October 10th – Write 31 Days – Virgin’s Bower

virgins-bower

Where Ellen’s hand had taught to twine
The ivy and Idaean vine,
The clematis, the favored flower
Which boasts the name of virgin-bower,
And every hardy plant could bear
Loch Katrine’s keen and searching air.
~Sir Walter Scott – Lady of the Lake

This wild clematis grows just across the street, trailing over the fencing and sometimes climbing into the choke cherries and the locust tree. I have never seen the flowers; I’m not even sure what wild clematis flowers look like. However, every year I see the fluff of seeds; whorls of tails ready to fly off.  When they are green they are even more magical. Clematis or Virgin’s Bower, it’s a stunning autumn plant.

Kate

My Gal Poets – Day No. 5

Emily Dickinson Poems Book Cover

Emily Dickinson Poems Book Cover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Emily Dickinson is my girl. My poet. My inspiration. She says all those wonderful things I’m thinking of in only a few lines. She is probably the first poet I fell in love with. I’m not evne sure when she first came on the scene with me, but her words have stuck over the years. “Wild nights, wild nights…..”

Years ago, my then boyfriend gave me a selection of her poems, in this delicate white and rose colored book. Satin ribbon, and his writing inside of my name. To this day, it is one of my cherished possessions. While he and I parted ways, I loved the gift and when I’m in a romantic, sad, or poetic mood, her’s is the first book I pull out. I recently found a paperback of her entire collection of works. Whoa! I did not know she had written that much. I don’t have the time to read her often, but when I do, I want to start reading it to anyone who will listen. Sadly, very people do. ( I actually feel this way about a lot of poetry, and my family just doesn’t quite get my fascination.)

e-millay-end-of-summer

Edna St. Vincent Millay’s The End of Summer

I love male poets. Sir Walter Scott (dreamy), Billy Collins (stunning), Shelley (ethereal), John Keats (moving), Tennyson (powerful)…. I could go on as there are many others.  However, there is something about what women poets write that always gets to me. (excluding Billy Collins who’s poetry hits me like a cannon blast and I have yet to recover from some of his) Edna St. Vincent Millay is a new old poet who is rather amazing when you start reading her work. I’m seriously jealous of her sonnets partly because I cannot write a decent sonnet.   And her poem “The End of Summer” is so perfect for this time of year.

Emily Bronte is another beautiful poet. And she’s another Emily. I love my Emilys. (Emily Dickinson, Emilie Loring, Emily Bronte) Unlike the other Bronte sisters, Emily wrote a fair amount of poetry that is unique only to her. Elegant and classic, I pull out her little blue book of poetry I have when I want to feel intellectual. I rarely do, reading her. Half the time I’m not sure what exactly she is talking about, but she is lovely.

Christina Rossetti

Christina Rossetti (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christina Rossetti is another classic poet.  I have one of her little ditties on my wall from an old Country Living magazine where they were talking about blue and white. “White sheep, white sheep, On a blue hill, When the wind stops, You all stand still.”  So cute in it’s own way. It would be one I would teach a child to say.  Then she has her marvelous poem “In the Bleak Midwinter” which has been turned into an ethereal song by Sarah McLachlan. I absolutely adore that song. It’s message is so perfect for Christmas and about our Lord.  If you haven’t heard it, you must. Just click below.

And lastly, Susan Wooldridge. Someone whom I’ve written about, met, and read extensively. Being that she only has three books, it’s fairly easy to do. But she has a poetry that is unique; modern in feeling. I feel like a friend is telling me things.  Her chapbook “Bathing with Ants” is so lovely and reminds me of getting a call from a friend who wanted to let you know what they thought. I female version of Billy Collins.  I can’t explain it, but you should check out her poetry and books on writing poetry.

Ah yes, woman poets and their words. Magical, and personal. I feel like a part of me is escaping when I read something of theirs. Like they are telling me what I already know, but didn’t know how to say it. And as I read more poetry, I want to collect more women poets.  I feel like they are speaking my life.

So, dearies, do you have any women poets you love?  Tell me. I’m always collecting new poets.

Kate

Poetry Collections

Look at the pretty covers.

I just happened to be passing by my library the other day and out in front someone had left a couple boxes of books they donated to the Friends of the Library.  Well, I stopped to just peek and low and behold there were these six lovely poetry volumes.  I couldn’t resist and brought them home with me. (yes I will donate money to the Friends for them, but had I left them there, they wouldn’t have gotten to one of the book sales for at least a year).

I don’t have that many poetry books, and while I don’t make a habit of collecting them either, I just could not resist. Bronte, Whitman, Poe, Byron, are the four main single poets, then one on Erotic Poems, which are really just love poems (someone had fun with a tease by using ‘erotic’) and then lastly, Poems of Mourning.  There are more within the series, and I think I might just have to keep my eyes open for used copies of them because they are gorgeous.

You can see all the titles on these.

On the whole, I would probably prefer thicker volumes of some of these, but I can’t complain. The covers are lovely, and underneath the dust jackets the cloth binding in the rich hues of the dust jacket  make me want to clutch them tight and not let go. My copy of Persuasion is similar in fashion and I feel the same about it.

So far my favorite, after only flipping through them a bit and reading some, has been the poems by Bronte. Emily Bronte that is.  I never knew she wrote poetry.  Beautiful, rhyming poetry.  It’s gorgeous. Lovely, very Scott-esque.  (Sir Walter Scott)  I’m seriously looking forward to reading more. I carried it around with me as I did errands, not even opening the cover, but I just want to clutch it close. I can say that about very few poets.

So I am quite excited to have some poetry books added to my very full shelves.  My only other poetry books I have are Tennyson, Scott, Angelou, Dickinson, Frost, and some other more obscure authors. So this is exciting.

Signing off

~Kate

Where Are The Classics?

Cover of "Bright Star"

Cover of Bright Star

I started watching Bright Star the other day.  About the life and romance of John Keats and Fanny Brawne.  Well, any ways, the film starts off with Fanny wanting to read Endymion, by Mr. Keats.  Of course, because I love anything literary-ish, and British to boot, I decided I needed to take a look at Endymion.

My library system doesn’t have a copy of Endymion.  At all.  Nor does it have much on Keats.  Actually, my library system is lacking in quite a few of the classics.  It’s missing certain Shakespeare plays…. Like Romeo and Juliet.  Um, am I missing something here?  Shouldn’t the library be the place to get these kinds of works?

So, I’m relegated to having to read Endymion online.  I hate reading things like this online. I like flipping through a book and pulling out passages I like.  I started reading Sir Walter Scott’s Lady of the Lake, in a book from the library. I loved the edition, but have yet to find it myself, or at least the specific edition. I do have a selected works of Scott, and a paperback copy of the Lady of the Lake, which is old.  Any ways, I like reading the book format.  Not online.

The thing is, my library system isn’t small. I mean, the library is the whole county.  Not just my town.  And the county has 50K people.  So it’s not impossible.  No, the library has to put dumb worthless books in the library.  It has to ‘weed’ out books on classical painters and such because they don’t get checked out much.  But it can’t seem to have decent copies of the classics.  Especially in the poetry section. 

Now I get that poetry isn’t terribly popular.  Only unique people read it.  Yes, I’m unique, but still, CLASSICS!  Come on, isn’t that one of the reasons for going to the library?  Not everyone wants to own a classic, but at some point just about every one has read one.

Well, I’m ranting, but this is just my opinion.  I guess I’ll just have to suffer through the online version.  Same goes for wanting to read The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding.  I think there is a copy in the system, but it requires more work than I care to put into it, to read it.  So again, online.  Which probably means I’ll never read it.

Signing off

~Kate