e a m harris

Roaming the byways of literature

Archive for the category “Out and about”

Another new-to-me word – enisled

I was reading The Librarian by Salley Vickers when I came across the above word. New-to-me-words tend to jump off the page at me, waving their letters and demanding I look them up in dictionaries, thesauruses and/or websites.

Although I could guess the meaning, I followed the demand and found out, as expected, that the literal meaning is ‘to put on an island’ and the metaphorical is ‘to isolate’. I think it’s definitely more attractive than common or garden ‘isolated’.

Pronunciation was much more interesting; all possibles could be found somewhere on the web. I guess that either:

there are really many ways of saying the word

different dialects pronounce it differently (very differently)

the word occurs in other languages

a lot of people pronounce it wrong.

The one I prefer is to say ‘isle’ in the usual way and add the ‘en’ to it, keeping the stress on the long i.

You’ll have to read the book to see the context the author uses it. I can recommend it as an easy, pleasant read with an unusual ending.

Favourite weeds

The good weather we’ve had lately means my garden is still rich with flowers and foliage, most of them self-seeded – many are pretty even if they are weeds.

Last year’s favourite weeds were sunflowers; we had several of them of different sizes and styles.

sunflower

This year they went somewhere else and I now have different favourites. One is a giant clover with a pale mauve  flower and decorative leaves.

Another is a lush green thingy growing like the clappers. I’m hoping it’ll flower so I can see what it is.

very green

I had a browse on the web to see if there are any poems about weeds.

There are a lot, many of them drawing rather obvious lessons and few extolling the beauty of these adventurous plants.

However, I really like this simple little one by a poet called Boruch.

The poetry of heatwaves

Cooling down in the heatwaveAs our over-hot weather goes on I had a look on the web for poems about heatwaves. There seem to be an amazing number of them, although google often produces the same thing in different contexts.

One of the first I came across was John Stammers’ Like a Heatwave Burning:

It was the hottest summer on record;
we flew into rages at the drop of a pin.
The heat made cacti of us all.

I love that line about cacti. There are plenty of things that make me feel cactus-like, not only in the heat. There are several more verses all as entertaining (link above).

Ted Hughes also had something to say in Heatwave which starts:

Between Westminster and sunstruck St Paul’s
The desert has entered the flea’s belly.

So far I’ve not come across any subject that doesn’t have at least one poem of its own.

May Day and its poetry

Today is 1st May and it has been celebrated for centuries as a special day. As May Day it started as a pagan festival and still includes maypoles and festivities. As Labour Day it celebrates the world’s workers (and in many places gives them a day off).

There is no shortage of May Day poems. One that I remember being introduced to in my teens is Robert Herrick’s Corinna’s Going A-Maying, which starts with encouragement to get up and get going.

It has several verses so I quote the first one only. The whole poem can be found on The Poetry Foundation.

Get up, get up for shame, the Blooming Morne
Upon her wings presents the god unshorne.
  See how Aurora throwes her faire
  Fresh-quilted colours through the aire:
  Get up, sweet-Slug-a-bed, and see
  The Dew-bespangling Herbe and Tree.
Each Flower has wept, and bow’d toward the East,
Above an houre since; yet you not drest,
   Nay! not so much as out of bed?
   When all the Birds have Mattens seyd,
    And sung their thankful Hymnes: ’tis sin,
    Nay, profanation to keep in,
When as a thousand Virgins on this day,
Spring, sooner than the Lark, to fetch in May.
Poetry about Labour Day is harder to find. In the US the day is celebrated in September so has come to be associated with the end of Summer. An example of a poem about both Labour Day and Summer’s end is on Poems for Free. But we are at the beginning of Summer and, although I found plenty of poems about labouring I couldn’t find any specific to the day. Probably there are some in other languages as Labour Day is an international celebration.
The picture is a traditional maypole, probably somewhere in England.
photo credit: Viktor_K79 <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/72664727@N05/40306484183″>Midsommar_2018_052_ARGB</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Nine Muses Poetry

upland scenery

One of my poems is published today by Nine Muses Poetry. I rarely write poems about the countryside, but a few months ago I felt the urge to put down my feelings after a day’s walk.

Of course I’m thrilled to see my work there, but I’m particularly captivated by the pictures on this site. Even if you’re not into poetry, it’s worth a visit.

Submission opportunities at Fictive Dream

An opportunity for writers of short and short, short fiction.

ShortStops

Right now Fictive Dream has two submission opportunities. We’re open for submission of stories of between 500 – 2,500 words. As always, we’re interested in material with a contemporary feel on any subject. Your stories may be challenging, dramatic, playful, exhilarating or cryptic. Above all, they must be well-crafted and compelling.

Check out our standard submission guidelines here.

In addition, our submissions window for Flash Fiction February 2019 is open until December 31st. For this though we’ve put a squeeze on word count so, for this category, only stories of between 200 -750 please.

All the information you need for Flash Fiction February 2019 is here.

Check out the Fictive Dream website here.

We’re looking forward to receiving your best work!

Laura Black
Editor

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Tea ceremony for everyone! Workshops with English interpretation, Sat. Nov. 17

For anyone able to get there, this sounds like a wonderful opportunity.

Alice Gordenker    アリス・ゴーデンカー

interior The “Kōka” teahouse, an Important Cultural Property, is beautifully situated within the garden of the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum.

Tea ceremony made approachable! Learn about the history and aesthetics of the Japanese tea ceremony, and how you can bring the tea ceremony into your own life. right now, without lessons or a teahouse or all the special utensils.  At the same time you can experience an authentic tea ceremony in a historic teahouse within a beautiful Japanese garden, just as the fall colors are beginning to turn.  Details and sign ups here on the museum website.

Location: “Kōka” Teahouse, in the garden of the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum

Hosts: tea masters from the Urasenke School of Tea, one of the three historical households directly descended from the 16th century tea master Sen no Rikyū. They are “the real deal” but their focus is on making tea ceremony something…

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The uses of poetry

These days poetry can be found anywhere and is given many uses.  Today the BBC reports a passenger complaining in verse to Norwegian Airlines and getting a verse response.

I can’t reblog BBC reports but here is the link.

Norwegian plane

 

Wandering about

When I opened my blog this morning I realised that it is well over a month since I posted anything. So I have made a new New Year resolution – to post more frequently. The exercise routine resolution is already not happening, so I hope this new one will be more successful.

goodreads

On the other hand, I have done a lot of reading, most of which is recorded in Goodreads.
Listing my reading in Goodreads is very useful; browsing back through my previous entries I find that I often forget what I’ve read and need a reminder.

Pulsar webzine

On the submissions front I’ve had a few successes so far this year. Pulsar, a longstanding online magazine, has published one of my poems and you can find it among a group of great poems, ostensibly for March but on line now.

Paragraph Planet

Paragraph Planet, an online flash magazine, has taken one of my very short tales (to read it you have to scroll through the archive to Jan 31). In case you aren’t familiar with this site, it publishes a 75 word story every day and some of them are really amazing – so much said in such a little space.

I’ve also had a couple of acceptances and am waiting for actual publication.

Good luck to anyone else on the submissions circuit and to anyone thinking of starting it – it can be fun.

New Year: New Reading

A belated Happy New Year to all my readers. I hope you have had a good festive season and are enjoying the feeling of newness that a new year can bring.

PBS Bulletin

After a lot of hectic: travel, parties, shopping, eating etc, etc, I have finally got around to seriously reading the winter offering from the Poetry Book SocietyJoy by Sasha Dugdale.

Along with the selected book comes the quarterly PBS Bulletin. Now the Society has updated it and it looks completely different. After years of receiving the old one I’m a bit nostalgic for its look and feel, but the new version is very nice and no doubt I’ll get used to it.

So I start 2018 with some newness spilling over from last year.

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