Most people understand – at least in a theoretical sense – how quickly life can change. In the two months since I last posted, the silence hasn’t come about due to a lack of blogging material. No, no, no. Furthermore, every single day without a post brought a deeper sense of unease … the pattern of my life seeming slightly upended!
But the respite from my daily pattern was necessary and welcome … necessary because life demanded I attend other matters and welcome because it freed me (somewhat) from my irrational obsession to slavishly maintain daily posts – no matter what! With each day that passed, my figurative pencil grew more insistent and red-faced. Much to my surprise, people continued to drop by and read previous posts. (I am gratefully humbled by your interest.) Continue reading “Random Vicissitudes”→
The total number of poetic forms probably exceeds anyone’s ability to compile a complete list. Some of the forms are obscure while others are well known and are represented by numerous familiar examples.
When I first got serious about writing poetry half a lifetime ago, almost every time I ran across a new form, I challenged myself to write at least one poem with that form. I thought it would be a helpful exercise in learning the specific form as well as a means of exercising my poetic muscles through new challenges … though the sonnet will probably always be my favorite poetic form. Continue reading “Wrestling With The Devine”→
Over the course of many years, I’ve come to realize writers are a rather strange subgroup of the human race. I count myself in that number and readily admit my strangeness … uniqueness, that’s the term I prefer. Actually, I’ve heard it said all creative people are strange, slightly off-center. Maybe so. When I hear of the strange things other writers do, I tend to shake my head and roll my eyes. Then I go on with my life … and my writing.
Here’s one example of the strangeness I’ve observed. The Twitter profile (shown above) belongs to a woman named Vanessa Place. (Her name appears just underneath the left-side photo of actress Hattie McDaniel.) From what I’ve read, Place uses this Twitter account for the purpose of tweeting – 140 characters at a time, plus or minus – the entire text of Margaret Mitchell’s novel, Gone With the Wind. I suppose one might argue this is an artistic expression and benign protest by which she registers her disgust with the racial stereotypes portrayed in the 1936 novel. Continue reading “Manufactured Outrage”→
What do you do when a man maintains his innocence in the face of persistent accusations? In wartime, combatants are conditioned to undergo extensive interrogation without blurting out any secrets. Name, rank and serial number but nothing more. For the title character in The Book of Job, he continues in chapter 27 to argue he’s a man of integrity. Come on, my friends, my comforters! You may waterboard me but I’ll give you the same exact answers! My torment isn’t because of wrongdoing!
An interesting change has taken place though. Bildad, the last comforter who accused Job, spoke in chapter 25 and his speech was brief. The other comforters seem to have lost their vigor or have become weary of Job’s unwillingness to admit wrongdoing. Has Job convinced them he’s a righteous man? Or have they simply done with the discourse and backing away from their friend in anticipation of a lightning strike targeted at Job? Continue reading “A Legacy of Integrity”→
According to information I’ve read over the last couple days, the Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments next week that relate to same-sex marriage. With nearly 150 friend-of-the-court briefs already filed, the justices will hold an extended (2½ hours) hearing.
As I understand the issue, SCOTUS will be grappling with the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment which was ratified in 1868, granting US citizenship to former slaves. Suffice it to say, I’m not Constitutional scholar, but I can certainly read the text of this amendment and understand why it was adopted as part of our Constitution. Continue reading “Children In The Crosshairs”→
Most of my life, I thought a “well-informed” person should read at least one weekly news-magazine, read a daily newspaper (or more), tune in nightly news broadcasts and listen to a broad range of current-issue radio presentations. After carefully consuming “news” via reading / listening / watching multiple news resources as well as analyzing and evaluating issues, I realize the term “well-informed” can be misleading. I’ve found the freedom to unplug!
The newspaper was the first to go. I spent entirely too much time everyday … morning coffee eased into mid-morning coffee and even midday. (My thought process went like this: as long as I held a cup of coffee in my hand, it was still “breakfast.“) About ten years ago, I was ready to cancel delivery, except my Beloved insisted on keeping it. We continue to subscribe but now the accumulation of papers just annoys me. Continue reading “HillBilly Circus”→
An item in my email this week caught my attention. With wedding season gearing up, my credit union sent an email hawking what they characterized as “EverydayLife Loans” providing extra cash for the big events of life. Naturally, the promotion drew my attention.
Yeah, those “big events” tend to be costly nowadays and the credit union is there to help … including “expenses for your wedding, honeymoon and all the little things along the way.” With rates as low as 8.75% APR, the picture (shown below) showed a celebratory bride and groom and the tag line: “One less thing to worry about.”
For as long as I can remember, music has been an integral part of my life. Two other posts in this space (here and here) offer some background. Because I’m also a product of the 1960s, there’s a certain genre of music that shaped my life just as it shaped the lives of most in my baby-boomer generation.One of the things I love about YouTube is the availability of so many tunes from the 60s era. Somewhere in storage, we have an ancient record player/changer as well as a stack of long-play albums that we probably haven’t played in at least twenty years … probably longer! We’re unlikely to ever play the albums again (assuming the record player actually still worked) but disposing of the records won’t happen either. (Feel sorry for our heirs!) Continue reading “Back To The 60s Again”→
On Tuesday, my post referred to a poem (Spring) written by Pulitzer Prize recipient (1923), poet Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950). According to some literary sources, her sonnets are among the best of the early twentieth century. One particular poem I’ve loved many a year is not a true sonnet but still a top-notch and memorable composition in my opinion. It’s pictured below.
From the moment I first read this poem, Vincent’s ecstasy and amazement showcased in this poem made a connection with me. (I think I might have been in high school at the time.) This poem stands in stark contrast to Spring. Whereas Spring gives a contrary and cynical view of Nature, the rapture and pure pleasure expressed in God’s World supplies Vincent’s surprising yang to the yin that infuses Spring. So enraptured is Vincent in God’s World, she suggests her passion would necessarily overflow if something as simple as a bird call sounded on her ears.
When Spring arrives every year, one finds there’s a great deal of poetic utterance devoted to one or another aspect of the season. There is, in the season, a wealth of subjects on which the poet might reflect and celebrate. I’ve read poems (old and new) that extol the freshly-blossoming flowers … as well as freshly-blossoming love.
In the Spring a fuller crimson comes upon the robin’s breast; In the Spring the wanton lapwing gets himself another crest;
In the Spring a livelier iris changes on the burnish’d dove; In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.
In truth, only the fourth line above could be described with the “famously” adverb. That particular line is often quoted. Not being a man, I can’t speak specifically to Tennyson’s observation, except to say it is a lovely line in a much longer, rich and emotional work produced with 97 rhyming couplets. Continue reading “Lightly Turned Fancy”→