I’m working hard to keep my blog a place where you can find happiness and maybe some distraction from your hectic everyday life by sharing my art which is mostly inspired by my love for nature and animals. I don’t often talk politics or religion – both of which can present a lot […]
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Maxine Kumin 1925 – 2014, Poet, Author, Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress (now known as U.S. Poet Laureate). Pulitzer Prize winner who left us with a large and varied legacy of her works ranging from Poetry, Essays, Novels, Memoirs and Children’s Books.
How It Is
Shall I say how it is in your clothes?
A month after your death I wear your blue jacket.
The dog at the center of my life recognizes
You’ve come to visit, he’s ecstatic.
In the left pocket, a hole.
In the right, a parking ticket
Delivered up last August on the Bay State Road.
In my heart, a scatter like milkweed,
A flinging from the pods of the soul.
My skin presses your old outline.
It is hot and dry inside.
I think of the last day of your life,
Old friend, how I would unwind it, paste
It together in a different collage,
Back from the death car idling in the garage,
Back up the stairs, your praying hands unlaced,
Reassembling the bits of bread and tuna fish
Into a ceremony of sandwich,
Running the home movie backward to a space
We could be easy in, a kitchen place
With vodka and ice, our words like living meat.
Dear friend, you have excited crowds,
With your example. They swell
Like wine bags, straining at your seams.
I will be years gathering up our words,
Fishing out letters, snapshots, stains,
Leaning my ribs against this durable cloth
To put on the dumb blue blazer of your death.
– Maxine Kumin
While there is a wealth of current poets and authors, there is much to be gained by reading the works of those who have gone before us. While reading a book by the late Carolyn G. Heilbrun, I was introduced to the work of Kumin. There is a special joy in discovering another trove of treasures and perhaps some of you will stop by and mention a few that you have discovered recently.
Thank you again Tony. Your work never fails to inspire me.
Originally written in 1999.
In the year I turned thirty nine
the peonies did not die
quite the same way
as the peonies always had before
In the year I was thirty-eight
the fragile man I was then
looked at the peonies
in the backyard
The progress of the year
seemed so fast
I thought about how quickly
those pink and white heads
would droop and drop their petals
fade and decay
I feared that if the year of thirty-eight
continued this pace into
my years of forty forty-one forty-two and beyond
every thing I had learned
by putting myself together
would come undone
But then in the year
I was thirty nine
I learned that in remembering
the scent of peony
the heat of their pink
the regal ice of their white
in all these memories
there was enough of youth to make
my mortality irrelevant
I learned that thirty nine was an opening and not
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“Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people”. – Eleanor Roosevelt
“Justice cannot be for one side, but for both”. – Eleanor Roosevelt
“You must do things that you think you cannot do”. – Eleanor Roosevelt
“Never allow someone who is not allowed to say yes, to say no to you”. – Eleanor Roosevelt
“When will our conscience become so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it”. – Eleanor Roosevelt
“I once had a rose named after me and I was flattered. But I was not happy to read the description in the catalog: not good in a bed, but up against the wall”. – Eleanor Roosevelt
“A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water”. – Eleanor Roosevelt
Eleanor Roosevelt was born on October 11, 1884, in New York City. The niece of Theodore. Roosevelt, who would become president and who married a man who also became president, Franklin D. Roosevelt. Eleanor took on the role of the first lady and made it her own. She wrote her own newspaper column, My Day, advocated for human rights and women’s rights. She held press conferences and after the death of her husband went on to chair the United Nation’s Human Rights Commission.
Despite being married to the president, she was not content to sit back idly and smile for the camera. She developed her own public voice while working with the American Red Cross. Eleanor accepted increasing challenges following her husband’s polio attack that would render him dependant on physical assistance for the remainder of his days.
As her husband took on the mantle of command of a nation, she forever changed the role of a first lady. refusing to be relegated to a life of domesticity, she gave press conferences and rallied people for causes that she held worthwhile. Among the causes she campaigned for were human rights, children’s causes and issues relating to women. She worked tirelessly with the League of Women Voters. She focused on ways to alleviate the suffering of the poor and against racial discrimination. During WWII she traveled abroad in support of American troops. She continued this role until her husband’s death on April 12, 1945.
Despite her plans to fade away from public life, that was not to be. In 1945, then President Harry Truman appointed her delegate to the United Nations General Assembly which she served until 1953 when she became chairperson for the U.N.’s Human Rights Commission helping to create the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, an endeavor she considered to be her highest achievement in a remarkable life.
In 1961, President John F. Kennedy reappointed her to the United States delegation to the U.N. and to the National Advisory Committee of the Peace Corps and chair on the President’s Commission on the Status of Women.
On November 7, 1962, Eleanor Roosevelt died in NYC of aplastic anemia, tuberculosis and heart failure. She was 78 years old and was laid to rest on the family estate in Hyde Park, NY.
Eleanor Roosevelt set a standard for First Lady that has not been equaled. She was a humanitarian of the first order and dedicated her life to fighting for social and political change and committed to bringing the issues that would affect them, to the people.
Feckless Sometimes it makes him angry, this dying, and I keep doing things wrong, forget to soften the stars with almond milk before I bring them to his bedside on a saucer, buy the wrong kind of green tea, the wrong kind of holy water from the village shop. He says there are […]
Incorrectly reblogged from another source, I stand corrected and bring you to Anna’s own blog. If you haven’t been here before, it is time! It is truly a favorite.
If you wanna spread this letter, you are welcome to share it worldwide. Tag it with #timesup if you want. If you want to make a translation of the text to other languages and share it, do it. We all have to help out saving our planet. This is one way among millions to help.
The image is free to share.
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
I am so sorry you have to experience anthropocene. Since I wrote to you in 2016 it feels like we humans haven’t done a single thing to make the anthropocene an anastrophe (opposite of catastrophe). I’m sorry for your melting glaciers, your burning forests, the tsunamis and all asphalt and concrete we humans smothering your […]