December 20, 2012

Christmas Bells

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--Description: 19th C, Longfellow H.W., Christianity, Christmas, Holidays--


I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


--Did You Know: (February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882) Henry W. Longellow was an American educator and poet whose works include "Paul Revere's Ride", The Song of Hiawatha, and "Evangeline". He was also the first American to translate Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy and was one of the five Fireside Poets.Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine, then part of Massachusetts, and studied at Bowdoin College. After spending time in Europe he became a professor at Bowdoin and, later, at Harvard College. His first major poetry collections were Voices of the Night (1839) and Ballads and Other Poems (1841). Longfellow retired from teaching in 1854 to focus on his writing, living the remainder of his life in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in a former headquarters of George Washington. His first wife, Mary Potter, died in 1835 after a miscarriage. His second wife, Frances Appleton, died in 1861 after sustaining burns from her dress catching fire. After her death, Longfellow had difficulty writing poetry for a time and focused on his translation. He died in 1882. Longfellow predominantly wrote lyric poems which are known for their musicality and which often presented stories of mythology and legend. He became the most popular American poet of his day and also had success overseas. He has been criticized, however, for imitating European styles and writing specifically for the masses. Read more at: Henry W. Longfellow

--Word of the Day: numinous \NOO-min-us; NYOO-\, adjective:
1. Of or pertaining to a numen; supernatural.
2. Filled with or characterized by a sense of a supernatural presence.
3. Inspiring awe and reverence; spiritual.
Example:
Smoking is a ritual, and it has all the numinous force of a ritual.
-- Thomas W. Laqueur, The New Republic, September 18, 1995

--Quote of the Day: A Christmas candle is a lovely thing;
It makes no noise at all,
But softly gives itself away.
~Eva Logue

--Language Arts-SPANISH: anfitrión, noun / host

Both Spanish and English share many words derived from Greek or Latin. El anfitrión, host, comes from Greek, and is a word which English doesn’t have. In fact, it derives from a person’s name (just as sandwich derives from a real person, the Earl of Sandwich). In Greek mythology, Amphitrion was king of the Greek city of Thebes, and was famous for his lavish banquets. Spanish adopted this word ? although the implication that a host is bound to be lavish and generous is no longer necessarily part of the word!

en su calidad de anfitrión
in his capacity as host

el país anfitrión de un Mundial
a country which is hosting a World Cup

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December 8, 2012

Christmas Trees

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--Description: 20th C, Frost R., Christmas, Christianity, Holidays--



A Christmas Circular Letter

The city had withdrawn into itself
And left at last the country to the country;
When between whirls of snow not come to lie
And whirls of foliage not yet laid, there drove
A stranger to our yard, who looked the city,
Yet did in country fashion in that there
He sat and waited till he drew us out
A-buttoning coats to ask him who he was.
He proved to be the city come again
To look for something it had left behind
And could not do without and keep its Christmas.
He asked if I would sell my Christmas trees;
My woods—the young fir balsams like a place
Where houses all are churches and have spires.
I hadn’t thought of them as Christmas Trees.
I doubt if I was tempted for a moment
To sell them off their feet to go in cars
And leave the slope behind the house all bare,
Where the sun shines now no warmer than the moon.
I’d hate to have them know it if I was.
Yet more I’d hate to hold my trees except
As others hold theirs or refuse for them,
Beyond the time of profitable growth,
The trial by market everything must come to.
I dallied so much with the thought of selling.
Then whether from mistaken courtesy
And fear of seeming short of speech, or whether
From hope of hearing good of what was mine, I said,
“There aren’t enough to be worth while.”
“I could soon tell how many they would cut,
You let me look them over.”

“You could look.
But don’t expect I’m going to let you have them.”
Pasture they spring in, some in clumps too close
That lop each other of boughs, but not a few
Quite solitary and having equal boughs
All round and round. The latter he nodded “Yes” to,
Or paused to say beneath some lovelier one,
With a buyer’s moderation, “That would do.”
I thought so too, but wasn’t there to say so.
We climbed the pasture on the south, crossed over,
And came down on the north. He said, “A thousand.”

“A thousand Christmas trees!—at what apiece?”

He felt some need of softening that to me:
“A thousand trees would come to thirty dollars.”

Then I was certain I had never meant
To let him have them. Never show surprise!
But thirty dollars seemed so small beside
The extent of pasture I should strip, three cents
(For that was all they figured out apiece),
Three cents so small beside the dollar friends
I should be writing to within the hour
Would pay in cities for good trees like those,
Regular vestry-trees whole Sunday Schools
Could hang enough on to pick off enough.
A thousand Christmas trees I didn’t know I had!
Worth three cents more to give away than sell,
As may be shown by a simple calculation.
Too bad I couldn’t lay one in a letter.
I can’t help wishing I could send you one,
In wishing you herewith a Merry Christmas.



Robert Frost

--Did You Know: (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963) Robert Frost was an American poet. He is highly regarded for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech. His work frequently employed settings from rural life in New England in the early twentieth century, using them to examine complex social and philosophical themes. A popular and often-quoted poet, Frost was honored frequently during his lifetime, receiving four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry. Robert Frost was born in San Francisco, California to journalist William Prescott Frost, Jr., and Isabelle Moodie. His mother was of Scottish descent, and his father descended from Nicholas Frost of Tiverton, Devon, England, who had sailed to New Hampshire in 1634 on the Wolfrana. Frost's father was a teacher and later an editor of the San Francisco Evening Bulletin. After his father's death on May 5, 1885, in due time the family moved across the country to Lawrence, Massachusetts under the patronage of (Robert's grandfather) William Frost, Sr., who was an overseer at a New England mill. Frost graduated from Lawrence High School in 1892. Frost's mother joined the Swedenborgian church and had him baptized in it, but he left it as an adult. Despite his later association with rural life, Frost grew up in the city, and published his first poem in his high school's magazine. Read more at: Robert Frost

--Word of the Day: assoil \uh-SOIL\, verb:
1. To absolve; acquit; pardon.
2. To atone for.
Example:
Come up, wives, offer of your yarn! See, I enter your name here in my roll; you shall enter into heaven's bliss; I assoil you by mine high power, you that will make offerings, as clear and clean as when you were born — (lo sirs, thus I preach).
-- Bennett Cerf, An Anthology of Famous British Stories

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--Quote of the Day: When written in Chinese, the word "crisis"
is composed of two characters.
One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.
- John F. Kennedy

--Language Arts:: FrenchFrench word: en bref
English translation: in short
Part of speech: adverb
French example: En bref, tout est bien qui finit bien.
English example: In short, all is well that ends well.

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December 7, 2012

Christmas

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--Description: 19th C, Sir Scott W., Christmas, Christianity, Holidays, Hope--



The glowing censers, and their rich perfume;
The splendid vestments, and the sounding choir;
The gentle sigh of soul-subduing piety;
The alms which open-hearted charity
Bestows, with kindly glance; and those
Which e'en stern avarice.
Though with unwilling hand,
Seems forced to tender; an offering sweet
To the bright throne of mercy; mark
This day a festival.

And well our Christian sires of old
Loved when the year its course had roll'd,
And brought blithe Christmas back again,
With all its hospitable train.
Domestic and religious rite
Gave honour to the holy night.
On Christmas eve the bells were rung,
On Christmas-eve the mass was sung;
That only night in all the year
Saw the stoled priest the chalice rear.
The damsel donn'd her Kirtle sheen;
The hall was dress'd with holly green;
Then open'd wide the baron's hall,
To vassal -- tenant -- serf and all:
Power laid his rod of rule aside,
And ceremony doff'd his pride.
All hail'd with uncontroll'd delight,
And general voice, the happy night,
That to the cottage, as the crown,
Brought tidings of salvation down.


Sir Walter Scott

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--Did You Know:(15 August 1771 – 21 September 1832) Walter Scott was a prolific Scottish historical novelist and poet, popular throughout Europe during his time. Scott was particularly associated with Toryism. Scott was the first English-language author to have a truly international career in his lifetime, with many contemporary readers in Europe, Australia, and North America. His novels and poetry are still read, and many of his works remain classics of both English-language literature and of Scottish literature. Famous titles include Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, The Lady of The Lake, Waverley, The Heart of Midlothian and The Bride of Lammermoor. Born in College Wynd in the Old Town of Edinburgh in 1771, the son of a solicitor, Scott survived a childhood bout of polio in 1773 that left him lame. To cure his lameness he was sent in 1773 to live in the rural Borders region at his grandparents' farm at Sandyknowe, adjacent to the ruin of Smailholm Tower, the earlier family home. Here he was taught to read by his aunt Jenny, and learned from her the speech patterns and many of the tales and legends that characterized much of his work. Read more at: Sir Walter Scott

--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

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--Quote of the Day: Wonder what opportunities you pass, unwittingly,
because your hands are so busy clasping
what you think you have always known.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

--Language Arts: destapar, verb - to open; to uncover
Example:
We saw tapa meaning cover in an earlier Spanish Word of the Day. From it derives destapar, which has several meanings. When referring to bottles, it means to open.

Destapamos una botella para cada uno.
We opened a bottle for each person.

** Please also visit fellow poets on our ~ Current Guest Poet's Page ~

Happy Holidays - Get 15% off + Free Shipping on all orders at CoffeesOfHawaii.com with promo code HOLIDAY15 at checkout until 12/31/12. - 468 x 60

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.. We are also found on Pinterest and Google+.

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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