Emily Dickinson’s speaker in "Could live – did live" is speculating about the possible inner motivation that urged on the heart of an individual acquaintance who has now died. He did live, she insists, but what drove him?—This man, who seems to have maintained such an evenminded temperament.
In Paramahansa Yogananda’s "Thy Call," the speaker is dramatizing the inner sanctuary which he can summon even in the midst of the day’s din of activity by merely focusing on the presence of his Creator. As he describes his own experience, he teaches others how to emulate his abilities.
As Paramahansa Yogananda’s speaker in "Paupack’s Peak" describes a journey through a forest, he reveals the heart of beauty and how that beauty signals the presence of the Divine Creator.
The speaker in "The Human Mind" possesses the wisdom to choose pleasant, uplifting thoughts, while leaving the disagreeable and depressing ones behind. Pursuing the spiritual path demands attitude readjustments to help the aspirant focus on the positive while transcending the negative.
Admonishing against dull, ego-inflated grins, the speaker in Paramahansa Yogananda's "Fountain of Smiles" offers a lesson on the efficacy of colorful, friendly smiles. Smiles are more than grinning teeth and laughing eyes, for they offer inspiration to those who receive them.
The speaker of Paramahansa Yogananda’s “After This” reveals that an advanced yogi’s relationship with his devotees is eternal and unchanging—the great avatar continues to guide and guard the practicing spiritual aspirants until those devotees reach their goal of God-realization.
Paramahansa Yogananda’s "Freedom"
The speaker in Paramahansa Yogananda’s "Wake, Wake, My Sleeping Hunger, Wake!" is creating a little drama, exploring the nature of spiritual hunger.
S. Omar Barker’s Christmas poem, "A Cowboy’s Christmas Prayer," features a humble cowpoke, who is not accustomed to praying but is offering his heart-felt supplication at Christmas time. As he prays, he reveals the qualities and issues of his life that are most important to him.
The poem, "Silence," dramatizes the importance and power of silence in allowing the meditating devotee to connect with his/her inner Divine Glory.
Buck Ramsey's "Christmas Waltz" dramatizes a holiday celebration on the ranch. The participants all join in a joyful preparation for their celebration as they keep their faith central and focused.
A shadow reflects the form of the object placed between a source of light and itself; shadows possess no innate reality. They remain illusory—nothing but air. Such a phenomenon provides a useful metaphor to describe a delusion such as "Maya," also named the "Devil" and "Satan" in Western culture.
The theme of "The Noble New" is individualism; the speaker is urging the devotee not to be dragged down by a herd-mentality in journeying toward self-realization.
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 spiritual leader and 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.
The speaker in "One That’s Everywhere" reveals that Divine Omnipresence strives to reveal Itself through all creatures, even the inanimate.
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.
The legendary hero, Pecos Bill, gargling with nitroglycerin and chewing on habanero peppers, saved Christmas one year. Accompanied by his horse, Widow Maker, Pecos Bill performs his extreme acts throughout cowboy folklore.
How to stay motivated in pursuing the spiritual path remains a challenge. This poem, "When Will He Come?," dramatizes the key to meeting this spiritual challenge.
This inspirational poem,"My Soul Is Marching On," offers a refrain which devotees can chant and feel uplifted in times of lagging interest or the dreaded spiritual dryness.
Badger Clark's "The Christmas Trail" has become a classic in cowboy poetry, dramatizing the cow poke's exploits through each season, while enjoying his journey home for Christmas.
"Christmas Week in Sagebrush" dramatizes the activities offered in the little town of Sagebrush as the cow pokes, their families, and friends do some shopping and spending.
In the U. S. Constitution, the phrase,"three fifths of all other Persons," does not limit the humanity of non-white individuals; it designates the number of individuals counted for purposes of representation in the legislative branch of the government.
A "hard-bitten ol' cowpoke" experiences a mystical experience that changes his heart in the Christmas ballad. He will carry his new change of heart into his daily cow poking life as he honors "the Great Trail Boss in the Sky."
Researching the claim that vaccines are safe and effective can help individuals determine whether to submit to vaccination. It is important to know what doctors and scientists on both sides of the issue have explained about the safety and efficacy of that pharmaceutical product.
Republican failure to refute Democrats’ false claim that their parties switched sides on race has allowed that falsehood to become widely accepted. Republicans need to refute the Democrats’ inaccuracy to reclaim for their Party its history in fighting slavery and racism.
In Paramahansa Yogananda’s "The Garden of the New Year," the speaker celebrates pulling out the weeds of the past and planting new seeds of joy that assist in living "life ideally!"
In the poem titled "Consecration," which opens Paramahansa Yogananda’s collection of spiritual poetry, the speaker humbly consecrates his works to the Divine Creator. Also he lovingly dedicates the collection to his earthly father.
Paramahansa Yogananda’s "Pikes Peak" dramatizes the yogi’s trip by car up the mountain, while it metaphorically portrays the spiritual journey of the meditating devotee.
The Graveyard Whistler posts primarily what he discovers in his literary studies research. But a politico, Verönika Floures, sent him this piece, saying she thought it important to get this information out because she knows all the pertinent facts. She changed names and dates to mask the guilty.
This tribute to the world-renowned horticulturist, Luther Burbank, demonstrates that the Eastern yogi and the Western scientist have much in common in their pursuit of truth.
The speaker in Emily Dickinson’s "A Day! Help! Help! Another Day!" dramatizes the intensity with which an individual may view the simple act of the opening of a day. She concludes by revealing the superior power of the soul in overcoming all adversity.
Metaphorically, the entities of creation may be compared to bubbles, mysteriously coming into being, moving about for a time, and then leaving. The speaker in "Vanishing Bubbles" dramatizes the coming/going phenomenon which causes the human heart/mind grief. He then offers the remedy for the grief.
Based on my practice of the yoga techniques taught by Paramahansa Yogananda, this original exercise offers a routine for quieting the body and mind, which may be engaged any time of the day that one feels stressed and in need of relaxation.
Disavowing the feasibility of virgin birth, the speaker of Malcolm M. Sedam's "Joseph" dramatizes his iconoclasm as he attempts to speak for the Biblical wise man.
Because of the nature of this musing, its tone remains somewhat conversational, as I am speaking directly to my readers. As a writer and a thinker, I offer this musing as I ask the question: is it really possible to help others in any important way or must we only help and hope?
This song was written and performed by Linda Sue Grimes. The video for "Where You Are" was created by Ron Grimes.
Margaret "Maggi" Britton Vaughn has served as Tennessee's poet laureate since 1995; in 1999, the position became a lifetime appointment.
Democrats complain that they are being insulted when Republicans and other opponents employ the term " Democrat" in place of "Democratic," referring to that party, its officials, or its policies. The distinction is trivial, influenced primarily by dialect more than desire to insult.
The American Democratic Party is not ideologically akin to libertarianism; in fact, the Republican Party's ideology is more libertarian in nature, advocating smaller government and less regulation, which are two of the main tenets of libertarianism.
Ulysses S. Grant served as the eighteenth president of the United States; he was the second president to serve as a Republican. His presidency well served the nation during its transition from war to peace, as he dealt with the KKK and its terrorist acts against black citizens.
Lady Susanne took her tea after Oliver had swept off the veranda. While sitting in her favorite old Victorian chair, sipping delicately from her favorite old Victorian tea cup . . .
When I was seventeen, I wanted like all blazes to be a poet. I admired the likes of E. E. Cummings, W. H. Auden, and W. B. Yeats. As a famous poet, I would be H. W. Merton—Helen Willamina Merton.
Gloria’s cousin was coming for a visit. This could go one of two ways: pleasant or unpleasant. Watch Gloria navigate the waters of family trouble.
They had kids. Their kids were their dogs. Their kids may be strange; they had never asked for a dog.
Betty Sue commits a crime: how will she redeem herself in the eyes of Martha, her best friend, and Sally, her colorful mother?
Poet/essayist David Solway tackles the issue of global warming, a.k.a. "climate change," employing a poet's craftsmanship with language and an essayist’s incisive intelligence, maneuvering in facts. He demonstrates the facility with which as poet can master the machinations of politics.
What will happen to Sharm? Is she doomed? Where is she going, walking these dark hall ways?
Lenore’s most dreaded chore was picking up pop bottles. She had to tote a heavy pop crate while collecting the pop bottles from around the ponds. She trembled in fear while negotiating the sloping side of the ponds because she could not swim . . .
Claude McKay’s reputation in the art of poetry is bolstered by his many classic poems that demonstrate his skill in creating universally thematic pieces that remain timeless.
Classical vs modern liberalism: Graveyard Whistler unearths a piece of doggerel that nevertheless caught his fancy, as it revealed, in his opinion, a much needed corrective to the misuse of the important socio-political term, "liberal."
William Butler Yeats’ widely anthologized "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" remains one of the poet’s most famous poems. Its emphasis on yearning to live a quiet, peaceful life renders it a pleasurable reading experience—the kind of poem that anyone taking a poetry break would appreciate.
In "I robbed the Woods," Emily Dickinson creates a speaker who confesses to a crime: she has robbed the "trusting" woods and "unsuspecting" trees, and she later wonders what those natural beings will say about her brazen act.
The Graveyard Whistler’s unusual find is a playlet or a short story; it plays out only in conversation. It comes from "Stone Gulch Literary Arts," the website the Whistler inherited from the site owner. The Whistler refers to him only as "Stoney," as the site owner requested anonymity.
My poem, "Ron's Chariots of the Blood," was motivated by an email message my husband Ron sent me about his dream featuring his galavanting into poetry criticism. Ron is a very skillful landscape artist, who appreciates poetry but acknowledges his limitations regarding poetry criticism.
The four devotional poems offered here render a grateful celebration to the seasonal order of things, as the Source and Creator Belovèd holds center stage in this spring anticipation. The synthesis of the physical and spiritual is metaphorically engaged and dedicated to God in service and prayer.
In the early 1990s at Ball State University, a student in my honors humanities class held the belief that people who like contemporary rock music do not really like music. I explore that idea as it relates to poetry.
My original poem, "A Book of Frost," plays with the idea of a book of secrets. A slice of the life of a character named Winter Sprite follows her journey to understanding the symbolic language that holds those secrets. Winter Sprite becomes Mother of Light.
Hey, Graveyard Whistler is back! It’s been a while, been busy getting my office in order, planning my teaching schedule, and just learning to live a la covid. I do keep researching my literary interest though, and here is a story that caught my attention and I thought it worth sharing . . .
Amos Sibley is a preacher who wants to divorce his wife; he is detailing her shortcomings and explaining his reason for hesitating on the divorce. Mrs. Sibley offers a cryptic response of her own.
Mothers and daughters are special people, but sometimes not to each other. It is a blessing when mothers and daughters have enough in common to love each other, to show that love, and to feel it. That's not what's going on here. It's a little sad, but still such stories have to be told.
In this poem, Emily Dickinson’s speaker is contemplating her spiritual garden, wherein she plants and grows the metaphorical seeds for her poems. She introduced this garden in the poem, "There is another sky."
Although many dissembling frauds in both fields of poetry and politics have sullied those respective fields with pretense and duplicity, a healthy dose of skepticism, the one valuable tenet of postmodernism holds a place in genuine literature and authentic statesmanship.
Early American poet, Philip Freneau, has been designated as the "Father of American Poetry" and the "Poet of the Revolution." He was the first notable early American poet to have been born in the American homeland.
American poet, John Greenleaf Whittier, never married nor produced offspring, but he lived a full life, filled with political activism, working to abolish the institution of slavery, editing political and literary publications, and creating some of the most widely read poetry in the American canon.
As in her riddle-poem, "I have a Bird in spring," Dickinson is employing the bird metaphor to muse on the possibility that her special awareness might abandon her. The bird becomes a useful poetic device for this poet, as she often bestows on her talent the characteristic of flight.
The speaker in Emily Dickinson’s "By such and such an offering" is exploring the nature of duplicity by those who feign elevated status through appropriating experience that they have not in fact endured.
British poet, Edward Thomas, who was killed in the Battle of Arras during World War I, may be most famous for his friendship with American poet, Robert Frost.
Walter de la Mare is one of the most under-rated and under-appreciated poets in the Western world. His works yoke together the physical and spiritual levels of being in entertaining and enlightening ways.
From her early childhood, Teresa de Cepeda remained a deeply spiritual soul. She gave generously to others who were less fortunate than she. Her life-long activity was to spend much time in meditation and prayer.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning's classic work, "Sonnets from the Portuguese," has become the poet's most anthologized work, studied by students in secondary schools, colleges, and universities, as well as by the general lover of poetry.
George Herbert practiced a style of metaphysical poetry that showcased his intellect and deep emotion, as well as his dedication to his religion, his faith, and his Creator.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, finding Poe’s penchant for rime as bit much, labeled his contemporary, the "jingle man." But Poe’s literary chops have proven more valuable to the written word than a mere rimer.
In the controversial battle between the Oxfordians and the Stratfordians, I side with the Oxfordians; in this article, I elucidate the reasoning for my choice. After that elucidation, I offer an introduction to the Shakespeare 154-sonnet sequence.
One of the most noted names of the English Romantic Movement in literature, Keats left some impressive works, despite dying at the tender age of 25.
Edgar Lee Masters’ American classic, "Spoon River Anthology," brought the poet into the literary world, and no other work from his extensive writings has garnered more attention, including his sequel to the original, "The New Spoon River."
The title of this piece is deceptive because its subject is the speaker’s mother; the farm simply serves as a setting. A pleasant read, the poem does suffer some technical difficulties.
Although Lawrence Ferlinghetti never considered himself a Beat poet, he is almost always labeled such by those who write about him. He possessed some of the Beat sensibilities but remained much more traditional in many ways.
In 1900, James Weldon Johnson composed the hymn, "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing," for a school celebration of the birthday of Abraham Lincoln. His brother later added a melody to the lyric, and in 1919, the NAACP designated it the "Negro National Hymn (Anthem)."
Robert Hayden’s unique service to the world of poetry extends beyond that narrow world to his useful assistance in introducing to American culture information about the Baha’i faith, which influenced his own vision in seeing race through the lens of universality rather than tribalism.
Because Henry David Thoreau wrote fewer poems than essays, he likely considered himself a much less a poet than a philosopher, even labeling himself a poetaster.
Holiday meals, especially Thanksgiving dinner, and sage seem to go together. Easter dinner offers another occasion to enjoy that sage flavor. Just whip up a batch of sage dressing to accompany your favorite Easter flavors. And don’t forget the brown gravy to keep that dressing yummy and moist.
These four tasty breakfasts offer a delicious start to any day. These recipes are vegan but can easily be turned into traditional vegetarian versions with a few simple substitutions.
Emily Dickinson’s mystical affinity informs many of her poems. She invested much of her poetic capital in acquiring knowledge of existence beyond earth-life, and many of her poems include messages from that great beyond.
Born in Topeka, Kansas, Gwendolyn Brooks became a long-time resident of Southside Chicago, from where forged an amazing career as a woman of letters, penning some of the finest poems in the American literary canon.
William Cullen Bryant’s most noted poem is "Thanatopsis," a musing that focuses on death. Most of Bryant’s other major works focus on nature, and many of them result in directing the mind and heart to nature’s Creator.
John Donne’s early poems focus on a deceitful mind that hankers after sexual gratification. In his later life, he completely turns away from those feelings, understanding their destructive effect on his physical health, mental acuity, and spiritual development.
God is one Entity, but God has many aspects; thus, God has many names. All true religious scripture points to God as the only Creator. As the ineffable Spirit, God remains only the essence of Bliss, but as Creation, He is able to function through various bodies and powers for differing motives.
Addressing his muse, the speaker confesses that he has behaved in ways that he now detests and rejects, and he affirms his dedication to truth and love.
Rudyard Kipling is often referred to as a British poet laureate, but he turned down that honor as well as the knighthood after having those awards offered to him in 1907. He did accept the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907; he was the first English writer to be awarded that honor.
Many of Emily Dickinson’s poems suggest that the poet experienced a number of mystical awakenings—events that, no doubt, informed and directed her skill in speaking about ineffable subjects. This poem is one of her most profound in elucidating her situation after such an experience.
Emily Dickinson’s speaker in this jaunty little poem dramatizes an effusion of emotion after becoming enthralled by watching the many machinations of snowflakes as they dance their way through the air before landing on their targets of earthly entities.
Sonnet 30 is one of "The Muse Sonnets," mistakenly thought to be addressed to a young man, but no young man appears in this group of sonnets; no person appears at all. The "dear friend" does not refer to a person but to the speaker’s 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."
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 heartfelt 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.
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.
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 one of the most under-appreciated war poets from the World War I era. His poetry was highly praised during in his own lifetime, but it has fallen out of favor with postmodernists, whose nihilism precludes any hint 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 Shakespeare 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?
In Shakespeare Sonnet 7, the speaker, still trying to convince the young man that he should marry and procreate, is comparing metaphorically the young man’s aging process to the daily journey of sun traveling 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 Shakespeare 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 bowdlerized version 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.
Emily Dickinson loved flowers, as well as all other creatures of nature. The rose became a symbol for her, signifying beauty and the evanescence of all natural beings. From a lament for a single rose, she begins to muse on the relationship of the Divine to His creation, including her own creations.
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 endeavors.
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.
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.
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 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 many 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 . . . )
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.
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’ speaker 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.
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.
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.
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 classes of men. He employs subtle but bitter irony to further his 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.
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.
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.
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."
Marietta Grace Spauling’s mother was the world to her. She told her mother Henrietta, everything she did, everything she thought, and everything she felt. Her mother was sometimes helpful, sometimes not so much.
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 exposes the fallacies in the theory of race as a human classification; yet, the metaphor of color remains a strong societal force. Prejudice requires no rationality—only willingness to believe, despite the evidence. Thus, the metaphor of color continues to influence human relationships.
The use of political terms whose definitions are often misconstrued adds to the confusion that obfuscates the world of politics. This article offers clarification of the following oft-misunderstood terms: liberal, conservative, democracy, republic, left wing, right wing, fascism, and nazism.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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 poetic 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 suddenly–one human act and the bird flies away.
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.