August 31, 2011

The Highwayman

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--Description: Noyes A., 20th C, Battle, Love, Passion

                                         PART ONE

I

THE wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding—
Riding—riding—
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.

II

He'd a French cocked-hat on his forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin,
A coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of brown doe-skin;
They fitted with never a wrinkle: his boots were up to the thigh!
And he rode with a jewelled twinkle,
His pistol butts a-twinkle,
His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under the jewelled sky.

III

Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard,
And he tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred;
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord's black-eyed daughter,
Bess, the landlord's daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

IV

And dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked
Where Tim the ostler listened; his face was white and peaked;
His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay,
But he loved the landlord's daughter,
The landlord's red-lipped daughter,
Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say—

V

"One kiss, my bonny sweetheart, I'm after a prize to-night,
But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light;
Yet, if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
Then look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way."

VI

He rose upright in the stirrups; he scarce could reach her hand,
But she loosened her hair i' the casement! His face burnt like a brand
As the black cascade of perfume came tumbling over his breast;
And he kissed its waves in the moonlight,
(Oh, sweet, black waves in the moonlight!)
Then he tugged at his rein in the moonliglt, and galloped away to the West.

                                     PART TWO
I

He did not come in the dawning; he did not come at noon;
And out o' the tawny sunset, before the rise o' the moon,
When the road was a gypsy's ribbon, looping the purple moor,
A red-coat troop came marching—
Marching—marching—
King George's men came matching, up to the old inn-door.

II

They said no word to the landlord, they drank his ale instead,
But they gagged his daughter and bound her to the foot of her narrow bed;
Two of them knelt at her casement, with muskets at their side!
There was death at every window;
And hell at one dark window;
For Bess could see, through her casement, the road that he would ride.

III

They had tied her up to attention, with many a sniggering jest;
They had bound a musket beside her, with the barrel beneath her breast!
"Now, keep good watch!" and they kissed her.
She heard the dead man say—
Look for me by moonlight;
Watch for me by moonlight;
I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way!

IV

She twisted her hands behind her; but all the knots held good!
She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood!
They stretched and strained in the darkness, and the hours crawled by like years,
Till, now, on the stroke of midnight,
Cold, on the stroke of midnight,
The tip of one finger touched it! The trigger at least was hers!

V

The tip of one finger touched it; she strove no more for the rest!
Up, she stood up to attention, with the barrel beneath her breast,
She would not risk their hearing; she would not strive again;
For the road lay bare in the moonlight;
Blank and bare in the moonlight;
And the blood of her veins in the moonlight throbbed to her love's refrain .

VI

Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot! Had they heard it? The horse-hoofs ringing clear;
Tlot-tlot, tlot-tlot, in the distance? Were they deaf that they did not hear?
Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill,
The highwayman came riding,
Riding, riding!
The red-coats looked to their priming! She stood up, straight and still!

VII

Tlot-tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot-tlot, in the echoing night!
Nearer he came and nearer! Her face was like a light!
Her eyes grew wide for a moment; she drew one last deep breath,

Then her finger moved in the moonlight,
Her musket shattered the moonlight,
Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him—with her death.

VIII

He turned; he spurred to the West; he did not know who stood
Bowed, with her head o'er the musket, drenched with her own red blood!
Not till the dawn he heard it, his face grew grey to hear
How Bess, the landlord's daughter,
The landlord's black-eyed daughter,
Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there.

IX

Back, he spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky,
With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high!
Blood-red were his spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
When they shot him down on the highway,
Down like a dog on the highway,
And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.

***************************************
X

And still of a winter's night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,
When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
When the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
A highwayman comes riding—
Riding—riding—
A highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.

XI

Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard;
He taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred;
He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord's black-eyed daughter,
Bess, the landlord's daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.


Alfred Noyes


--Did You Know:(16 September 1880 – 25 June 1958) Noyes was an English poet, best known for his ballads, "The Highwayman" and "The Barrel-Organ". Born in Wolverhampton, England, he was the son of Alfred and Amelia Adams Noyes. Noyes attended Exeter College, Oxford, leaving before he had earned a degree. Noyes' major work in this phase of his career was Drake, a 200-page epic in blank verse about the Elizabethan naval commander Sir Francis Drake, which was published in two volumes (1906 and 1908). Both in style and subject, the poem shows the clear influence of Romantic poets such as Tennyson and Wordsworth. Noyes' only full-length play, Sherwood, was published in 1911; it was reissued in 1926, with alterations, as Robin Hood. One of his most popular poems, "A Song of Sherwood",[6] also dates from 1911. He published in 1913 another long poem, Tales of the Mermaid Tavern, which evokes several of the great figures of the Elizabethan era, among them Shakespeare, Jonson, Marlowe and Raleigh. Read more at: Alfred Noyes

--Daily Quote: If you have no confidence in self,
you are twice defeated in the race of life.
With confidence, you have won even before you have started.
- Marcus Tullius Cicero


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August 28, 2011

The Rainbow

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--Description: 19th C, Wordsworth W., Life, Nature--
My heart leaps up when I behold
A Rainbow in the sky:

So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!

The Child is father of the man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.

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 semiautobiographical 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

--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: cupidity \kyoo-PID-uh-tee\, noun:
Eager or excessive desire, especially for wealth; greed; avarice.
Example:
Curiosity was a form of lust, a wandering cupidity of the eye and the mind.
-John Crowley, "Of Marvels And Monsters", Washington Post, October 18, 1998

--Quote of the Day: Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life. The evening beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray.
-Lord Byron

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August 27, 2011

I've Got A Golden Ticket

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--Description: 20th C, Dahl R., Fantasy, Hope, Humor, Joy--




I never thought my life could be
Anything but catastrophe
But suddenly I begin to see
A bit of good luck for me

'Cause I've got a golden ticket
I've got a golden twinkle in my eye

I never had a chance to shine
Never a happy song to sing
But suddenly half the world is mine
What an amazing thing

'Cause I've got a golden ticket
It's ours, Charlie
I've got a golden sun up in the sky

I never thought I'd see the day
When I would face the world and say
Good morning, look at the sun
I never thought that I would be
Slap in the lap of luxury'
Cause I'd have said it couldn't be done
But it can be done

I never dreamed that I would climb
Over the moon in ecstasy
But nevertheless, it's there that I'm
Shortly about to be

'Cause I've got a golden ticket
I've got a golden chance to make my way
And with a golden ticket, it's a golden day

Good morning, look at the sun'
Cause I'd have said it couldn't be done
But it can be done

I never dreamed that I would climb
Over the moon in ecstasy
But nevertheless, it's there that I'm
Shortly about to be

'Cause I've got a golden ticket'
Cause I've got a golden ticket
I've got a golden chance to make my way
And with a golden ticket, it's a golden day


Roald Dahl

--Did You Know: (13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990) Dahl was a British novelist, short story writer, and screenwriter. Born in Llandaff, Wales, to Norwegian parents, Dahl served in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, in which he became a flying ace and intelligence agent. He rose to prominence in the 1940s with works for both children and adults, and became one of the world's bestselling authors. His short stories are known for their unexpected endings, and his children's books for their unsentimental, often very dark humour. Some of his more well-known works include James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr Fox, Matilda, The Witches, and The BFG. Roald Dahl was born in Llandaff, Cardiff, Wales in 1916, to Norwegian parents, Harald Dahl and Sofie Magdalene Dahl (née Hesselberg). Dahl's father had moved from Sarpsborg in Norway and settled in Cardiff in the 1880s, and his mother came over to marry his father in about 1910. Roald was named after the polar explorer Roald Amundsen, a national hero in Norway at the time. He spoke Norwegian at home with his parents and sisters, Astri, Alfhild, and Else. Dahl and his sisters were christened at the Norwegian Church, Cardiff, where their parents worshipped. Read more at: Roald Dahl

--Poetry Terminology: Assonance -
A repetition of vowel sounds within syllables with changing consonants.
Example:
Hear the mellow wedding bells. — Edgar Allan Poe
Try to light the fire.
Rumbling thunder
He gave a nod to the officer with the pocket.
Mankind can handle most hassles.
Tilting at windmills

--Word of the Day: collogue \kuh-LOHG\, verb:
To confer secretly.
But come, you make me only the more earnest to collogue with you.
--Nathaniel Hawthorne, Septimius Felton

--Quote of the Day:
Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others,
you should put a good deal of thought
into the happiness that you are able to give.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

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August 23, 2011

A Lost Angel

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


When first we met she seemed so white
I feared her;
As one might near a spirit bright
I neared her;
An angel pure from heaven above
I dreamed her,
And far too good for human love
I deemed her.
A spirit free from mortal taint
I thought her,
And incense as unto a saint
I brought her.

Well, incense burning did not seem
To please her,
And insolence I feared she’d deem
To squeeze her;
Nor did I dare for that same why
To kiss her,
Lest, shocked, she’d cause my eager eye
To miss her.
I sickened thinking of some way
To win her,
When lo! she asked me, one fine day,
To dinner!

Twas thus that made of common flesh
I found her,
And in a mortal lover’s mesh
I wound her.
Embraces, kisses, loving looks
I gave her,
And buying bon-bons, flowers and books,
I save her;
For her few honest, human taints
I love her,
Nor would I change for all the saints
Above her
Those eyes, that little face, that so
Endear her,
And all the human joy I know
When near her;
And I am glad, when to my breast
I press her,
She’s just a woman, like the rest,
God bless her!


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: glace \GLAS\, noun:
Ice placed in a drink to cool it.
Example:
The serving girl brought the glace-Thiago inspected his plate with satisfaction.
- George R. R. Martin, Gardner Dozois, Songs of the Dying Earth

--Quote of the Day: "A house is made of walls and beams;
a home is built with love and dreams."
- Anonymous

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August 20, 2011

The Folly of Being Comforted

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--Description: 20th C, Yeats, W.B., Aging, Life, Love, Passion--


One that is ever kind said yesterday:
"Your well-beloved's hair has threads of grey,
And little shadows come about her eyes;
Time can but make it easier to be wise
Though now it seems impossible, and so
All that you need is patience."
Heart cries, "No,
I have not a crumb of comfort, not a grain.
Time can but make her beauty over again:
Because of that great nobleness of hers
The fire that stirs about her, when she stirs,
Burns but more clearly. O she had not these ways
When all the wild Summer was in her gaze."
Heart! O heart! if she'd but turn her head,
You'd know the folly of being comforted.

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

--Word of the Day: savoir-faire / (SAV-wahr-fayr) /noun:
The ability to say or do the right thing in any situation; tact.
Example:
"In a cascade of thanks, C.S. Richardson bows gracefully to all those elegant Londoners, full of savoir faire."
-Peter Wells; The A to Z of Life; New Zealand Herald (Auckland); Jul 7, 2008.

--Quote of the Day: A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are for.
-John A. Shedd

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August 18, 2011

A Nursery Darling

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--Description: 19th C, Carroll L., Childhood, Parenting--

A Mother's breast:
Safe refuge from her childish fears,
From childish troubles, childish tears,
Mists that enshroud her dawning years!
see how in sleep she seems to sing
A voiceless psalm--an offering
Raised, to the glory of her King
In Love: for Love is Rest.

A Darling's kiss:
Dearest of all the signs that fleet
From lips that lovingly repeat
Again, again, the message sweet!
Full to the brim with girlish glee,
A child, a very child is she,
Whose dream
of heaven is still to be
At Home: for Home is Bliss.


Lewis Carroll

--Did You Know: (27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898) Carroll (/ˈkærəl/) - born Charles Lutwidge Dodgeson - was an English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer. His most famous writings are Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass as well as the poems "The Hunting of the Snark" and "Jabberwocky", all examples of the genre of literary nonsense. He is noted for his facility at word play, logic, and fantasy.The overwhelming commercial success of the first Alice book changed Dodgson's life in many ways. The fame of his alter ego "Lewis Carroll" soon spread around the world. He was inundated with fan mail and with sometimes unwanted attention. Indeed, according to one popular story that Dodgson denied decades later, Queen Victoria herself enjoyed Alice In Wonderland so much that she suggested he dedicate his next book to her, and was accordingly presented with his next work, a scholarly volume entitled An Elementary Treatise on Determinants. He also began earning quite substantial sums of money.

--Word of the Day: dalliance\DAL-ee-uhns, DAL-yuhns\ , noun:
1. Frivolous spending of time; dawdling.
2. Playful flirtation.
Quote:
Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven;
Whiles, like a puff’d and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,
And recks not his own rede.
-William Shakespeare, Hamlet

--Quote of the Day: "The test of literature is, I suppose, whether we ourselves live more intensely for the reading of it."
-Elizabeth Drew

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August 17, 2011

Fringed Gentians

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--Description: 20th C, Lowell A., Nature, Seasons--


Near where I live there is a lake
As blue as blue can be, winds make
It dance as they go blowing by.
I think it curtseys to the sky.
It's just a lake of lovely flowers
And my Mamma says they are ours;
But they are not like those we grow
To be our very own, you know.
We have a splendid garden, there
Are lots of flowers everywhere;
Roses, and pinks, and four o'clocks
And hollyhocks, and evening stocks.
Mamma lets us pick them, but never
Must we pick any gentians -- ever!
For if we carried them away
They'd die of homesickness that day.


--Did You Know:  In the post-World War II years, Lowell, like other women writers, was largely forgotten, but with the renascence of the women's movement in the 1970s, women's studies brought her back to light. According to Heywood Broun, however, Lowell personally argued against feminism.

--Word of the Day: pas de deux (pah duh DU), noun
Meaning: 1. A dance for two people.  2. A close relationship between two people or things involved in an activity.
Example: "This novel The Song Is You is a pas de deux between a young singer-songwriter and the much older man who actively, obsessively inspires her."

(Kate Christensen; Always on My Mind; The New York Times; Apr 10, 2009.)

--Quote of the Day: Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night.
(Rainer Maria Rilke)

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August 14, 2011

A Good Boy

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--Description: 19th C, Stevenson R.L., Childhood, Children, Night-- 

I woke before the morning, I was happy all the day,
I never said an ugly word, but smiled and stuck to play.

And now at last the sun is going down behind the wood,
And I am very happy, for I know that I've been good.

My bed is waiting cool and fresh, with linen smooth and fair,
And I must be off to sleepsin-by, and not forget my prayer.

I know that, till to-morrow I shall see the sun arise,
No ugly dream shall fright my mind, no ugly sight my eyes.

But slumber hold me tightly till I waken in the dawn,
And hear the thrushes singing in the lilacs round the lawn.


Robert Louis Stephenson

--Did You Know: (13 November 1850 – 3 December 1894) Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist and travel writer. Stevenson was greatly admired by many authors, including Jorge Luis Borges, Ernest Hemingway and Rudyard Kipling. Stevenson was born Robert Lewis Balfour Stevenson at 8 Howard Place, Edinburgh, Scotland, on 13 November 1850, to Thomas Stevenson (1818–1887), a leading lighthouse engineer, and his wife Margaret, born Margaret Isabella Balfour (1829–1897). Lighthouse design was the family profession. Read more at: Robert Louis Stevenson

--Poetry Terminology: Dialect Verse -
Verse which employs national or regional dialects e.g. Robert Burns (Scottish), William Barnes (Dorset), Tennyson (Lincolnshire - see Northern Farmer) or my own poems (Norfolk - see New Norfolk Anals).

--Word of the Day: handsel \HAN-suhl\, noun:
1. First encounter with or use of something taken as a token of what will follow.
2. A gift or token for good luck or as an expression of good wishes.
3. A first installment of payment.
- Breakfast done, the seekers made little delay, so eager as they were to behold the King, and to have handsel of their new sweet life.
-- William Morris, The Story of the Glittering Plain: Or the Land of Living Men

--Quote of the Day: A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity;
an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
- Winston Churchill

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August 13, 2011

I Thought of You

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--Description: 20th C, Teasedale S., Love, Memories, Nature, Seasons, Separation--

Photo by Max Earle


I thought of you and how you love this beauty,
And walking up the long beach all alone
I heard the waves breaking in measured thunder
As you and I once heard their monotone.

Around me were the echoing dunes, beyond me
The cold and sparkling silver of the sea --
We two will pass through death and ages lengthen
Before you hear that sound again with me.


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: entelechy \en-TEL-uh-kee\, noun:
1. A realization or actuality as opposed to a potentiality.
2. In vitalist philosophy, a vital agent or force directing growth and life.
- It must gratify a man to evolve so perfectly concomitantly with his years, to write patriarchally when he is old, to be so complete an entelechy.
-- Kenneth Burke, Here & Elsewhere: The Collected Fiction of Kenneth Burke

--Quote of the Day: "The ability to be in the present moment
is a major component of mental wellness."
- Abraham Maslow

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August 11, 2011

Comfort

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--Description: 20th C, Service R.W., Christianity, Encouragement, Hope-- 


Say! You've struck a heap of trouble --
Bust in business, lost your wife;
No one cares a cent about you,
You don't care a cent for life;
Hard luck has of hope bereft you,
Health is failing, wish you'd die --
Why, you've still the sunshine left you
And the big, blue sky.

Sky so blue it makes you wonder
If it's heaven shining through;
Earth so smiling 'way out yonder,
Sun so bright it dazzles you;
Birds a-singing, flowers a-flinging
All their fragrance on the breeze;
Dancing shadows, green, still meadows --
Don't you mope, you've still got these.

These, and none can take them from you;
These, and none can weigh their worth.
What! you're tired and broke and beaten? --
Why, you're rich -- you've got the earth!
Yes, if you're a tramp in tatters,
While the blue sky bends above
You've got nearly all that matters --
You've got God, and God is love.

Robert William Service

--Did You Know: (January 16, 1874 – September 11, 1958) Robert W. Service was a poet and writer who has often been called "the Bard of the Yukon". Service is best known for his poems "The Shooting of Dan McGrew" and "The Cremation of Sam McGee", from his first book, Songs of a Sourdough (1907). "These humorous tales in verse were considered doggerel by the literary set, yet remain extremely popular to this day." Robert W. Service was born in Preston, Lancashire, England, the first of ten children. His father, also Robert Service, was a banker from Kilwinning, Scotland who had been transferred to England. At five years old Robert W. Service went to live in Kilwinning with his three maiden aunts and his paternal grandfather, who was the town's postmaster. There he is said to have composed his first verse, a grace, on his sixth birthday:
God bless the cakes and bless the jam;
Bless the cheese and the cold boiled ham:
Bless the scones Aunt Jeannie makes,
And save us all from bellyaches. Amen
Read more at: Robert W. Service

--Word of the Day: amaranthine \am-uh-RAN-thin\, adjective:
1. Unfading; everlasting.
2. Of or like the amaranth flower.
3. Of purplish-red color.
- Though she had been made an amaranthine immortal when she was twelve years of age, she'd had to wait for her extraordinary abilities until her body matured to its most perfect state before fully transforming.
- Kim Lenox, Darker Than Night

--Quote of the Day: "Be mindful of how you approach time. Watching the clock is not the same as watching the sun rise."
-- Sophia Bedford-Pierce

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August 9, 2011

Azure and Gold

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--Description: 20th C, Lowell A., Nature, Seasons--


April had covered the hills
With flickering yellows and reds,
The sparkle and coolness of snow
Was blown from the mountain beds.

Across a deep-sunken stream
The pink of blossoming trees,
And from windless appleblooms
The humming of many bees.

The air was of rose and gold
Arabesqued with the song of birds
Who, swinging unseen under leaves,
Made music more eager than words.

Of a sudden, aslant the road,
A brightness to dazzle and stun,
A glint of the bluest blue,
A flash from a sapphire sun.

Blue-birds so blue, 'twas a dream,
An impossible, unconceived hue,
The high sky of summer dropped down
Some rapturous ocean to woo.

Such a colour, such infinite light!
The heart of a fabulous gem,
Many-faceted, brilliant and rare.
Centre Stone of the earth's diadem!

Centre Stone of the Crown of the World,
"Sincerity" graved on your youth!
And your eyes hold the blue-bird flash,
The sapphire shaft, which is truth.


Amy Lowell

--Did You Know: Lowell was an American poet of the imagist school from Brookline, Massachusetts who posthumously won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1926. Lowell not only published her own work but also that of other writers. According to Untermyer, she "captured" the Imagist movement from Ezra Pound. Read more at: Amy Lowell

--Word of the Day
: nugacity (noo-GAS-i-tee, nyoo-), noun

Meaning: Triviality; futility.
Example:
-"For many, the Beachcomber column has been an oasis of nugacity in an otherwise worthy landscape."
(Beachcomber; The Daily Express (London, UK); Jan 9, 2006.)

Quote of the Day: All endeavor calls for the ability
to tramp the last mile,
shape the last plan, endure the last hours toil.
The fight to the finish spirit is the one...
characteristic we must posses
if we are to face the future as finishers.
- Henry David Thoreau

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August 6, 2011

Summer in the South

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--Description: 20th C, Dunbar P.L., Nature, Seasons--

The Oriole sings in the greening grove
As if he were half-way waiting,
The rosebuds peep from their hoods of green,
Timid, and hesitating.
The rain comes down in a torrent sweep
And the nights smell warm and pinety,
The garden thrives, but the tender shoots
Are yellow-green and tiny.
Then a flash of sun on a waiting hill,
Streams laugh that erst were quiet,
The sky smiles down with a dazzling blue
And the woods run mad with riot.

Paul Laurence Dunbar

--Did You Know: (June 27, 1872– February 9, 1906) Dunbar was a seminal American poet of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Dunbar gained national recognition for his 1896 Lyrics of a Lowly Life, one poem in the collection Ode to Ethiopia. Dunbar was born in Dayton, Ohio to parents who had escaped from slavery; his father was a veteran of the American Civil War, having served in the 55th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment and the 5th Massachusetts Colored Cavalry Regiment. His parents instilled in him a love of learning and history. He was a student at an all-white high school, Dayton Central High School, and he participated actively as a student. During high school, he was both the editor of the school newspaper and class president, as well as the president of the school literary society. Dunbar had also started the first African-American newsletter in Dayton. He wrote his first poem at age 6 and gave his first public recital at age 9. Dunbar's first published work came in a newspaper put out by his high school friends Wilbur and Orville Wright, who owned a printing plant. Read more at: Paul Laurence Dunbar

--Word of the Day: potable \POH-tuh-buhl\, adjective:
1. Fit to drink; suitable for drinking; drinkable.
noun:
1. A potable liquid; a beverage, especially an alcoholic beverage.
Example:
If you drink from the spring, which is shaded by a fig tree, you will supposedly feel younger and more loving. Unfortunately, you may also feel sick: the government warns that the water is not potable.
-Gene Burns, "The Stuff of Myths", The Atlantic, September 1999

--Quote of the Day: "When I let go of what I am,
I become what I might be."
-Lao Tzu

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August 3, 2011

Flower of Love

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--Description: 19th C, Wilde O., Life, Love, Passion-- 


 
Sweet, I blame you not, for mine the fault was, had I not been made of common
clay
I had climbed the higher heights unclimbed yet, seen the fuller air, the
larger day.

From the wildness of my wasted passion I had struck a better, clearer song,
Lit some lighter light of freer freedom, battled with some Hydra-headed wrong.

Had my lips been smitten into music by the kisses that but made them bleed,
You had walked with Bice and the angels on that verdant and enamelled meed.

I had trod the road which Dante treading saw the suns of seven circles shine,
Ay! perchance had seen the heavens opening, as they opened to the Florentine.

And the mighty nations would have crowned me, who am crownless now and without
name,
And some orient dawn had found me kneeling on the threshold of the House of
Fame.

I had sat within that marble circle where the oldest bard is as the young,
And the pipe is ever dropping honey, and the lyre's strings are ever strung.

Keats had lifted up his hymeneal curls from out the poppy-seeded wine,
With ambrosial mouth had kissed my forehead, clasped the hand of noble love in
mine.

And at springtide, when the apple-blossoms brush the burnished bosom of the
dove,
Two young lovers lying in an orchard would have read the story of our love;

Would have read the legend of my passion, known the bitter secret of my heart,
Kissed as we have kissed, but never parted as we two are fated now to part.

For the crimson flower of our life is eaten by the cankerworm of truth,
And no hand can gather up the fallen withered petals of the rose of youth.

Yet I am not sorry that I loved you -ah! what else had I a boy to do? -
For the hungry teeth of time devour, and the silent-footed years pursue.

Rudderless, we drift athwart a tempest, and when once the storm of youth is
past,
Without lyre, without lute or chorus, Death the silent pilot comes at last.

And within the grave there is no pleasure, for the blindworm battens on the
root,
And Desire shudders into ashes, and the tree of Passion bears no fruit.

Ah! what else had I to do but love you? God's own mother was less dear to me,
And less dear the Cytheraean rising like an argent lily from the sea.

I have made my choice, have lived my poems, and, though youth is gone in
wasted days,
I have found the lover's crown of myrtle better than the poet's crown of bays.


Oscar Wilde

--Did You Know: (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) Wilde was an Irish playwright, poet and author of numerous short stories and one novel. Known for his biting wit, he became one of the most successful playwrights of the late Victorian era in London, and one of the greatest "celebrities" of his day. Several of his plays continue to be widely performed, especially The Importance of Being Earnest. As the result of a widely covered series of trials, Oscar Wilde suffered a dramatic downfall and was imprisoned for two years' hard labour after being convicted of homosexual relationships, described as "gross indecency" with other men. After Wilde was released from prison he set sail for Dieppe by the night ferry, never to return to Ireland or Britain. Read more at: Oscar Wilde

--Word of the Day: aeromancy \AIR-uh-man-see\, noun:
The prediction of future events from observation of weather conditions.
Example:
The wreckage of vast sundowns predicts in sulphurous aeromancy havoc to be.
-- Robert Malise and Bowyer Nichols, Fantastica: being The smile of the Sphinx, and other tales of imagination

--Quote of the Day: "At the heart of personality is the need to feel a sense of being lovable without having to qualify for that acceptance."
-- Dr. Paul Tournier

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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