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.

Sara Teasdale.gif
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

 

 

 

The Written Word: Imagery and Emotion

Post copyright 2014 by post author Doris McCraw

doris curiosity

 

 

 

 

 

As writers and readers the written word is the reason we are who we are. We love the language, the joy of writing or reading the phrase, the word, that touches us to the very marrow of our existence.

 

There are a few writers whose works sing with imagery, and touch upon emotions we sometimes didn’t realize we were feeling. I thought I would share a few phrases from authors and books that for me never fail to touch me at some level. It is a gift I aspire to in my writing. As a poet I deal with imagery daily. As I writer, I want my readers to relate to and sympathize with my characters. Here then are examples of what has touched me.

 

Every dream was a nightmare. None frightened him. He was the spawn of nightmares, after all; and he had been toughened by a life of terror.” From the opening paragraph of Dean Koontz, “Frankenstein: Prodigal Son.” I love how Koontz draws you into the story immediately. You want to know who and why this character says what he does. In many ways this reads like a poem, sparse with a visual that draws you in.

 

He didn’t understand why he fought it so hard. He was no novice when it came to tough painful living.”From Cheryl Pierson’s “Fire Eyes”. With these few words you get an almost complete picture of the person. It resonates with you, you feel like you are experiencing the same thing.

 

I ride to lose myself, but can a man ever lose that which is in him? That which is blood and bone to him? That which has been his life?” “ Men have told me that I am a fool, that I ride only to my death, but if it is to be, then let it be.” Louis L’Amour, “ The Ferguson Rife”. In these few words the whole of what the story is to be about is known and you want to find out what happens.

 

I will leave you with two poems, for there magic is different from the short story and novel. The economy of words to tell the story makes my heart sing and a bit envious. Here then are Rumi and Helen (Hunt ) Jackson:

 

As Much as a Pen Knows

by Rumi

Do you think that I know what I am doing?

That for one breath or half-breath I belong to myself?

As much as a pen knows what it’s writing,

or the ball can guess where it’s going next.

Two Truths

by H.H. (Helen (Hunt) Jackson)

Darling” he said, “I never meant

To hurt you;” and his eyes were wet.

I would not hurt you for the world:

Am I to blame if I forget?”

Forgive my selfish tears!” she cried,

Forgive! I knew that is was not

Because you meant to hurt me, sweet-

I knew it was that you forgot!”

But all the same, deep in her heart

Rankled this thought, and rankles yet,-

When live is at its best, one loves

So much that he cannot forget.”

What do you strive for, what are your dreams? Do you have a favorite author or two whose words speak to your soul? I would love to hear who they are. In the meantime, happy writing and reading.

For those of you who love history, I’ll be back soon with more about those wonderful people who made his/herstory.

For more of what I do:

http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com

Film & Photography on the Front Range” can be purchased online at: http://www.amazon.com

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