Two Lives . . . One Note

Now that 2015 commencement exercises are mostly completed around the country, the wedding season is definitely upon us. At least one source states April is when wedding season actually begins, while other sources consider May the beginning of the “season.” I’ve usually considered May the most common month among my friends and

We’ve already attended one wedding this month. It was a beautiful ceremony with the stunning bride dressed elegantly and the groom all smiles as she walked down the aisle toward him. Venue decorations were stylishly appointed and it was (in my estimation) every bit the fairy tale event a young woman imagines for her day. Continue reading “Two Lives . . . One Note”

Three’s a Crowd

A poetic form that closely resembles the sonnet is the terza rima. Italian poet Dante is said to have originated this form and he used it in his epic work, The Divine Comedy.Dante-The-Divine-Comedy-Inferno-Purgatory-Paradise-Carlyle-Okey-Wicksteed-unabridged-Blackstone-Audio

The terza rima form was later used by Chaucer and eventually, English romantic poets Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley found the form workable for their poetry. Probably one of the most familiar English poems to employ the form is Shelley’s Ode to the West Wind. This ode offers five stanzas of fourteen lines each, with each stanza comprised of four tercets (3 lines grouped together) and a concluding couplet.

Since the foundation for terza rima is its fourteen-line format, it may be easily mistaken for a sonnet. However, the rhyme scheme (a-b-a, b-c-b, c-d-c, d-e-d, e-e) distinguishes it from the sonnet. (For a sonnet celebrating the sonnet form, see my post here.)  Continue reading “Three’s a Crowd”

The Best . . . Yet To Be!

Couples2In his poem Rabbi Ben Ezra, poet Robert Browning began with these words:

    Grow old along with me!
    The best is yet to be;
The last of life, for which the first was made;
    Our times are in his hand
    Who saith, “A whole I planned.
Youth shows but half; trust God:  see all, nor be afraid!”

While the rest of the poem would not be considered a romantically inclined work, those memorable opening lines seem entirely apropos within the context of soul-mates pledging their lifelong devotion. I’ve always loved these lines and considered them a measure for what I wanted my marriage to be!

Return with me momentarily to December 20, 1969 … There’s a small gathering in a small church building in a small town in Arkansas. On that day, my Beloved and I celebrated our wedding day! Wow! So young! So crazy in love! So terribly naive! Today, we’re forty-four years married.

Together, my Beloved and I grew up … we thought we were adults when we married, but as with so many other things, we were grossly misinformed! We finished school (undergrad and masters for him, undergrad for me), expanded our educations just through daily living and some seemingly hopeless struggles, endured both the joys and heartaches attached to parenting four children, and now … we’ve grown old(er) together, enjoying this adventure of God’s goodness and mercy, while humbly anticipating what lies ahead.

This week, our eldest grandson (22) told me what he has observed about marriage:  the people who stay married are the ones who commit (long before tying the knot) to stay married regardless, no matter what.

I agree. Occasionally, I joke with people about my pragmatic outlook … I’ve invested too much time civilizing one husband; why would I ever want to start over? In truth, I can’t imagine wanting to spend a day of my life without him. He made my heart go pitter-pat when we’d known each other only a short time … and that’s still true today, more than forty-four years after our first introduction.

This sonnet pretty much sums up how smitten I was, how smitten I am, and how smitten I expect to be, for all the future years God allows us to walk hand in hand on this plane.

Term-Of-Endearment, love poem, love, anniversary, marriage, sonnet, poetry, poem
Sonnet: Term Of Endearment

Considering this Christmas season when gift-giving is a focus, I acknowledge one of my most precious gifts (then and now) is the man whose name and life I share.

Oh, just in case you’re thinking about an anniversary gift? Here’s an odd one. Apparently for the 44th, the gift of record is − wait for it − groceries!

Taken Captive By Culture (I)

The story ran nationwide with various iterations on a theme:  more divorces in the South, fewer in the Northeast. Living in the South and holding a high view of marriage, I bristled because this simplistic reportage leaves so much unsaid.

The Washington Post took an unusual angle, addressing singles in an opening paragraph I’ll summarize:  Hope to hear wedding bells? Then move to the South or West — but beware! Your chances of divorce will also increase. [Did I mention simplistic reportage?!]

The Post deemed the Census report a “first-of-its-kind analysis.” Similarly, USAToday ran a story by Sharon Jayson noting it “gives the clearest picture in 20 years ….” Jayson also stressed regional patterns. Her lead:

Where you live may influence your attitudes and actions toward marriage and divorce more than you think, suggests a federal report out today that gives the clearest picture in 20 years about the evolution of marriage and divorce across the USA.

(I’ll discuss the Census report later.) First, I must quibble with the USAToday piece. Jayson’s reference to ” … the evolution of marriage and divorce across the USA” insinuates marriage is a capricious, moving target! It is not. Continue reading “Taken Captive By Culture (I)”