Let’s Talk About It Tuesday (A Poem & A Picture)

Let’s Talk Poe(try). What would National Poetry Month be without some Poe?

Talk Alone A Poem & A Picture

It seems Edgar Allan Poe was born an orphan and subsisted as a lonely dejected urchin all his life. His father David Poe Jr. abandoned his mother Elizabeth early on. A couple of years after his disappearance Elizabeth Poe died of tuberculosis; all before little Eddie was three years old.

A couple named John and Frances Allan took Edgar into their home and fostered him until adulthood or the age of eighteen. At 18 Poe joined the United States Army under the alias Edgar A. Perry claiming to be twenty-two years old because he could not [reportedly] find gainful employment

Tick tock tick tock.

Frances died and Poe was disowned by John Allan—the men had been at odds for some time. Poe did not turn out be the man Allan expected and Allan turned out to be a man Poe despised. One could not abide the other’s vices. That is my summation.

Poe had problems. He drank too much, dreamed too much and lived with depression. That’s undoubtedly obvious.

Tick tock tick tock.

Poe married his first cousin Virginia when he was 26, she was half his age.  Yeah, and after a decade of harmony guess what? January 30th 1847 she died of tuberculosis.

Alone again and in failing health Poe became increasingly unstable. On October 3rd 1849 he was found wandering the streets of Baltimore bedraggled and in a state of delirium. Four days later on October 7th 1849 Edgar Allan Poe died in hospital. Alone.

Alone

From childhood’s hour I have not been

As others were – I have not seen

As others saw – I could not bring

My passions from a common spring –

From the same source I have not taken

My sorrow – I could not awaken

My heart to joy at the same tone –

And all I lov’d – I lov’d alone –

Then – in my childhood – in the dawn

Of a most stormy life – was drawn

From ev’ry depth of good and ill

The mystery which binds me still –

From the torrent, or the fountain –

From the red cliff of the mountain –

From the sun that ’round me roll’d

In its autumn tint of gold –

From the lightning in the sky

As it pass’d me flying by –

From the thunder, and the storm –

And the cloud that took the form

(When the rest of Heaven was blue)

Of a demon in my view –

The poem was never printed during Poe’s lifetime. It was first published by E. L. Didier in Scribner’s Monthly for September of 1875, in the form of a facsimile. The facsimile, however, included the addition of a title and date not on the original manuscript. That title was “Alone,” which has remained. Doubts about its authenticity, in part inspired by this manipulation, have since been calmed. The poem is now seen as one of Poe’s most revealing works. Original available Maryland Historical Society

The official cause of death is not recorded, perhaps it is not known. Speculations abound. Alcoholism, tuberculosis, syphilis, encephalitis, concurrent disease, murder…

All I know is this: He was only forty years old and was (like most of us) his own worst enemy. Despite his inner darkness I think Edgar Allan Poe managed to shine a light. I pray he is not alone and that the demon no longer hinders his view.

His remains are buried at Westminster Hall Church in Baltimore, Maryland.

Mull it Over Monday (A Poem & A Picture)

We are going to mIx iT uP this final week of NMP. Today (Monday) let’s take a look at Poet Dreaming by Loretta Diane Walker and mull it over.

Mull it. Ha! That sounds like a fish or a bad haircut.

Tsk!Tsk! Ignore the clown behind me and clear your mind.

poet dreaming A poem & A Picture

Poet Dreaming

By Loretta Diane Walker

(Originally found at Poetry Breakfast)

No sky could hold so much light.

—Mary Oliver

Poems are nomads paddling through darkness

collecting words from the arms

of Orion, Sagittarius, and Perseus

before camping in a poet’s dream.

She sees souls as colliding galaxies,

holes of light burning

with millions to trillions of stars

too bright to fit in the cavity of sky.

 

Those stars are poems

crammed in the dusty envelopes of mortal bodies,

shimmering beneath white ribbons of bone.

A silhouette of stars floats in the window of her eye.

The energy of need forces tiny hands to brush

against the small wings of a sigh hovering in the evening.

 

She hears the silhouette speak

in a voice the timbre of a piccolo,

“Look Mommy! I caught a butterfly.”

On the other side of her dream, she sees the light of joy,

and a moth beating its powdery gray life

in the basket of a child’s palms.

From In This House published by Blue Light Press.

Now let us ponder…

I was immediately captivated by the first line poems are nomads paddling through darkness. I could literally perceive souls as colliding galaxies and got lost in the poetry until I felt like Loretta Diane Walker pressed me [unwilling] into a mortal body and awakened me to the wonder of a child’s voice. I regret I do not have a better photograph to compliment the imagery of the poem. I even added stars among the fireworks in this picture but it does not suffice… Oh well. In short, Poet Dreaming was a relatable piece and by golly I liked it! As a matter of fact I heard a little bird say I will be getting a copy of In This House for Mother’s Day.

I wrote some poetry once Getting Me Back (The Voices Within)

From Getting Me Back (A Poem & A Picture by Me & of Me)

I cannot count the number of trips taken in that old station-wagon, but I do recall the passengers (nine, twelve and sometimes fifteen) packed liked sardines in a can; damp and smelly and filled with anticipation.

janna 1976

Looking back: It is like sitting in the third row seat of an old station wagon, staring ahead at the road behind you…

It is not enough to sit in the front seat and see where you were going – you didn’t know anyway. To understand how you got here you have to look at where you have been.

In that third row seat facing backwards you might be tempted to stare at the floorboard or the marks on your shoes or the stripes on the asphalt that never seem to end, but don’t. To understand you must look up, look back and accept the scenery for what it was.

When the pain and fury and fear rise up —  remember it is only a hill in the distance, you have already passed over. That queasy feeling in your stomach is no more than a sour memory.

I speak as if caressing scars and lament but what of the scars I have inflicted? Do I grieve for them? The answer is yes; indubitably yes.

______________________________________________________________________________

Reminder: This is the last day Getting Me Back (The Voices Within) will be FREE  (April 18th through the 21st). It is also the last “A Poem & A Picture by Me & of Me” for this year’s NPM. You can do your happy dance now. 😉

Oh, and Clan Destiny (Unjustified Favor) Book 3 in the series is your complimentary title for April 21st -23rd. Have a super-fantastic read filled weekend and I’ll see you next week.

A Scene Worth Sharing (A Poem & A Picture)

Welcome to week three of NPM (A Poem & A Picture)

PRIVATE PROPERTY A Poem & A Picture

I chose this photograph for the sign and the turkey looking past the sign. This in no way implies that I think Sue is a turkey; on the contrary, she is a talented poet and photographer. That’s why I chose her SCENIC OVERLOOK to start week three of National Poetry Month.

SCENIC OVERLOOK by Sue

Some would say life has brought me backward.

I grew up poor in a rich town

where I had to hide my dark hair

beneath a golden hat, which only

made me feel hot and awkward.

Now I live poor in a poor town,

a place most of my old classmates

wouldn’t get caught dead in,

but at least I blend in:

another gray wisp of a cloud

on a sunless day,

another brown leaf on the ground

of a winter wood full of leafless trees

in muddy March

when spring’s new hope

feels like a crazy dream…

But I digress.

 

Yesterday I drove through some rich towns —

just looking —

not like an open-mouthed tourist

but like a coroner searching for clues to a death.

I examined the details as I saw them:

the handsome man with the perfect haircut

jogging on my side of the road

wearing clothes that I recognized

cost more than two week’s of my groceries,

(he forced me to the wrong side on a curve).

Then I pulled over to gaze at a view,

and to avoid the impatient BMW surging

at my back bumper, like the rough waves

against at the rocks at the beach

with the “No Trespassing” signs, whose beauty

I had to observe from afar.

But I will keep my scientist stance

because I don’t like the flavor

of bitterness.

I theorize the owners of these million dollar mansions

with empty yards would naturally

look like the jogging man because their parents

looked the same, and because beauty and wealth

go together like cut glass and cognac.

Why would hothouse plants live among weeds

that may choke them

to death?

Getting Me Back (The Voices Within) released this month and is now available in digital or paperback. AND to show my appreciation for your support there will be a gift of random books by ‘moi’ each weekend in April. Check in, check them out and follow my Author Page at Amazon for future updates.

Write Your Own II (A Poem & A Picture)

Write Your Own A Poem & A Picture

This post was intended as part of Wordless Wednesday but I have to say this. I do not/did not expect a public response but in last weeks Write Your Own (A Poem & A Picture) Sarah replied with a beautiful piece blending the poem and the picture. I must say it was a very pleasant surprise. I understand many of us are timid about publicizing our words/thoughts; potentially exposing ourselves to ridicule but if any of you would like to make your take of the photo in the reply section I would love to read it.

Spring by Edna St. Vincent Millay (A Poem & A Picture)

 

SPRING FLOWERS A Poem & A Picture Spring

From Second April (Courtesy of everypoet.com Classic Archives)

SPRING

By Edna St. Vincent Millay

To what purpose, April, do you return again?

Beauty is not enough.

You can no longer quiet me with the redness

Of little leaves opening stickily.

I know what I know.

The sun is hot on my neck as I observe

The spikes of the crocus.

The smell of the earth is good.

It is apparent that there is no death.

But what does that signify?

Not only under ground are the brains of men

Eaten by maggots,

Life in itself

Is nothing,

An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.

It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,

April

Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

Don’t you love the last line(s)? They do strike a chord with me — maybe because I am just living out loud and flinging cake against the wall, right?!

Getting Me Back (The Voices Within) released this month and is now available in digital or paperback. AND to show my appreciation for your support there will be a gift of random books by ‘moi’ each weekend in April. Check in, check them out and follow my Author Page at Amazon for future updates.

P.S. A little history on Edna St. Vincent Millay: After her husband’s death from a stroke in 1949 following the removal of a lung, Millay suffered a great deal; she drank recklessly, and had to be hospitalized. A month later she was back at her farm (Steepletop) where she  passed a lonely year working on a new book of poems. She died in 1950 of a heart attack. For more about her works and life visit Poetry Foundation.

 

As rust falls from the anchor (A Poem & A Picture)

And on we roll..

Week two of NPM (A Poem & I Picture) where I share a photo taken by me and a poem by some awesome poet. I hope you all had a lovely weekend.

Anchor for A Poem & A Picture

 

 

By Chris Green (Poetry Soup)

Where do sandcastles go

when the tide engulfs the view and

lonely shorelines crest in tear drops

beneath white capped dream chasers,

foam laced erasers combing sanded wishes,

taking towers in the water’s rage

as moats become minor indentations

on a beach bathed in the moon light,

moving gleams in metronome tickling

as our hearts wash out to sea

drowning in the depths of forbidden love

and with my final breath,

salt water drenched I profess

that forbidden or not, I love you

and the lighthouse shines its orbiting light

as I go under for the last time

happy in my declaration

as rust falls from the anchor

and I wait until we meet again,

on the island of meant to be

 

Psst, if you want to read some of my poetry Getting Me Back (The Voices Within) released this month and is now available in digital or paperback.

Be Drunk by Charles Baudelaire (A Poem & A Picture)

Be Drunk A Poem & A Picture

Just FYI: If you pass out around me I will take your picture and show it to the world.

Charles Baudelaire was born in Paris on April 9, 1821 and died August 31, 1867 at the age of forty-six, reportedly of syphilis. Another tidbit;  When Charles Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil) was published in June of 1857, thirteen of its 100 poems were arraigned for inappropriate content. On August 20, 1857, French lawyer Ernest Pinard, who had also famously prosecuted French author Gustave Flaubert, prosecuted Baudelaire for the collection…. Baudelaire was charged with a fine of 300 francs (later reduced to 50), and Les Fleurs du mal suffered from the controversy, becoming known only as a depraved, pornographic work. Now onto the main attraction.

Be Drunk

You have to be always drunk. That’s all there is to it—it’s the only way. So as not to feel the horrible burden of time that breaks your back and bends you to the earth, you have to be continually drunk.

But on what? Wine, poetry or virtue, as you wish. But be drunk.

And if sometimes, on the steps of a palace or the green grass of a ditch, in the mournful solitude of your room, you wake again, drunkenness already diminishing or gone, ask the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock, everything that is flying, everything that is groaning, everything that is rolling, everything that is singing, everything that is speaking. . .ask what time it is and wind, wave, star, bird, clock will answer you: “It is time to be drunk! So as not to be the martyred slaves of time, be drunk, be continually drunk! On wine, on poetry or on virtue as you wish.”

  ♠ ♣

Well we made it through week one of NPM. Yay! Let’s all get drunk and get skip the syphilis.

Here comes ‘tha plug’ : I’ve been drunk a time or two, I’ve also published a few hundred poems but I must confess I have never had a STD. And guess what? My dysfunctional disease-free [possibly controversial] book Getting Me Back (The Voices Within) released this month and is now available in digital or paperback. Yeah, I will be saying it again, and again… and again.