Dec
12

Elizabeth Drew Stoddard — November

November foliage © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017Good day and happy December and Happy Hanukkah (which begins today). I’ve started my shopping, put up lights outside, but haven’t yet gotten my Christmas tree or decorated the inside of my house. I’ve been lackadaisical and uninspired, spending time doing crosswords, catching up on past issues of The New Yorker, and reading mysteries (Glass Houses by Louise Penny and The White Trilogy by Ken Bruen).

I’m slow to get in the spirit this year.  It seems I am still in a November frame of mine so it figures that I’d post the poem “November” by Elizabeth Drew Stoddard.  Peace, love, and solace

November
Much have I spoken of the faded leaf;
Long have I listened to the wailing wind,
And watched it ploughing through the heavy clouds,
For autumn charms my melancholy mind.

When autumn comes, the poets sing a dirge:
The year must perish; all the flowers are dead;
The sheaves are gathered; and the mottled quail
Runs in the stubble, but the lark has fled!

Still, autumn ushers in the Christmas cheer,
The holly-berries and the ivy-tree:
They weave a chaplet for the Old Year’s bier,
These waiting mourners do not sing for me!

I find sweet peace in depths of autumn woods,
Where grow the ragged ferns and roughened moss;
The naked, silent trees have taught me this,—
The loss of beauty is not always loss!

Elizabeth Drew Stoddard

This poem appeared in Poems (Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1895). It is in the public domain.

 

Autumn charms my melancholy mind © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Autumn charms my melancholy mind © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Nov
23

Happy Thanksgiving

Hope your holiday is wonderful.  Thanks for reading this blog.  I have much to be grateful for and I hope you do too.

Today’s photo comes from Laura Rodley who explains:  “The photo I took while driving home and all of a sudden the clouds were setting on top of the cornfield like a  Shangri-la and I had to stop and enter their green vibrating world.”

Thank-you, Laura.  Let us hope we can all find our own version of Shangri-la.

Shangri-la © Laura Rodley, 2017

Shangri-la © Laura Rodley, 2017

 

FINAL FRONT COVERLaura Rodley, is a Pushcart Prize winner, a quintuple Pushcart Prize nominee, and quintuple Best of Net nominee, with work in Best Indie Lit NE.  Publisher Finishing Line Press nominated her Your Left Front Wheel Is Coming Loose for a PEN L.L.Winship Award and Mass Book Award. FLP also nominated her Rappelling Blue Light for a Mass Book Award. Former co-curator of the Collected Poets Series, Rodley teaches the As You Write It memoir class and has edited and published As You Write It, A Franklin County Anthology volumes I-VI, also nominated for a Mass Book Award. She was accepted at Martha’s Vineyard’s NOEPC and has been a consecutive participant in the 30 poems in 30 days fundraiser for the Literacy Project. Her book Counter Point was published by Prolific Press and book Turn Left at Normal by Big Table Publishing.

Nov
17

If only the world were more like Jeopardy

logo_jeopardyThe world is crazy these days and can get me down in the dumps. But I have approximately thirty minutes of solace each weekday when I watch Jeopardy. When the show is over, I am disappointed it can’t go on forever.

Jeopardy provides me with what I would like to see more of today. The contestants are smart as is Alex Trebek. Knowledge is valued here.

Jeopardy is orderly and polite. At worst (and rarely) Alex Trebek can be brusque with contestants but he is never mean or rude. Similarly the contestants are polite; they wait their turns. They answer when called on. There’s no crying or complaining or blame. No one is demonized.

Jeopardy is educational. I learn something almost each day I watch (though I don’t always retain it since my 61-year-old brain is more porous than it used to be). Sometimes what I learn is just how to pronounce a word I am familiar with reading but not saying. Sure, there are instances when Alex overdoes it with his fancy enunciation but even this is enjoyable.

Jeopardy provides a familiar order and routine but also keeps up with the times. You can tell the writers strive to make its content current.

Jeopardy is apolitical.

Jeopardy is well run. There are few glitches on the show; none come to mind. It just seems to hum along smoothly.

Jeopardy has heart. There are the celebrity games (never as challenging as real ones) in which prizes go to charity. This year Tournament of Champions contestants wore ribbons to honor Cindy Stowell, a contestant who passed away from cancer (and the show also gave a donation to the Cancer Institute).

Jeopardy gives credit where credit is due. Contestants routinely thank and express gratitude to their family, teachers, and mentors. Similarly, when announcer Johnny Gilbert was awarded a distinction from Guinness Book of World Records it was acknowledged on air just as was a long-time writer’s retirement.

Jeopardy assures me there are good people in the world who are thoughtful and smart. Today’s the final game in the Tournament of Champions and I don’t know whom to root for because all three contestants (Alan, Austin, and Buzzy) are great.

So on this Friday, when news is bleak and our leaders make us want to scream in frustration, I will turn to Jeopardy and have a short-lived respite from all that.

Peace, love, and solace

Nov
13

Artisans and artifacts

This weekend I went to a craft show called Show of Hands, put on by Orange Beautiful, and held at Architectural Artifacts.  I was impressed with the talent and creativity of the 82 artists there. And, I was able to start my Christmas shopping and buy some stocking stuffers. I also enjoyed walking the two floors of architectural treasures. Here are some my pics.

Peace, love, and solace

Just my type © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Just my type © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Boy toy © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Boy toy © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Stoned face © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Stoned face © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

There was a little girl who had a little curl © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

There was a little girl who had a little curl © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Gimme a hand © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Gimme a hand © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Saintly gaze © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Saintly gaze © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Abe Lincoln on a fresco © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Abe Lincoln on a fresco © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Why I’m a mess © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Why I’m a mess © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

W. C. Hombres © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

W. C. Hombres © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

 

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