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qotd: Baldwin

September 25th, 2012

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” — James Baldwin, writer (1924-1987)

Msg to Betsy Hammond & Tom Hallman: Please will you learn to write please.

September 2nd, 2012

Betsy Hammond asks, Is the children learning? Maybe she and Tom Hallman can give lessons — pretty soon they’ll all be writing like m@th!rf&*ers smh ;)

From Thee O’s comments section:

hermtownhomy
“The irony flag was up in my head before I even started reading, and I knew it wouldn’t take long. I made it to the third paragraph. ‘But with class sizes swelling and teens more prone to text and tweet than string paragraphs together, schools and teachers face a tall order.’ And I could go no further.”

QOTD: Plath

June 6th, 2012

“I like people too much or not at all. I’ve got to go down deep, to fall into people, to really know them.” — Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

Poem of the Day: “Candles” by Carl Dennis

May 22nd, 2012

“If on your grandmother’s birthday you burn a candle
To honor her memory, you might think of burning an extra
To honor the memory of someone who never met her,
A man who may have come to the town she lived in
Looking for work and never found it.
Picture him taking a stroll one morning,
After a month of grief with the want ads,
To refresh himself in the park before moving on.
Suppose he notices on the gravel path the shards
Of a green glass bottle that your grandmother,
Then still a girl, will be destined to step on
When she wanders barefoot away from her school picnic
If he doesn’t stoop down and scoop the mess up
With the want-ad section and carry it to a trash can.

For you to burn a candle for him
You needn’t suppose the cut would be a deep one,
Just deep enough to keep her at home
The night of the hay ride when she meets Helen,
Who is soon to become her dearest friend,
Whose brother George, thirty years later,
Helps your grandfather with a loan so his shoe store
Doesn’t go under in the Great Depression
And his son, your father, is able to stay in school
Where his love of learning is fanned into flames,
A love he labors, later, to kindle in you.

How grateful you are for your father’s efforts
Is shown by the candles you’ve burned for him.
But today, for a change, why not a candle
For the man whose name is unknown to you?
Take a moment to wonder whether he died at home
With friends and family or alone on the road,
On the look-out for no one to sit at his bedside
And hold his hand, the very hand
It’s time for you to imagine holding.”

ps my late father’s birthday is on Friday. Happy birthday, Dad! and thanks to all those who loved him.

go read this

March 22nd, 2012

broken clouds

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Girl’s Gone Child, alright. i love the hell out of that post.

poem of the day: Billy Collins

March 17th, 2012

“Litany”
by Billy Collins

You are the bread and the knife,
The crystal goblet and the wine.
You are the dew on the morning grass
and the burning wheel of the sun.
You are the white apron of the baker,
and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.

However, you are not the wind in the orchard,
the plums on the counter,
or the house of cards.
And you are certainly not the pine-scented air.
There is just no way that you are the pine-scented air.

It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,
maybe even the pigeon on the general’s head,
but you are not even close
to being the field of cornflowers at dusk.

And a quick look in the mirror will show
that you are neither the boots in the corner
nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.

It might interest you to know,
speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,
that I am the sound of rain on the roof.

I also happen to be the shooting star,
the evening paper blowing down an alley
and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.

I am also the moon in the trees
and the blind woman’s tea cup.
But don’t worry; I’m not the bread and the knife.

You are still the bread and the knife.
You will always be the bread and the knife,
not to mention the crystal goblet and — somehow — the wine.

prayer for the day

March 16th, 2012

Prayer

Every day I want to speak with you. And every day something more important
calls for my attention—the drugstore, the beauty products, the luggage

I need to buy for the trip.
Even now I can hardly sit here

among the falling piles of paper and clothing, the garbage trucks outside
already screeching and banging.

The mystics say you are as close as my own breath.
Why do I flee from you?

My days and nights pour through me like complaints
and become a story I forgot to tell.

Help me. Even as I write these words I am planning
to rise from the chair as soon as I finish this sentence.

Marie Howe

(thank you for that, Lovely Laura.)

these are the kinds of books that are selling:

March 15th, 2012

The Moon and Mt. Hood

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

from today’s Publishers Lunch, under New Deals:

Richard M. Cohen’s I WANT TO KILL THE DOG, a humorous memoir and countercultural ode about living with his wife Meredith Vieira’s animal menagerie and the havoc the pets create; and Scratch and Peck blogger Lauren Scheuer’s illustrated ONCE UPON A FLOCK: Adventures with My Backyard Chickens.

Make a stand for fiction. Go buy a copy of my novel.

Happy Thursday, y’all!

– nancy

prayer of the day

March 12th, 2012

“May Heaven guard and keep you

In great security,

Make you staunch and hale,

What blessing not vouchsafed?

Give you much in increase,

Send nothing but abundance.

May Heaven guard and keep you,

Cause your grain to prosper,

Send you nothing that is not good.

May you receive from Heaven a hundred boons,

May Heaven send down to you blessings so many

That the day is not long enough for them all.”

– from “The Book of Songs,” Blessings on Gentle Folk

QOTD: Emerson

March 10th, 2012

“Cut these words and they would bleed; they are vascular and alive; they walk and run.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)

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