Poetry I Love

 

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This Post by L.Leander, Author of Fearless Fiction

I had a Black Friday post all ready to go but my internet has been acting up so I am going to share a favorite poem with you instead.  I love poetry and have written many songs and poetry, but it seems that in the last few years I have neglected to read much poetry.  As I worked on an art journal last week I pulled out an old book that I use for quotes and the like and there it was.  One of my favorite all-time poems.  Annabel Lee by Edgar Alan Poe.

It was if an old friend I hadn’t seen for many years showed up at my doorstep and I was very glad to see her.  That’s how I felt when i opened the book and it landed on this poem.  As I read it I was filled with the same wonder and love for Poe as I had the first time I read it.  You may not share my love of Poe’s works, but I enjoy his works very much, as well as the works of many other poets.

I share this with you in hopes it will bring a rememberance of a time when you first heard a poet and style you liked.

Annabel Lee

by Edgar Allen Poe

It was many and many a year ago

In a kingdom by the sea,

That a maiden there lived whom you may know

By the name of Annabel Lee.

And this maiden she lived with no other thought

Than to love and be loved by me.

 

I was a child and she was a child,

In this kingdom by the sea

But we loved with a love that was more than love –

I and my Annabel Lee;

With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven

Coveted her and me.

 

And this was the reason that, long ago,

In this kingdom by the sea,

A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling

My beautiful Annabel Lee;

So that her highborn kinsman came

And bore her away from me

To shut her up in a sepulchre

In this kingdom by the sea.

 

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,

Went envying her and me –

Yes! – that was the reason (as all men know,

In this kingdom by the sea).

That the wind came out of the cloud by night,

Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

 

But our love it was stronger by far than the love

Of those who were older than we –

Of many far wiser than we –

And neither the angels in heaven above,

Nor the demons down under the sea,

Can ever dissever my soul from the soul

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

 

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by my side

Of my darling – my darling –  my life and my bride,

In the sepulchre there by the sea,

In her tomb by the sounding sea.

 

It is with regret that I write this last post on Writing Wranglers and Warriors.  I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Cherley and all of you, but I don’t have enough time to go around and my own work is suffering.  I’m glad someone is taking over and the blog will go on.  I’ll check in as often as I can.  Best of luck to all of you in the coming year!

 

Check out my books on Amazon.com

Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders

Inzared, The Fortune Teller

 

 

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The Power of Poetry

Post (c) Doris McCraw

Doris

What is it about poetry that touches the soul? What makes certain combinations of words haunting, happy or beautiful? This poem by Helen (Hunt) Jackson may help us understand the power of words.

Glimpses

As when on some great mountain-peak we stand,

In breathless awe beneath its dome of sky,

Whose multiplied horizons seem to lie

Beyond the bounds of earthly sea and land,

We find the circles space to vast, too grand,

And soothe our thoughts with restful memory

Of sudden sunlit glimpses we passed by

Too quickly, in our feverish demand

To reach the height,–

So darling, when the brink

Of highest heaven we reach at last, I think

Even that great gladness will grow yet more glad,

As we, with eyes that are no longer sad,

Look back, while Life’s horizons slowly sink,

To some swift moments which on earth we had.

From the book “Poems” by Helen Jackson

Little Brown and Company 1908

First appearance in publication September 19, 1872, New York Independent

One thing I love about the poetry of Helen Hunt Jackson is the musicality it has when read aloud. Not read as one usually reads poetry, with the breaks and breaths at the end of the line, but read as prose. If you read this poem aloud, reading through the complete thought, its true beauty comes through. Try reading it through more than once. Try different combinations of breathes and thought combining. The beauty of this poem; each time you read it something different blossoms into being. I believe that true poetry never has the same story, same meaning twice. Each it will touch a different chord.

As you read this or any poem, keep an open mind and heart. Helen was favorably compared to many of the poets of her time. For some she was actually considered the best; male or female. It is interesting that Helen was so popular during her lifetime. With her poetry, essays, and novels she able to make a living as a writer. Emily Dickinson, a childhood friend who lived down the street from Helen in Amherst, did not become popular until her death. Now the tables have turned, Emily is now the more well know of the two. Each had their own style, and each wrote beautiful pieces of work.

The next time you are looking for something do to, search online for some of Helen’s poetry, or better yet, find a book of her poems, and start reading. To me the gift of the poet, and for me that is Helen, is the joy of finding something new every time I read their work. Give poetry, especially Helen’s, a try.  For me, poetry, especially Helen’s will never grow old.

 

Doris Gardner-McCraw –

also writing as Angela Raines
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women’s History

For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here 
Photo and Poem: Click Here 
Angela Raines FaceBook: Click Here

The Many Names of Helen Hunt Jackson

Post (c) Doris McCraw

Doris

Helen Hunt Jackson is not a well-known name to many. This of course is partially due to the fact she died in 1885. Additionally, she had many names during her lifetime, one of which was not Helen Hunt Jackson.

She was born Helen Maria Fiske in 1830. She carried this name until her marriage to Edward Bissell Hunt on October 28, 1852. At that time, as was the custom, she assumed her husband’s surname. It was not until after Edward’s death and Helen started writing for publication that we begin to see use of the many names now associated with Helen Hunt Jackson.

One of the first pseudonyms she used was the name Marah. In the Hebrew tradition the name Marah means ‘bitter’, which fits Helen’s life at that time. She had already lost her first son at eleven months in 1854, and then her husband, Edward in 1863. The final blow was the death of her remaining child, her second son, in 1865. According to the biography “Helen Hunt Jackson” by Ruth Odell, the name Marah appeared in 1865, the year of Rennie’s death, with the first poems published by Helen and continued throughout that year. 1865 was also the year H.H. appeared.

Of all the pen names used by Helen, H.H. was probably the one most frequently used by Helen. Of all her works H. H. is the one most commonly seen. Still as an author who was writing to be published at a time women were not using their ‘real’ names, Helen made use of additional pen names to increase her options for publication.

In 1867 and again in 1868 Helen made use of the name Rip Van Winkle for at least two of her prose works.

Helen briefly used Helen Hunt and Mrs. Helen Hunt in 1868 and Marah showed up again in 1870. There is also one instance where she used the name ‘Justice’.

After her marriage to William S. Jackson in 1875, Helen then used the name Helen Jackson in her correspondence but continued using H. H. in her writings. Helen had said she did not use the name ‘ Hunt’ because there was no reason to constantly remind William of Edward. Also, in that time, women used the last name of the man they were married to.

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Gravesite- Helen – Wife of William S. Jackson, 1885 ‘Emgravit’ (As per her instructions)

For her novels Helen used H. H., No Name, and Saxe Holm. If you were to read her ‘romance’ stories they would probably have the name Saxe Holm. For many years there was a question as to who the author really was, for Helen had made her publisher swear to tell no one.

In her autobiography Francis Wolcott (Mrs. Francis Bass when Helen knew her) states that ‘she figured out who Saxe Holm was from the various things Helen had said, and Helen did not deny the assumption’.

After 1879, when Helen heard Standing Bear of the Ponca tribe speak, her focus became the plight of the Ponca Indians and from there the plight of all Native people. She was still using H.H., when her non-fiction work a “Century of Dishonor”, was published. There is some discussion that she may have used her real name Helen Jackson on “Century of Dishonor”, but instead it was used for her “Reports on the Conditions of the Mission Indians”. This was a report for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and also may have been published for the public.

The only work other than the above mentioned report that was published under her real name, Helen Jackson is “Ramona”.

It seems that the use of Helen Hunt Jackson for Helen’s works occurred after her husband William married her niece, also named Helen. This change may have been to avoid confusion between Helen Jackson the author, who died three years prior to William’s second marriage, and Helen Jackson the niece.

During Helen’s lifetime, it was normal for female authors to use pseudonyms which Helen did. Still with the use of H.H. it was obvious to those who followed her work, who this really was. According to the same biography by Ruth Odell, Helen wanted people to know who she was. If you look at the work with all the ‘names’ used by Helen you will find a substantial body of work. Helen excelled not only at poetry, but also essays, novels and short stories. She wrote for children and adults, both with equal skill.

If you get the chance, check out the works of Helen by any of her names. You will not be disappointed. Many of her works are in the public domain, but the one most might enjoy is “Nelly’s Silver Mine” Google Books, Nelly’s Silver Mine, one of the first children’s book to make use of place as almost another character.

Doris Gardner-McCraw -also writing as Angela Raines
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women’s History

For a list of Angela Raines BooksHere 
Photo and Poem: Click Here
Angela Raines FaceBookClick Here

The Maven

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Posted by Kathy Waller

 

Once upon a time, a few days before Halloween, my friend ME called and said, “There are thirteen men under my house. They’re leveling it. For the second time in five years.” She then invited David and me to go with her and her husband to see the Edgar Allan Poe exhibit at the Harry Ransom Center, on the University of Texas campus. The next day, I presented ME, via email, the following verse. It first appeared at Telling the Truth, Mainly and is making its annual reappearance here. Mr. Poe might be horrified, but since ME is my Muse, the end product was bound to be a bit quirky.

 

"Texas Speed Bump AKA - Armadillo" by Jason Penney is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
“Texas Speed Bump AKA – Armadillo” by Jason Penney is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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*Dasypus novemcinctus – The nine-banded armadillo*

*

THE MAVEN

To G and ME,
in celebration of their tenth trimester of home improvement,
with gratitude and affection
Forgive me for making mirth of melancholy

 

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,

While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a rapping,

As of someone gently tapping, tapping at my chamber floor.

“‘Tis some armadillo,” said I, “tapping at my chamber floor,

Only this, and nothing more.”

 

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the dry September,

And my house was sinking southward, lower than my bowling score,

Pier and beam and blocks of concrete, quiet as Deuteron’my’s cat feet,

Drooping like an unstarched bedsheet toward the planet’s molten core.

“That poor armadillo,” thought I, “choosing my house to explore.

He’ll squash like an accordion door.”

 

“Tuck,” I cried, “and Abby, come here! If my sanity you hold dear,

Go and get that armadillo, on him all your rancor pour.

While he’s bumping and a-thumping, give his rear a royal whumping,

Send him hence with head a-lumping, for this noise do I abhor.

Dasypus novemcinctus is not a beast I can ignore,

Clumping ‘neath my chamber floor.”

 

While they stood there prancing, fretting, I imparted one last petting,

Loosed their leashes and cried “Havoc!” then let slip the dogs of war.

As they flew out, charged with venom, I pulled close my robe of denim.

“They will find him at a minimum,” I said, “and surely more,

Give him such a mighty whacking he’ll renounce forevermore

Lumbering ‘neath my chamber floor.”

 

But to my surprise and wonder, dogs came flying back like thunder.

“That’s no armadillo milling underneath your chamber floor.

Just a man with rule and level, seems engaged in mindless revel,

Crawling ’round. The wretched devil is someone we’ve seen before,

Measuring once and measuring twice and measuring thrice. We said, ‘Senor,

Get thee out or thee’s done for.’”

 

“Zounds!” I shouted, turning scarlet. “What is this, some vill’nous varlet

Who has come to torment me with mem’ries of my tilting floor?”

Fixing myself at my station by my floundering foundation,

Held I up a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore.

“Out, you cad!” I said, “or else prepare to sleep beneath my floor,

Nameless there forever more.”

 

Ere my words had ceased resounding, with their echo still surrounding,

Crawled he out, saluted, and spoke words that chilled my very core.

“I been down there with my level, and those piers got quite a bevel.

It’s a case of major evolution: totter, tilt galore.

Gotta fix it right away, ma’am, ‘less you want your chamber floor

At a slant forevermore.”

 

At his words there came a pounding and a dozen men came bounding

From his pickup, and they dropped and disappeared beneath my floor.

And they carried beam and hammer and observed no rules of grammar,

And the air was filled with clamor and a clanging I deplore.

“Take thy beam and take thy level and thy failing Apgar score

And begone forevermore.”

 

But they would not heed my prayer, and their braying filled the air,

And it filled me with despair, this brouhaha that I deplore.

“Fiend!” I said. “If you had breeding, you would listen to my pleading,

For I feel my mind seceding from its sane and sober core,

And my house shall fall like Usher.” Said the leader of the corps,

“Lady, you got no rapport.”

 

“How long,” shrieked I then in horror, “like an ominous elm borer,

Like a squirrely acorn storer will you lurk beneath my floor?

Prophesy!” I cried, undaunted by the chutzpah that he flaunted,

And the expertise he vaunted. “Tell me, tell me, how much more?”

But he strutted and he swaggered like a man who knows the score.

Quoth the maven, “Evermore.”

 

He went off to join his legion in my house’s nether region

While my dogs looked on in sorrow at that dubious guarantor.

Then withdrawing from this vassal with his temperament so facile

I went back into my castle and I locked my chamber door.

“On the morrow, they’ll not leave me, but will lodge beneath my floor

Winter, spring, forevermore.

 

So the hammering and the clamoring and the yapping, yawping yammering

And the shrieking, squawking stammering still are sounding ‘neath my floor.

And I sit here sullen, slumping in my chair and dream the thumping

And the armadillo’s bumping is a sound I could adore.

For those soles of boots from out the crawlspace ‘neath my chamber floor

Shall be lifted—Nevermore!

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*

Kathy Waller blogs at
Telling the Truth, Mainly
and at Austin Mystery Writers.
Her short stories appear in
AMW’s crime fiction anthology,
Murder on Wheels,
and at Mysterical=E.

 

 

 

 

WORDS & Women Poets

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Post copyright by Doris McCraw/Angela Raines-author

As promised, more poems and poets as a continuation of National Poetry Month.

We are writers, we use words. Words are our tools to make our imaginations come to life, be they prose, poetry or fiction. For many, poetry is not easily understood. Yet, for the poet, the picture story they paint with their words is golden. Poetry like painting is using brushstrokes of words to cover the canvas of paper. Also like painting, not everyone understands. But poets and poetry have been around almost since the beginning of time. Both women and men have used the form to tell their stories. Just look at the list of women poets and you will be amazed. Here is a list compiled on a Wikipedia site: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_female_poets It does not include everyone, but it is still pretty impressive.

Other than Helen, there have been women poets whose work brings out a corresponding response from me. I share with you some of these favorites and their works.

Leticia Elizabeth Landon – 1802 to1838. Google Books has her work “The Zenana, and minor poems of L.E.L” available for free download. She wrote in beautifully simple language, yet manages to touch your heart with her thoughts.

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Sara Teasdale from en.wikipedia.org

Sara Teasdale – 1884 to 1933. Her poem “Soft Rains Will Come” speaks to the sadness I sometimes feel about humans. Twelve lines, yet the words so powerful.

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pools, singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white,
Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

Dorothy Parker – 1893 to 1967 well known for as a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table. Also known for her caustic wit, a trait that is a double edged sword. Hitting the truth in few words, but sometimes that truth is painful as in her poem “Résumé”

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you,
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren’t lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
Might as well live.

Emma Lazarus from en.wikipedia.org

The final poet I leave you with is Emma Lazarus – 1849 to 1887. Her poem “The New Colossus” is part and parcel of America in the nineteenth century. I’m sure you will recognize the words.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

As you can see, we may curse when we can’t find the correct word. We can shout for joy as the muse sends them to us, but words are our stock and trade. As these women have shown, words are powerful, use them wisely.

Enjoy my haiku and photos at: http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com

Angela Raines is the pen name for Doris McCraw. Originally from the mid-west, Doris now calls the Rocky Mountains her home. Doris is a writer, historian, actor,and teacher. An avid reader Doris loves to spend time in history archives looking for the small, unknown pieces of history. Many times these pieces end up in her stories or poems.  Like her author page to stay on top of her work.  http://amzn.to/1I0YoeL

“One Christmas Knight” Medieval Anthology
http://amzn.com/B017Z2BLH6

“Angel of Salvation Valley”
http://amzn.to/1P4JVV8

“A COWBOY CELEBRATION”
http://amzn.to/1GzwJhw

HOME FOR HIS HEART
http://amzn.to/1GJhpSu

Five Poets You Should Read

Post copyright by Doris McCraw/Angela Raines-author

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April is National Poetry Month. In honor of that I am sharing five different poets that I love and poems I believe important works. I posted some or the links. I strongly suggest you give these poets a try. Most are easily read, but oh the ideas they convey. Also, if anyone wants to do more, here is the link from poets.org on thirty ways to celebrate the month. https://www.poets.org/national-poetry-month/30-ways-celebrate-national-poetry-month

My first choice is HH, or Helen Hunt Jackson. The reason is probably obvious, but her work stands out in many ways. In her lifetime she was considered the best female poet of that time. Her poem “Last Words” always hits home. I post it here for you:

Last Words
Dear hearts, whose love has been so sweet to know,
That I am looking backward as I go,
Am lingering while I haste, and in this rain
Of tears of joy am mingling tears of pain;
Do not adorn with costly shrub, or tree,
Or flower, the little grave which shelters me.
Let the wild wind-sown seeds grow up unharmed,
And back and forth all summer, unalarmed,
Let all the tiny, busy creatures creep;
Let the sweet grass its last year’s tangles keep;
And when, remembering me, you come some day
And stand there, speak no praise, but only say,
” How she loved us’! ‘Twas that which made her dear! “
Those are the words that I shall joy to hear.

Next is Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Poet Laurette during Queen Victoria’s reign, there has always been something in the way he tells the story I respond to. Here a link to one of his shorter works, but a favorite:
http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-brook-2/

Has anyone read Lawrence Ferlinghetti? His work can be a bit hard to handle, but again, his magic with words has never failed to surprise me. I will give to links to two of my favorites:
http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-world-is-a-beautiful-place/
and http://www.blogcitylights.com/2012/12/17/a-coney-island-of-the-mind/

As I move on, my forth poet is Edger Lee Masters. Many people may wonder why or if he is a poet. You have only to read his masterpiece “Spoon River Anthology” to know. His epitaphs of the citizens of Spoon River will stay with you many years after reading. I recommend everyone spend some time with this book. May I be remembered as someone like Lucinda Matlock: Her epitaph I give to you here:

Lucinda Matlock
I went to the dances at Chandlerville,
And played snap-out at Winchester.
One time we changed partners,
Driving home in the moonlight of middle June,
And then I found Davis.
We were married and lived together for seventy years,
Enjoying, working, raising the twelve children,
Eight of whom we lost
Ere I had reached the age of sixty.
I spun, I wove, I kept the house, I nursed the sick,
I made the garden, and for holiday
Rambled over the fields where sang the larks,
And by Spoon River gathering many a shell,
And many a flower and medicinal weed—
Shouting to the wooded hills, singing to the green valleys.
At ninety-six I had lived enough, that is all,
And passed to a sweet repose.
What is this I hear of sorrow and weariness,
Anger, discontent and drooping hopes?
Degenerate sons and daughters,
Life is too strong for you—
It takes life to love Life.

My fifth and final poet for this post is Robert Frost. Many know his poems, Road Not Taken, Stopping by Woods, but for me his poem Fire and Ice is classic. I share it here:

Fire and Ice
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

 

Join me later this month as I share more poets you should know. In the meantime, please enjoy my haiku and photos at: http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com

Angela Raines is the pen name for Doris McCraw. Originally from the mid-west, Doris now calls the Rocky Mountains her home. Doris is a writer, historian, actor,and teacher. An avid reader Doris loves to spend time in history archives looking for the small, unknown pieces of history. Many times these pieces end up in her stories or poems.  Like her author page to stay on top of her work.  http://amzn.to/1I0YoeL

“One Christmas Knight” Medieval Anthology
http://amzn.com/B017Z2BLH6

“Angel of Salvation Valley”
http://amzn.to/1P4JVV8

“A COWBOY CELEBRATION”
http://amzn.to/1GzwJhw

HOME FOR HIS HEART
http://amzn.to/1GJhpSu