Sunday, May 20, 2018

Poetry Pantry #404

Door County, Wisconsin, Fish Boil

One of the traditions of Door County is a fish boil.  Many
restaurants have them in the summer.  Here
one of the chefs is getting the fire started.

The tradition started in the old days when  they wanted
to find a way to feed workers, such as lumbermen,
in a hurry.  It is said to have Scandinavian roots.

Whitefish and potatoes are cooked in a pot over the fire.
Toward the end of the process the cook adds a bit
of kerosene to really flame the pot!

It really is an impressive sight to see!

Eventually after the flaming stops, the fish
and potatoes are really cooked.

They carry the pot of fish and potatoes
inside of the restaurant.....

.......where people line up to get a plateful of food. Here
you can see the cooked whitefish and potatoes.  At
the table there is also coleslaw & bread. For
dessert there is cherry pie & ice cream.

Greetings, Poets!  Another week has passed.  Where does time go?  Time again for Poetry Pantry.  I took the above photos last week when I was away for a "mini vacation."   I have known about these fish boils since childhood but never went to one until this past week.  If you ask me if I enjoyed it, I would say I enjoyed watching the fish being cooked.  But I did not enjoy the fish.  I do like fish, but this was a bit too 'rustic' for me.

Anyway, thanks to those of you who participate in the different features offered by Poets United.  Rosemary shared a poem by A.E. Houseman for her The Living Dead series this week.

Monday Sherry is featuring one of our newest poets.  It is always wonderful to learn about the poets who post among us, isn't it?

On Wednesday Sumana is prompting us to write a tribute poem to someone or something we wish to honor.  What a fascinating subject for Midweek Motif!!

And now with no further delay, let's share poetry.  Link your one poem below.  Say hello in comments.  And visit the poems of others who link.  Come back a few times to see who is new!  Smiles.

See you on the trail.  And than you again for all of you who participate here!

Friday, May 18, 2018

The Living Dead

~ Honouring our poetic ancestors ~

A Shropshire Lad 

From far, from eve and morning 

And yon twelve-winded sky, 
The stuff of life to knit me 
Blew hither: here am I. 

Now — for a breath I tarry 
Nor yet disperse apart — 
Take my hand quick and tell me, 
What have you in your heart. 

Speak now, and I will answer; 
How shall I help you, say; 
Ere to the wind's twelve quarters 
I take my endless way.

– A. E. Housman (1859-1936)

I featured Housman here a couple of years ago, and earlier here. He's one of my favourite poets, one of the few whose poems I sometimes get "on the brain" – an expression more usually applied to songs (before someone invented "earworm", that is). This poem is one that arrives in my mind now and then, during the many years since I first read it.

Some of the language, like "yon" and "hither", is old-fashioned now, but essentially it is simple, straightforward language, not a wasted word. The ballad form is also simple – with, in this case, perfect rhyme scheme, rhythmic pattern (rather than metre) and syllable count. The music is lovely; and the concepts are profound.  I think he's a great master.

He was at one time very well-known. Some of you may be familiar with his work; to others it might well be new.

In his life he was a noted classical scholar, and apparently rated his own poetry as secondary to that. Or perhaps he just regarded them as too different to compare: he is on record as declaring that poetry should appeal to the emotions, not the intellect. And the academic work was his bread-and-butter, after all. He was a Professor of Latin, first at University College London, and thereafter at Trinity College, Cambridge. 

Only two books of his poems were published in his lifetime, A Shropshire Lad and Last Poems. The first in particular, though a slow starter, became much loved, and has never entirely lost its popularity. A number of those poems have been set to music. Last Poems was an immediate success. After his death, his brother posthumously published More Poems, and later the Complete Poems. His works are still in print. I've just bought this illustrated Kindle edition from Amazon Australia (at a price I couldn't resist) after spotting it in my searches:

Material shared in 'The Living Dead' is presented for study and review. Poems, photos, and other writings and images remain the property of the copyright owners where applicable (older poems may be out of copyright).

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Happiness

Image by Emergency Brake via Flickr/Creative Commons.


(Image by Emergency Brake via Flickr/Creative Commons.)

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, "This is what it is to be happy.” 
― Sylvia PlathThe Bell Jar

“Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.” 

― Robert Frost

“What can I do with my happiness? How can I keep it, conceal it, bury it where I may never lose it? I want to kneel as it falls over me like rain, gather it up with lace and silk, and press it over myself again.” 
― Anaïs NinHenry & June

“The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That's the deal.” 
― C.S. Lewis

Midweek Motif ~ Happiness

Happiness is a balm. Some say that kindness amplifies it for giver and receiver. I've been surprised to learn this year that happiness helps when caring for friends and family in crisis. 


Your Challenge:  In a new poem, describe an instant and/or duration of happiness.

(Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

A Birthday by Christina Rossetti

My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a water’d shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these
Because my love is come to me.
Raise me a dais of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.

by e.e. cummings
i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)


Happiness by Louise Gluck
A man and a woman lie on a white bed.
It is morning. I think
Soon they will waken.
On the bedside table is a vase
of lilies; sunlight
pools in their throats.
I watch him turn to her
as though to speak her name
but silently, deep in her mouth--
At the window ledge,
once, twice,
a bird calls.
And then she stirs; her body
fills with his breath.

I open my eyes; you are watching me.

Almost over this room
the sun is gliding.
Look at your face, you say,
holding your own close to me
to make a mirror.
How calm you are. And the burning wheel
passes gently over us.

Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others in the spirit of the community—

(Next week Sumana’s Midweek Motif will be ~  A Tribute Poem.)