February 26, 2012

Kind Are Her Answers

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--Description: 17th C, Campion T., Beauty, Disillusion, Love--



Kind are her answers,
But her performance keeps no day;
Breaks time, as dancers
From their own music when they stray.
All her free favours and smooth words,
Wing my hopes in vain.
O did ever voice so sweet but only feign?
Can true love yield such delay,
Converting joy to pain?
Lost is our freedom,
When we submit to women so:
Why do we need them
When, in their best they work our woe?
Can alter ends, by Fate prefixed.
O why is the good of man with evil mixed?
Never were days yet called two,
But one night went betwixt.


Thomas Campion

--Did You Know: (12 February 1567 – 1 March 1620) Thomas Campion was an English composer, poet and physician. Campion was born in London and studied at Peterhouse, Cambridge, but left without taking a degree. He later entered Gray's Inn to study law in 1586. However, he left in 1595 without having been called to the bar. On 10 February 1605 he received his medical degree from the University of Caen. Campion was first published as a poet in 1591 with five of his works appearing in an edition of Sir Philip Sidney's Astrophel and Stella. The Songs of Mourning: Bewailing the Untimely Death of Prince Henry (1613), were set to music by John Cooper. He also wrote a number of other poems as well as a book on poetry, Observations in the Art of English Poesie (1602), in which he criticises the practice of rhyming in poetry. Some of Campion's works were quite ribald on the other hand, such as "Beauty, since you so much desire". He was implicated in the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury, but was eventually exonerated, as it was found that he had delivered a bribe unwittingly. Campion died in London, possibly of the plague. Early dictionary writers, such as F├ętis saw Campion as a theorist. It was much later on that people began to see him as a composer. He was the writer of a poem, Cherry Ripe, which is not the later famous poem of that title but has several similarities. Read more at: Thomas Campion

--Word of the Day: tramontane \truh-MON-teyn\, adjective:
1. Being or situated beyond the mountains.
2. Beyond the Alps as viewed from Italy; transalpine.
3. Of, pertaining to, or coming from the other side of the mountains.
4. Foreign; barbarous.
noun:
1. A person who lives beyond the mountains: formerly applied by the Italians to the peoples beyond the Alps, and by the latter to the Italians.
2. A foreigner; outlander; barbarian.
3. A violent, polar wind from the northwest that blows in southern France.

--Quote of the Day: "Friendship must dare to risk, or it's not friendship.
- Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the TV show Star Trek: The Next Generation."
(Margaret Brownley)

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February 23, 2012

The Sun Has Long Been Set

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



The sun has long been set,
The stars are out by twos and threes,
The little birds are piping yet
Among the bushes and the trees;
There's a cuckoo, and one or two thrushes,
And a far-off wind that rushes,
And a sound of water that gushes,
And the cuckoo's sovereign cry
Fills all the hollow of the sky.
Who would go `parading'
In London, `and masquerading',
On such a night of June
With that beautiful soft half-moon,
And all these innocent blisses?
On such a night as this is!



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: Aide-memoire poem -
Poem which helps the memory e.g. 'Thirty days hath September,/April, June and November'

--Word of the Day: evanescence \ev-uh-NES-ens\, noun:
1. A gradual dissappearance.
2. The state of becoming imperceptible.
Example:
This is one of the most beautiful circumstances connected with water surface, for by these means a variety of color and a grace and evanescence are introduced in the reflection otherwise impossible.
-John Ruskin, The Works of John Ruskin: Modern painters, v.1-5

--Quote of the Day: In the coldest February, as in every other month in every other year, the best thing to hold on to in this world is each other. ~Linda Ellerbee

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February 21, 2012

Two Streams

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--Description: 19th C, Holmes O.W., Aging, Life-- 
BEHOLD the rocky wall
That down its sloping sides
Pours the swift rain-drops, blending as they fall,
In rushing river-tides!

Yon stream, whose sources run
Turned by a pebble's edge,
Is Athabasca, rolling toward the sun
Through the cleft mountain-ledge.

The slender rill had strayed,
But for the slanting stone,
To evening's ocean, with the tangled braid
Of foam-flecked Oregon.

So from the heights of Will
Life's parting stream descends,
And, as a moment turns its slender rill,
Each widening torrent bends,--

From the same cradle's side,
From the same mother's knee,--
One to long darkness and the frozen tide,
One to the Peaceful Sea!


Oliver Wendell Holmes

--Did You Know: (August 29, 1809 – October 7, 1894) Holmes was an American physician, professor, lecturer, and author. Regarded by his peers as one of the best writers of the 19th century, he is considered a member of the Fireside Poets. His most famous prose works are the "Breakfast-Table" series, which began with The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table (1858). He is recognized as an important medical reformer. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Holmes was educated at Phillips Academy and Harvard College. After graduating from Harvard in 1829, he briefly studied law before turning to the medical profession. He began writing poetry at an early age; one of his most famous works, "Old Ironsides", was published in 1830. Following training at the prestigious medical schools of Paris, Holmes was granted his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1836. He taught at Dartmouth Medical School before returning to teach at Harvard and, for a time, served as dean there. During his long professorship, he became an advocate for various medical reforms and notably posited the controversial idea that doctors were capable of carrying puerperal fever from patient to patient. Holmes retired from Harvard in 1882 and continued writing poetry, novels and essays until his death in 1894. See more at: Oliver Wendell Holmes

--Word of the Day: mammonism \MAM-uh-niz-uhm\, noun:
The greedy pursuit of riches.
Example:
We will bring to mind a young man or young woman bitterly awakened from a fancy dream of accomplishment, action or glory, forced instead to come to terms with a considerably reduced status, a betrayed love, and a hideously bourgeois world of crass mammonism and philistine taste.
-- Rudyard Kipling, Kim

--Quote of the Day: What is necessary to change a person is
to change his awareness of himself.
- Abraham Maslow

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February 18, 2012

A Duet

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--Description: 20th C, Tabb J. B., Love, Nature--


A little yellow Bird above,
A little yellow Flower below;
The little Bird can sing the love
That Bird and Blossom know;
The Blossom has no song nor wing,
But breathes the love he cannot sing

 
John B. Tabb

--Did You Know: (March 22, 1845 - November 19, 1909) Father John Bannister Tabb was an American poet, Roman Catholic priest, and professor of English. (Although often misspelled as Bannister, the poet's middle name is actually spelled with only one "n", Banister.) Born into one of Virginia's oldest and wealthiest families, he became a blockade runner for the Confederacy during the Civil War, and spent eight months in a Union prison camp (where he formed a life-long friendship with poet Sidney Lanier); he converted to the Roman Catholic Church in 1872, and began to teach Greek and English at Saint Charles College (Ellicott City, Maryland) in 1878. He was ordained as a priest in 1884, after which he retained his academic position. Plagued by eye problems his whole life, he lost his sight completely about a year before he died in the college rooms that he had continued to occupy after his retirement. Father Tabb (as he was commonly known) was widely published in popular and prestigious magazines of the day, including Harper's Monthly, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Cosmopolitan. Read more at: John B. Tabb

--Word of the Day: piacular \pahy-AK-yuh-ler\, adjective:
1. Expiatory; atoning; reparatory.
2. Requiring expiation; sinful or wicked.
Example:
The journey to obtain scriptures in the Western Heaven is, for Tripitaka and his disciples, also the piacular journey of return to Buddha, and like the Odysseus of the Homeric poem, the scripture pilgrim must pass through appalling obstacles for past offenses against the gods.
-- Anthony C. Yu, Journey to the West

--Quote of the Day: A friend is someone who won't stop
until he finds you and brings you home.
- Fraser Sr. in the movie Due South

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February 15, 2012

A Lover's Complaint

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--Description: 17th C, Shakespeare W., Love--

FROM off a hill whose concave womb reworded
A plaintful story from a sistering vale,
My spirits to attend this double voice accorded,
And down I laid to list the sad-tuned tale;
Ere long espied a fickle maid full pale,
Tearing of papers, breaking rings a-twain,
Storming her world with sorrow's wind and rain.

Upon her head a platted hive of straw,
Which fortified her visage from the sun,
Whereon the thought might think sometime it saw
The carcass of beauty spent and done:
Time had not scythed all that youth begun,
Nor youth all quit; but, spite of heaven's fell rage,
Some beauty peep'd through lattice of sear'd age.

Oft did she heave her napkin to her eyne,
Which on it had conceited characters,
Laundering the silken figures in the brine
That season'd woe had pelleted in tears,
And often reading what contents it bears;
As often shrieking undistinguish'd woe,
In clamours of all size, both high and low.

Sometimes her levell'd eyes their carriage ride,
As they did battery to the spheres intend;
Sometime diverted their poor balls are tied
To the orbed earth; sometimes they do extend
Their view right on; anon their gazes lend
To every place at once, and, nowhere fix'd,
The mind and sight distractedly commix'd.

Her hair, nor loose nor tied in formal plat,
Proclaim'd in her a careless hand of pride
For some, untuck'd, descended her sheaved hat,
Hanging her pale and pined cheek beside;
Some in her threaden fillet still did bide,
And true to bondage would not break from thence,
Though slackly braided in loose negligence.

A thousand favours from a maund she drew
Of amber, crystal, and of beaded jet,
Which one by one she in a river threw,
Upon whose weeping margent she was set;
Like usury, applying wet to wet,
Or monarch's hands that let not bounty fall
Where want cries some, but where excess begs all.

Of folded schedules had she many a one,
Which she perused, sigh'd, tore, and gave the flood;
Crack'd many a ring of posied gold and bone
Bidding them find their sepulchres in mud;
Found yet moe letters sadly penn'd in blood,
With sleided silk feat and affectedly
Enswathed, and seal'd to curious secrecy.

These often bathed she in her fluxive eyes,
And often kiss'd, and often 'gan to tear:
Cried 'O false blood, thou register of lies,
What unapproved witness dost thou bear!
Ink would have seem'd more black and damned here!'
This said, in top of rage the lines she rents,
Big discontent so breaking their contents.

A reverend man that grazed his cattle nigh--
Sometime a blusterer, that the ruffle knew
Of court, of city, and had let go by
The swiftest hours, observed as they flew--
Towards this afflicted fancy fastly drew,
And, privileged by age, desires to know
In brief the grounds and motives of her woe.

So slides he down upon his grained bat,
And comely-distant sits he by her side;
When he again desires her, being sat,
Her grievance with his hearing to divide:
If that from him there may be aught applied
Which may her suffering ecstasy assuage,
'Tis promised in the charity of age.

'Father,' she says, 'though in me you behold
The injury of many a blasting hour,
Let it not tell your judgment I am old;
Not age, but sorrow, over me hath power:
I might as yet have been a spreading flower,
Fresh to myself, If I had self-applied
Love to myself and to no love beside.

'But, woe is me! too early I attended
A youthful suit--it was to gain my grace--
Of one by nature's outwards so commended,
That maidens' eyes stuck over all his face:
Love lack'd a dwelling, and made him her place;
And when in his fair parts she did abide,
She was new lodged and newly deified.

'His browny locks did hang in crooked curls;
And every light occasion of the wind
Upon his lips their silken parcels hurls.
What's sweet to do, to do will aptly find:
Each eye that saw him did enchant the mind,
For on his visage was in little drawn
What largeness thinks in Paradise was sawn.

'Small show of man was yet upon his chin;
His phoenix down began but to appear
Like unshorn velvet on that termless skin
Whose bare out-bragg'd the web it seem'd to wear:
Yet show'd his visage by that cost more dear;
And nice affections wavering stood in doubt
If best were as it was, or best without.

'His qualities were beauteous as his form,
For maiden-tongued he was, and thereof free;
Yet, if men moved him, was he such a storm
As oft 'twixt May and April is to see,
When winds breathe sweet, untidy though they be.
His rudeness so with his authorized youth
Did livery falseness in a pride of truth.

'Well could he ride, and often men would say
'That horse his mettle from his rider takes:
Proud of subjection, noble by the sway,
What rounds, what bounds, what course, what stop
he makes!'
And controversy hence a question takes,
Whether the horse by him became his deed,
Or he his manage by the well-doing steed.

'But quickly on this side the verdict went:
His real habitude gave life and grace
To appertainings and to ornament,
Accomplish'd in himself, not in his case:
All aids, themselves made fairer by their place,
Came for additions; yet their purposed trim
Pieced not his grace, but were all graced by him.

'So on the tip of his subduing tongue
All kinds of arguments and question deep,
All replication prompt, and reason strong,
For his advantage still did wake and sleep:
To make the weeper laugh, the laugher weep,
He had the dialect and different skill,
Catching all passions in his craft of will:

'That he did in the general bosom reign
Of young, of old; and sexes both enchanted,
To dwell with him in thoughts, or to remain
In personal duty, following where he haunted:
Consents bewitch'd, ere he desire, have granted;
And dialogued for him what he would say,
Ask'd their own wills, and made their wills obey.

'Many there were that did his picture get,
To serve their eyes, and in it put their mind;
Like fools that in th' imagination set
The goodly objects which abroad they find
Of lands and mansions, theirs in thought assign'd;
And labouring in moe pleasures to bestow them
Than the true gouty landlord which doth owe them:

'So many have, that never touch'd his hand,
Sweetly supposed them mistress of his heart.
My woeful self, that did in freedom stand,
And was my own fee-simple, not in part,
What with his art in youth, and youth in art,
Threw my affections in his charmed power,
Reserved the stalk and gave him all my flower.

'Yet did I not, as some my equals did,
Demand of him, nor being desired yielded;
Finding myself in honour so forbid,
With safest distance I mine honour shielded:
Experience for me many bulwarks builded
Of proofs new-bleeding, which remain'd the foil
Of this false jewel, and his amorous spoil.

'But, ah, who ever shunn'd by precedent
The destined ill she must herself assay?
Or forced examples, 'gainst her own content,
To put the by-past perils in her way?
Counsel may stop awhile what will not stay;
For when we rage, advice is often seen
By blunting us to make our wits more keen.

'Nor gives it satisfaction to our blood,
That we must curb it upon others' proof;
To be forbod the sweets that seem so good,
For fear of harms that preach in our behoof.
O appetite, from judgment stand aloof!
The one a palate hath that needs will taste,
Though Reason weep, and cry, 'It is thy last.'

'For further I could say 'This man's untrue,'
And knew the patterns of his foul beguiling;
Heard where his plants in others' orchards grew,
Saw how deceits were gilded in his smiling;
Knew vows were ever brokers to defiling;
Thought characters and words merely but art,
And bastards of his foul adulterate heart.

'And long upon these terms I held my city,
Till thus he gan besiege me: 'Gentle maid,
Have of my suffering youth some feeling pity,
And be not of my holy vows afraid:
That's to ye sworn to none was ever said;
For feasts of love I have been call'd unto,
Till now did ne'er invite, nor never woo.

''All my offences that abroad you see
Are errors of the blood, none of the mind;
Love made them not: with acture they may be,
Where neither party is nor true nor kind:
They sought their shame that so their shame did find;
And so much less of shame in me remains,
By how much of me their reproach contains.

''Among the many that mine eyes have seen,
Not one whose flame my heart so much as warm'd,
Or my affection put to the smallest teen,
Or any of my leisures ever charm'd:
Harm have I done to them, but ne'er was harm'd;
Kept hearts in liveries, but mine own was free,
And reign'd, commanding in his monarchy.

''Look here, what tributes wounded fancies sent me,
Of paled pearls and rubies red as blood;
Figuring that they their passions likewise lent me
Of grief and blushes, aptly understood
In bloodless white and the encrimson'd mood;
Effects of terror and dear modesty,
Encamp'd in hearts, but fighting outwardly.

''And, lo, behold these talents of their hair,
With twisted metal amorously impleach'd,
I have received from many a several fair,
Their kind acceptance weepingly beseech'd,
With the annexions of fair gems enrich'd,
And deep-brain'd sonnets that did amplify
Each stone's dear nature, worth, and quality.

''The diamond,--why, 'twas beautiful and hard,
Whereto his invised properties did tend;
The deep-green emerald, in whose fresh regard
Weak sights their sickly radiance do amend;
The heaven-hued sapphire and the opal blend
With objects manifold: each several stone,
With wit well blazon'd, smiled or made some moan.

''Lo, all these trophies of affections hot,
Of pensived and subdued desires the tender,
Nature hath charged me that I hoard them not,
But yield them up where I myself must render,
That is, to you, my origin and ender;
For these, of force, must your oblations be,
Since I their altar, you enpatron me.

''O, then, advance of yours that phraseless hand,
Whose white weighs down the airy scale of praise;
Take all these similes to your own command,
Hallow'd with sighs that burning lungs did raise;
What me your minister, for you obeys,
Works under you; and to your audit comes
Their distract parcels in combined sums.

''Lo, this device was sent me from a nun,
Or sister sanctified, of holiest note;
Which late her noble suit in court did shun,
Whose rarest havings made the blossoms dote;
For she was sought by spirits of richest coat,
But kept cold distance, and did thence remove,
To spend her living in eternal love.

''But, O my sweet, what labour is't to leave
The thing we have not, mastering what not strives,
Playing the place which did no form receive,
Playing patient sports in unconstrained gyves?
She that her fame so to herself contrives,
The scars of battle 'scapeth by the flight,
And makes her absence valiant, not her might.

''O, pardon me, in that my boast is true:
The accident which brought me to her eye
Upon the moment did her force subdue,
And now she would the caged cloister fly:
Religious love put out Religion's eye:
Not to be tempted, would she be immured,
And now, to tempt, all liberty procured.

''How mighty then you are, O, hear me tell!
The broken bosoms that to me belong
Have emptied all their fountains in my well,
And mine I pour your ocean all among:
I strong o'er them, and you o'er me being strong,
Must for your victory us all congest,
As compound love to physic your cold breast.

''My parts had power to charm a sacred nun,
Who, disciplined, ay, dieted in grace,
Believed her eyes when they to assail begun,
All vows and consecrations giving place:
O most potential love! vow, bond, nor space,
In thee hath neither sting, knot, nor confine,
For thou art all, and all things else are thine.

''When thou impressest, what are precepts worth
Of stale example? When thou wilt inflame,
How coldly those impediments stand forth
Of wealth, of filial fear, law, kindred, fame!
Love's arms are peace, 'gainst rule, 'gainst sense,
'gainst shame,
And sweetens, in the suffering pangs it bears,
The aloes of all forces, shocks, and fears.

''Now all these hearts that do on mine depend,
Feeling it break, with bleeding groans they pine;
And supplicant their sighs to you extend,
To leave the battery that you make 'gainst mine,
Lending soft audience to my sweet design,
And credent soul to that strong-bonded oath
That shall prefer and undertake my troth.'

'This said, his watery eyes he did dismount,
Whose sights till then were levell'd on my face;
Each cheek a river running from a fount
With brinish current downward flow'd apace:
O, how the channel to the stream gave grace!
Who glazed with crystal gate the glowing roses
That flame through water which their hue encloses.

'O father, what a hell of witchcraft lies
In the small orb of one particular tear!
But with the inundation of the eyes
What rocky heart to water will not wear?
What breast so cold that is not warmed here?
O cleft effect! cold modesty, hot wrath,
Both fire from hence and chill extincture hath.

'For, lo, his passion, but an art of craft,
Even there resolved my reason into tears;
There my white stole of chastity I daff'd,
Shook off my sober guards and civil fears;
Appear to him, as he to me appears,
All melting; though our drops this difference bore,
His poison'd me, and mine did him restore.

'In him a plenitude of subtle matter,
Applied to cautels, all strange forms receives,
Of burning blushes, or of weeping water,
Or swooning paleness; and he takes and leaves,
In either's aptness, as it best deceives,
To blush at speeches rank to weep at woes,
Or to turn white and swoon at tragic shows.

'That not a heart which in his level came
Could 'scape the hail of his all-hurting aim,
Showing fair nature is both kind and tame;
And, veil'd in them, did win whom he would maim:
Against the thing he sought he would exclaim;
When he most burn'd in heart-wish'd luxury,
He preach'd pure maid, and praised cold chastity.

'Thus merely with the garment of a Grace
The naked and concealed fiend he cover'd;
That th' unexperient gave the tempter place,
Which like a cherubin above them hover'd.
Who, young and simple, would not be so lover'd?
Ay me! I fell; and yet do question make
What I should do again for such a sake.

'O, that infected moisture of his eye,
O, that false fire which in his cheek so glow'd,
O, that forced thunder from his heart did fly,
O, that sad breath his spongy lungs bestow'd,
O, all that borrow'd motion seeming owed,
Would yet again betray the fore-betray'd,
And new pervert a reconciled maid!'


William Shakespeare

--Did You Know: (baptised 26 April 1564; died 23 April 1616) 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


--Word of the Day: exoteric \ek-suh-TER-ik\, adjective:
1. Suitable for or communicated to the general public.
2. Not belonging, limited, or pertaining to the inner or select circle, as of disciples or intimates.
3. Popular; simple; commonplace.
4. Pertaining to the outside; exterior; external.
Example:
Every religion under the heavens has a set of exoteric beliefs for the common man and a secret set of esoteric beliefs known only to a privileged inner circle.
-- C. M. Palov, The Templar's Code

--Quote of the Day: Security is mostly a superstition.
It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
- Helen Keller

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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February 11, 2012

The Swallow

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--Description: 20th C, Coleridge M.E., Nature, Seasons-- 
 
Come back to me my swallow
And leave me not forlorn,
Into the woods I follow
The footsteps of the morn.

I thread the rustling hollow
Before the day is born,
Come back to me my swallow
And leave me not forlorn!

The light was dark without thee,
My bird of April days,
I almost came to doubt thee
When thou hadst gone thy ways --

The sunshine round about thee --
Into the land of rays.
The light was dark without thee,
My bird of April days.



Mary Elizabeth Coleridge

--Did You Know: Mary Elizabeth Coleridge (23 September 1861 – 25 August 1907) was a British novelist and poet, who also wrote essays and reviews. She taught at the London Working Women's College for twelve years from 1895 to 1907. She wrote poetry under the pseudonym Anodos, taken from George MacDonald; other influences on her were Richard Watson Dixon and Christina Rossetti. Coleridge published five novels, the best known of those being The King with Two Faces, which earned her £900 in royalties in 1897. She travelled widely throughout her life, although her home was in London, where she lived with her family. Mary Coleridge was the great-grandniece of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and the great niece of Sara Coleridge, the author of Phantasmion. She died from complications arising from appendicitis while on holiday in Harrogate in 1907, leaving an unfinished manuscript for her next novel, and hundreds of unpublished poems. Read more at: Mary Elizabeth Coleridge

--Word of the Day: natheless \NEYTH-lis\, adverb:
Nevertheless.
Example:
Natheless, it was I who did educate Miss Lucy in all useful learning.
-- Sir Walter Scott, Guy Mannering

--Quote of the Day: Yesterday is ashes.
Tomorrow is green wood.
Only today does the fire burn brightly.
- Eskimo Proverb

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February 9, 2012

Brighter Shone the Golden Shadows

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--Description: 19thC, Alcott Louisa M., Hope, Love, Joy, Nature, Seasons--


Brighter shone the golden shadows;
On the cool wind softly came
The low, sweet tones of happy flowers,
Singing little Violet's name.
'Mong the green trees was it whispered,
And the bright waves bore it on
To the lonely forest flowers,
Where the glad news had not gone.

Thus the Frost-King lost his kingdom,
And his power to harm and blight.
Violet conquered, and his cold heart
Warmed with music, love, and light;
And his fair home, once so dreary,
Gay with lovely Elves and flowers,
Brought a joy that never faded
Through the long bright summer hours.

Thus, by Violet's magic power,
All dark shadows passed away,
And o'er the home of happy flowers
The golden light for ever lay.
Thus the Fairy mission ended,
And all Flower-Land was taught
The 'Power of Love,' by gentle deeds
That little Violet wrought.


Lousia May Alcott

--Did You Know: (November 29, 1832 – March 6, 1888) Alcott was an American novelist. She is best known for the novel Little Women, written and set in the Alcott family home, Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts and published in 1868. This novel is loosely based on her childhood experiences with her three sisters. Alcott was the daughter of noted transcendentalist and educator Amos Bronson Alcott and Abigail May Alcott. Though of New England heritage, she was born in Germantown, which is currently part of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was the second of four daughters; Anna Bronson Alcott was the eldest, Elizabeth Sewall Alcott and Abigail May Alcott were the two youngest.She also wrote passionate, fiery novels and sensation stories under the nom de plume A. M. Barnard. Among these are A Long Fatal Love Chase and Pauline's Passion and Punishment. Her protagonists for these tales are willful and relentless in their pursuit of their own aims, which often include revenge on those who have humiliated or thwarted them. These works followed a style which was wildly popular at the time and achieved immediate commercial success. Alcott also produced moralistic and wholesome stories for children. Read more at: Louisa May Alcott

--Word of the Day: cater-cousin \KEY-ter-kuhz-uhn\, noun:
An intimate friend.
Example:
The world talks loudly of your learning, your skill, and cunning in arts the most abstruse ; nay, sooth to say, some look coldly on you therefore, and stickle not to aver that you are cater-cousin with Beelzebub himself.
-- Thomas Ingolds, The Ingolds legends; or, Mirth and marvels

--Quote of the Day: No creature is fully itself till it is, like the dandelion, opened in the bloom of pure relationship to the sun, the entire living cosmos. ~D.H. Lawrence

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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February 2, 2012

Camomile Tea

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--Description: Mansfield K., 20th C, Aging, Friendship, Love, Marriage



Outside the sky is light with stars;
There's a hollow roaring from the sea.
And, alas! for the little almond flowers,
The wind is shaking the almond tree.

How little I thought, a year ago,
In the horrible cottage upon the Lee
That he and I should be sitting so
And sipping a cup of camomile tea.

Light as feathers the witches fly,
The horn of the moon is plain to see;
By a firefly under a jonquil flower
A goblin toasts a bumble-bee.

We might be fifty, we might be five,
So snug, so compact, so wise are we!
Under the kitchen-table leg
My knee is pressing against his knee.

Our shutters are shut, the fire is low,
The tap is dripping peacefully;
The saucepan shadows on the wall
Are black and round and plain to see.

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: hotchpot \HOCH-pot\, noun:
the bringing together of shares or properties in order to divide them equally.
Example:
She continued, "This is what I can give into the hotchpot." I could not but note the quaint legal phrase which she used in such a place, and with all seriousness? "What will each of you give?..."
-- Bram Stoker, Dracula

--Quote of the Day:
Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste
that they hurry past it.
- Soren Kierkegaard

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