September 24, 2012

Epilogue to Through The Looking Glass

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Let this fantasy poem infuse your day with dreams!
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--Description: 19th C, Carroll L., Childhood, Fantasy Seasons--
A boat, beneath a sunny sky
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July --

Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear
Pleased a simple tale to hear --

Long has paled that sunny sky:
Echoes fade and memories die:
Autumn frosts have slain July.

Still she haunts me, phantomwise
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.

Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.

In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:

Ever drifting down the stream --
Lingering in the golden gleam --
Life what is it but a dream?

Lewis Carroll

--Did You Know: (27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898) Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was better known by the pen name Lewis Carroll. He 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, and there are societies dedicated to the enjoyment and promotion of his works and the investigation of his life in many parts of the world including the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand. Dodgson's family was predominantly northern English, with Irish connections. Conservative and High Church Anglican, most of Dodgson's ancestors were army officers or Church of England clergymen. His great-grandfather, also Charles Dodgson, had risen through the ranks of the church to become a bishop. His grandfather, another Charles, had been an army captain. His mother's name was Frances Jane Lutwidge.

--Word of the Day: bombast\BOM-bast\, noun:
Pompous or pretentious speech or writing.
Quote:
A more serious difficulty, though, is that "love" has inspired a vast deal of high-toned rhetoric, and Ms. Ackerman seems determined to boost the bombast that already engulfs this troublesome word.
-"This Crazy Thing Called Love", New York Times, June 26, 1994

--Quote of the Day: I like nonsense -- it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living. Its a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope...and that enables you to laugh at all of lifes realities.
-Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel)

--Spanish Word of the Day: viento, noun:
wind, windy
(eg) Hizo mucho viento anoche.
(transl) It was very windy last night.


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September 18, 2012

All That's Past

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--Description: 20th C, de la Mare W .,Aging, Life, Memories, Nature--




Very old are the woods;
And the buds that break
Out of the brier's boughs,
When March winds wake,
So old with their beauty are--
Oh, no man knows
Through what wild centuries
Roves back the rose.
Very old are the brooks;
And the rills that rise
Where snow sleeps cold beneath
The azure skies
Sing such a history
Of come and gone,
Their every drop is as wise
As Solomon.

Very old are we men;
Our dreams are tales
Told in dim Eden
By Eve's nightingales;
We wake and whisper awhile,
But, the day gone by,
Silence and sleep like fields
Of amaranth lie.


Walter de la Mare

--Did You Know: (25 April 1873 – 22 June 1956) Walter de la Mare was an English poet, short story writer and novelist, probably best remembered for his works for children and the poem "The Listeners". He was born in Kent (at 83 Maryon Road, Charlton,[2] now part of the London Borough of Greenwich), descended from a family of French Huguenots, and was educated at St Paul's Cathedral School. His first book, Songs of Childhood, was published under the name Walter Ramal. He worked in the statistics department of the London office of Standard Oil for eighteen years while struggling to bring up a family, but nevertheless found enough time to write, and, in 1908, through the efforts of Sir Henry Newbolt he received a Civil List pension which enabled him to concentrate on writing. De la Mare also wrote some subtle psychological horror stories; "Seaton's Aunt" and "Out of the Deep" are noteworthy examples. His 1921 novel, Memoirs of a Midget, won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction. Read more at: Walter de la Mare

--Word of the Day: coetaneous \koh-i-TEY-nee-uhs\, adjective:
Of the same age or duration.
Example:
Bear with these distractions, with this coetaneous growth of the parts: they will one day be members, and obey one will.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance and Other Essays

--Quote of the Day: About morals: I know only that
what is moral is what you feel good after
and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.
- Ernest Hemingway

--Language Arts: capace: skilled
adjective.
Example sentence: Tecnico giovane e capace cercasi per lavoro dinamico.
Translation: Young and skilled engineer wanted for dynamic job.

------------------
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September 14, 2012

Marriage A-La-Mode

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--Description: 17th C, Dryden J., Love, Marriage, Separation-- 
 
Why should a foolish marriage vow,
Which long ago was made,
Oblige us to each other now
When passion is decay'd?
We lov'd, and we lov'd, as long as we could,
Till our love was lov'd out in us both:
But our marriage is dead, when the pleasure is fled:
'Twas pleasure first made it an oath.

If I have pleasures for a friend,
And farther love in store,
What wrong has he whose joys did end,
And who could give no more?
'Tis a madness that he should be jealous of me,
Or that I should bar him of another:
For all we can gain is to give our selves pain,
When neither can hinder the other.

John Dryden

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

--Poetry Terminology: Feminine Ending -
Line of verse with an extra unstressed syllable at the end.

--Word of the Day: cheechako \chee-CHAH-koh\, noun:
A tenderfoot; greenhorn; newcomer.
Example:
He is a genial liar, this Yukoner, and for the ordinary lies of life he needs make no effort; they roll from his lips as regularly and as smoothly as do compliments from the lips of a sour dough man in conversation with a cheechako girl.
-- James Augustus Hall, Starving on a bed of gold.

--Quote of the Day: One advantage of marriage is that, when you fall out of love with him or he falls out of love with you, it keeps you together until you fall in again. ~Judith Viorst

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September 8, 2012

A New Forest Ballad

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--Description: 19th C, Kingsley C., Love, Nature, Sorrow, War--


Oh she tripped over Ocknell plain,
And down by Bradley Water;
And the fairest maid on the forest side
Was Jane, the keeper's daughter.

She went and went through the broad gray lawns
As down the red sun sank,
And chill as the scent of a new-made grave
The mist smelt cold and dank.

'A token, a token!' that fair maid cried,
'A token that bodes me sorrow;
For they that smell the grave by night
Will see the corpse to-morrow.

'My own true love in Burley Walk
Does hunt to-night, I fear;
And if he meet my father stern,
His game may cost him dear.

'Ah, here's a curse on hare and grouse,
A curse on hart and hind;
And a health to the squire in all England,
Leaves never a head behind.'

Her true love shot a mighty hart
Among the standing rye,
When on him leapt that keeper old
From the fern where he did lie.

The forest laws were sharp and stern,
The forest blood was keen;
They lashed together for life and death
Beneath the hollies green.

The metal good and the walnut wood
Did soon in flinders flee;
They tost the orts to south and north,
And grappled knee to knee.

They wrestled up, they wrestled down,
They wrestled still and sore;
Beneath their feet the myrtle sweet
Was stamped to mud and gore.

Ah, cold pale moon, thou cruel pale moon,
That starest with never a frown
On all the grim and the ghastly things
That are wrought in thorpe and town:

And yet, cold pale moon, thou cruel pale moon,
That night hadst never the grace
To lighten two dying Christian men
To see one another's face.

They wrestled up, they wrestled down,
They wrestled sore and still,
The fiend who blinds the eyes of men
That night he had his will.

Like stags full spent, among the bent
They dropped a while to rest;
When the young man drove his saying knife
Deep in the old man's breast.

The old man drove his gunstock down
Upon the young man's head;
And side by side, by the water brown,
Those yeomen twain lay dead.

They dug three graves in Lyndhurst yard;
They dug them side by side;
Two yeomen lie there, and a maiden fair
A widow and never a bride.



Charles Kingsley

--Did You Know: (12 June 1819 – 23 January 1875) Charles Kingsley was an English clergyman, university professor, historian, and novelist, particularly associated with the West Country and north-east Hampshire. Kingsley was born in Holne, Devon, the second son of the Rev. Charles Kingsley and his wife Mary. His brother, Henry Kingsley, also became a novelist. He spent his childhood in Clovelly, Devon and Barnack, Northamptonshire and was educated at Helston Grammar School[1] before studying at King's College London, and the University of Cambridge. Charles entered Magdalene College, Cambridge in 1838, and graduated in 1842.[2] He chose to pursue a ministry in the church. From 1844, he was rector of Eversley in Hampshire, and in 1860, he was appointed Regius Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge. Kingsley's interest in history is shown in several of his writings, including The Heroes (1856), a children's book about Greek mythology, and several historical novels, of which the best known are Hypatia (1853), Hereward the Wake (1865), and Westward Ho! (1855). He was sympathetic to the idea of evolution, and was one of the first to praise Charles Darwin's book On the Origin of Species. Read more at: Charles Kingsley

--Word of the Day:cacology \ka-KOL-uh-jee\, noun:
Defectively produced speech; socially unacceptable diction.
Example:
As to prose, I don't know Addison's from Johnson's; but I will try to mend my cacology.
-- Lord Byron, The Works and Letters of Lord Byron

--Quote of the Day:
I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving
for my friends, the old and the new.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

--Language Arts: chenapan
English translation: rogue
Part of speech: noun
Example sentence
French: Cet enfant est un vrai chenapan, il fait de vilaines blagues à longueur de journée.
English: This kid is a rogue; he plays bad tricks all day long.


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September 4, 2012

Candle Hat

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--Description: 21st C, Collins B., Fantasy, Humor--

In most self-portraits it is the face that dominates:
Cezanne is a pair of eyes swimming in brushstrokes,
Van Gogh stares out of a halo of swirling darkness,
Rembrant looks relieved as if he were taking a breather
from painting The Blinding of Sampson.

But in this one Goya stands well back from the mirror
and is seen posed in the clutter of his studio
addressing a canvas tilted back on a tall easel.

He appears to be smiling out at us as if he knew
we would be amused by the extraordinary hat on his head
which is fitted around the brim with candle holders,
a device that allowed him to work into the night.

You can only wonder what it would be like
to be wearing such a chandelier on your head
as if you were a walking dining room or concert hall.

But once you see this hat there is no need to read
any biography of Goya or to memorize his dates.

To understand Goya you only have to imagine him
lighting the candles one by one, then placing
the hat on his head, ready for a night of work.

Imagine him surprising his wife with his new invention,
the laughing like a birthday cake when she saw the glow.

Imagine him flickering through the rooms of his house
with all the shadows flying across the walls.

Imagine a lost traveler knocking on his door
one dark night in the hill country of Spain.
"Come in, " he would say, "I was just painting myself,"
as he stood in the doorway holding up the wand of a brush,
illuminated in the blaze of his famous candle hat.


Billy Collins

--Did You Know: (born March 22, 1941) Collins is an American poet. He served two terms as the Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003. He was recently appointed the Irving Bacheller Chair of Creative Writing at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, and is a Visiting Scholar with the Winter Park Institute. He remains a Distinguished Professor at Lehman College of the City University of New York. Collins was born in New York City to William and Katherine Collins. Katherine Collins was a nurse who stopped working to raise the couple's only child. Mrs. Collins had the ability to recite verses on almost any subject, which she often did, and cultivated in her young son the love of words, both written and spoken. Over the years, Poetry has awarded Collins several prizes in recognition of poems they publish. During the 1990s, Collins won five such prizes. The magazine also selected him as "Poet of the Year" in 1994. In 2005 Collins was the first annual recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for Humor in Poetry. Read more at: Billy Collins

--Word of the Day: paralipsis \par-uh-LIP-sis\, noun:
The suggestion, by deliberately brief treatment of a topic, that much of significance is being omitted, as in "not to mention other faults."
Example:
"I need not tell you," he deplored, sinking to paralipsis, "that there resides in almost every one of 'em the unconscious desire not to grow up.
-- Millard Kaufman, Bowl of Cherries: A Novel

--Quote of the Day:How different our lives are when we
really know what is deeply important to us,
and keeping that picture in mind,
we manage ourselves each day
to be and to do what really matters most
- Stephen Covey

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