On Writing Poetry for Fame and Fun

A couple of years ago I enrolled in some WordPress classes. They were free, and served to help in learning the WP system, and meeting new like-minded people online. Short stories, flash-fiction, various forms of poetry, and educational or informative opinion pieces. Photography classes were fun and instructional. All of the classes were interactive, no pressure—there was a daily assignment and interactive chat rooms and commentary. Students were free to do a project that was “assigned,” do something else, skip the exercise altogether. There was no judging, no right or wrong, everybody’s work was respected no matter what.

My favorite was Poetry Class. I suppose I learned some poetry forms back in literature classes in high school, but most of that information I either ignored or filed away back in my file-cabinet-brain. To this day I love reading poems out loud. There is something about poetic meter that is as deep as song, and pulls me out of the doldrums or self-pity-dumps within my soul.

My favorite example is in these first six lines of the classic account of the famous (if factually lacking) poem by e.e.cummings.

The first poetry that comes to mind to this very day is e.e.cummings’ classic account of the famous (if factually lacking) poem about Christopher Columbus. Hear are the first six lines

(Here we go: let our eyes glide over the words of the opening line::)
“In fourteen hundred and ninety two
Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
He had three ships and left from Spain;
He sailed through sunshine, wind and rain.
He sailed by night; he sailed by day;
He used the stars to find his way.”

(Now, let’s try it again, with emphasis:)
” In FOURteen HUNdred NINEty Two
ColUMbus SAILed the OCean BLUE!
He HAD three SHIPS and SAILED from SPAIN
He SAILED through SUNshine, WIND and RAIN
He SAILED by NIGHT; he SAILED by DAY;
He USED the STARS to FIND his WAY.”

Doesn’t that metered rhyme add a poke and a jog to the reading?

[to be continued…]

Me and The War, reblog, Part 2 of Who am I to have an About Page?

[This post was the second installment of the life history of… well, Me. The first time it appeared was in 2015. For my VCBs: Very Cool Bloggers, this post will be a re-run, please bear with me if you’ve read it before, and please enjoy it if its new.]


In the first installment of this feature, Who Am I to have an About Page? https://mumbletymuse.com/so-who-am-I-to-have-an-About-Page-?/   I started out as a newcomer to the world on a Friday the 13th, and by the end of Part One I had been to California and back, eaten part of a persimmon and part of a gourd, and had finished Kindergarten.  Which pretty much sets the stage for the second part of my life story.

Part Two:        ME AND THE WAR

That would be the Second World War, WWII, The Big One– the catalyst for the rise to world dominance of the United States.  I was eleven when the war ended in 1945, and I must say that I was one patriotic little girl.  I was so proud of the accomplishments of my country, in which we had emerged mostly safe and sound (those of us who had not been killed during the war years, of course) and had the distinction of being THE leader of the Free World.

But let me skip the rhetoric and get on with MY part of the War, which began in 1941…along with the arrival of my baby sister when I was eight and a half years old; my brother was six.  It was just us three until near the end of the war in 1945, when another sister joined our merry band.

One thing I recall about grade school is that there was a Congresswoman who regularly was permitted to leave fliers advertising her prowess in the U.S. Congress on our school desks.  She would come in and talk to us about how important it was for our parents to vote for her. Despite having been told, on my very first day of first grade,  by the teacher to “go home and never come back again,” as I explained to my parents when they picked me up walking home from school about an hour after classes began,  I did indeed continue with my education.  I remember well the adventures of Dick and Jane, Baby, and Spot, the stars of our first level readers.

The main thing going on everywhere was THE WAR.   We went to the movie theaters, and were treated to black and white newsreels showing bombs dropping from airplanes, Hitler’s marching troops in huge showy choreographed formations, and in-coming shipments of USA- flag-covered coffins.  We recited the Pledge of Allegiance every morning, and read The Weekly Reader, a newspaper produced especially for school children at various levels. My grandfather taught me about television.  He had a floor-model radio, which had a large window area for tuning various stations on the radio, and he said that some day, after the war, we would be able to look at windows like that and see actual movies and real people talking and singing and the like.   I was properly impressed…this was undoubtedly the source of my great love of electronic stuff.

Then the newspapers, The Cleveland Press, The News, and The Cleveland Plain Dealer told us every day how many soldiers had been killed in battle, and kept us well informed about the terrible evil enemies of the United States on all areas of the world.   Toward the end of the war there was news about Hitler’s atrocities, and the Japanese cities evaporated by TWO atomic bombs.  The pictures were everywhere in magazines and newspapers. The newsreels at the movies were relentless in presenting the horrors of war, and these were incomprehensible to American kids, who had thankfully never had bombs dropped on them.

Movies themselves, presented on monster screens in huge movie theaters that always reminded me of palaces (not that I had ever been in a palace) also presented the great block-buster films of the 40s…complete with horror stories about the war. So this brings Me to the end of the Great War, and the beginning of the phenomenon known as THE COLD WAR.

The newspapers treated us to daily headlines screaming of annihilation and pending doom.  A particularly horrible series presented by the newspapers contained in part a huge bulls-eye, with segments indicating the extent of the death shadow that marked Cleveland…with its four NIKE missile sites forming at once a horrible defense capability of retaliation.  The center of the bulls-eye, of course, meant instant end to everything…out in the suburbs the threat lessened sequentially until by a distance of thirty miles out some percentage of life might survive.

BUT that survival would depend on bomb shelters, which might delay death by radiation by a couple of weeks. As children we were conversationally proficient about hydrogen bombs, pros and cons of including guns among bomb shelter supplies, and just how bad radiation poisoning was. So that was pretty much what one little girl knew about THE WAR… The next era of MY ABOUT PAGE    will be coming up soon:  THE 1950s

please stay tuned…

piggy-back grasshoppers

(photo ©Sometimes, 2020)

(I was sitting outside, minding my own business, when this critter ran into me and landed on the pavement nearby. I didn’t get a good look at it until later, when editing on my mainframe some snaps taken with my camera phone. Actually my subject was cats…so this grasshopper shot was a bonus.)

once there was a man who died…

Once there was a man who died
and no one knew what to do—
or even who would decide.

Mourners sighed
and wrung their hands, and cried—
“What a shame! Such a wasted life!”
and embarked on self-righteous lectures.

“Well I,” said God, with a nod
“… have no doubts—for it is I who decide—
and I say he shall ever sit by My side.”

“Where he remains for eternity
is not subject to debate and
conjecture.”

©Sometimes, 2020

Cat Decisions

 

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Now what?

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Pearl isn’t sure.

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Bob considers the situation.

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say what?

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Closer, so we don’t have to shout

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Time for a nap.

(photos ©Sometimes,2018)  The colors in these shots are overwhelmed by the bright sunlight coming in the windows…except for Pearl, who is completely black and requires different camera settings to see her face.   The green paint is prettier than it appears, but could use a fresh coat of paint.   (The very thought of painting scares me!    and yes, I know we should have painted before we put the flooring down.   yikes!)

Flooring update half-way there!

The workers are here installing the new floor, which looks great.    We will paint or stain the baseboards so they are nice when they go back up.    The living room area is about half of the job, so it’s a relief to have it so far along.   However, everybody knows what happens when major new infrastructure goes in…. right…. the walls look crappy now and also incidental window frames and of course the cabinetry in the kitchen, which needs only a good cleaning.

The rest of the walls in the house were re-painted a couple of years ago when the ceilings had to have major replacement work due to ice getting in below the roofing and the insurance company paid some big bucks to repair the ceilings.   It was mostly drywall, but the insurance also covered having the ceilings AND the affected rooms re-painted.      Now we need to paint the living room walls, because they look shabby compared to the new floor and the recently-new rusty-orange paint of the kitchen/dining area.

Man…these people make a LOT of noise.   The owner(s) of the company do much of the labor themselves.   Incidentally, I have known these people for decades…the owners’ mother was a police dispatcher when I was a news reporter, and although I haven’t seen her in decades the name came to me as I thought of a local flooring company.

I’d like to paint…well, to rephrase that, it would be nice if the walls were painted.  The dusty green color is still nice and I like it as much as when it originally went on the walls fifteen years or so ago.

Well the living room part of the floor is in place, and Thursday they will do the kitchen and dining area.   The baseboards need to be spruced up, so I bought a can of water-based stain (at Home Depot) to paint them with.   The paint/stain dries in one hour, so that is a break.   All the paintings and miscellany are off the walls, all the furniture is lounging in the dining area.

ah…those of you who are still awake…thanks for following along on my housewife work musings.

A Word About Words From the OED

The Oxford English Dictionary remains THE word bible of the English language.   The OED is available online, with a Word-of-the-Day feature to which one can subscribe without cost.   A full subscription is beyond my budget, and I do respect the OED’s the prohibition against re-posting in its entirety.   Anyone can subscribe to the daily word post  through the OED web site at http://www.oed.com/ to receive the without-cost daily.

Often these selected words grab my attention for various reasons, not only to find out what they mean, but also as discussion topics.

A recent word that intrigued me especially is  —  dis-candy — which means literally liquifying or melting candy (lemon drops, or life savers for example,) from its candied/solid state to the sticky gooey mess that sticks to everything when melted.

Shakespeare used the word to good advantage, with a metaphorical meaning, as taking the overly-sweet or romantic useage of cleaning up “purple prose” or misplaced or just overstated descriptions in a line of poetry or speech.    English teachers often like to “dis-candy” students’ writing.

My wonder isn’t really the word itself, but the prefix (DIS -candy. )    Some substance that starts out as a sticky-sweet solid that  deteriorates into a liquid, or disappears; or a cringe-worthy saccharine sweetness in speech or prose.     Upon consideration I suppose that (DE-candy) would have a different connotation, perhaps meaning some of the  ingredients or adjectives of said substance (i.e. lollypop,) or line of spoken words would be present originally, but removed from the final product never having existed.

Beside the point, neither of my two little desk go-to-dictionaries: The New Oxford Spelling Dictionary, 2014;   nor  The Merriam Webster Dictionary New Edition, 2004 include the word dis-candy.     My criteria for go-to-dictionaries is that they are small paperbacks that sit on a shelf above my computer and can be retrieved with one hand.

 

 

 

 

 

Poppies & lilacs & rhododendrons O My!

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Poppy looks real, doesn’t it?  (Yes, it is)   

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Front walk.  Roses on right, Blue Holy on left.   

 

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Bob 

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Clematis

 

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Some kind of berry bush leaning on a tree for support.   

 

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Poppy close upEnter a caption

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other Peony  

 

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glorious peony  

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Peony. 

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Li’L Kims…  smell divine.

 

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Li’l Kim lilacs  

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Nice hay field.   I wish the neighbor’s horses could come over.  

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Two beauties.  

 

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This old plant is a wreck…until its ready to bloom.