Aug
04

Which kind of person are you?

Summer storm © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017Hey there. Hope all is well with you. Not too much doing in my little world.

I got a couple rejections this week and also the news that my story “Amanuensis” was a finalist in the Portable Story  “moment of truth” series. Congrats go to Matthew B. Kelley whose story “Daddy’s Record” will be recorded and posted on the site. The next call is for writing on “fear.”  Maybe you have something to submit?

“There are two kinds of people in this world” is a phrase you hear often. I don’t know if that statement is true; I tend to see lots of exceptions and gray areas.  I have touched on this theme slightly in one of my poems “Taxonomy,” which I shared in a post last year. (You can read it here.)

But regardless of whether there are two kinds of people, I found this poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox to remain timely even today (except maybe for use of the word “ween,” which is not in current vocabulary). Sometimes I think my next project should be a collection of public domain poems that still are relevant.

Hope this post makes you think; maybe you’ve a poem you want to write about the two (or more) kinds of people in the world.

Peace, love, and solace

 

Which are You?

THERE are two kinds of people on earth to-day;
Just two kinds of people, no more, I say.
Not the sinner and saint, for it’s well understood,
The good are half bad, and the bad are half good.
Not the rich and the poor, for to rate a man’s wealth,
You must first know the state of his conscience and health.
Not the humble and proud, for in life’s little span,
Who puts on vain airs, is not counted a man.
Not the happy and sad, for the swift flying years
Bring each man his laughter and each man his tears.
No; the two kinds of people on earth I mean,
Are the people who lift, and the people who lean.
Wherever you go, you will find the earth’s masses,
Are always divided in just these two classes.
And oddly enough, you will find too, I ween,
There’s only one lifter to twenty who lean.
In which class are you? Are you easing the load,
Of overtaxed lifters, who toil down the road?
Or are you a leaner, who lets others share
Your portion of labor, and worry and care?

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

 

 

 

 

Jul
27

Hot links and hot licks

IMG_5866Hey there. Yesterday was Mick Jagger’s birthday. I celebrated it at The Rolling Stones Exhibitionism. We took the water taxi from Union Station to Navy Pier. I share some of pics below.

Now for the hot links.

There’s “Twenty-Two Poem Hacks” by Carmen Giménez Smith at the Poetry Foundation blog. I am going to print it out and keep it for reference.

Maybe you will relate to “Ten Types of Writers Who Can Go Fuck Themselves” by Gabino Iglesias at Clash.

I don’t know if I could say writing has saved my life, but I could say it has enhanced my well-being greatly. See what you think of  “The Puzzling Way That Writing Heals the Body” by Claudia Hammond at BBC Future.

One thing that struck me at the exhibit was how the band committed themselves to being The Rolling Stones—no half measures. It made me think I should take more risks in my life; wondering whether I am too content.

Another thing that occurred to me was that the band has aged but that has not seemed to diminish their star power. This is not always the case when women age. What made me feel better today was reading: “Journalists Accidentally Confuse a 63-Year-Old Teacher With a Fashion Icon and It Ends up Changing Her Life.”

How about you? What are you reading? What are you feeling?

Peace, love, and solace

Cloud view © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Cloud view © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Oh, dear (Chicago River) © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Oh, dear (Chicago River) © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

It’s RUMP, It’s RUMP; he’s in my head © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

It’s RUMP, It’s RUMP; he’s in my head © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Introducing © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Introducing © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Lips and tongue © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Lips and tongue © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Lips and tongue, 3 © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017IMG_5854Lips and tongue, 1 © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

 

 

Jul
21

Old song, old poem: new solace

Knotty © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017Hey all. Can July speed by any faster? Here’s what I got for you.

Check out Kathleen Kirk’s review of Dave Bonta’s book of poems called Ice Mountain on Escape Into Life. I bet you’ll want to read more of Dave Bonta’s work and the archive of Escape into Life. As you know, Kathleen Kirk is a SISMW contributor. Way back in October 2012 Dave Bonta’s poem “Ode to Scythes” was published here.Ice-Mountain-book-cover

Creativity is curative. Read Mark Brown’s “Arts can help recovery from illness and keep people will, report says” in the July 19 issue of The Guardian.

The Poetry Foundation has a new website. I’ve heard complaints and compliments. See what you think.

imagesWhen I need a little pep in my step, I like to turn up the music and dance (that is, if I have the house to myself). Today’s song was Deee-Lite’s Groove is in the Heart.” So turn it up. (Chair-dancing is perfectly acceptable.)

Finally I leave you with a poem that may help you change your perspective. It’s “Loss and Gain” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Peace, love, and solace

 

Loss and Gain

When I compare
What I have lost with what I have gained,
What I have missed with what attained,
Little room do I find for pride.

I am aware.
How many days have been idly spent;
How like an arrow the good intent
Has fallen short or been turned aside.

But who shall dare
To measure loss and gain in this wise?
Defeat may be victory in disguise;
The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

Hosta © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Hosta © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Jul
14

New books and writing tips

Cholo-Tree-The-350x550Hey there. I have not been around because life got in the way. July got off to a rocky start. But here are some new books for you to investigate and some links to writing and reading.

Daniel Chacón‘s latest book is  The Cholo Tree, published by Arte Publcio.

Margarita Engle (the U.S. Young People’s Poet Laureate) has a new book called Forest World. It comes out this August from Atheneum Books for Young Readers. forest-world-9781481490573_lg

Jen Cullerton Johnson (who is also a Kiss Me Goodnight contributor ) along with Mary Cove has published Green Heroes K-5 Teaching Units: How do Young People Become Environmental Heroes? 419jmLB0lOL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_-1

51VetkHo-hL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Allison Joseph has a new book, Surviving Artistry; it’s published by No Chair Press, a press she has begun that will specialize in poetry by woman formalist poets. Allison Joseph hopes the sales of this first book will help fund the press. The plan is to have an open call for submissions in December.

Also, are you confused by poetry? Maybe you are over thinking it. Check out “Understanding Poetry is More Straightforward Than You Think” by Matthew Zapruder.

If you’d like some great information on writing, take a look at  the series of “Craft Capsules” written by Chicago writer Megan Stielstra for Poets & Writers online.

That’s all for now. Keep reading. Keep writing. Keep being kind to one another.

Peace, love, and solace

 

 

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