophical essays written in English prose. An early example of Inspirational fiction, the book sold well despite a cool critical reception, and became extremely popular in the 1960s counterculture. Gibran is the third best-selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Lao-Tzu. Read more at Khalil Gibran

--Word of the Day: fulsome \FUL-sum\, adjective:
1. Offensive to the taste or sensibilities.
2. Insincere or excessively lavish; especially, offensive from excess of praise.
Example:
He recorded the event in his journal: "Long evening visit from Mr. Langtree--a fulsome flatterer."
--Edward L. Widmer, Young America: The Flowering of Democracy in New York City

--Quote of the Day: Always be a first-rate version of yourself,
instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.
- Judy Garland

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October 25, 2010

A Little Boy's Dream

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--Description: 20th C, Mansfield K., Children, Dreams, Fantasy, Illusion, Parenting-- 


 
To and fro, to and fro
In my little boat I go
Sailing far across the sea
All alone, just little me.
And the sea is big and strong
And the journey very long.
To and fro, to and fro
In my little boat I go.

Sea and sky, sea and sky,
Quietly on the deck I lie,
Having just a little rest.
I have really done my best
In an awful pirate fight,
But we captured them all right.
Sea and sky, sea and sky,
Quietly on the deck I lie--

Far away, far away
From my home and from my play,
On a journey without end
Only with the sea for friend
And the fishes in the sea.
But they swim away from me
Far away, far away
From my home and from my play.

Then he cried "O Mother dear."
And he woke and sat upright,
They were in the rocking chair,
Mother's arms around him--tight.


Katherine Mansfield

--Did You Know: (14 October 1888 – 9 January 1923) Katherine Mansfield was a prominent modernist writer of short fiction who was born and brought up in colonial New Zealand and wrote under the pen name of Katherine Mansfield, which is in itself a short form of her real name as she was born Katherine Mansfield Beauchamp. Mansfield left for Great Britain in 1908 where she encountered Modernist writers such as D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf with whom she became close friends. Her stories often focus on moments of disruption and frequently open rather abruptly. Among her most well known stories are The Garden Party, The Daughters of the Late Colonel and The Fly. During the First World War Mansfield contracted tuberculosis which rendered any return or visit to New Zealand impossible and led to her death at the age of 34. Read more at: Katherine Mansfield

--Poetry Terminology: Rising Meter -
Term used to describe end-stressed meters such as iambic and anapestic - as opposed to falling meter.

--Word of the Day: apocopate \uh-POK-uh-peyt\, verb:
To omit the final sound or sounds of (a word.)
Example:
Mary B. Robinson has directed with great assurance and fluidity - perhaps a bit too much of the latter; I wish she had not seen fit to make so many speeches overlap and apocopate one another.
-- John Simon, "Houses Divided," New York Magazine, January, 1986.

--Quote of the Day: One can pay back the loan of gold, but one dies forever in debt to those who are kind.
- Malayan Proverb

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October 23, 2010

I Hear America Singing

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--Description: 19th C, Whitman W., Humanity, Patriotism--


I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear;
Those of mechanics--each one singing his, as it should be, blithe and strong;
The carpenter singing his, as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his, as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work;
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat--the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck;
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench--the hatter singing as he stands;
The wood-cutter's song--the ploughboy's, on his way in the morning,
or at the noon intermission, or at sundown;
The delicious singing of the mother--or of the young wife at work--or of the girl sewing or washing--

Each singing what belongs to her, and to none else;
The day what belongs to the day--At night, the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing, with open mouths, their strong melodious songs.

Walt Whitman


--Did You Know: (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) Walt Whitman was an American poet, essayist, journalist, and humanist. He was a part of the transition between Transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse. His work was very controversial in its time, particularly his poetry collection Leaves of Grass, which was described as obscene for its overt sexuality. Born on Long Island, Whitman worked as a journalist, a teacher, a government clerk, and a volunteer nurse during the American Civil War in addition to publishing his poetry. Early in his career, he also produced a temperance novel, Franklin Evans (1842). Whitman's major work, Leaves of Grass, was first published in 1855 with his own money. The work was an attempt at reaching out to the common person with an American epic. He continued expanding and revising it until his death in 1892. Read more at: Walt Whitman

--Word of the Day: supplicatory /(SUH-pli-kuh-tor-ee) -(adjective)
MEANING:
Humbly pleading.
QUOTE:
"The supplicatory attitude that some Taiwanese politicians have shown to China to win its favor must stop."
-Bill Chang; Warnings on China Also Meant For Taiwan; The Taipei Times (Taiwan); Jun 11, 2005.

--Quote of the Day:
Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it.
-George Bernard Shaw

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October 22, 2010

A Mountain Spring

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--Description: 19th C, Kendall H.C., Love, Nature--



Peace hath an altar there. The sounding feet
Of thunder and the wildering wings of rain
Against fire-rifted summits flash and beat,
And through grey upper gorges swoop and strain;
But round that hallowed mountain-spring remain,
Year after year, the days of tender heat,
And gracious nights whose lips with flowers are sweet,
And filtered lights, and lutes of soft refrain.
A still, bright pool. To men I may not tell
The secrets that its heart of water knows,
The story of a loved and lost repose;
Yet this I say to cliff and close-leaved dell:
A fitful spirit haunts yon limpid well,
Whose likeness is the faithless face of Rose.


Henry Clarence Kendall

--Did You Know: (18 April 1839 - 1 August 1882) Henry Kendall was a nineteenth century Australian poet. His father, Basil Kendall, was the son of the Rev. Thomas Kendall who came to Sydney in 1809 and five years later went as a missionary to New Zealand. Kendall received only a slight education. When he was 15 he went to sea with one of his uncles and was away for about two years. Returning to Sydney when 17 years old he found his mother keeping a boarding-school; it was necessary that he should do something to earn a living, and he became a shop-assistant. He had begun to write verses and this brought him in contact with two well-known verse writers of the day, Joseph Sheridan Moore who published a volume of verse, Spring Life Lyrics, in 1864, and James Lionel Michael. In 1868 he married Charlotte Rutter, the daughter of a Sydney physician, and in the following year resigned from his position in the government service. Read more at: Henry C.Kendall

--Word of the Day: aesthete \ES-theet\, noun:
One having or affecting great sensitivity to beauty, as in art or nature.
Example:
Beijing, with its stolid, square buildings and wide, straight roads, feels like the plan of a first-year engineering student, while Shanghai's decorative architecture and snaking, narrow roads feel like the plan of an aesthete.
-"Sky's the Limit in Shanghai", Los Angeles Times, April 25, 1999

--Quote of the Day: As a well spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death.
-Leonardo DaVinci

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October 20, 2010

Good - Better - Best

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--Description: 20th C, Butler Ellis P., Humor, Love-- 





When young, in tones quite positive
I said, "The world shall see
That I can keep myself from sin;
A good man I will be."

But when I loved Miss Kate St. Clair
'Twas thus my musing ran:
"I cannot be compared with her;
I'll be a better man."

'Twas at the wedding of a friend
(He married Kate St. Clair)
That I became superlative,
For I was "best man" there.



Ellis Parker Butler

--Did You Know: (December 5, 1869 – September 13, 1937) Ellis Parker Butler was an American author. Butler was born in Muscatine, Iowa. He was the author of more than 30 books and more than 2,000 stories and essays, and is most famous for his short story "Pigs is Pigs", in which a bureaucratic stationmaster insists on levying the livestock rate for a shipment of two pet guinea pigs, which soon start proliferating geometrically. Working from his home in Flushing (Queens) New York, Butler was—by every measure and by many times—the most published author of the pulp fiction era. Amongst others he wrote twenty-five stories to Woman's Home Companion between 1906 and 1935. His career spanned more than forty years and his stories, poems and articles were published in more than 225 magazines. His work appeared alongside that of his contemporaries including Mark Twain, Sax Rohmer, James B. Hendryx, Berton Braley, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Don Marquis, Will Rogers and Edgar Rice Burroughs. Despite the enormous volume of his work, Butler was, for most of his life, only a part-time author. He worked full-time as a banker and was very active in his local community. A founding member of both the Dutch Treat Club and the Author's League of America, Butler was an always-present force in the New York City literary scene. Read more at Ellis Parker Butler

--Word of the Day: rigmorole \RIG-muh-rohl\, noun:
1. An elaborate or complicated procedure.
2. Confused, incoherent, foolish, or meaningless talk.
Example:
"My dear young lady," I groaned, "you don't want to be stripped of every dollar for such a "rigmarole!"
-- Henry James, Four Meetings
--Quote of the Day: There is no subject so old that something new cannot be said about it.
- Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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October 19, 2010

Baby's First Journey

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--Description: 20th C, Wilcox E.W., Children, Love, Parenting, Pride-- 


 

Lightly they hold him and lightly they sway him—
Soft as a pillow are somebody's arms.
Down he goes slowly, ever so lowly
Over the rim of the cradle they lay him—
Baby's first journey is free from alarms.

Baby is growing while Mama sings by-lo,
Sturdy and rosy and laughing and fair,
Crowing and growing past every one's knowing,
Out goes the cradle and in comes the "high-lo,"
Baby's next journey is into this chair.

Crying or cooing or waking or sleeping,
Baby is ever a thing to adore.
Look at him yonder—oh what a wonder,
Who would believe it, the darling is creeping,
Baby's next journey is over the floor.

Sweeter and cuter and brighter and stronger,
Mama can see every day how he's grown.
Shoes are all battered, stockings all tattered,
Oh! but the baby is baby no longer
Look at the fellow—he's walking alone!



Ella Wheeler Wilcox

--Did You Know: (November 5, 1850–October 30, 1919) Wilcox was an American author and poet. Her best-known work was Poems of Passion. Her most enduring work was "Solitude", which contains the lines: "Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone". Her autobiography, The Worlds and I, was published in 1918, a year before her death. Ella Wheeler was born in 1850 on a farm in rural Johnstown, Wisconsin, east of Janesville, the youngest of four children. The family soon moved to north of Madison. She started writing poetry at a very early age, and was well known as a poet in her own state by the time she graduated from high school. When about 28 years of age, she married Robert Wilcox. They had one child, a son, who died shortly after birth. Not long after their marriage, they both became interested in Theosophy, New Thought, and Spiritualism. Read more.. at E.W.Wilcox

--Poetry Terminology: Occasional Verse-
Verse written to celebrate an occasion such as a coronation, a wedding or a birth. At national level, occasional verse would be one of the duties of the poet laureate.

--Word of the Day: fulsome \FUL-sum\, adjective:
1. Offensive to the taste or sensibilities.
2. Insincere or excessively lavish; especially, offensive from excess of praise.
Example:
He recorded the event in his journal: "Long evening visit from Mr. Langtree--a fulsome flatterer."
-- Edward L. Widmer, Young America: The Flowering of Democracy in New York City

--Quote of the Day: As we light a path for others, we naturally light our own way.
- Mary Anne Radmacher


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October 16, 2010

Is It Possible

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--Description: 16th C, Wyatt T., Love--


Is it possible
That so high debate,
So sharp, so sore, and of such rate,
Should end so soon and was begun so late?
Is it possible?

Is it possible
So cruel intent,
So hasty heat and so soon spent,
From love to hate, and thence for to relent?
Is it possible?

Is it possible
That any may find
Within one heart so diverse mind,
To change or turn as weather and wind?
Is it possible?

Is it possible
To spy it in an eye
That turns as oft as chance on die,
The truth whereof can any try?
Is it possible?

It is possible
For to turn so oft,
To bring that lowest which was most aloft,
And to fall highest yet to light soft:
It is possible.

All is possible
Whoso list believe.
Trust therefore first, and after preve,
As men wed ladies by licence and leave.
All is possible.


Sir Thomas Wyatt

--Did You Know: (1503 – 24 September 1542) Wyatt was a 16th-century English lyrical poet whom scholars credit with introducing the sonnet into English. He was born at Allington Castle, near Maidstone in Kent – though his family was originally from Yorkshire. His father, Henry Wyatt, had been one of Henry VII's Privy Councillors, and remained a trusted adviser when Henry VIII came to the throne in 1509. In his turn, Thomas Wyatt followed his father to court after his education at St John's College, Cambridge. None of Wyatt's poems were published during his lifetime—the first book to feature his verse was printed a full fifteen years after his death. Wyatt was over six feet tall, reportedly both handsome and physically strong. Wyatt was not only a poet, but also an ambassador in the service of Henry VIII. Many legends and conjectures have grown up around the notion that the young, unhappily married Wyatt fell in love with the young Anne Boleyn in the early-to-mid 1520s. Read more at: Sir Thomas Wyatt

--Word of the Day: pablum \PAB-luhm\, noun:
1. Something (as writing or speech) that is trite, insipid, or simplistic.
2. (capitalized) A trademark used for a bland soft cereal for infants.
Example:
I imagined his thoughts had been solely of me, that the letter would be filled with love sonnets, that it would gush with the same romantic pablum I devoured from those movie star magazines.
-Kate Walbert, The Gardens of Kyoto

--Quote of the Day: Every journalist has a novel in him, which is an excellent place for it.
-J. Russel Lynes

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October 14, 2010

That Time of Year

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--Description: 17th C, Shakespeare W., Aging, Love, Nature, Sonnet-- 



 
That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou seest the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire
Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by.
This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.



William Shakespeare

--Did You Know: (baptised 26 April 1564; died 23 April 1616) William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His surviving works, including some collaborations, consist of 38 plays,154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon. At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, who bore him three children Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1590 and 1613. His early plays were mainly comedies and histories, genres he raised to the peak of sophistication and artistry by the end of the sixteenth century. He then wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest works in the English language. Read more at: William Shakespeare

--Poetry Terminology: Elizabethan Poets-
Group of poets including Shakespeare, Sir Walter Ralegh, Sir Philip Sidney and Ben Jonson who were writing during the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603).

--Word of the Day: bricolage \bree-koh-LAHZH; brih-\, noun:
Construction or something constructed by using whatever materials happen to be available.
Example:
The Internet is a global bricolage, lashing together unthinkable complexities of miscellaneous computers with temporary lengths of phone line and fiber optic, bits of Ethernet cable and strings of code.
-- Bernard Sharratt, "Only Connected", New York Times, December 17, 1995

--Quote of the Day: I like to walk about among the beautiful things that adorn the world; but private wealth I should decline, or any sort of personal possessions, because they would take away my liberty.
~George Santayana, "The Irony of Liberalism"

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October 13, 2010

The Two Trees

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--Description: 20th C, Yeats William B., Love, Nature--

Beloved, gaze in thine own heart,
The holy tree is growing there;
From joy the holy branches start,
And all the trembling flowers they bear.
The changing colours of its fruit
Have dowered the stars with metry light;
The surety of its hidden root
Has planted quiet in the night;
The shaking of its leafy head
Has given the waves their melody,
And made my lips and music wed,
Murmuring a wizard song for thee.
There the Joves a circle go,
The flaming circle of our days,
Gyring, spiring to and fro
In those great ignorant leafy ways;
Remembering all that shaken hair
And how the winged sandals dart,
Thine eyes grow full of tender care:
Beloved, gaze in thine own heart.

Gaze no more in the bitter glass
The demons, with their subtle guile.
Lift up before us when they pass,
Or only gaze a little while;
For there a fatal image grows
That the stormy night receives,
Roots half hidden under snows,
Broken boughs and blackened leaves.
For ill things turn to barrenness
In the dim glass the demons hold,
The glass of outer weariness,
Made when God slept in times of old.
There, through the broken branches, go
The ravens of unresting thought;
Flying, crying, to and fro,
Cruel claw and hungry throat,
Or else they stand and sniff the wind,
And shake their ragged wings; alas!
Thy tender eyes grow all unkind:
Gaze no more in the bitter glass.

William Butler Yeats

--Did You Know: (3 June 1865–28 January 1939) Yeats was an 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.[1] 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 Sligo. He studied poetry in his youth, and from an early age was fascinated by both Irish legends and the occult. Read more at: William Butler Yeats

--Poetry Terminology: Aphorism-
Short pithy statement embodying a general truth e.g. Tennyson's 'Nature, red in tooth and claw.'

--Word of the Day: caveat /(KAV-ee-aht, KAH-vee-, KAY-) / noun
A warning or caution.
In law, a formal notice filed by someone requesting a court to suspend a proceeding until the filer is heard.
Example:
"Just a caveat here, any increase in interest rates may impact the profitability of banks."
-Investing: Paras Adenwala; Business Standard (Mumbai, India); Feb 4, 2010.

--Quote of the Day: Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.
-Gustave Flaubert

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October 11, 2010

Her Dilemma

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--Description: 20th C, Hardy T., Death, Love--


The two were silent in a sunless church,
Whose mildewed walls, uneven paving-stones,
And wasted carvings passed antique research;
And nothing broke the clock’s dull monotones.

Leaning against a wormy poppy-head,
So wan and worn that he could scarcely stand,
--For he was soon to die,--he softly said,
“Tell me you love me!”--holding hard her hand.

She would have given a world to breathe “yes” truly,
So much his life seemed hanging on her mind,
And hence she lied, her heart persuaded throughly,
’Twas worth her soul to be a moment kind.

But the sad need thereof, his nearing death,
So mocked humanity that she shamed to prize
A world conditioned thus, or care for breath
Where Nature such dilemmas could devise.


Thomas Hardy


--Did You Know: (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928) Hardy was an English novelist and poet of the naturalist movement, although in several poems he displays elements of the previous romantic and enlightenment periods of literature, such as his fascination with the supernatural. He regarded himself primarily as a poet and composed novels mainly for financial gain. The bulk of his work, set mainly in the semi-fictional land of Wessex, delineates characters struggling against their passions and circumstances. Hardy's poetry, first published in his 50s, has come to be as well regarded as his novels, especially after The Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. The term "cliffhanger" is considered to have originated with Thomas Hardy's novel A Pair of Blue Eyes. In this novel Henry Knight, one of his protagonists, is left literally hanging off a cliff. Thomas Hardy was born at Higher Bockhampton, a hamlet in the parish of Stinsford to the east of Dorchester in Dorset, England. His father (Thomas) worked as a stonemason and local builder. His mother Jemima was well-read and educated Thomas until he went to his first school at Bockhampton at age eight.

--Word of the Day: equivocate \ih-KWIV-uh-kayt\, (intransitive verb):
To be deliberately ambiguous or unclear in order to mislead or to avoid committing oneself to anything definite.
Quote:
The witness shuffled, equivocated, pretended to misunderstand the questions.
-Thomas Babington Macaulay, History of England

--Quote of the Day: With courage you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be compassionate, and the wisdom to be humble. Courage is the foundation of integrity.
-Keshavan Nair
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October 9, 2010

Overcast

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--Description: 19th C, Baudelaire C., Love, Passion--


Are they blue, gray or green? Mysterious eyes
(as if in fact you were looking through a mist)
in alternation tender, dreamy, grim
to match the shiftless pallor of the sky.

That's what you're like- these warm white afternoons
which make the ravished heart dissolve in tears,
the nerves, inexplicably overwrought,
outrage the dozing mind.

Not always, though-sometimes
you're like the horizon when the sun
ignites our cloudy autumn-how you glow!
A sodden countryside in sudden rout,
turned incandescent by a changing wind.

Dangerous woman-demoralizing days!
Will I adore your killing frost as much,
and in that implacable winter, when it comes,
discover pleasures sharper than iron and ice?

Charles Baudelaire

--Did You Know: (9 April 1821 - 31 August 1867) Baudelaire was a nineteenth century French poet, critic, and translator. A controversial figure in his lifetime, Baudelaire's name has become a byword for literary and artistic decadence. At the same time his works, in particular his book of poetry Les Fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil), have been acknowledged as classics of French literature. Baudelaire was born in Paris, France in 1821. His father, a senior civil servant and amateur artist, died during Baudelaire's childhood in 1827. The following year, his mother, Caroline, thirty-four years younger than his father, married Lieutenant Colonel Jacques Aupick, who later became a French ambassador to various noble courts. Baudelaire's relationship with his mother was a close and complex one, and it dominated his life. He later stated "I loved my mother for her elegance. I was a precocious dandy". He later wrote to her "There was in my childhood a period of passionate love for you". Read more at: Charles Baudelaire

--Word of the Day: malapropism\mal-uh-PROP-iz-uhm\ , (noun):
1. An act or habit of misusing words ridiculously, esp. by the confusion of words that are similar in sound.
2. An example of such misuse.
Example:
At 15, Rachel, the whiny would-be beauty queen who "cares for naught but appearances," can think only of what she misses: the five-day deodorant pads she forgot to bring, flush toilets, machine-washed clothes and other things, as she says with her willful gift for malapropism, that she has taken "for granite."
-Michiko Kakutani, "The Poisonwood Bible': A Family a Heart of Darkness", New York Times, October 16, 1998

--Quote of the Day: I think we dream so we don't have to be apart so long. If we're in each other's dreams, we can play together all night.
-Bill Watterson

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October 8, 2010

A Sunset

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--Description: 19th C, Hugo V.M.., Celestial, Nature, Night--


I love the evenings, passionless and fair, I love the evens,
Whether old manor-fronts their ray with golden fulgence leavens,
In numerous leafage bosomed close;
Whether the mist in reefs of fire extend its reaches sheer,
Or a hundred sunbeams splinter in an azure atmosphere
On cloudy archipelagos.

Oh, gaze ye on the firmament! a hundred clouds in motion,
Up-piled in the immense sublime beneath the winds' commotion,
Their unimagined shapes accord:
Under their waves at intervals flame a pale levin through,
As if some giant of the air amid the vapors drew
A sudden elemental sword.

The sun at bay with splendid thrusts still keeps the sullen fold;
And momently at distance sets, as a cupola of gold,
The thatched roof of a cot a-glance;
Or on the blurred horizon joins his battle with the haze;
Or pools the blooming fields about with inter-isolate blaze,
Great moveless meres of radiance.

Then mark you how there hangs athwart the firmament's swept track,
Yonder a mighty crocodile with vast irradiant back,
A triple row of pointed teeth?
Under its burnished belly slips a ray of eventide,
The flickerings of a hundred glowing clouds in tenebrous side
With scales of golden mail ensheathe.

Then mounts a palace, then the air vibrates--the vision flees.
Confounded to its base, the fearful cloudy edifice
Ruins immense in mounded wrack;
Afar the fragments strew the sky, and each envermeiled cone
Hangeth, peak downward, overhead, like mountains overthrown
When the earthquake heaves its hugy back.

These vapors, with their leaden, golden, iron, bronzèd glows,
Where the hurricane, the waterspout, thunder, and hell repose,
Muttering hoarse dreams of destined harms,--
'Tis God who hangs their multitude amid the skiey deep,
As a warrior that suspendeth from the roof-tree of his keep
His dreadful and resounding arms!

All vanishes! The Sun, from topmost heaven precipitated,
Like a globe of iron which is tossed back fiery red
Into the furnace stirred to fume,
Shocking the cloudy surges, plashed from its impetuous ire,
Even to the zenith spattereth in a flecking scud of fire
The vaporous and inflamèd spaume.

O contemplate the heavens! Whenas the vein-drawn day dies pale,
In every season, every place, gaze through their every veil?
With love that has not speech for need!
Beneath their solemn beauty is a mystery infinite:
If winter hue them like a pall, or if the summer night
Fantasy them starre brede.


Victor Marie Hugo

--Did You Know: (26 February 1802 – 22 May 1885) Hugo was a French poet, playwright, novelist, essayist, visual artist, statesman, human rights activist and exponent of the Romantic movement in France. In France, Hugo's literary fame rests not only upon his novels, but also upon his poetic and dramatic achievements. Among many volumes of poetry, Les Contemplations and La Légende des siècles stand particularly high in critical esteem, and Hugo is sometimes identified as the greatest French poet. Outside France, his best-known works are the novels Les Misérables and Notre-Dame de Paris (known in English also as The Hunchback of Notre Dame). Though a committed conservative royalist when he was young, Hugo grew more liberal as the decades passed; he became a passionate supporter of republicanism, and his work touches upon most of the political and social issues and artistic trends of his time. He is buried in the Panthéon. Read more at: Victor Hugo

--Word of the Day: foofaraw \FOO-fuh-raw\, noun:
1. Excessive or flashy ornamentation or decoration.
2. A fuss over a matter of little importance.
Example:
A somber, muted descending motif opens and closes the work, which is brief but effective. It provided much needed relief from the fanfares and foofaraw in which brass-going composers so often indulge.
-Philip Kennicott, "Brass Spectacular is a Spectacle of Special Sound", St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 17, 1997

--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. 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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