Deconstructing Fifty Shades of de Sade

Here we are … celebrating Valentine’s Day 2015. It’s a long weekend due to the so-called Presidents’ Day holiday … which was initially a celebration for George Washington’s birthday (the 22nd) … but then was expanded to include Abraham Lincoln’s birthday (the 12th) as well … and when Congress suggested honoring all US presidents with a single holiday to be known as Presidents’ Day, they never actually approved the bill! Still, Presidents’ Day became the default – though unofficial – name anyway! So, Happy Presidents’ Day / Valentine’s Day or Happy Valentine’s Day / Presidents’ Day or if you prefer … Saturday!ValPresDayThis is also a highly-anticipated (by some) blockbuster movie weekend. According to BoxOfficeMojo’s forecast headline, “‘Fifty Shades” To Dominate Valentine’s Day Box Office, the film will “set a handful of box office records” this weekend. The same website’s Friday Report employs an apt headline:  “Moviegoers Submit to ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’.Continue reading “Deconstructing Fifty Shades of de Sade”

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How To Say “I Love You”

In case you haven’t noticed the calendar, Valentine’s Day is coming right up! Yep, that day when we celebrate LOVE! Have you looked at the price of flowers lately? A heart-shaped box of quality chocolates? Saying “I Love You” never comes cheap. Be ready to fork over the big bucks!

Ha! I saw one FaceBook post of a rose-red Range Rover beneath which someone had noted, “Wouldn’t this look good in my driveway on Valentine’s Day?” The FB post says Range Rover is giving two of these away just prior to the big day … but apparently, it’s a giant hoax. (The car does look nice though.)RangeRoverMy Beloved and I have never been ardent gift-givers. Early in our marriage, we scrimped to save for the important things and Valentine’s Day was an opportunity for creativity. Some of my best cards from my long-time Beau were simple handmade cards on which he expressed his love for me. My handmade expressions were usually more grandiose productions than his but I won’t suggest they outshone his. Continue reading “How To Say “I Love You””

A Rose By No Other Name

rosesMore than two hundred years ago, Romantic poet Robert Burns wrote an enduring − though simple − love poem that I’ve reproduced below.

Known as the Bard of Scotland, Burns wrote (and spelled) in a manner some might say is peculiar. This reflects his lowland Scottish roots and the Scots language spoken there.

       A Red, Red Rose
O my Luve’s like a red, red rose

That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry:

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee well, my only Luve
And fare thee well, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.

Another Bard, Shakespeare, provided us with an equally memorable reference (lines 47-48) associated with the rose: Romeo hears Juliet forswear her family name, saying “What’s in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

As one of the most ubiquitous symbols of Valentine’s Day, red roses are always a stunning gift. (On a recent store outing, I saw a flower display that featured tulips shaped to resemble roses. They were quite beautiful!)

Who among us doesn’t enjoy fresh flowers? (If anyone dares raise a hand in contradiction, I will ignore you!) Roses of course are especially fragrant and I love how their scent fills a room.

The sonnet I’ve posted below is in the Visser Sonnet form. This sonnet form is named for Audrae Visser (1919-2006) who served as Poet Laureate of South Dakota from 1974 to 2001. There’s an Amazon page on which her two books are listed, but I found no biographical information on her.

The Visser isn’t a common form for the sonnet and I had written this one so long ago, I had to think for a bit to recall its unique format. The Visser Sonnet sets itself apart by its internal rhyme structure. (It’s organized with an internal rhyme scheme of abbaabba cdecde.) That particular format isn’t readily apparent unless you take time to read the poem aloud. It’s a challenging format … which is probably why I’ve only completed one Visser Sonnet.

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Sonnet: Like A Red, Red Rose