Democrats enjoy complaining that they are being insulted when Republicans and other opponents employ the term "Democrat" in place of "Democratic" when referring to that party, its officials, or its policies. The distinction is trivial, influenced primarily by dialect more than a desire to insult.
Langston Hughes' "Life is Fine" bears a striking resemblance to a rhythm and blues tune, a form that the Harlem Renaissance poet used often and well.
In Paramahansa Yogananda’s "The Garden of the New Year,” the speaker is celebrating his resolve to improve his live in order to live "life ideally!"
The Ern Malley literary hoax was perpetrated out of two poets’ hatred of the avant-garde style of modernism and their desire to debunk what they considered to be fraudulent and demeaning to the art.
Israel is an ancient nation that has existed for over 4000 years. "Palestine" is a fabrication created by the Romans circa 70 A.D.
The speaker in Lord Byron's poem, "She Walks in Beauty," fulfills the prototypical theme of the Romantic Movement's conception of idealized beauty.
Lydia Sigourney achieved fame and financial rewards for her writing in her own lifetime, but her compositions have not stood the test of time.
In Arna Bontemps' "God Give to Men," the speaker makes a statement about three so-called “races”: Mongoloid, Caucasoid, and Negroid. He employs subtle irony to make a complaint.
In this long-awaited publication, the great Indian-American yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda, has corrected the misinterpretation of the famous Sufi poem, The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. The Rubaiyat (meaning "quatrains") is the work of a Sufi mystic, and "wine" is a metaphor for divine love.
Ulysses S. Grant served as the eighteenth president of the United States; he was the second president to serve as a Republican.
Although Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, was the president when American women country-wide finally won the right to vote, it was the Republican Party that advocated for and supported women's rights, including the politically important right to vote.
The speaker in Paramahansa Yogananda’s "In Stillness Dark" is dramatizing the results of calming the body and mind and thus allowing the spiritual eye to come into full view on the screen of the mind, the same location experienced in dreams.
The speaker in Paramahansa Yogananda's poem, “One That’s Everywhere,” reveals that Divine Omnipresence strives to reveal Itself through all creatures, even the inanimate.
The great yogi/poet, founder of Self-Realization Fellowship, dramatizes the spiritual journey in his poems. They uplift the mind and direct it toward the Divine Reality or God. This poem offers that same upliftment with the answer to a common question regarding the Divine Reality.
Ted Kooser served as the 13th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. His dedication to the art of poetry remains an inspiration to poetry lovers and to anyone who has felt a calling to a certain profession, vocation, or art.
Benjamin Zephaniah offers a fun poem with a very serious message about turkeys during the holidays.
The scriptural text known as the Bhagavad Gita is the most widely quoted segment of the sacred Sanskrit poem, Mahabharata, the longest epic poem in existence.
The speaker in Dana Gioia's "The Sunday News" gets a blast from the past after sighting a wedding notice in his Sunday newspaper.
This story narrates the strange events from a summer that left me facing two diverse ways of handling a bizarre occurrence and wondering which hand held the advantage, as I sat stunned and confused.
Thomas Jefferson became president 19 years after his wife, Martha, died. Her capable handing of her duties as the wife of a government official, including first lady to a governor, suggests that she would have served admirably as first lady to a president, had she lived to see him elected.
The third president appreciated poetry, read widely and quoted famous poets, including Homer, Vergil, Dryden, and Milton. In his teen years, Jefferson took up the habit of keeping a scrapbook of poems featured in newspapers. He even encouraged his granddaughters to keep such poetry scrapbooks.
The second American president, John Adams, presided over a tumultuous period in the history the United States of America. His goal was to leave his descendants a peaceful world in which the arts could flourish.
The eternal relationship between the guru (dispeller of darkness) and his devotees (followers) is dramatized in Paramahansa Yogananda's reassuring poem, "God's Boatman."
Elizabeth Barrett Browning's romantic poem, "Patience Taught by Nature," draws a sharp contrast between human nature—regarding the quality of patience—and other of nature's creatures including animals, trees, even the ocean.
The fourth poem in the "Minerva Jones" sequence finds Dr. Meyers' wife testifying to the fact that her husband, whom she calls "Poor soul," reaped his just rewards for his actions in life, particularly the abortion that killed Minerva Jones.
This poem features a fantasy version of a real flight that was at once scary and fun, somewhat like the poem. Hey, maybe in the scheme of things all poems are scary but fun!
A seemingly lofty goal propelled Franklin Jones. But oddly, he blames his most important failure on the failure to live one more year.
"Francis Turner," a physically and mentally weak individual, finds solace after death, romanticizing a single kiss that led to a "secret" he shared with "Mary."
Paramahansa Yogananda’s "The Screen of Life" dramatizes the mayic dance of life with all its many activities and myriad natural objects that continually come and go.
Marietta Grace Spauling’s mother was the world to her. She told her mother everything she did, everything she thought, and everything she felt. Her mother was sometimes helpful, sometimes not so much.
How to stay motivated in pursuing the spiritual path remains a challenge. Paramahansa Yogananda's "When Will He Come?" dramatizes the key to meeting this spiritual challenge.
Conrad Siever contrasts his feelings for two distinctive segments of his farm: the part with the cemetery he finds "wasted"; but he loved the acres that held his apple tree and lovingly nurtured that tree in life and continues to do so even after death.
Science has debunked the theory of "race" as a human classification; yet, the metaphor of color remains a strong societal force. Prejudice requires no rationality, only the will to believe, despite evidence to the contrary. Thus, the metaphor of color continues to influence relationships.
A no-achievement president confounds the ability of a poet, who tries to celebrate the outgoing leader but can find no achievements to celebrate.
Mourid Barghouti says of poetry, "One of its charming miracles is that through its form, poetry can resist the content of authoritarian discourse." Employing the understated term, "fine," the speaker emphasizes that a soul's quiet exit from the body is much preferred to a violent exit.
Today is the first day in five years that Urella Manking will walk out to get the mail and not be accosted by Hubert Wilburs from across the street. You see, Hubert died last night at the local hospital. He was 78 years old and had suffered from a rare blood disease for a decade or so.
The omniscient speaker metaphorically compares a thirsty traveler to a spiritual seeker on the path to soul-realization.
Libertarianism is not a feature of the Democratic Party; in fact, the Republican Party's ideology is more libertarian in nature, advocating smaller government and less regulation.
Political terms that are not well understood get tossed around on the political stage. The following terms often suffer misuse because of the lack knowledge of history: liberal, conservative, democracy, republic, left wing, right wing, fascism, and nazism.
The speaker in Paramahansa Yogananda’s "My Kinsmen" declares his unity with all of creation, celebrating the progression of stages through which he has evolved.
The speaker in Emily Dickinson's "If those I loved were lost" is emphasizing the value she places on her loved ones. She likens their importance to significant events from the community level to the world stage, where bells ring to announce important happenings.
Although a "shadow" takes on the form that is standing between it and a light source, it has no reality of its own; it is only the illusion of a form, an airy nothingness, making it a perfect metaphor for the delusion of Maya, variously called "Satan" and the "Devil" in the West.
Suffering the sigma attached to body image presents a challenge that nearly everyone suffers in some way at some time. But the results of the battle can turn out very different for each sufferer. Once she starts down that road, she never knows what waits around the bend.
Paramahansa Yogananda’s poem, "Silence," dramatizes the importance and power of silence in allowing the meditating devotee to connect with his/her inner Divine Glory.
I composed this memoir-essay nearly a quarter of a century ago. It reminds me of where I had been those decades ago and allows me to compare the progress I have made in my journey to self-realization. It solidifies my comfort in the power of faith.
The great guru, Paramahansa Yogananda, often likens the unreal nature of the material world to "dreams"; the speaker in "When I Cast All Dreams Away" dramatizes his awakening to true Bliss.
In the great guru Paramahansa Yogananda's "Thy Cruel Silence," the speaker demonstrates his devotion by insisting that even if his prayer is met with eternal silence, he will continue to pray and weep unceasingly throughout eternity for the beloved Divine Reality.
Climate change alarmist Al Gore joked to his publisher that W. B. Yeats had penned the "poem," "One thin September soon," in Gore's latest book, "Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis"; sadly, the publisher seemed to fall for it, before Gore admitted to scribbling the piece.
In his essay, "Global Warming: The Trials of an Unsettled Science," now an informative book with that title, Canadian poet David Solway tackles the issue employing a poet's incisive intelligence and wordsmith craftsmanship.
In "Thy Secret Throne," Paramahansa Yogananda’s speaker focuses on the playfulness of the Lord, Who seems to be hiding somewhere—within or without the vast cosmos. To the unrealized eyes of the vast majority of individuals that hiding causes great consternation, doubt, and fear.
The speaker in Paramahansa Yogananda’s "A Mirror New" reveals the importance of introspection. Learning about ourselves and our motivation can assist in discovering the appropriate methods that we need to follow to improve our lives.
The speaker in the poem, "In the Land of Dreams," describes not only the ordinary night dreams of mortals but also expands his description to the importance of dreams that foreshadow Divine Self-Knowledge.
Many skeptics believe spirituality is merely based on imagination. They fail to realize that spirituality at its deepest and most useful level is based on science. The differences between religions arise out of the lack of understanding the differing metaphors used by each religion.
Roo Borson's piece, "Talk," concocts four groups of people and attempts to dramatize how each group relates to the act of talking.
Paramahansa Yogananda's "When I Am Only a Dream" offers all devoted disciples of the great guru's teachings the reassurance and comfort that the guru is always guiding and guarding them whether he is incarnated on Earth or living in the ethereal realms.
The speaker’s obsession with creating poetry in the presence of his divine muse is given a thorough examination, as he compares his creative mind and his physical eye.
The speaker on the spiritual path finds obstacles in her way. She is aware that she must introspect to learn what is causing each obstruction. This poem dramatizes the speaker's desire for her goal of enlightenment and liberation.
The speaker in "Lovers in The Poet's Garden, Arles 1888" is an observer of the painting she is musing on the possibilities in the lives of the two people who happen to be strolling through van Gogh's marvelous garden.
In addition to his position as professor in the department of Languages and Literatures at the University of Northern Iowa, contemporary poet, Vince Gotera, also serves as editor of Star*Line, the print magazine of the international Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA).
"Solitude" is Ella Wheeler Wilcox's most widely noted poem; the following often quoted lines are taken from that poem: "Laugh, and the world laughs with you; / Weep, and you weep alone." The poem essentially avers that while a negative attitude repulses others, the positive attracts them.
Unlike the nostalgic looking back into the past in the poems of John Greenleaf Whittier, James Whitcomb Riley, or Dylan Thomas, Amy Lowell's poem, "Penumbra," takes a unique look into the future after the speaker's death.
In sonnet 120, the speaker returns to confronting the muse for mistreating him, but he has found a way to employ that maltreatment for the better good, as he always does.
Sonnet 119 finds the speaker again examining and dramatizing his "wretched errors," and they are errors that his "heart committed" but from which he learns a valuable lesson.
Saint Francis of Assisi used to call his body brother donkey because the body is very stubborn. Sylvia Branch had a body image problem, but that was likely the least of her issues—then a strange book arrived at the bookstore where she worked.
The speaker in sonnet 114 is again dramatizing an aspect of the struggle between the mind and the senses to determine the genuine. His interest in the real vs the fake keeps him alert as he journeys forth on his path to creating beautiful and useful poetry and art.
In sonnet 112, the speaker compares his private relationship with his muse to his relationship with society, as he praises the advantages of his private life.
The speaker in Emily Dickinson's "So has a Daisy vanished" wonders if the dead Daisy and other departing plant creatures of the field have gone off to be "with God."
Billy Collins served as poet laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003. As part of his laureate duties, he instituted the project titled, "Poetry 180 / A Poem a Day for American High Schools."
The speaker in Blake's "The Chimney Sweeper" offers a drama depicting the misery of children yoked into squalid labor conditions in 18th century London.
The speaker in Wyatt's most anthologized poem dramatizes the nature of regret after having fallen from favor.
While observing a honey bee buzzing his glass of wine, the speaker muses on the little critter's motives for leaving its natural habitat to carouse with wine bibbing humans beings.
Wallace Stevens' "The Death of a Soldier" and Walt Whitman's "Look Down, Fair Moon" express two very different attitudes toward their subject.
The speaker in T. S. Eliot's "The Hollow Men" is bemoaning the spiritually dry direction to which his culture is headed. Using ugly images, the speaker dramatizes the lack of hope so often found in the poetry and art of his generation.
This is the final installment of these flash pieces, plus I'm adding an after thought regarding what I am up to lately in the literary studies arena—including a rant about postmodernism's deleterious effect on life and art.
The speaker in Malcolm M. Sedam's "Desafinado" holds the Beat poet Allen Ginsberg accountable for what the speaker deems to be the attempted degradation of the soul of humanity.
Michael Wigglesworth's long poem was a companion to Puritan teachings and served to make specific the ideas that were preached from the pulpit. Students were required to memorize its passages.
Emily Dickinson loved nature, and birds appear often in her poems, her spiritual garden. She also was quite fond of mystery and riddles. This poem offers an accumulation of evidence that she has observed a bird and then poof! one human act and the bird takes wing!
The owner of the Stone Gulch lit works has died, but his husband is continuing to honor the agreement I made with him for his works. RIP, dear friend, and thanks so much for this treasure trove.
From that great treasure trove of the former Web site called "Stone Gulch Literary Arts," the feature offered here is a one act play.
Growing up in a house on a hill, near a river, a creek, and three commercial fishing lakes has offered me as a poet many opportunities to muse on country life. My original poem appears in my published collection, "Turtle Woman & Other Poems," under its original title, "On the Pond."
Emily Dickinson’s "There's been a Death, in the Opposite House" offers a unique glimpse at the skill of this poet, as she speaks through a created adult male character to paint a description of a scene involving the death of a neighbor.
This installment is the finale in this remarkable journey to becoming caffeine-free of a fascinating literary scholar and creative writer I call "Stoney" after his Stone Gulch Literary Studies Web site.
This memoir journey in search of a caffeine free existence continues, as Stoney recounts his trials and tribulations, seven years after his Coffee Memoir 1.
Ernest Hyde likens his mind to a mirror. The mirror becomes scratched. Hyde turns philosopher and elevates his powers to claim he attained wisdom. Another Socrates or just another Spoon River scuzzball?
These two Dickinson poems seem to grow out of a singular event on a certain day, likely in early spring, when nature is waking up bringing its flowered beauty to the eyes and ears. No one is better prepared to report on that beauty than this poet.
Dolley Madison is probably most remembered for saving the portrait of George Washington from the White House burning by the British.
Christianity is the most widely practiced religion of Western culture, while Hinduism holds that position in Eastern culture. Judaism and Islam are the major religions of the Middle East.
In this recipe, honey replaces sugar! Vegans may want to substitute maple syrup for the honey. Either way, this pudding cake still delivers lots of flavor to satisfy any sweet tooth.
Poor Mrs. Wertman must sit and cry, listening to the eloquence of the son she turned over to the Greenes to raise. His eloquence in political speechifying makes her that proud, but she has to keep her trap shut, can't let anyone know she is actually his birth mother.
The Graveyard Whistler offers a fifth installment of flash fiction. He also lets loose with something that is stirring his conscience about whether a career as a university professor will suit his pistol.
Dreams sometimes seem to offer clues to past incarnations. Beth's recurring dream of passion seemed to be that kind of dream. But how does one square such feelings with here-&-now reality?
This story of hope circles around a young man, caught between ugly racism and parental love.
Friends are the laughter of life, until they are not. Why would a self-centered, middle-aged newspaper editor bother? Is life too short? Or is it too long—as some wiseacre once opined?
Philip Freneau, America's first native-born poet, lived from 1752–1832. He was considered the poet of the revolution, and he did write many politically motivated poems, as well as political treatises. This poem to a flower shows off the poet's softer side, as he has his speaker address the flower.
Belmonte Segwic, aka The Graveyard Whistler, is a persona created by me, Linda Sue Grimes, to tell a story about a unique individual's interaction with the study of the literary arts.
The Graveyard Whistler has become quite enthusiastic about "flash fiction," offering his fourth installment of the little stories. Stay tuned for a brief bio of "Belmonte Segwic" (aka "The Graveyard Whistler") coming soon!
The Graveyard Whistler offers five additional very short pieces of "flash fiction."
After meeting Abigail for the first time, John Adams came away with less than a favorable impression of her.
Given the choice of continuing to suffer beatings from a brutal husband and being held safely behind some unemotional bars, which would you choose? Yeah, me too!
The Graveyard Whistler continues with his enthusiasm for his finds in "flash fiction." He is adding ten more brief stories to the mix. Enjoy!
The speaker of Edgar Lee Masters' "Robert Davidson" is confessing to an especially heinous crime against his fellow human beings: he deliberately undermined the vitality of others, something like a gaslighter.
The speaker in Emily Dickinson's "There is a morn by men unseen" is looking at a scene behind the mystic curtain that divides the ordinary world from the extraordinary world, where spirits dwell and have their being.
The Graveyard Whistler's literary journey now finds him delving into the phenomenon known as "flash fiction."
Literary letters have always been a marvelous find in literature. The Graveyard Whistler found this series of letters and although they do not address his main interest in irony, they do offer an interesting take on some of life's most intriguing conflicts.
Torrance's life was a mess, but he had spunk, and he had hope, and he hoped someday to have love.
"I loathed my mother; she was constantly buzzing over petty details." (Please note: This story is fiction and does not depict any real persons living or dead.)
Where does the brown egg come from? Everybody knows eggs come from hens! Samantha Joenes was puzzled, though, about "brown eggs." Why are some eggs brown? Samantha researches the issue and hilarity ensues.
As the first First Lady, Martha Washington set the standard for those Ladies who would follow.
As poet, translator, and critic, Rachel Tzvia Back offers insight into the world of modern poetry. An award-winning translator, she contributes to the understanding and appreciation of the important, contemporary Hebrew poets that enrich the world literary canon.
Canada's outstanding poet, David Solway, offers a lush scene of communicating plant and animal residents of a garden in spring in his poem simply titled, "The Garden."
Julio Noboa Polanco's speaker makes an awkward attempt to assert his desire for freedom. While the sentiment is, no doubt, heartfelt, the piece of doggerel betrays a lack of technical and poetic skill.
In 1982, Derek Walcott admitted that he sexually harassed a student. After becoming president-elect, Barack Obama considered allowing this admitted predator to serve as his Inaugural Poet.
Lucille Clifton's poetic lament dramatizes the omission of the mention of slavery during a tour she took of Walnut Grove Plantation in South Carolina in 1989.
The stars-in-his-eyes speaker in Sir Philip Sidney's Sonnet 79 from Astrophil and Stella focuses on the kiss of his beloved. His infatuation leads him to explore the exaggerated euphoria that is holding his imagination in its grip.
The speaker of David Solway's "What Makes a Poem" suggests the making of malt liquor as he associates it with the making of a poem.
D. C. Berry's "On Reading Poems to a Senior Class at South High" employs an extended metaphor of fish, first frozen in a package and then swimming in an aquarium, to express the speaker's surprise that high school students actually enjoyed his poetry reading.
Wendell Berry's poem features the subtitle, "to remind myself," which alerts the reader that the poem exists primarily for the poet's sake, essentially to jog his memory.
Walt Whitman's American sonnet demonstrates the power of the verb form known as the present participle, as his speaker dramatizes the activity of a severe storm at sea.
As a literary imaginationist, the speaker in Barghouti's "Without Mercy" creates a dramatic scene from which he attempts to extract values while plying fear with beauty.
Karl Shapiro's "Auto Wreck" concentrates on the inability of the human mind to deal logically with the wave of emotion that wells up in contemplating such a catastrophe.
Dara Wier's American (or Innovative) sonnet screeches within a postmodernist scrawl of funk and fury as it attempts to make new out of love and loss.
The speaker of Frost's oft-anthologized "Departmental" observes an ant on his picnic table and imagines a dramatic, little scenario of an ant funeral.
D. H. Lawrence's Women in Love studies the 20th-century issue of the divided nature of the human mind. The flawed characters of Rupert and Ursula reveal an unsolvable problem that continues to plague the conscience of humanity as it struggles for proper behavior.
Former Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell’s 1992 essay, "Reflections on the Quincentenary" gives a useful glimpse of the history of the native and European clash of cultures. He does not put a happy face on the situation, but neither does he try to make it worse than it was.
This piece is satire. It mocks the disgraced former academic and faux American Indian, Ward Churchill, including his stilted writing style. His falsified and fabricated scholarship resulted in his losing his professorship at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2007.
Her eyes would shine as she told me them stories. That big old grin she had with just one tooth hanging on for dear life as she laughed and giggled made me laugh and giggle right back at her. She was so good at telling about it those sugar cookies and those Sunday dinners, it made my mouth water.
The story of Mayella is older than time, flowing more surely than the rapid river of the mind. It is a story of longing and waiting, and then waiting and enduring, and then lingering long enough to reach a cherished Love that beckons from all corners of the heart and mind.
If you believe that a poem "can mean anything you want it to mean," let me show you the fallacy of that notion. While some poems may be open to more than one interpretation, that does not mean that all interpretations are accurate.
In defense of postmodern drivel, philosophers will say things in new and different ways. When a piece of short fiction can sound like a nonsensical treatise, readers will laugh and remain delighted that they encountered such a singular junket into the pit of scientific glory.
The speaker in Emily Dickinson's "I had a guinea golden" is expressing melancholy at the loss of a friend whom she describes metaphorically in terms of three dear objects: a guinea, a robin, and a star.
The inspirational presence called the "muse" has been credited with the ability to create by poets, especially, but also by other writers, musicians, painters, dancers, sculptors, actors, and other artists. What is the muse? Is it real? Can an artist create without this force?
The speaker in Holy Sonnet XIX makes a most fervent declaration regarding his spiritual striving for deliverance into the arms of the Ultimate Reality. He offers a confession and sincere statement of continued seeking for the mindset of "fear" or loving respect that his Heavenly Father will accept.
William Butler Yeats served from 1922-1928 in the senate of the newly formed Irish Free State. His narration of a visit to a school in "Among School Children," by today's standards, would likely be enough to have him branded a sexual pervert by his political opposition.
Holy Sonnet XVIII speculates about the church of Christ: how it continues, if it will continue with grace, how it may remain comprehensible to Christ's followers. The teachings of Christ, His church, and body of His followers form a unity represented in this sonnet as the "spouse" of Christ.
Jim Brown has decided that all of humanity can be divided into two groups, and he identifies those groups by what they are "for."
Not growing up with a religious tradition left a void in my life. That void was gloriously filled with the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda. This article recounts how I came to find those teachings.
The speaker in Holy Sonnet XVII begins his drama by examining his love for his late wife as the motivation for seeking the will of the Heavenly Father.
Penniwit, the Artist, plays a trick on a judge.
The speaker employs a legal metaphor to pray that his legacy will ultimately be sufficient to cleanse his soul to allow it eternal rest in the arms of the Divine.
My mother continues to provide me with material for poems, so this tribute to Mommy offers her one of my favorite poems, "Dust of a Baptist," penned several years ago, celebrating my affection and appreciation for her love and guidance.
The speaker celebrates the beauty of wildflowers that has motivated her to create a mystical garden which has the power to exist without seasonal interruption.
The speaker seeks assurance that he understands his own faith. This blessed understanding strengthens the speaker's remembrance of his own creation and helps him to realize that his earlier sins can be forgiven.
The speaker in Edgar Lee Masters' "Ida Chicken" complains about corruption and blames the U.S. Constitution as she blurts out a rather treasonous remark about her nation's governing document.
The speaker is becoming increasingly more intense as he continues to explore the plight which has sent him on his journey from sensuality to spirituality. He implores his Heavenly Father to remake him and thus utterly destroy his old attitude that led him astray.
My favorite flavor consists of the simple ingredients of tomato, cilantro, onion, cheese, and corn tortilla, put together and spiced with chili powder and cumin. These ingredients when assembled a certain way make the delicious food item known as the enchilada.
The speaker in John Donne's Holy Sonnet XIII continues his search for consolation that he will be forgiven his earlier sins of the flesh.
In this American (Innovative) Sonnet, the bi-dialectal speaker offers some solid advice regarding the best attitude to assume while communicating with fellow human beings.
In John Donne's Holy Sonnet XII, the speaker explores his displeasure with what seems to constitute an imbalance in nature: humankind's privilege over the lower creatures on the evolutionary scale.
The speaker continues to consider his lot vis-a-vis pain and suffering. He muses on the factors of his faith that strengthen his ability to face his own destiny.
John Donne's Holy Sonnet X, "Death, be not proud," remains one of the most anthologized poems of the Holy Sonnet sequence. The speaker addresses the conceptual force of death in order to rebuke it and relieve it of its power over human thinking.
Tennessee Claflin Shope expounds on the successes he felt he achieved that seemed to escape the villagers who deemed him only a laughable clown.
Ralph Waldo Emerson's short poem has attracted much critical attention, in focusing on the ambiguity in the use of the term, "hypocritic."
John Donne's speaker in Holy Sonnet IX employs his reasoning to compare and contrast the behavior and consequences experienced by God's creatures of His creation as he fashions another installment of musings on the nature of sin and punishment into finely crafted pieces of art.
Thomas Rhodes' ego caused him to crave power and lord it over his fellow citizens, carving out for himself a widely hated persona.
My original poem, "Between Broken Poems," touts the efficacy of "broken poems" as receptacles for much of life's vicissitudes including all the trials and tribulations associated with various levels of pride, vanity, and loss.
One of Spoon River's flawed characters, Georgine Sand Miner offers the typical personality that cannot hold herself responsible for her own actions.
Painter van Gogh created this series to decorate the walls of the bedroom of his poet friend, Paul Gaugin. The friendship did not endure, but the paintings do.
Daniel M'Cumber reveals his miserable life to Mary McNeely, too late to benefit either of them, but dramatizing the typical character flaws that inflect many of the Spoon River epitaphers.
The speaker is addressing his own soul, commanding it through reason to rely solely on his Divine Creator, Who has fashioned him into the very soul he must be.
This short, quirky observation makes a statement about human behavior that has become compulsive.
The speaker in John Donne's Holy Sonnet VII is commanding his beloved Creator to instruct him in true repentance, in order to receive the grace that he so strongly desires and needs.
Poor Mary McNeely spent her life mourning in her father's home for a lout not worth a second thought.
The speaker in John Donne's Holy Sonnet VI now finds himself very close to leaving his body. He speculates about his journey, after death has uncoupled his soul from its physical encasement.
In Emily Dickinson's "Distrustful of the Gentian," the speaker creates a fascinating little drama to explore the melancholy the erupts in her heart at the closing of summer.
The speaker in John Donne's Holy Sonnet V continues to lament his lot while commanding of his Beloved Creator that He use even the strongest methods for cleansing the speaker's heart, mind, and soul.
Washington McNeely's invalid son, Paul, announces his devotion to his nurse, as he reports from the grave in Spoon River.
John Donne's Holy Sonnet IV finds the speaker continuing to lament his sorrowful state of being, but then he admonishes himself about which course of action he must take to mitigate his circumstances. He continues to judge himself harshly but also continues to seek grace and relief.
Emily Dickinson's short poem, "A sepal, petal, and a thorn," consists of only one cinquain, but its five lines pack a prayerful punch into its deceptive shortness.
The speaker continues to lament his lot—that he now must suffer the pain of having transgressed against his higher nature earlier in his lifetime.
The speaker is lamenting his fear that he may not be able to become pure enough for his Beloved Creator to lift him up in divine unity.
Washington McNeely laments the unfortunate lives of his offspring. Although he was wealthy and well-respected in the town, affording his children the best education, they failed to enjoy the comfortable lives he had envisioned for them.
A suffering speaker talks with his Beloved Creator, as he prayerfully contemplates his mortality and immortality.
The speaker metaphorically likens the end of summer to the departure of the soul of a loved one, creating a little funeral drama in a church with a final prayer offering.
The Whistler has found a new story with a complex of irony. He is rethinking his profession as literary sleuth. Captivated by the stories he finds, he remains conflicted about continuing with literature. Maybe he will give up and become a lawyer.
A poem dedicated to my mother, Helen Richardson, for Mother's Day 2018. Dreams can hold more than mere fancy; they can offers solace and comfort and healing.
A. E. Housman's "To an Athlete Dying Young" offers a non-traditional way of looking at death.
Paramahansa Yogananda's poem, "Samadhi," describes the state of consciousness, to which the great guru's teachings lead those who follow those teachings.
The speaker is a highly advanced soul, a great yogic guru, who is helping his immediate devotees adjust to life without his physical presence, as his impending departure from his physical encasement is imminent.
The speaker of this poem is a young man who knows that his soul is leaving its physical encasement. His words to those he leaves behind are given to comfort his loved ones.
A poor Asian lad in the process of converting from his native religion to Christianity meets his fate at the hands of a minister's son.
The speaker in Paramahansa Yogananda's "They Are Thine" dramatizes the unity that exists throughout creation, which eternally remains in possession of the Divine Creator.
The speaker dramatizes the experience of listening to the Om sound. As he moves his consciousness up the spine from the coccyx to the Christ center, he reveals the sounds involved in creating the sound of the Om.
The speaker in Paramahansa Yogananda's "I am Here" dramatizes his search for his Divine Belovèd, colorfully attempting to find the Divine Creator first in His Creations.
Paraphrasing sonnet 153, sonnet 154 pairs up with its predecessor to bring down the curtain on this drama of unfulfilled love ("lust") between speaker and mistress.
Sonnet 153 alludes to Roman mythology through the characters of Cupid, god of love, and Diana, goddess of the hunt.
Sonnet 152 is the final sonnet that directly addresses the "dark lady"; it is quite fitting that it closes with the same complaint he has long issued against the woman.
The speaker metaphorically likens falling asleep to coming under the clutches of a "spell."
The speaker dramatizes the contrast between diurnal observation of the Lord's creation and nocturnal one-pointed concentration on the Lord Himself.
This poem is one of Emily Dickinson's most puzzling riddles, and like many of her poems, it begs multiple level interpretations from a flower in her garden to the eruption in her garden mind of a new type of poem.
The flash-fiction fad has yielded up this form of writing: 5-sentence stories. It's a fun activity that I enjoyed as I composed the forty included here.
The speaker studies the nature of "conscience" and "lust" and dramatizes the affect of lust on his other self that rises and falls through conscienceless motivation.
The epigram appended to this poem states that it is, "An experience in samadhi."
The speaker of the "dark lady" sonnets has become addicted to this form of poetic rhetoric, employing it often, posing four questions in the quatrains of sonnet 150.
The speaker is creating a drama of adventure, using the ocean as a metaphor for the Divine Beloved.
In sonnet 149, the speaker poses six questions to the "dark lady," trying still to establish her reason for the constant cruelty she metes out to him who adores her so.
The sonneteer has come to end of his ability to explore new themes in his sonnet sequence: he is now rehashing the disparity between what he sees and what is there.
The speaker examines and condemns his unhealthy attachment to the dark lady, bemoaning his loss of reason, the result of allowing his lower nature to rule his conscience.
The speaker in sonnet 146 addresses his soul (his true self), asking it why it bothers to continue to bedeck an aging body, when the soul is so much more important.
Fact-checking the fact-checkers is an important activity in today's news cycle. Is snopes.com a truly reliable source? How can we know?
The gates of Hell await the malingerers and goldbricks. Shunning forward-looking counsel brings all nasty rough beasts to the unwise brain that pokes around in the lots of evil. Better just to move on—quickly and often!