In addition to his piece titled "Pop," Barack Obama also published in Occidental college’s literary magazine, Feast, the short piece titled "Underground," featuring a fantasy in which fig-eating apes breathe underwater, while dancing and tumbling about.
Sonnet 30 belongs to the group, "The Muse Sonnets," mistakenly thought addressed to a young man, but no young man appears; in fact, no person appears at all. The "dear friend" does not refer to a fellow human being but to the speaker’s poetic talent. He is addressing his ability to create poetry.
The super-human talented speaker, being quite human, sometimes suffers feelings of defeat, but when he thinks about his poetry, he realizes how fortunate he is to have such a talent and to be able to create the little dramas that grace his life and the lives of those who read his works.
The speaker in Shakespeare Sonnet 28 is suffering writer’s block and complains that both day and night seem to be conspiring to keep him from fulfilling his belovèd writing duties. He employs this time frame that remains all inclusive, emphasizing that his mind is constantly focused on his issue.
The speaker of this thematic group of Shakespeare sonnets, "The Muse Sonnets," discovers that even when he is exhausted from a hard day’s work, his mind is wide-awake thinking about and planning the details of his next poem.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s" Christmas Bells" is a widely anthologized poem that celebrates the winter holiday. It features a phrase associated famously with the Christmas season in its chant, "Of peace on earth / Good-will to men."
In Barack Obama’s "Pop," the speaker is sketching what appears to be a father-figure—likely Frank Marshall Davis—and offering a glimpse into the relationship between the two. Obama called his material grandfather "Gramps," rendering it unlikely that the father-figure is Stanley Dunham.
The speaker in sonnet 26 acknowledges his duty to write poems. His talent is his Lord, and he promises to perform his duty without becoming boastful.
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 Sonnet 25 is exploring the nature of unconditional love, admonishing himself of the fickle nature of fame and status in the eyes of humanity. He cherishes the true and the permanent, and he has become aware that only his talent remains the font from which flow joy and contentment.
The speaker in Sonnet 24 compares the art of poetry to the art of painting, revealing the importance of heart-felt love, not mere ornamentation, in the creation of art.
The speaker in Sonnet 22 asserts that despite his physical aging and death, his talent for creating poems will eternally retain his love, inspiring future generations.
Ordinary silence refers to the state of soundlessness and is often disdained by busy minds constantly seeking distraction or entertainment. But soul silence consists of mystical, metaphysical space and time wherein one experiences one’s true self.
The practical application of yogic affirmations results in the amazing healing recovery from any malady, whether it originates from physical, mental, or spiritual sources. This book teaches the method for effective practice of these marvelous healing techniques.
My 15th installment (or 16th including a brief bio of the character) of my short literary fiction pieces, featuring Belmonte Segwic a.k.a. Graveyard Whistler, satirizes the current news swirling around two political items—a dossier and a laptop.
Graveyard Whistler has been quite busy finishing his dissertation in Literary Theory for the PhD at the University of South Falls. He has decided to take a few hours off on Sunday to check in with a strange story he came across in a literary theory journal that specializes in mystical literature.
The theme of Sonnet 21 of the thematic group, "Muse Sonnets," is similar to other sonnets that offer praise while portraying a realistic description of the belovèd, instead of the exaggerations that amount to untruths.
In Sonnet 20, the speaker is again addressing his poem, likening it to a woman’s charms but finding it less fickle and more capable of consistently shielding love.
Laurence Binyon is likely the most under-appreciated war poet from the World War I era. Highly praised in his own lifetime, his work has fallen out of favor with modernists and postmodernists, whose nihilism precludes any speck of patriotism, loyalty, and duty.
In Sonnet 19, the speaker is personifying and challenging Time to devastate his art as he does all living creatures as they age; then the speaker declares that Time cannot do so.
Sonnet 17 is the last sonnet in the "Marriage Sonnets" sequence; the speaker makes a final plea to the young man, urging him to produce offspring—this time for the sake of the speaker’s own veracity.
Marriage Sonnet 16 likens the young man's struggle with time to that of war. Time is like a bloody tyrant engaging one on the battlefield of life.
In marriage sonnet 15 from the classic Shakespeare 154-sonnet sequence, the speaker employs a “Time” metaphor again within the when-then structure to persuade the young man that his only hope for deliverance from the decrepitude of old age is to produce offspring.
In marriage sonnet 14, the speaker says he does not have the power to predict the future by gazing at the stars in the sky, but the eyes of the young man tell all he needs to know.
The speaker in sonnet 12 is comparing the lad's youth to nature being undercut by "Time's scythe,” the sharp blade that slices through all lives. Nature's progression through the seasons of a year becomes a useful metaphor for human aging.
The older, persuasive speaker continues to urge the young man to marry and produce pleasing offspring. The clever speaker seems to strongly desire a son-in-law, who will bestow a pleasing grandchild upon him.
In sonnet 10, the speaker challenges the young man’s sense of self, regarding his love and affection for others. The speaker exaggerates the lack as “murderous hate."
In Sonnet 9, the speaker queries the young man about another possible reason for his remaining single: does he fear leaving some poor woman a widow?
Shakespeare Sonnet 7: “Lo! in the orient when the gracious light” offers a fascinating metaphorical comparison of the young man’s youth, who is in the process of aging, to the sun in its daily journey across the sky.
Sonnet 6 may be considered as a companion piece to Sonnet 5. The speaker opens by referring to the same metaphor he employed in the earlier sonnet, the distillation of flowers.
The founder of Self-Realization Fellowship introduced his guru, Sri Yukteswar, to the world in his autobiography. It was through the guru-chela relationship that the Bengali boy, Mukunda Lal Ghosh, became the world leader of Kriya Yoga, father of the yoga in the West, Paramahansa Yogananda.
The speaker of sonnet 5 continues to create little dramas to convince the young man that he must procreate to preserve his youth and thereby reach a certain level of immortality.
In “The Marriage Sonnets,” the speaker is continuing to dramatize his persuasion of the young man to marry and produces pleasant progeny. In sonnet 4, the speaker is engaging a finance metaphor to enhance interest in his argument.
Shakespeare Sonnet 3 from the “Marriage Sonnets” concentrates on the young man’s image in the looking-glass. The speaker will be again appealing to the lad’s vanity as the former continues his persuasive effort get the young man married.
Shakespeare sonnet 2 continues the "Marriage Sonnets" with the speaker imploring the young man to marry and produce offspring before it is too late.
Contrasting mightily with her “Garland for Queens, may be,” in which the rose is held in such high regard that it is offered an ordination ceremony, this rose remains uncelebrated and unnoticed except by the speaker and a few other creatures of nature.
While this Shakespearean speaker waits for what he believes to be true inspiration, he goes ahead and writes whatever he can to keep his creative juices flowing. The speaker of sonnet 79 addresses his muse directly, sorting out once again his own contribution from that of the muse.
The speaker in Shakespeare sonnet 77 is musing and conversing with himself, that is, with his “poetself,” reminding that self of the importance of his continued artistic endeavor.
The speaker in Emily Dickinson’s "Garland for Queens, may be," is paying tribute to the beautiful flower, the rose. The treatment of this "Rose" contrasts greatly with the treatment of the "Little Rose" in Dickinson’s "Nobody knows this little Rose."
Emily Dickinson’s speaker in “If recollecting were forgetting” follows a line of thought that mirrors obliquely that of Aristotelian logic—searching for a way of thinking in order to find a way of knowing.
In Paramahansa Yogananda’s poem, "The Harvest," the speaker metaphorically compares the beauty of the autumn sky to the inner beauty of the spiritual sky. The devotee's harvest thus will be both material and spiritual.
Roger Heston fancied himself a philosopher, who often sparred with another philosophically inclined Spoon River resident, Ernest Hyde. Heston’s demise is revealed with a start that leaves his philosophical stance on the issue hanging in abeyance.
Emily Dickinson’s poem, "When Roses cease to bloom, Sir," which also functions as a prayer, demonstrates the poet’s depth of scientific knowledge of the world as well as her insight into the spiritual significance that such scientific knowledge implies for human evolution.
Addressing God, the Divine Belovèd, Emily Dickinson’s speaker prays to remain a special musical and visual spark in the creation of everlasting, eternal, immortal bliss.
Painting and poetry rely on similar materials. One of those materials is color. As the noted painter, Vincent van Gogh, has averred, his power of color came through painting. A poet might reckon a similar intensity of power.
In Emily Dickinson’s skilled employment of paradox and metaphor, "Adrift! A little boat adrift!”, the speaker offers a complex drama played out seemingly on an earthly ocean but that is actually performed on the mystical sea, where life remains immortal and eternal.
Malcolm M. Sedam’s poem, “Maturity Pains,” can easily be misconstrued by failing to consider the capitalization of a single letter.
In his poem, "Spring in New Hampshire," Claude McKay offers a refreshing and delightful glimpse at the feeling one experiences when the grass turns green again, and the sky is too blue not to notice with enthrallment.
The issue focused on in Shakespeare sonnet 67 is the problem of inferior talent that seems to thrive alongside the superior, an irksome situation for the genuine poet. The sonnet features four rhetorical questions, each smartly answered by the drama created by the genuinely talented poet.
The summer season often brings to the fore adult nostalgia. As James Whitcomb Riley’s speaker thinks back to a favorite childhood pastime in "The Old Swimmin’-Hole," he reveals that nostalgia and summer have become entwined in his soul.
This short lyric features aspects of the Eastern philosophy known a Zen, Zazen, or Zen Buddhism. Its allusion to pairs of opposites hints at differences that assist the the devotee to sense the profound ways of Spirit.
The language of poetry may serve as a vehicle for spirituality. The soul of man is like a river ever flowing towards the sea of the Divine.
This bleak poem flings forth images that represent each stage of a doomed relationship. (The man in this poem was an original "snowflake," who stunk of basement mold: For those of eagle eye looking for connections . . . )
The Shakespeare sonnet sequence offers a study of a poet’s mind. In the first 17 sonnets, the speaker is persuading a young man to marry and produce children. In the final 28, he laments a flawed romance. In the bulk of the sonnets—109—the speaker addresses issues relating to the art of writing.
Perusing this poem many years after having written it, I find that it has captured perfectly that time we spent on that trip to a mountain village.
My original poem, “Love’s Dwelling,” features five stanzas, each offering a scenic discourse involving love. Its message follows a path that dramatizes and defines the nature of true, substantive love, the stuff and basis of all spiritual striving. Spirit itself creates and sustains love.
The speaker is offering a dramatic definition as it asks the question, "What Is Love?" The poem's answer to that question demonstrates love’s importance for success and advancement along the spiritual path.
Sharon Olds' deeply flawed, dishonest piece,“The Victims,” appears to have been composed solely for the sake of showcasing a handful of stark images.
William Blake’s strong talent lay in his artistic endeavors as an engraver. His renderings of various historical and biblical events remain viable pieces of art. His efforts in the field of poetry, however, remain unsuccessful, despite his occasional accuracy in siding with truth.
My American sonnet looks very much like the Elizabethan version but lacking the tight rime and rhythm schemes.
While much less known than the poetry of Walt Whitman or Emily Dickinson, Henry Timrod's poems were well received during the poet’s lifetime; Timrod was honored with the unofficial title, "Poet Laureate of the Confederacy."
My suite of original poems, "Love Among the Relics: A Suite in Eight Movements," focuses on love in various human institutions and socially constructed departments, as it gleans and crystalizes the heart of each observed sense of reality.
Yeats' "Leda and the Swan" focuses on the ancient Greek myth, wherein the woman, Leda, wife of Tyndareus, was impregnated by the god Zeus in disguise as a swan. Yeats offers his musing regarding the nature of such an act and how it might have impacted Leda's mental capacities afterward.
The speaker in William Wordsworth's Italian sonnet is musing on the advantages of retrogressing to paganism, yet while still retaining the values of post-enlightenment Christianity.
Alex, aka Albo, was a dog. What is more poetic than a dog? Dogs live a perfect metaphor for love, for buoyancy, for divinity. Spell dog backwards and you have G-o-d.
Republicans' failure to refute Democrats' false claim that the parties switched sides on race has allowed that big lie to become widely accepted. Republicans need to counter this falsehood to reclaim for their party its history in fighting slavery and racism.
The speaker of Philip Larkin's “Here” remains a vague presence; however, the speaker's mood and character might be discerned by merely observing his choices of images for display.
Democrats enjoy complaining that they are being insulted when Republicans and other opponents employ the term "Democrat" in place of "Democratic" while 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.
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 head-of-state but can find no achievements to celebrate. Okri's piece remains a hollow, pathetic vessel that concludes by disgracing itself with a fabrication offered as an excuse for Obama's failure.
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; examples include 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 of nonsense.
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.
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.
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.
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.