Monday, October 23, 2017

Sing with me

Sing with me, sing for the years
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tears

Morgan James with one of my favorite Eric Clapton songs:

Morgan James again, knocking it out of the park:

In case you can't remember how the original went, here it is:

Quite a contrast, eh?

(I didn't mean to go down this road, but here's Aerosmith doing Dream on with a children's choir, which is a whole different sound. Warning: tissue alert due to the video.)

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Winter Poem Swap + Sandburg on Milton

we are words on a journey
not the inscriptions of settled people
~W.S. Merwin

Time to sign up for the Winter Poem Swap!

Do you know how it works? Unlike the Summer Poem Swap, when people do up to five swaps, the Winter Poem Swap is just one swap. This time, though, you are asked to send a wee gift along with your poem. If you would like to participate, send me an email (tabatha @ tabathayeatts . com) by November 3rd. I will give you the name and address of someone to send a poem/gift to (let me know if you want the same person to be sending to you or if it doesn't matter). Then you have a month to write your poem and put your package together.

On to today's poem! I have a deep and abiding fondness for poems about poets (and others -- e.g. "Emily Dickinson and Elvis Presley in Heaven” by Hans Ostrom).

To the Ghost of John Milton
by Carl Sandburg

If I should pamphleteer twenty years against royalists,
With rewards offered for my capture dead or alive,
And jails and scaffolds always near;

And then my wife should die and three ignorant daughters
Should talk about their father as a joke, and steal the
Earnings of books, and the poorhouse always reaching for me,

If I then lost my eyes and the world was all dark and I
Sat with only memories and talk—

I would write “Paradise Lost,” I would marry a second wife
And on her dying I would marry a third pair of eyes to
Serve my blind eyes. I would write “Paradise Regained,” I
Would write wild, foggy, smoky, wordy books—

I would sit by the fire and dream of hell and heaven,
Idiots and kings, women my eyes could never look on again,
And God Himself and the rebels God threw into hell.


He who would not be frustrate of his hope to write well hereafter in laudable things ought himself to be a true poem.
~John Milton

Okay, one more Milton quote:
In those vernal seasons of the year, when the air is calm and pleasant, it were an injury and sullenness against Nature not to go out, and see her riches, and partake in her rejoicing with heaven and earth.


Mistakes Anthology Submission Info

A Day in the Life has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Leigh Anne!

A tribute to clear writing

The greater part of the world's troubles are due to questions of grammar.
~Michel de Montaigne

A painting from the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore today. (Just the one! Every once in a while I keep it to a solitary work.) Love these rich colors!

Allegory of Grammar
by Laurent de La Hyre (1606-1656)

The Walters explains:
The importance of the intellect was often celebrated in representations of the Seven Liberal Arts: Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic, Geometry, Arithmetic, Astronomy, and Music.

This personification of the liberal art of Grammar is engaged in an activity to show how ideas impact real life. To demonstrate how important grammar and clear writing are in making ideas "bloom," the artist metaphorically represents Grammar watering two pots of flowers. Over her arm is a scroll bearing an ancient definition of grammar in Latin: "A literate tongue, spoken in the required manner."

One more grammar quote:

I love you. You are the object of my affection and the object of my sentence.
~Mignon Fogarty

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Online Wellness Classes

Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.
~Samuel Johnson

FutureLearn sent a message for World Mental Health Day encouraging people to take free classes on wellness topics, such as:

Mindfulness for Wellbeing and Peak Performance
Monash University
Reduce your stress and improve your wellbeing, by learning mindfulness techniques to use in your everyday life.


Psychology and Mental Health
University of Liverpool
Learn how a psychological understanding of our emotions and behaviour gives us new ways to improve mental health and wellbeing.


Literature and Mental Health: Reading for Wellbeing
The University of Warwick
Find out how poems, plays and novels can help us understand and cope with deep emotional strain.


Strategies for Successful Ageing
Trinity College Dublin
Find out how staying happy, healthy, socially-connected and active can help you age successfully and navigate life's challenges.


Maintaining a Mindful Life
Monash University
Learn how to apply mindfulness techniques, so you can improve your communication, relationships and emotional health.

Morning rowtime by Akash Malhotra

From Coursera:
A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment
Indian School of Business
This course draws content from a variety of fields, including psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral decision theory to offer a tested and practical recipe for leading a life of happiness and fulfillment.

The above classes are free, but there's also an Herbal Self-Care for Stress Management Course ($99) at The Herbal Academy.

Have you ever taken an online class? Did you like it?

Ending with a cute video:

Monday, October 16, 2017

Somehow he never loses his hat

Animation is not the art of drawings that move but the art of movements that are drawn.
~Norman McLaren

Thank you, Matthew, for this terrific hand-drawn video by DoodleChaos, which shows a "line rider" making his way down the music for Grieg's In the Hall of the Mountain King.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Yehoshua November

There's a lovely Hasidic story of a rabbi who always told his people that if they studied the Torah, it would put Scripture on their hearts. One of them asked, "Why on our hearts, and not in them?" The rabbi answered, "Only God can put Scripture inside. But reading sacred text can put it on your heart, and then when your hearts break, the holy words will fall inside.
~Anne Lamott

When I was deciding what to post for Poetry Friday, I was feeling pretty lousy (a cold). What kept my attention when I was blowing my nose every thirty seconds? These poems by Yehoshua November...

Yehoshua November

After Our Wedding
by Yehoshua Nobember

When you forgot the address of our hotel
in your suitcase,
the driver had to pull over
in front of the restaurant.

Men and women dining beneath the August sun
looked up from their salads
to clap for you,
a young, slender woman
in a wedding dress and tiara,
retrieving a slip of paper
from the trunk of a cab
in the middle of the street.

read the rest here


Upstairs the Eulogy, Downstairs the Rummage Sale
by Yehoshua Nobember

The beloved Yiddish professor
passed away on the same day
as the synagogue’s rummage sale,

and because they could not bear
the coffin up the many steps
that led to the sanctuary,
they left it in the hallway downstairs,

read the rest here


by Yehoshua November

Before the Silent Prayer,
some slip the hood of their prayer shawls
over their heads,
so that even among many worshipers
they are alone with God.

read the rest here


Conjoined Twins
by Yehoshua November

My father was a resident in the hospital
when my young mother gave birth to them. Two bodies
and one heart.
And hearing that the pathologists at that teaching institution
were coming to learn the lessons
science’s rare cases could teach,
my father turned the combination
on his locker and concealed the stillborn baby boys
in a box.

read the rest here


2AM, and the Rabbinical Students Stand in Their Bathrobes
by Yehoshua November

2AM, and the rabbinical students stand in their bathrobes
at the edge of the yeshiva parking lot, watching
the practiced motions of muscular firemen disembarking
from their engine. Soon, it will be determined
the youngest student in the building
pulled the basement alarm

read the rest here


A poetry poster by Yehoshua November: “You Stood Beneath a Streetlight Waving Goodbye.”

Live Your Poem has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Irene!

Don't forget to send your mistake poems! (Penicillin, anyone? X-rays?)

Jane Austen

How I wish I lived in a Jane Austen novel!
~Dodie Smith

Do you have a favorite Mr. Darcy or Colonel Brandon? My sixteen-year-old and I disagree about which version has the best Colonel Brandon, but we do agree about Mr. Darcy. Were you wondering when I would finally get around to featuring Jane Austen art? Wonder no more!

Jane Austen sculpture at Winchester Cathedral
photo by Jason Ballard

Sitting with Jane, Basingstoke
photo by Heather Cowper

walk on
by andrea joseph

The Examination of All the Letters Which Jane Had Written to Her
by Isabel Bishop

Dromen van Jane Austen (Dreams of Jane Austen)
by FotoBIB

Jane Austen
by Antony

Chawton Mittens
pattern and photo by The Bees

Jane Austen book plate fabric, from a Mansfield Park illustration
photo by Karen Cox

I love this quote of Mark Twain's because I always wonder, "How many times did he read it? Wouldn't once have sufficed?":

“Every time I read 'Pride and Prejudice' I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”
~Mark Twain