Thursday, May 31, 2012

An Ode to Orange

A man ought to carry himself in the world as an orange tree would if it could walk up and down in the garden, swinging perfume from every little censer it holds up to the air.
~Henry Ward Beecher

Cotton At Sunset
by Kristi Jones

by Katsushika Hokusai

Autumn Leaves
by John Buxton Knight

Orange House
by Pietro Zanarini

Pelt Merchant of Cairo
by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824–1904)

Auf Felsplateau liegender Tiger
by Friedrich Wilhelm Kuhnert

Fish Costume
by I. Nivinsky

Apocalypse par le Feu
by Jules Henri Lengrand

Melodia de mariposas
by Jose De la Barra

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Thought for the Day

From City Of Words, DC:

Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair.
~George Washington

1401 Constitution Ave, NW

Monday, May 28, 2012

Sorrows and Delights

I have my own particular sorrows, loves, delights; and you have yours. But sorrow, gladness, yearning, hope, love, belong to all of us, in all times and in all places. Music is the only means whereby we feel these emotions in their universality.
~H.A. Overstreet

One video for quiet peace, and one for silliness:

This song is actually only 6 minutes long, not 8. (Note: It has a couple of PG-13 complaints in it.)

And a bonus, with some good advice:

Friday, May 25, 2012

Weaving the Morning

Weaving the Morning
by João Cabral de Melo Neto


One rooster does not weave a morning,
he will always need the other roosters,
one to pick up his shout
and toss it to another, another rooster
to pick up the shout of the rooster before him
and toss it to another, and other roosters
with many other roosters to criss-cross
the sun-threads of their rooster-shouts
so that the morning, starting from a frail cobweb,
may go on being woven, among all the roosters.


And growing larger, becoming a cloth,
pitching itself a tent where they all may enter,
inter-unfurling itself for them all, in the tent
(the morning) which soars free of ties and ropes –
the morning, tent of a weave so light
that, woven, it lifts itself through itself: balloon light.


Twentieth-Century Latin American Poetry, edited by Stephen Tapscott

Education by Stone: Selected Poems by João Cabral de Melo Neto

Last chance to join the Summer Poem Swap!

Linda at TeacherDance is our Poetry Friday host this week.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

In the Woods

Of all the wonders of nature, a tree in summer is perhaps the most remarkable; with the possible exception of a moose singing "Embraceable You" in spats.
~Woody Allen

River Exe in the mist
photo by Derek Harper

In the Forest of Fontainebleau
by László Paál (1846–1879)

by Arran Edmonstone

Beech Trees in Frederiksdal near Copenhagen
by Christian Ernst Bernhard Morgenstern

Wood Detail
by Wollander Imagery

Pool of water in First Creek Canyon, Nevada
photo by Stan Shebs

by Chris Barry

The Ultimate Tree-Ring Web Pages
Tony Hong's tree rings
Lots of logs, an art project for kids
Build a Tree, dendrochronology activity

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Poetry Out Loud 2012

2012 Third Place Winner MarKaye Hassan (of Utah), National Champion Kristen Dupard (of Mississippi), and Second Place Winner Claude Mumbere (of Vermont)

About 365,000 students across the country participated in the national high school poetry recitation competition Poetry Out Loud this year. The 2012 finals were May 15th. I don't have a video of the national winner Kristen Dupard, unfortunately, but I won't leave you without a poem. Ms. Dupard recited Invitation to Love as her final poem of the evening. And here's an interview with her:

Monday, May 21, 2012


My guitar is not a thing. It is an extension of myself. It is who I am.
~Joan Jett

Steampunk Guitar
by Jim Osment Aus

Robert Plant
photo by Michael Pickard

Art Guitar
Photo by Eugene Kim

photo by John Rogers

Guitar Truck
photo by Chris

Guitar, Paris, 1697
Made by Jean-Baptiste Voboam

Guitar Store

I've enjoyed Sharon Isbin's artistry for years, so I'll end with Ms. Isbin playing with the Salomé Chamber Orchestra:

Friday, May 18, 2012

O.O.U. and a Summer Poem Swap

A while back, I told you about a book called The Dictionary of Imaginary Places by Alberto Manguel and Gianni Guadalupi, whose entries had inspired me to write a Directory of Imaginary Poems. Sometimes just a single line in a description of a place makes me go "What?" and a poem develops from there.

O.O.U. was sparked by a line in the description of Albur from Voyage au centre de la terre, 1821, author unknown.

by Tabatha Yeatts

The press secretary had called the new law
O.O.U. for short
(Only the Old and Ugly)
to make it easy to remember.

He had been surprised to find that the O.O.U. announcement --
Makeup and other such decorations
will be solely for use
by the elderly and the unattractive --

was greeted with a
thoughtful silence.

The next day, garbage collectors hefted
trash bins full of powders and creams,
strained their backs
on a rainbow of rejected canisters, bottles, and tubes,

daring photographers focused on landfills
and their lustrous pools of melted rouge
with mountains of mascara brushes
dangling drizzles from dark swirls,

graffiti artists devoted themselves
to an emerging new style-- shiny and slick--
drawing on a wide array
of salvaged lipsticks,

and quick-thinking birds
sang about the sweet dreams
that came from sleeping in cozy nests
built of scavenged powder puffs.


Interested in joining a Summer Poem Swap? The idea is that every two weeks beginning June 22 through August 17, you will mail someone a freshly-written poem and you will receive one.

Your assignment, should you decide to accept it, is to write five poems during that time period and share each poem with one person in a tangible format. I will be randomly matching poem swappers up. (You won't be sending all your poems to the same person.) Interested? Email me! tabatha(at)tabathayeatts(dot)com. The deadline for joining will be June 1st since people will be mailing out the first round of poems by June 22nd.

Disclaimer: I thought maybe I shouldn't make a logo because this is very casual swap, but I like logos.

Katya at Write. Sketch. Repeat. is our Poetry Friday host today.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

West Side Story

Tony: Somewhere, we'll find a new way of living.
Maria: We'll find a way of forgiving, somewhere.
~ West Side Story

This week, we've got visuals from a classic:

Have to include a song!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Silent Night

I suppose what made it possible
Was that no one expected more
Than a day of unhurried hours, better
Food, some free time to reread old letters,
Write new ones. Small Christmas trees
With candles lined both sides of the trenches
And marked the two days’ truce.

Who can explain it? – one minute troops
Are sitting in mud, the next raising themselves
Out of the trenches, as if all they needed
Was a soccer ball to remind them
Of who they were.
~ from Robert Cording's Christmas Soccer Game, 1914

For Music Monday, we're looking at the opera that won a Pulitzer last month: Silent Night by composer Kevin Puts and librettist Mark Campbell. The title Silent Night refers to spontaneous, temporary truces that took place during World War I on Christmas Eve, 1914.

I like that the opera is sung in many languages -- English, German, French, Italian, and Latin. Silent Night was commissioned by the Minnesota Opera, who deserve a round of applause for their patronage. You can listen to the whole opera on Minnesota Public Radio.


The movie that inspired the opera
An NPR piece about Silent Night

Friday, May 11, 2012

This Hard-Earned Crust

photo by Greg Timm

Now That We Have Tasted Hope
by Khaled Mattawa

Now that we have come out of hiding,
Why would we live again in the tombs we'd made of our souls?

And the sundered bodies that we've reassembled
With prayers and consolations,
What would their torn parts be, other than flesh?

Now that we have tasted hope
And dressed each other's wounds with the legends of our oneness,
Would we not prefer to close our mouths forever
On the wine that swilled inside them?

Having dreamed the same dream,
Having found the water behind a thousand mirages,
Why would we hide from the sun again
Or fear the night sky after we've reached the ends of darkness,
Live in death again after all the life our dead have given us?

Listen to me Zow'ya, Beida, Ajdabya, Tobruk, Nalut,
Listen to me Derna, Musrata, Trables, Benghazi, Zintan,
Listen to me houses, alleys, courtyards, and streets that throng my veins,
Some day soon, in your freed light, in the shade of your proud trees,
Your excavated heroes will retum to their thrones in your martyrs' squares,
Lovers will hold each other's hands.

I need not look far to imagine the nerves dying,
Rejecting the life that blood sends them.
I need not look deep into my past to seek a thousand hopeless vistas,
But now that I have tasted hope
I have fallen into the embrace of my own rugged innocence.

How long were my ancient days?
I no longer care to count.
I no longer care to measure.
How bitter was the bread of bitterness?
I no longer care to recall.

Now that we have tasted the hope, this hard-earned crust,
We would sooner die than seek any other taste to life,
Any other way of being human.


Posted with permission of the poet.

Now That We Have Tasted Hope is featured in the Spring 2012 issue of the Beloit Poetry Journal

Irene Latham is our Poetry Friday host today.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.
~ Albert Einstein

Even though the scientists who are honored in these works are from different fields, they have commonalities: a thirst for knowledge, persistence, vision, determination. Science isn't for the faint of heart...

Marie Curie
by Megan Lee

The mathematician and astronomer Al-Khorezmi (Khwarizmi)
near Ata-Darwaza, Khiva (Uzbekistan)

Der Naturforscher
by Carl Spitzweg (1808–1885)

The Astronomer
by Tim Wetherell, at Questacon (National Science and Technology Centre), Australia

Lise Meitner stamp

by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, British Library plaza

All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child.
~ Marie Curie

A dusty Einstein
More Science posts from The Opposite of Indifference

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Bonsai by Aiba

The best bonsai are magicians' tricks that have fooled the eye into seeing a far off place in the distant past, or the side of a craggy cliff. We all have to strive to be the magician.
~ Al Keppler

Bonsai B
by Takanori Aiba

The Lighthouse B
by Takanori Aiba

The Rock Island
by Takanori Aiba

Takanori Aiba's art is shown courtesy of Tokyo Good Idea Developing Institute Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Ring

Das Rheingold

One thing I like about opera is its "larger than life" qualities, and there's not much that's larger than composer Richard Wagner's Ring, which was inspired by Norse mythology and took decades to write, has four parts, and lasts about fifteen hours!

You don't have to go to the opera house to see The Ring Cycle because it's being shown at the movies! In the U.S., you can see the Metropolitan Opera's version on the big screen on May 9 (“Das Rheingold”), May 14 (“Die Walküre”), May 16 (“Siegfried”) and May 19 (“Götterdämmerung”). Tickets are available at FathomEvents and some independent venues. Here's a link to information about movie showtimes in other countries.

* Info about the Ring Cycle and its history
* Info about the Metropolitan Opera's version of the Ring Cycle
* Met Videos
* The Wagnerian, a site devoted to all things Wagner
* A radio program that answers "What's the big deal with the Ring?"

Friday, May 4, 2012

Pity the Beautiful

Dana Gioia's new book Pity the Beautiful comes out May 8th. Here's the title poem:

by Dana Gioia

Pity the beautiful,
the dolls, and the dishes,
the babes with big daddies
granting their wishes.

Pity the pretty boys,
the hunks, and Apollos,
the golden lads whom
success always follows.

The hotties, the knock-outs,
the tens out of ten,
the drop-dead gorgeous,
the great leading men.

Pity the faded,
the bloated, the blowsy,
the paunchy Adonis
whose luck’s gone lousy.

Pity the gods,
no longer divine.
Pity the night
the stars lose their shine.

Posted with permission of the poet

* Dana Gioia's commencement speech at Stanford -- one that I think Poetry Fridayers will appreciate.

* Dana's poem Pity the Beautiful was paired with an article about Amy Winehouse's death (NY Times).

* I've talked about Dana's work before. (I first came in contact with Dana when I interviewed him for an article about Poetry Out Loud when he was the head of the NEA. He is a very charming man, imo.)

Elaine has the Poetry Friday round-up today at Wild Rose Reader.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Lit Up

Hope is patience with the lamp lit.
~ Tertullian

Hope in a Prison of Despair
by Evelyn de Morgan

You Need Light In The Forest
by Mish Sukharev

Parisian Opera at night
by Ludwik de Laveaux (1868–1894)

The Proposition
by Judith Leyster (1609–1660)

Ship in Fog
by Dave Bezaire & Susi Havens-Bezaire

Market Square of Warsaw by Night
by Józef Pankiewicz (1866–1940)

Kunstbetrachtung bei Kerzenlicht
by Godfried Schalcken (1643–1706)


* The making of a Tiffany lamp
* A chandelier made of bones and skulls
* Ancient lamps