Monday, May 30, 2016

BLOG OF THE WEEK ~ AN UPDATE WITH OLD EGG


We have another wonderful poet to visit this week, my friends: Robin Kimber, whom we know affectionately as Old Egg. Robin writes at Robin’s Nest, and lives in Adelaide, southern Australia, only six miles from the ocean. Robin recently celebrated 80 years of very fine living, so we are most pleased to be meeting with him again, to congratulate him and hear more of his fascinating stories. 



Old Egg


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Poetry Pantry #304


Photographs of city of Castlemaine -
Victoria, Australia
by Rosemary Nissen-Wade


The historic Market building, now the Visitors' Information Centre


The streets are full of trees


Some lovely old houses are now in use as offices


The old shop buildings, featuring "iron lacework" are still used

There is lovely lead-lighting

Beautiful old doorways and arches

Many historic crafts still thrive in Castlemaine, as people 
decorate well-preserved old homes in keeping with their era


Greetings, Friends.  And happy Memorial Day weekend to those of you who live in the USA. I personally am looking forward to a barbecue with family on Monday.  Memorial Day really is the unofficial beginning of summer here.  Parades, picnics, barbecues abound.

Today we are featuring photographs by Rosemary Nissen-Wade. She says that Castlemaine is full of beautiful old buildings and includes for us this excerpt from Wikipedia: "Castlemaine is a small city in Victoria, Australia, about 120 kilometres northwest by road from Melbourne and about 40 kilometres from the major provincial centre of Bendigo. Castlemaine began as a gold rush boomtown in 1851 and developed into a major regional centre, being officially proclaimed a City on 4 December 1965, although since declining in population. It is home to many cultural institutions including the Theatre Royal, the oldest continuously operating theatre in mainland Australia."  Thank you very much, Rosemary, for your photos which allow us to see Castlemaine through your eyes!

This past week was a wonderful week at Poets United.  if you haven't read Sherry's interview of Jae Rose last Monday, DO take a look back!  And nice to see SO many of you at Susan's prompt 'Picnic' at Midweek Motif last Wednesday. And Rosemary a delightful share for her I Wish I'd Written This feature.  She shared a poem by Angie Walker who may be familiar to some of you, as she blogs at Angieinspired.

Tomorrow be sure to visit Poets United, as Sherry has a chat with a very long time participant in both Midweek Motif and Poetry Pantry.  I always look forward to his poem each Sunday in the pantry...as this Aussie is always one of the very first to post.  (No more clues, but DO come back!)

Susan's Midweek Motif prompt Wednesday is Parents, Guardians, Important Adults in the Lives of Children......if you want to get a head start writing to the topic.

With no further delay, let's share poetry today.  Link your one poem below.  Share a comment with us.  And visit the poems of other poets who have posted.  Check back throughout today and tomorrow for more poems to visit.

Friday, May 27, 2016

I Wish I'd Written This

Returning From a Flower Viewing
by Angie Walker

If you make tea for people returning from a flower viewing, displaying a painting of flowers or birds, or a flower arrangement in the tearoom is inappropriate. – Sen No Rikyu
But, if someone’s strumming a harp’s G-string in a concentrated, concerted effort in the tea room, as if it were a guitar G trying to make out like a mock machine gun, well even this is a luminous labor of afternoon love-making compared to the halting slap-in-the-face from coming in from the out-of-doors fully drenched in leggy flowers, the jazz of bees, pistils and petals, to face a fragmentary and ridiculously pasty-painted landscape some hack thought encompassed all. It cannot encompass all. I’ve just seen the stamen and pistil, for God’s sake.


************

This is another of the poems I fell in love with during April Poetry Month. There were many more, of course, and I don't propose to treat you to them all, particularly as you may well have seen them already anyway. But this one is so deliciously quirky and different, whilst at the same time so succinct and sane, I simply couldn't resist it.

Above all I love her delight in the real beauty of nature. What the quotation that served as her prompt conveys obliquely and with restraint, she says uncompromisingly, exuberantly.

Angie, who blogs at angieinspired says of herself:

"I am a writer. I like words. I especially enjoy temperamental verbs and nouns duking it out in alliteration and assonance. Twenty-six characters (the ABC's if you must call them that), rearranged in a gazillion different ways make me happy. But remember, it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing...and a good tap shoe finish!"

And if you haven't caught up with her blog yet, it's full of good stuff!



Material shared in 'I Wish I'd Written This' is presented for study and review. Poems, photos and other writings remain the property of the copyright owners, usually their authors.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Picnic

Breakfast in the Open by Carl Larsson 1919

“I’ll affect you slowly as if you were having a picnic in a dream. 
There will be no ants.  It won’t rain.” 

― Richard Brautigan

"Death is the sound of distant thunder at a picnic." 

. "Society is the picnic certain individuals leave early, the party they fail to enjoy, the musical comedy they find not worth the price of admission."
 Joyce Carol Oates


Pierrot's Repast: Deburau as Pierrot Gormand by Auguste Bouquet c. 1830.



Midweek Motif ~ Picnic

When I was young, picnics involved food and parks with lakes to swim in and trails to walk in along cliffs with great views.  I loved them.  But lately, I only hear the word "picnic" in metaphor— something is or is not "a picnic"— meaning "easy."  I don't remember picnics being easy to prepare, but I remember feeling holiday in the air. Now, picnics for me are either solitary outdoor eating during walks or mass potluck church outings. What about you? Do you now or have you ever picnicked?

Your Challenge:  
Take us to a picnic in a new poem.


from Rubaiyat: "A Book of Verses underneath the Bough"

Related Poem Content Details

. . . . 
A Book of Verses underneath the Bough, 
A Jug of Wine, A Loaf of Bread—and Thou 
Beside me singing in the Wilderness— 
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow! 
. . . . 
(Only quatrain 11; read the entire poem HERE.)


            by Rita Dove

The Day? Memorial.
After the grill
Dad appears with his masterpiece –
swirled snow, gelled light.
We cheer.  The recipe’s
a secret and he fights
a smile, his cap turned up
so the bib resembles a duck.

That morning we galloped
through the grassed-over mounds
and named each stone
for a lost milk tooth.  Each dollop
of sherbet, later,
is a miracle,
....
Read the Rest HERE.

I Ask My Mother to Sing

Related Poem Content Details

She begins, and my grandmother joins her. 
Mother and daughter sing like young girls. 
If my father were alive, he would play 
his accordion and sway like a boat.

I’ve never been in Peking, or the Summer Palace, 
nor stood on the great Stone Boat to watch 
the rain begin on Kuen Ming Lake, the picnickers 
running away in the grass.
. . . . 
Read the rest HERE.

* * * * 

Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others 
in the spirit of the community.

 (Next week Susan's Midweek Motif will be ~ Parenthood 
(Parents, Guardians, Significant Adults in the Lives of Children)

Monday, May 23, 2016

BLOG OF THE WEEK ~ CHATTING WITH JAE ROSE AND ALICE

We have a very special treat for you this week, my friends. A clue: I see a white rabbit looking at his watch, and rushing about. It is tea-time, four o’clock, and I see two figures coming towards us, one tall, one short. The little one has a blue frock and white pinafore on………oh, look! It is Jae Rose, who writes at  the blog of the same name, whom we last spoke to in 2014, and this time she has brought Alice along with her. I am sure she and Alice will have a few wise words for us. The table is set prettily, with beautiful cups and saucers, the teapot is especially for Alice, and there are many sweet things on the table, because we know this little girl has a very sweet tooth.

Alice in Wonderland teapot 
at Peter's of Kensington  link







Sunday, May 22, 2016

Poetry Pantry #303

Artistic Photographs of Macau
by Luk Lei


(Luk says: "These next 5 are the artistic shots I am currently developing.  They are double exposure shots that I have designed to contrast and envelope places and sights in Macau.")


Ascension - This photo is a double exposure of a staircase in the Sao Lorenzo district of Macau and St. Paul's Ruins.  The regligious motifs around Macau are rich and plentiful and felt the 2 locations complemented each other well, As if one is stepping into the heavens while the tourist represent our self absorbed ways.

City Lights - This double exposure is the combination of lanterns in Senado Square and the Monkey King display, which appears to be floating away on a cloud.  This combines local tradition with it's gaudy and wonderful display.

Nature Engulfs - In a city like Macau where population density is very high and homes are stacked one on the other,  Getting any nature is nearly a miracle to observe.  This large tree proved to be the best subject to engulf the fog ridden city.

Nature Gives - Another Urban garden double exposure.  This time a palm tree is filling the content of a historical structure.

This combines 2 common public services in Macau - The bus and the multitude of small library's found through out Macau. While great services do exhist here, sometimes it can be lonely packed inside these locations.

Greetings, Friends!  I hope you enjoy the second series of photos by Luk Lei.  I really enjoyed the artistry in the photos.  If you did not see Sherry's interview of Luk, be sure to look back at last Monday's article in which he was featured!

This past week for Midweek Motif Susan's prompt was 'bullying,' and there were lots of good poems shared in response to this serious, but very timely, topic.  Take a look!  Rosemary's feature for "The Living Dead" was the poem "There Will be No Peace" by W.H. Auden.  There was an interesting story behind that poem.  Do check back if you haven't read it.

This Monday Sherry has a wonderful chat with one of the most loyal participants here at Poets United.  None other than Jae Rose (And Alice too!).  It is a chat you don't want to miss.

Wednesday Susan's prompt for Midweek Motif is "Picnic."  Yes, it is beginning to be that time of year, isn't it?

Well, with no further delay, let's share poetry.  Link your one poem below. Stop in to comments and say hello; and read some poetry!  It is important to visit other poets, as that is an integral part of our community.  See you all on the trail.




Friday, May 20, 2016

The Living Dead

~ Honouring our poetic ancestors ~

There will be no Peace

By W. H.  Auden (1907-1973)

   Though mild clear weather
Smile again on the shire of your esteem
And its colours come back, the storm has changed you:
   You will not forget, ever,
The darkness blotting out hope, the gale
   Prophesying your downfall.

   You must live with your knowledge.
Way back, beyond, outside of you are others,
In moonless absences you never heard of,
   Who have certainly heard of you,
Beings of unknown number and gender:
   And they do not like you.

   What have you done to them?
Nothing? Nothing is not an answer:
You will come to believe - how can you help it? -
   That you did, you did do something;
You will find yourself wishing you could make them laugh,
   You will long for their friendship.

   There will be no peace.
Fight back, then, with such courage as you have
And every unchivalrous dodge you know of,
   Clear in your conscience on this:
Their cause, if they had one, is nothing to them now;
   They hate for hate's sake.

This week we've been looking at bullying, with Timoteo's poem on the subject featured in 'I Wish I'd Written This' and again in Susan's Midweek Motif. Here in Australia we are being visited by Canadian spoken word poet Shane Koyczan with his bullying poem which was featured in an earlier 'I Wish I'd Written This'. (The link here takes you straight to the video.) I saw him interviewed on TV, saying how wonderful he finds it that bullied children everywhere are getting in touch, telling him how much that poem has helped them.

This poem of Auden's addresses a somewhat similar situation. He's the 'you' in the poem, which was written in 1956 about the resentment some people expressed at his appointment as Professor of Poetry at Oxford University. Obviously it hurt! Yet, like those other two poems, the writing arrives at a resolution.

Wystan Hugh Auden, born and brought up in England, became an American citizen in 1946. He is considered one of the foremost poets of the 20th Century, who excelled in a variety of forms. If they know nothing else of his work, most people probably know the poem Funeral Blues which featured in the movie Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Wikipedia tells us: '
Auden published about four hundred poems, including seven long poems (two of them book-length). His poetry was encyclopaedic in scope and method, ranging in style from obscure twentieth-century modernism to the lucid traditional forms such as ballads and limericks, from doggerel through haiku and villanelles to a "Christmas Oratorio" and a baroque eclogue in Anglo-Saxon meters. The tone and content of his poems ranged from pop-song clichés to complex philosophical meditations, from the corns on his toes to atoms and stars, from contemporary crises to the evolution of society.'

Poetry Foundation says he 'exerted a major influence on the poetry of the 20th century' and that he 'was known for his extraordinary intellect and wit.'

The Academy of American Poets, of which he was a chancellor from 1954 to 1973, says he was 'generally considered the greatest English poet of the twentieth century' – but I think there are other contenders for that title (Yeats, Eliot) and it would be truer to call him one of the greatest.

As well as being a prolific poet, he was a prolific essayist and reviewer. He also collaborated in writing plays, opera libretti and documentary films. There are articles about his life and work at all the links I've quoted from. They comprise just a little of the material about him online, as you'll see if you Google. And of course there are many volumes by and about him at Amazon.

The best place to enjoy his poems online is probably YouTube. He has a wonderful reading voice!

Another thing Auden was famous for was his remarkably wrinkled, craggy face in old age, sometimes thought to be due to his heavy smoking. I found the real explanation on Samizdat Blog:
Auden had apparently been suffering since early manhood from Touraine-Solente-Gole syndrome in which the skin of the forehead, face, scalp, hands and feet becomes thick and furrowed and peripheral periostitis in the bones reduces the patient's capacity for activity.  There was no therapy for the syndrome, which does not affect either life expectancy or mental status, but which accounted for Auden's striking appearance of grave, lined melancholy. 
The condition is inherited rather than contagious, and quite rare. 

Material shared in 'I Wish I'd Written This' is presented for study and review. Poems, photos and other writings remain the property of the copyright owners, usually their authors.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Bullying



Bars & Melody



“Perhaps it is only human nature to inflict suffering on anything that 
will endure suffering, whether by reason of its genuine humility, 
or indifference, or sheer helplessness.” 
― Honoré de BalzacPère Goriot

"To me, that's what bullying is, showing off. It's saying, I'm better than you, 
I can take you down. Not just physically, but emotionally.” 
― Whoopi Goldberg, Is It Just Me?: Or is it nuts out there?



Midweek Motif ~ Bullying


What would it take to stop bullying? To keep it from escalating to destruction? To endure and survive it if it cannot be changed?  

Your challenge: In a new poem, put yourself in the position of bullied, bully, ally or observer.  Bring awareness to the nature of bullying and/or the solution.


The Moral Bully 

by Oliver Wendell Holmes

YON whey-faced brother, who delights to wear
A weedy flux of ill-conditioned hair,
Seems of the sort that in a crowded place
One elbows freely into smallest space;
A timid creature, lax of knee and hip,
Whom small disturbance whitens round the lip;
One of those harmless spectacled machines,
. . . . 

(Read the rest HERE at PoemHunter.com)