October 30, 2012

Autumn Valentine

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--Description: 20th C, Parker D., Love, Nature, Seasons--



In May my heart was breaking-
Oh, wide the wound, and deep!
And bitter it beat at waking,
And sore it split in sleep.

And when it came November,
I sought my heart, and sighed,
"Poor thing, do you remember?"
"What heart was that?" it cried.


Dorothy Parker

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--Did You Know: (August 22, 1893–June 7, 1967) Dorothy Parker was an American writer and poet, best known for her wit, wisecracks, and sharp eye for 20th century urban foibles. From a conflicted and unhappy childhood, Parker rose to acclaim, both for her literary output in such venues as The New Yorker and as a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table, a group she later disdained. Following the breakup of that circle, Parker traveled to Hollywood to pursue screenwriting. Her successes there, including two Academy Award nominations, were curtailed as her involvement in led to a place on the infamous Hollywood blacklist. Parker went through three marriages (two to the same man) and survived several suicide attempts, but grew increasingly dependent on alcohol. Dismissive of her own talents, she deplored her reputation as a "wisecracker". Nevertheless, her literary output and her sparkling wit have endured. Read more at: Dorothy Parker

--Word of the Day: diapason \dahy-uh-PEY-zuhn\, noun:
1. A full, rich outpouring of melodious sound.
2. The compass of a voice or instrument.
3. A fixed standard of pitch.
4. Either of two principal timbres or stops of a pipe organ, one of full, majestic tone (open diapason) and the other of strong, flutelike tone (stopped diapason).
5. Any of several other organ stops.
6. A tuning fork.
Example:
During the whole interval in which he had produced those diapason blasts, heard with such inharmonious feelings by the three auditors outside the screen, his thoughts had wandered wider than his notes in conjectures on the character and position of the gentleman seen in Ethelberta's company.
-- Thomas Hardy, The Hand of Ethelberta

--Quote of the Day: When you encounter difficulties and contradictions,
do not try to break them, but bend them with gentleness and time.
- Saint Francis de Sales

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--Language Arts-ITALIAN: calare: to set / verb.
Example sentence: Quando cala il sole, in montagna fa sempre molto freddo.
Translation: When the sun sets, it is always very cold in the mountains.

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October 25, 2012

The Haunted Palace

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--Description: 19th C, Poe, Edgar A., Death, Dreams, Illusion-- 
In the greenest of our valleys
By good angels tenanted,
Once a fair and stately palace -
Radiant palace - reared its head.
In the monarch Thought's dominion -
It stood there!
Never seraph spread a pinion
Over fabric half so fair!

Banners yellow, glorious, golden,
On its roof did float and flow,
(This - all this - was in the olden
Time long ago,)
And every gentle air that dallied,
In that sweet day,
Along the ramparts plumed and pallid,
A winged odor went away.

Wanderers in that happy valley,
Through two luminous windows, saw
Spirits moving musically,
To a lute's well-tuned law,
Round about a throne where, sitting
(Porphyrogene!)
In state his glory well-befitting,
The ruler of the realm was seen.

And all with pearl and ruby glowing
Was the fair palace door,
Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing,
And sparkling evermore,
A troop of Echoes, whose sweet duty
Was but to sing,
In voices of surpassing beauty,
The wit and wisdom of their king.

But evil things, in robes of sorrow,
Assailed the monarch's high estate.
(Ah, let us mourn! - for never morrow
Shall dawn upon him desolate!)
And round about his home the glory
That blushed and bloomed,
Is but a dim-remembered story
Of the old time entombed.

And travellers, now, within that valley,
Through the red-litten windows see
Vast forms, that move fantastically
To a discordant melody,
While, like a ghastly rapid river,
Through the pale door
A hideous throng rush out forever
And laugh - but smile no more.

Edgar Allen Poe

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--Did You Know: (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) Edgar Allan Poe was an American writer, poet, editor and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career. He was born as Edgar Poe in Boston, Massachusetts; his parents died when he was young. Poe was taken in by John and Frances Allan, of Richmond, Virginia, but they never formally adopted him. He attended the University of Virginia for one semester but left due to lack of money. After enlisting in the Army and later failing as an officer's cadet at West Point, Poe parted ways with the Allans. Poe's publishing career began humbly, with an anonymous collection of poems, Tamerlane and Other Poems (1827), credited only to "a Bostonian". Read more at: E.A. Poe

--Terminology: Arcadia -
Originally a mountainous area in the Peloponnese; then a symbol for idyllic rural life. Virgil's Eclogues were set in Arcadia. See also pastoral.

Lillian Vernon Online

--Word of the Day: quisling \KWIZ-ling\, noun:
Someone who collaborates with an enemy occupying his or her country; a traitor.
Example:
I strung around rope and hoped to deter the deer from leaping but they sent in their quisling minions under the cover of darkness.
-Chapel Hill Treehouse, May 1, 2006

--Quote of the Day: There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.
~G.K. Chesterton

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October 21, 2012

To His Coy Mistress

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--Description: 17th C, Marvell A., Love, Passion--




Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
We would sit down and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love's day;
Thou by the Indian Ganges' side
Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood;
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow.
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.

But at my back I always hear
Time's winged chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long preserv'd virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust.
The grave's a fine and private place,
But none I think do there embrace.

Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may;
And now, like am'rous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour,
Than languish in his slow-chapp'd power.
Let us roll all our strength, and all
Our sweetness, up into one ball;
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life.
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.


Andrew Marvell

--Did You Know: (31 March 1621 – 16 August 1678) Andrew Marvell was an English metaphysical poet, Parliamentarian, and the son of a Church of England clergyman (also named Andrew Marvell). As a metaphysical poet, he is associated with John Donne and George Herbert. He was a colleague and friend of John Milton. Marvell was born in Winestead-in-Holderness, East Riding of Yorkshire, near the city of Kingston upon Hull. The family moved to Hull when his father was appointed Lecturer at Holy Trinity Church there, and Marvell was educated at Hull Grammar School. A secondary school in the city is now named after him. His most famous poems include To His Coy Mistress, The Garden, An Horatian Ode upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland, and the country house poem Upon Appleton House. At the age of thirteen, Marvell attended Trinity College, Cambridge and eventually received his BA degree. Afterwards, from the middle of 1642 onwards, Marvell probably travelled in continental Europe. He may well have served as a tutor for an aristocrat on the Grand Tour; but the facts are not clear on this point. Read more at: Andrew Marvell

--Poetry Terminology: Meter-
The measured arrangement of words in poetry, as by accentual rhythm, syllabic quantity, or the number of syllables in a line. The definitive pattern established for a verse (such as iambic pentameter).

--Word of the Day: strepitous \STREP-i-tuhs\, adjective:
boisterous; noisy.
Example:
But what strepitous sounds, what harmonious tumult diverts my attention to another part ?
-- José Francisco de Isla, The History of the Famous Preacher, Friar Gerund de Campazas

--Quote of the Day: We come this way but once.
We can either tiptoe through life
and hope we get to death without being badly bruised
or we can live a full, complete life achieving
our goals and realizing our wildest dreams.
- Bob Proctor

--Language Arts: aprire: to open / verb.
Example sentence: Per favore mi apri la porta? Ho dimenticato le chiavi!
Translation: Could you please open the door? I forgot my keys!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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October 15, 2012

The Elfin Artist

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--Description: 20th C, Noyes A.,Nature--



In a glade of an elfin forest
When Sussex was Eden-new,
I came on an elvish painter
And watched as his picture grew,
A harebell nodded beside him.
He dipt his brush in the dew.

And it might be the wild thyme round him
That shone in the dark strange ring;
But his brushes were bees' antennae,
His knife was a wasp's blue sting;
And his gorgeous exquisite palette
Was a butterfly's fan-shaped wing.

And he mingled its powdery colours,
And painted the lights that pass,
On a delicate cobweb canvas
That gleamed like a magic glass,
And bloomed like a banner of elf-land,
Between two stalks of grass;

Till it shone like an angel's feather
With sky-born opal and rose,
And gold from the foot of the rainbow,
And colours that no man knows;
And I laughed in the sweet May weather,
Because of the themes he chose.

For he painted the things that matter,
The tints that we all pass by,
Like the little blue wreaths of incense
That the wild thyme breathes to the sky;
Or the first white bud of the hawthorn,
And the light in a blackbird's eye;

And the shadows on soft white cloud-peaks
That carolling skylarks throw,--
Dark dots on the slumbering splendours
That under the wild wings flow,
Wee shadows like violets trembling
On the unseen breasts of snow;

With petals too lovely for colour
That shake to the rapturous wings,
And grow as the bird draws near them,
And die as he mounts and sings,--
Ah, only those exquisite brushes
Could paint these marvellous things.


Alfred Noyes


--Did You Know: Alfred Noyes later started dictating his work as a result of increasing blindness. In 1953, his autobiography, Two Worlds for Memory, was published. He authored around sixty books, including poetry volumes, novels, and short stories.

--Word of the Day: hustings \HUHS-tingz\, noun:
1. The political campaign trail.
2. (Before 1872) the temporary platform on which candidates for the British Parliament stood when nominated and from which they addressed the electors.
3. Any place from which political campaign speeches are made.
4. Also called hustings court. A local court in certain parts of Virginia.
Example:
But he still had to go out to the hustings, a word whose meaning he'd never learned, and campaign for people, or at least give speeches.
-- Tom Clancy, Executive Orders

--Quote of the Day: Individually, we are one drop.
Together, we are an ocean.
- Ryunosuke Satoro

--Language Arts: improvvisamente: suddenly
Example sentence: Improvvisamente ha cominciato a piovere.
Translation: Suddenly it started raining.


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October 11, 2012

Bring Me The Sunset In A Cup

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-- 19th C, Dickinson E., Nature --


Bring me the sunset in a cup,
Reckon the morning's flagons up
And say how many Dew,
Tell me how far the morning leaps—
Tell me what time the weaver sleeps
Who spun the breadth of blue!

Write me how many notes there be
In the new Robin's ecstasy
Among astonished boughs—
How many trips the Tortoise makes—
How many cups the Bee partakes,
The Debauchee of Dews!

Also, who laid the Rainbow's piers,
Also, who leads the docile spheres
By withes of supple blue?
Whose fingers string the stalactite—
Who counts the wampum of the night
To see that none is due?

Who built this little Alban House
And shut the windows down so close
My spirit cannot see?
Who'll let me out some gala day
With implements to fly away,
Passing Pomposity?


Emily Dickinson

--Did You Know: (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886) Emily Dickinson was an American poet. Born in Amherst, Massachusetts, to a successful family with strong community ties, she lived a mostly introverted and reclusive life. After she studied at the Amherst Academy for seven years in her youth, she spent a short time at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary before returning to her family's house in Amherst. Thought of as an eccentric by the locals, she became known for her penchant for white clothing and her reluctance to greet guests or, later in life, even leave her room. Most of her friendships were therefore carried out by correspondence. Although Dickinson was a prolific private poet, fewer than a dozen of her nearly eighteen hundred poems were published during her lifetime. The work that was published during her lifetime was usually altered significantly by the publishers to fit the conventional poetic rules of the time. Dickinson's poems are unique for the era in which she wrote; they contain short lines, typically lack titles, and often use slant rhyme as well as unconventional capitalization and punctuation. Many of her poems deal with themes of death and immortality, two recurring topics in letters to her friends.

--Word of the Day: legerdemain /(lej-uhr-duh-MAYN)
noun:
1. Sleight of hand.
2. A display of skill.
Quote:
"It's a fantastic spot. But what happens to viewers' trust of Barclays when they realize all commercials are fake, shot on soundstages, and built on camera tricks and fancy editing and legerdemain?"
-Simon Houpt; Spotting the Fake; Globe and Mail (Toronto, Canada); Aug 14, 2009.

--Quote of the Day: I remember a hundred lovely lakes, and recall the fragrant breath of pine and fir and cedar and poplar trees. The trail has strung upon it, as upon a thread of silk, opalescent dawns and saffron sunsets.
-Hamlin Garland

--Language Arts: desconocer, verb
not to know, to be ignorant of
Desconocer is an opposite of conocer, formed by adding the negative prefix des-.
Desconocen los principios fundamentales.
They don’t know the basic principles.
Desconocer is often used in journalistic style, when there is a lack of precise information about an event.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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October 2, 2012

A Winter's Tale

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--Description: 20th C, Thomas D., Love, Life--


It is a winter's tale
That the snow blind twilight ferries over the lakes
And floating fields from the farm in the cup of the vales,
Gliding windless through the hand folded flakes,
The pale breath of cattle at the stealthy sail,

And the stars falling cold,
And the smell of hay in the snow, and the far owl
Warning among the folds, and the frozen hold
Flocked with the sheep white smoke of the farm house cowl
In the river wended vales where the tale was told.

Once when the world turned old
On a star of faith pure as the drifting bread,
As the food and flames of the snow, a man unrolled
The scrolls of fire that burned in his heart and head,
Torn and alone in a farm house in a fold

Of fields. And burning then
In his firelit island ringed by the winged snow
And the dung hills white as wool and the hen
Roosts sleeping chill till the flame of the cock crow
Combs through the mantled yards and the morning men

Stumble out with their spades,
The cattle stirring, the mousing cat stepping shy,
The puffed birds hopping and hunting, the milkmaids
Gentle in their clogs over the fallen sky,
And all the woken farm at its white trades,

He knelt, he wept, he prayed,
By the spit and the black pot in the log bright light
And the cup and the cut bread in the dancing shade,
In the muffled house, in the quick of night,
At the point of love, forsaken and afraid.

He knelt on the cold stones,
He wept form the crest of grief, he prayed to the veiled sky
May his hunger go howling on bare white bones
Past the statues of the stables and the sky roofed sties
And the duck pond glass and the blinding byres alone

Into the home of prayers
And fires where he should prowl down the cloud
Of his snow blind love and rush in the white lairs.
His naked need struck him howling and bowed
Though no sound flowed down the hand folded air

But only the wind strung
Hunger of birds in the fields of the bread of water, tossed
In high corn and the harvest melting on their tongues.
And his nameless need bound him burning and lost
When cold as snow he should run the wended vales among

The rivers mouthed in night,
And drown in the drifts of his need, and lie curled caught
In the always desiring centre of the white
Inhuman cradle and the bride bed forever sought
By the believer lost and the hurled outcast of light.

Deliver him, he cried,
By losing him all in love, and cast his need
Alone and naked in the engulfing bride,
Never to flourish in the fields of the white seed
Or flower under the time dying flesh astride.

Listen. The minstrels sing
In the departed villages. The nightingale,
Dust in the buried wood, flies on the grains of her wings
And spells on the winds of the dead his winter's tale.
The voice of the dust of water from the withered spring

Is telling. The wizened
Stream with bells and baying water bounds. The dew rings
On the gristed leaves and the long gone glistening
Parish of snow. The carved mouths in the rock are wind swept strings.
Time sings through the intricately dead snow drop. Listen.

It was a hand or sound
In the long ago land that glided the dark door wide
And there outside on the bread of the ground
A she bird rose and rayed like a burning bride.
A she bird dawned, and her breast with snow and scarlet downed.

Look. And the dancers move
On the departed, snow bushed green, wanton in moon light
As a dust of pigeons. Exulting, the grave hooved
Horses, centaur dead, turn and tread the drenched white
Paddocks in the farms of birds. The dead oak walks for love.

The carved limbs in the rock
Leap, as to trumpets. Calligraphy of the old
Leaves is dancing. Lines of age on the stones weave in a flock.
And the harp shaped voice of the water's dust plucks in a fold
Of fields. For love, the long ago she bird rises. Look.

And the wild wings were raised
Above her folded head, and the soft feathered voice
Was flying through the house as though the she bird praised
And all the elements of the slow fall rejoiced
That a man knelt alone in the cup of the vales,

In the mantle and calm,
By the spit and the black pot in the log bright light.
And the sky of birds in the plumed voice charmed
Him up and he ran like a wind after the kindling flight
Past the blind barns and byres of the windless farm.

In the poles of the year
When black birds died like priests in the cloaked hedge row
And over the cloth of counties the far hills rode near,
Under the one leaved trees ran a scarecrow of snow
And fast through the drifts of the thickets antlered like deer,

Rags and prayers down the knee-
Deep hillocks and loud on the numbed lakes,
All night lost and long wading in the wake of the she-
Bird through the times and lands and tribes of the slow flakes.
Listen and look where she sails the goose plucked sea,

The sky, the bird, the bride,
The cloud, the need, the planted stars, the joy beyond
The fields of seed and the time dying flesh astride,
The heavens, the heaven, the grave, the burning font.
In the far ago land the door of his death glided wide,

And the bird descended.
On a bread white hill over the cupped farm
And the lakes and floating fields and the river wended
Vales where he prayed to come to the last harm
And the home of prayers and fires, the tale ended.

The dancing perishes
On the white, no longer growing green, and, minstrel dead,
The singing breaks in the snow shoed villages of wishes
That once cut the figures of birds on the deep bread
And over the glazed lakes skated the shapes of fishes

Flying. The rite is shorn
Of nightingale and centaur dead horse. The springs wither
Back. Lines of age sleep on the stones till trumpeting dawn.
Exultation lies down. Time buries the spring weather
That belled and bounded with the fossil and the dew reborn.

For the bird lay bedded
In a choir of wings, as though she slept or died,
And the wings glided wide and he was hymned and wedded,
And through the thighs of the engulfing bride,
The woman breasted and the heaven headed

Bird, he was brought low,
Burning in the bride bed of love, in the whirl-
Pool at the wanting centre, in the folds
Of paradise, in the spun bud of the world.
And she rose with him flowering in her melting snow.


Dylan Thomas

--Did You Know: (27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953) Dylan Thomas was a Welsh poet and writer who wrote exclusively in English. In addition to poetry, he wrote short stories and scripts for film and radio, which he often performed himself. His public readings, particularly in America, won him great acclaim; his sonorous voice with a subtle Welsh lilt became almost as famous as his works. His best-known works include the "play for voices" Under Milk Wood and the celebrated villanelle for his dying father, Do not go gentle into that good night. Thomas once confided that the poems which had most influenced him were Mother Goose rhymes which his parents taught him when he was a child. He did not understand all of their contents, but he loved their sounds, and the acoustic qualities of the English language became his focus in his work later. He claimed that the meanings of a poem were of "very secondary nature" to him.

--Word of the Day:hustings \HUHS-tingz\, noun:
1. The political campaign trail.
2. (Before 1872) the temporary platform on which candidates for the British Parliament stood when nominated and from which they addressed the electors.
3. Any place from which political campaign speeches are made.
4. Also called hustings court. A local court in certain parts of Virginia.
Example:
But he still had to go out to the hustings, a word whose meaning he'd never learned, and campaign for people, or at least give speeches.
-- Tom Clancy, Executive Orders

--Quote of the Day: The whole world can gossip about you,
and if you don't take it personally you are immune.
- don Miguel Ruiz

--Language Arts: tremare: to tremble - verb.
Example sentence: Le foglie della quercia tremano al vento.
Translation: The leaves of the oak tremble in the wind.


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