June 5, 2011

An Old-Fashioned Garden

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

Strange, is it not? She was making her garden,
Planting the old-fashioned flowers that day—
Bleeding-hearts tender and bachelors-buttons—
Spreading the seeds in the old-fashioned way.

Just in the old fashioned way, too, our quarrel
Grew until, angrily, she set me free—
Planting, indeed, bleeding hearts for the two of us,—
Ordaining bachelor’s buttons for me.


Strange, was it not? But seeds planted in anger
Sour in the earth and, ere long, a decay
Withered the bleeding hearts, blighted the buttons,
And—we were wed—in the old-fashioned way.

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: métier \met-YAY; MET-yay\, noun:
1. An occupation; a profession.
2. An area in which one excels; an occupation for which one is especially well suited.
The pairing of Maynard and Salinger -- the writer whose métier is autobiography and the writer who's so private he won't even publish -- was an unlikely one.
-- Larissa MacFarquhar, "The Cult of Joyce Maynard", New York Times Magazine, September 6, 1998

--Quote of the Day: To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children,
to leave the world a better place,
to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived,
this is to have succeeded.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Posted by V. Mahfood
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Small Footprints on June 6, 2011 at 5:02 PM said...

In such a few words, this piece says so much! It's bitter-sweet! Thank you for sharing!

V. Mahfood on June 6, 2011 at 8:34 PM said...

Yes, I love the old fashioned feel to it, but the sentiments and motions are just as hurtful today. Glad you liked it :-)

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