For the past ten years or so, I've been trying to catch a glimpse of the world through the eyes of the poets, particularly American poets of the 19th century. I'm interested in what they make of their world. This month, I dug back into Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, picking up where I had left off, with Poems 1859-63. Read more about Back to Longfellow
Read more about They Lion Grow>
Out of burlap sacks, out of bearing butter,
Out of black bean and wet slate bread,
Out of the acids of rage, the candor of tar,
Out of creosote, gasoline, drive shafts, wooden dollies,
They Lion grow.
Out of the gray hills
Of industrial barns, out of rain, out of bus ride,
West Virginia to Kiss My Ass, out of buried aunties,
Read more about If You Must>
You want to cry aloud for your
mistakes. But to tell the truth the world
doesn’t need anymore of that sound.
So if you’re going to do it and can’t
stop yourself, if your pretty mouth can’t
hold it in, at least go by yourself across
the forty fields and the forty dark inclines
of rocks and water to the place where
the falls are flinging out their white sheets
The scene: John Alden, having totally screwed up proposing to Priscilla in the name of Miles Standish, is standing around feeling sorry for himself when Priscilla confronts him and asks why he is angry with her for being so blunt. For asking, Why don't you speak for yourself, John?" Read more about Tell it, Priscilla!
Read more about A November Night>
How cold it is! Even the lights are cold;
They have put shawls of fog around them, see!
What if the air should grow so dimly white
That we would lose our way along the paths
Made new by walls of moving mist receding
The more we follow. . . . What a silver night!
That was our bench the time you said to me
The long new poem -- but how different now,
How eerie with the curtain of the fog
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD
(1872-1918) Canadian Army
Read more about Poppies>
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
The Edmund Fitzgerald went down in Lake Superior in November of 1975. The Third Assistant Engineer hailed from Sturgeon Bay. I had recently moved to Door County, just south of Sturgeon Bay. I never knew him, but later on I came to know people who knew people, so to speak. Sturgeon Bay is a ship building town. Read more about The Gales of November