A Poem a Day Series 2019 – Day 18

Picnic

Déjeuner Sur L’Herbe

Edith Sitwell1887 – 1964

Green apples dancing in a wash of sun—
Ripples of sense and fun—
A net of light that wavers as it weaves
The sunlight on the chattering leaves;
The half-dazed sound of feet,
And carriages that ripple in the heat.
The parasols like shadows of the sun
Cast wavering shades that run
Across the laughing faces and across
Hair with a bird-bright gloss.
The swinging greenery casts shadows dark,
Hides me that I may mark
How, buzzing in this dazzling mesh, my soul
Seems hardening it to flesh, and one bright whole.
O sudden feathers have a flashing sheen!
The sun’s swift javelin
The bird-songs seem, that through the dark leaves pass;
And life itself is but a flashing glass.

 

This poem is in the public domain. 

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A Poem a Day Series – Day 17

Haunted Forest

Halloween

It was down in the woodland on last Hallowe’en,
   Where silence and darkness had built them a lair,
That I felt the dim presence of her, the unseen,
   And heard her still step on the hush-haunted air.
It was last Hallowe’en in the glimmer and swoon
   Of mist and of moonlight, where once we had sinned,
That I saw the gray gleam of her eyes in the moon,
   And hair, like a raven, blown wild on the wind.
It was last Hallowe’en where starlight and dew
   Made mystical marriage on flower and leaf,
That she led me with looks of a love, that I knew
   Was dead, and the voice of a passion too brief.
It was last Hallowe’en in the forest of dreams,
   Where trees are eidolons and flowers have eyes,
That I saw her pale face like the foam of far streams,
   And heard, like the night-wind, her tears and her sighs.
It was last Hallowe’en, the haunted, the dread,
   In the wind-tattered wood, by the storm-twisted pine,
That I, who am living, kept tryst with the dead,
   And clasped her a moment who once had been mine.

“Hallowe’en” was published in The Poems of Madison Cawein: Volume V: Poems of Meditation and of Forest and Field (Small, Maynard & Company, 1907). It is in the public domain. This poem is in the public domain.

A Poem a Day Series – Day 16

Emancipation Day

Emancipation Day is a holiday in Washington DC to mark the anniversary of the signing of the Compensated Emancipation Act, which president Abraham Lincoln signed on April 16, 1862. It is annually held on April 16.

On Liberty and Slavery

Alas! and am I born for this,
   To wear this slavish chain?
Deprived of all created bliss,
   Through hardship, toil, and pain!
   
How long have I in bondage lain,
   And languished to be free!
Alas! and must I still complain--
   Deprived of liberty.

Oh, Heaven! and is there no relief
   This side the silent grave--
To soothe the pain--to quell the grief
   And anguish of a slave?
   
Come, Liberty, thou cheerful sound,
   Roll through my ravished ears!
Come, let my grief in joys be drowned,
   And drive away my fears.
   
Say unto foul oppression, Cease:
   Ye tyrants rage no more,
And let the joyful trump of peace,
   Now bid the vassal soar.
   
Soar on the pinions of that dove
   Which long has cooed for thee,
And breathed her notes from Afric’s grove,
   The sound of Liberty.
   
Oh, Liberty! thou golden prize,
   So often sought by blood--
We crave thy sacred sun to rise,
   The gift of nature’s God!
   
Bid Slavery hide her haggard face,
   And barbarism fly:
I scorn to see the sad disgrace
   In which enslaved I lie.
   
Dear Liberty! upon thy breast,
   I languish to respire;
And like the Swan upon her nest,
   I’d to thy smiles retire.
   
Oh, blest asylum--heavenly balm!
   Unto thy boughs I flee--
And in thy shades the storm shall calm,
   With songs of Liberty!

This poem is in the public domain.

Public School Students are Being Erased From TV, Movies and Other Media

gadflyonthewallblog

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Ninety percent of America’s students go to public schools.

But you wouldn’t know that if you opened a book, turned on the TV or went to a movie.

The media is engaged in a disinformation campaign erasing public schools and public school students from our entertainments.

It’s another way marketing and advertising is forced down our throats and into our leisure hours.

Not only do the multi-billion dollar corporations who fund these entertainments want to convince us we need this pill, that appliance, those technological doo-hickeys — they need to cajole and inveigle us that we need school privatization, too.

And what better way to do that than to give us heroes that  – what-do-you-know – just happen to go to charter, voucher and private schools?

No one takes Betsy DeVos, the billionaire heiress who bought her position as education secretary to tear down public schools, seriously. But…

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Plagiarism, Citations and Footnotes #amwriting

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

I write posts for several other blogs besides Life in the Realm of Fantasy. During the week, I make a note of any interesting topic that might make a good blogpost. Today, the subject of citing sources came up again in conversation, so I am going back to an article I first published here on September 4, 2017.

This post pertains only to blogging. To use copyrighted material in your book, you need to contact the publisher. Follow their guidelines to obtain the right to quote from a published book. This is NOT a simple process, but you must do it if you plan to quote anyone whose work is NOT in the Public Domain.

Plagiarism and quoting are two different things. Plagiarism is lifting entire sections and publishing it as yours. For more on the current scandal emerging in the world of “fast-track” publishing, read this article at the…

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How To Lure Your Muse

K.M. Allan

One thing I love about writing is the days when the words just flow.

Every sentence you pen down comes out near perfect, first time. Every transition to the next paragraph is effortless, and the ideas and inspiration seem limitless. What started as a blank page is now pages upon pages of pure writing gold!

Then there are the days when you get two words into a new scene and can’t for the life of you think of a third word. It’s like you’ve forgotten what words are. That’s any word. At all.

Your sentences have no flow and your paragraph transitions are clunky. You wonder what could have happened. The Muse has left. Is she on vacation? Did you drive her away with months of endless edits? Did she get bored going over chapter twelve yet again, even though you swore it was finished? Whatever her reasons…

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