August 24, 2013

A Descriptive Poem on the Silvery Tay

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--Description: 18th C, McGonagall, William T., Nature, Patriotism, Travel, Tribute--


Beautiful silvery Tay,
With your landscapes, so lovely and gay,
Along each side of your waters, to Perth all the way;
No other river in the world has got scenery more fine,
Only I am told the beautiful Rhine,
Near to Wormit Bay, it seems very fine,
Where the Railway Bridge is towering above its waters sublime,
And the beautiful ship Mars,
With her Juvenile Tare,
Both lively and gay,
Does carelessly lie By night and by day,
In the beautiful Bay
Of the silvery Tay.
Beautiful, beautiful silvery Tay,
Thy scenery is enchanting on a fine summer day,
Near by Balnerino it is beautiful to behold,
When the trees are in full bloom and the cornfields seems like gold -
And nature's face seems gay,
And the lambkins they do play,
And the humming bee is on the wing,
It is enough to make one sing,
While they carelessly do stray,
Along the beautiful banks of the silvery Tay,
Beautiful silvery Tay,
Rolling smoothly on your way,
Near by Newport, as clear as the day,
Thy scenery around is charming I'll be bound...
And would make the heart of any one feel light and gay on a fine summer day,
To view the beautiful scenery along the banks of the silvery Tay.



William Topaz McGonagall


--Did You Know: (March 1825 – 29 September 1902) William T. McGonagall was a Scottish weaver, doggerel poet and actor. He won notoriety as an extremely bad poet who exhibited no recognition of or concern for his peers' opinions of his work. He wrote about 200 poems, including his infamous "The Tay Bridge Disaster", which are widely regarded as some of the worst in English literature. Groups throughout Scotland engaged him to make recitations from his work; contemporary descriptions of these performances indicate that many listeners were appreciating McGonagall's skill as a comic music hall character, and his readings may be considered a form of performance art. Collections of his verse continue in popularity, with several volumes available today. McGonagall has been acclaimed as the worst poet in British history. The chief criticisms are that he is deaf to poetic metaphor and unable to scan correctly. In the hands of lesser artists, this might generate dull, uninspiring verse. McGonagall's fame stems from the humorous effects these shortcomings generate. Read more at: William T. McGonagall

--Word of the Day: aporia \uh-PAWR-ee-uh\, noun:
1. Difficulty determining the truth of an idea due to equally valid arguments for and against it.
2. In rhetoric, the expression of a simulated or real doubt, as about where to begin or what to do or say.
Example:
Yet he has his moments when he manages to confound our feelings and induce a moral uncertainty, something like the ironic aporia with which Socrates leaves the Sophists at the end of a Platonic dialogue.
-- John Simon, "Talk to the Animals: A review of the play 'Sylvia,'" New York Magazine Jun 5, 1995

--Quote of the Day: Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them with your hands. But like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you will reach your destiny. ~Carl Schurz, address, Faneuil Hall, Boston, 1859

--Language Arts-SPANISH:pañuelo, noun / handkerchief; headscarf
People use them less and less nowadays, but the word for a handkerchief is pañuelo
Example:
Sacó un pañuelo del bolsillo y se enjugó el sudor de la frente
He took a handkerchief out of his pocket and mopped his brow


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August 12, 2013

Lively Hope and Gracious Fear

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--Description: 20th C, Cowper W., Christianity, Hope


I was a grovelling creature once,
And basely cleaved to earth:
I wanted spirit to renounce
The clod that gave me birth.

But God hath breathed upon a worm,
And sent me from above
Wings such as clothe an angel's form,
The wings of joy and love.

With these to Pisgah's top I fly
And there delighted stand,
To view, beneath a shining sky,
The spacious promised land.

The Lord of all the vast domain
Has promised it to me,
The length and breadth of all the plain
As far as faith can see.

How glorious is my privilege!
To Thee for help I call;
I stand upon a mountain's edge,
O save me, lest I fall!

Though much exalted in the Lord,
My strength is not my own;
Then let me tremble at His word,
And none shall cast me down.

William Cowper

--Did You Know: (26 November 1731 – 25 April 1800) Cowper was an English poet and hymnodist. One of the most popular poets of his time, Cowper changed the direction of 18th century nature poetry by writing of everyday life and scenes of the English countryside. He suffered from periods of severe depression, and although he found refuge in a fervent evangelical Christianity, the inspiration behind his much-loved hymns, he often experienced doubt and feared that he was doomed to eternal damnation.

--Word of the Day: penury\PEN-yuh-ree\, noun:
1. Extreme poverty; destitution.
2. Absence of resources; insufficiency.
(eg) Charles regretted his departure, and the penury of his treasury, but trusted that God would favor him in his struggle against the king of France.
-Henry Kamen, Philip of Spain

--Quote of the Day: Character is the salesperson’s stock in trade. The product itself is secondary. Truthfulness, enthusiasm and patience are great assets to every salesperson. Without them, they couldn’t go far. Courage and courtesy are essential equipment.
-George M. Adams

--Spanish Word of the Day: cuento, noun:
story
(eg) La abuela nos contaba cuentos.
(transl) Grandma used to tell us stories.

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August 7, 2013

A Night-Rain in Summer

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--Description: 19th C, Hunt J.L., Nature, Seasons-- 


 
Open the window, and let the air
Freshly blow upon face and hair,
And fill the room, as it fills the night,
With the breath of the rain's sweet might.
Hark! the burthen, swift and prone!
And how the odorous limes are blown!
Stormy Love's abroad, and keeps
Hopeful coil for gentle sleeps.

Not a blink shall burn to-night
In my chamber, of sordid light;
Nought will I have, not a window-pane,
'Twixt me and the air and the great good rain,
Which ever shall sing me sharp lullabies;
And God's own darkness shall close mine eyes;
And I will sleep, with all things blest,
In the pure earth-shadow of natural rest.


James Leigh Hunt

--Did You Know: (19 October 1784 – 28 August 1859) Hunt was an English critic, essayist, poet and writer. Leigh Hunt was born at Southgate, London, where his parents had settled after leaving the USA. His father, a lawyer from Philadelphia, and his mother, a merchant's daughter and a devout Quaker, had been forced to come to Britain because of their loyalist sympathies during the American War of Independence. Hunt's father took holy orders, and became a popular preacher, but was unsuccessful in obtaining a permanent living. Hunt's father was then employed by James Brydges, 3rd Duke of Chandos as tutor to his nephew, James Henry Leigh, after whom Leigh Hunt was named. Read more at: James L.Hunt

--Word of the Day: scabrous \SKAB-ruhs\, adjective:
1. full of difficulties.
2. having a rough surface because of minute points or projections.
3. indecent or scandalous; risqué; obscene: scabrous books.
Example:
The old divorce case had been revived by a journalist. It was moderately scabrous. It had been with the wife of a still-prominent Tory politician.
-- C. P. Snow, In Their Wisdom, 2000

--Quote of the Day: The trouble with most people is that they think with their hopes or fears or wishes rather than with their minds. ~Will Durant

--Language Arts: French word: coffre
English translation: trunk
Part of speech: noun
French example: Cette voiture a vraiment un grand coffre.
English example: This car has a really big trunk.


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