Friday, September 30, 2011

She Loves You

Credit: NASA and the Hubble Heritage Team

How To Tell If A Korean Woman Loves You
by Christy NaMee Eriksen

If a Korean woman cleans her mind out in the spring
and you are still in it,

she loves you.

If you buy a korean woman some flowers
and she lets them die slow painful deaths in a vase on her table,
stems limp, crispy petals weak to the most passive of breaths
and she has yet to see them lose their luster,
she smells them in her sleep,
she loves you.

If you walk out of a korean woman’s kitchen
and there is rice on your sock
she loves you.

If you’ve never seen a korean woman sing in the rain,
only recite poems from the
purple cursive of her veins,
translated verbatim
nerve after crooked nerve,

If you are a bomb
with a kindled tick
and she has not walked away,

If you find a boat in your bedroom
that she carried home from a rummaged shore
and refuses to call broken,

If her heart is the shape of the border
and some days she can’t step across it,

If there is only one comet
and only one telescope
and only one her
and only one you
and she passes the view,

she loves you,

and she can see the stars from here.


Posted with permission of the poet.

Sara is hosting this week's Poetry Friday round-up at Read Write Believe.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Bard, Again

Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.
~ William Shakespeare

I like that Shakespeare is lounging around as he writes (in the statue below). I also like the facial expressions in today's paintings, particularly the what-is-it-now? look on Hamlet's mother's face...

Memorial to William Shakespeare, Southwark Cathedral, London
Photo by John Armagh

Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree as Shylock in The Merchant of Venice
by Charles Buchel

Romeo and Juliet
by Ford Madox Brown (1821–1893)

Hamlet Shows His Mother the Ghost of His Father
by Nicolai Abraham Abildgaard

David Garrick as Richard III
by William Hogarth (1697–1764)

Othello and Desdemona in Venice
by Théodore Chassériau (1819-1856)

Monday, September 26, 2011

One Person Bands

Got a little carried away with videos today.

She's awesome (and only 17!):

His feet are more talented than my hands, and the lyrics are pretty funny, too:

Some unusual instruments in this one:

I don't know this young woman's age, but she can't be very old either:

He didn't play them at the same time, but still...:


* The original one-person bands
* Tools and Tips for the One Person Band

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Verities of the Heart

Part of William Faulkner's speech at the Nobel Banquet at the City Hall in Stockholm, December 10, 1950, turned into a prose poem:

Our tragedy today
is a general and universal physical fear
so long sustained by now
that we can even bear it...

The young man or woman writing today
has forgotten
the problems of the human heart
in conflict with itself
which alone can make good writing
because only that
is worth writing about,
worth the agony
and the sweat.

He must learn them again.
He must teach himself
that the basest of all things
is to be afraid;
and, teaching himself that,
forget it forever,

leaving no room in his workshop
for anything
but the old verities and truths of the heart,
the old universal truths
lacking which
any story is ephemeral and doomed -

Until he relearns these things,
he will write as though
he stood among and watched the end of man.

I decline to accept the end of man.
It is easy enough
to say that man is immortal simply because
he will endure:
that when the last dingdong of doom has clanged
and faded from the last worthless rock
hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening,
that even then
there will still be one more sound:
that of his puny inexhaustible voice,
still talking.

I refuse to accept this.
I believe that man will not merely endure:
he will prevail.

He is immortal,
not because he alone among creatures
has an inexhaustible voice,
but because he has a soul,
a spirit capable of compassion
and sacrifice
and endurance.

The poet's,
the writer's,
duty is to write about these things.

It is his privilege to help man endure
by lifting his heart,
by reminding him of the courage
and honor
and hope
and pride
and compassion
and pity
and sacrifice
which have been the glory of his past.

The poet's voice need not
merely be the record of man,
it can be one of the props,
the pillars
to help him endure and prevail.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Engraving the Emptiness

Two bits to share today...

For 100,000 Poets for Change, the poetry group I belong to handwrote poetry postcards for families staying at a local Ronald McDonald house.

It was a fun project. We could have written the same poems a bunch of times, which would have been quicker, but we (rather stubbornly?) made them almost all different.


Today's poetry is by Amy Uyematsu:

from The Weight of Nothing
by Amy Uyematsu

without my friend Nothing
on the page, I’d never have to write
another poem. but Nothing waits
here, waving me on, inviting me
to rap and rant, pray sing, testify
what is, was, could, and always will be.
I greet all that’s coming,
contained as sheer breath
into word, born
to crave and engrave the emptiness
that Nothing can’t stop giving.

read the rest here.

Picture Book of the Day is hosting this week's Poetry Friday round-up.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tossing Around the Pigskin

Speed, strength, and the inability to register pain immediately.
~Reggie Williams, when asked his greatest strengths as a football player

As you might have noticed, I love soccer. I enjoy watching basketball, baseball, and fencing. But football? Not so much.

I grew up in a college town. Every time the home team scored, they would shoot a cannon to celebrate. You could hear it far and wide. My favorite thing about football season was being somewhere other than the stadium and hearing the boom of the cannon. I enjoyed knowing that we scored without actually having to watch it.

My challenge to myself for this week: football art.

Monday Night Football
by Anthony Falbo

Soldier Field
by Anastasia Mak

St. Louis Rams Football Player
by Tommervik

A vintage postcard

A vintage poster

The Football Players
by Henri Rousseau (1844–1910)

Black Dog Football Club
by Gemini Studio

Monday, September 19, 2011

Music in Space

I hope you enjoy this duet as much as I did!

And here's a cool video that was created in honor of the final space shuttle mission:


* An article about music that NASA uses for astronaut wake-up calls.
* A hip-hopera for kids on the NASA site.
* A list of the Music From Earth sent on the Voyager mission.
* An article about music that incorporates sounds from outer space.
* To Touch the Stars: A Musical Celebration of Space Exploration.
* NASA Space Sounds: Center for Neuroacoustic Research.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


All works of nature created by God in heaven and on earth are works of sculpture.
~ Benvenuto Cellini

The Opposite of Indifference
Sculpture Collection

Her Secret is Patience by Janet Echelman

Anna Chromy
Art in and from Nature
Brian's Bots
Civil Rights Sculptures
Fabric Sculptures
In Washington D.C.
Jason deCaires Taylor's underwater sculptures, twice
Kinetic Sculpture Race
The Harp
The Three Musicians
The Troll
Wind Sculptures

And a poem with sculpture illustration:
Atlas by Carol Ann Duffy

Other Collections
: Humor, African-American, Drama, Food, and Animals

Friday, September 16, 2011

Real Riches

Poverty of goods is easily cured; poverty of soul, impossible.
~ Michel de Montaigne

Cornwall Daffodils photo by Mark Robinson

Poor Angus
by Shel Silverstein

Oh what do you do, poor Angus,
When hunger makes you cry?
"I fix myself an omelet, sir,
Of fluffy clouds and sky."

Oh what do you wear, poor Angus,
When winds blow down the hills?
"I sew myself a warm cloak, sir,
Of hope and daffodils."

Oh who do you love, poor Angus,
When Catherine's left the moor?
"Ah, then, sir, then's the only time
I feel I'm really poor."


Visit Amy LV at The Poem Farm for today's Poetry Friday round-up.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Costumes by Leon Bakst

Last month when I shared La Boutique Fantasque music and album covers, I also included a Bakst costume, with the instructions to myself to return to Bakst someday. This is that day:

from Cleopatre
by Leon Bakst

from The Blue God
by Leon Bakst

from Sleeping Beauty
by Leon Bakst

also from The Sleeping Beauty
by Leon Bakst

Saint Sebastien
by Leon Bakst

by Leon Bakst

by Leon Bakst

The Blue Sultan from Scheherazade
by Leon Bakst

by Leon Bakst


~ Some cool photos of his costumes
~ A 20 minute film about Bakst
~ A Scheherazade post

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Free Fonts

I get a kick out of fonts. Makes sense, I guess, since they combine art and words. If you would like some free fonts, there are a number of online choices. I have had good experiences with The font authors are listed, and you can make donations to them if you feel so inclined.

My favorite new-to-me font is Veteran Typewriter by Koczman Bálint. I find it very readable while still being interesting.

Side-note: Difficult Fonts for Better Learning.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Charles Jencks

“What is a garden if not a miniaturization and celebration of the place we are in, the universe?”
~ Charles Jencks

Architectural designer Charles Jencks and his late wife Maggie Keswick created an amazing garden on the grounds of their home in Scotland. It's known as The Garden of Cosmic Speculation.
Photo of Universe Cascade by Paulus Maximus

Jencks is in the middle of creating Northumberlandia, a project in England to turn soil and clay leftover from a coal mine into the world's largest human form sculpted into the landscape:

An artist's rendering of Northumberlandia

Northumberlandia is scheduled to be open to the public in the summer of 2013.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Heathcliff, it's me, Cathy!

I know that ghosts HAVE wandered on earth. Be with me always--take any form--drive me mad! Only DO not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you!
~ Heathcliff, Wuthering Heights

Do you prefer the Kate Bush version of Wuthering Heights or the Pat Benatar version? I like both. But I much prefer to listen to Kate Bush sing it than watch her (Sorry, Kate -- it's too distracting!), so I'm not including a KB video of it.

Did you know that It's All Coming Back To Me Now was inspired by Wuthering Heights also? It was written by Jim Steinman, who wanted to write something dark. The Celine Dion video tries to capture the gothic mansion atmosphere a bit... but I admit, the ghost motorcycle made me chuckle.

Not Wuthering Heights-inspired, but still:

I like to go out dancing
My baby loves a bunch of authors
We've been livin' in hovels
Spendin' all our money on brand new novels
~ My Baby Loves A Bunch Of Authors, Moxy Fruvous


Wuthering Heights at LibriVox
The PBS production of Wuthering Heights

Sunday, September 11, 2011

What Can I Do?

"Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country."
~ John F. Kennedy

This morning, I was wondering what I can do. I brainstormed a few things, and I saw that Good Citizen has already come up with a list about this. Their list has a hundred things on it.

The song below is in appreciation of our good men and women overseas and the people they left behind:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Everything But The Kitchen Sink

Throwing a few things at you...

* Silk: a fun interactive artwork site for all ages. Give it a try.

* A delightful post about public art.

* A book that actually shocked me:

Mary Lee recommended The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. It could be too soon for me to talk about it because I'm still processing it, but here go my scattered thoughts... I loved this book despite the fact that part of the way through I wasn't sure if I could keep going. (I won't say why, but if you read it and think you know what almost stopped me, feel free to email me and say, "Was it this?")

I am glad I kept going, even though the ending was absolutely horrible. Horrible in the sense that you HAVE to get the second book immediately.

It's like a horror novel, in a Lord of the Flies kind of way, but it has some of the best descriptions of love I've ever read.

I am not passing the book along to my thirteen-year-old, but I gave it to my sixteen-year-old to read a.s.a.p. so we can talk about it.

Updated on 9/28 to add: I know I'm pretty tender-hearted, but the second book was hard for me to get through. And some of the things that I liked about the first book were absent from the second. In particular, the main characters just didn't have the same kind of agency. (Is that the right way to put it? They were acted upon instead of doing the acting.) I expect that will not be the case with the third book.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Strong Enough

It’s still my belief that all the insight into human nature I’ll ever need is in the poetry section.
~ Eden Kennedy

A mosaic of poetry this week:

Library of Congress by TakomaBibelot

from Chorus
by Antonella Anedda

Come, thoughts, let us think you deeply now that morning has come.
The light makes you seem strong enough to scrape off the darkness
as though we had a shard and the night were skin.


from Prayer
by Carol Ann Duffy

Some days, although we can not pray, a prayer
utters itself. So, a woman will lift
her head from the sieve of her hands and stare
at the minims sung by a tree, a sudden gift.

Some nights, although we are faithless, the truth
enters our hearts, a small familiar pain;
then a man will stand stock still, hearing his youth
in the distant latin chanting of a train.


from Suffrages
by Margaret Ingraham

In the iridescent dust of monarch’s wing
and secret places of my brokenness

In the turquoise ring encircling gannet’s eye
and secret places of my brokenness

In the frost’s filigrees that edge the alder leaves
and secret places of my brokenness

In slim filament of spider’s fragile weave
and secret places of my brokenness


from The Moment
by Margaret Atwood

The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage
you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,

is the same moment when the trees unloose
their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,


You can read the rest of any of the poems by clicking on the poem titles.

Today's Poetry Friday round-up is at Secrets and Sharing Soda.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Carlos C. Laínez

The cat is, above all things, a dramatist.
~ Margaret Benson

by Carlos C. Laínez

The Sofa Cat
by Carlos C. Laínez

Gatos guía para noctámbulos
by Carlos C. Laínez

Coleccionista de letras

by Carlos C. Laínez

by Carlos C. Laínez

La Gata Cantante
by Carlos C. Laínez

La casa del Té
by Carlos C. Laínez

The copyright for all the above works is held by Carlos Laínez. I thank Mr. Laínez for giving me permission to share them today.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

An African-American Collection

You just need to be a flea against injustice. Enough committed fleas biting strategically can make even the biggest dog uncomfortable and transform even the biggest nation.
~ Marian Wright Edelman

The Opposite of Indifference
African-American Collection

"Queen of Jazz" by Chidi Okoye

William Stanley Braithwaite
Charles R. Smith, twice
Ruth Forman
Blues Lyrics
James Emanuel
Gayle Danley
Paul Laurence Dunbar
James Weldon Johnson
Maya Angelou

Jill Scott
Keb Mo
Chaka Khan
Elijah Rock
In honor of MLK

Poetry/Song Match-ups
A rap song to teach about poetry
Paul Robeson/Langston Hughes


The National African American Read-In
The Nicholas Brothers (dance)
Bobby McFerrin (talking about music)
Classic Bill Cosby (storytelling)
Civil Rights Sculptures
Philadelphia Murals

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Little Drama

Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.
~ Alfred Hitchcock

The Opposite of Indifference
Guise and Drama Collection

Masks and Costumes:
More masks
Fuseli's Shakespeare paintings
Play Posters
Poetry Theatre
The Tempest

Friday, September 2, 2011

Eloquent In Their Despair

Firefighter's Prayer
by David Cochrane

Our training took place on stairs
In a brick-built tower leading nowhere
With glassless windows issuing false smoke
The concrete crumbling to fine dust
With the incessant passage of rubber booted feet
Sweltering equipment to the scene of some imagined fire.
Hours over years spent on such stairs
The action of climbing them so grained into my mind
That the flutter of fear seems superficial by comparison.

And this Tuesday morning
In my heavy gear and helmet
Stairs lined by the subdued and stunned
Elegant in morning pressed clothes and fresh deodorant
Eyes eloquent in their despair for me
They shuffle down as I lumber sweating up
Each stair the rhythm of my mantra
Ah Jesus,
Ah Jesus,
Ah Jesus,

When the Towers Fell
Galway Kinnell

Some with torn clothing, some bloodied,
some limping at top speed like children
in a three-legged race, some half dragged,
some intact in neat suits and dresses,
they straggle out of step up the avenues,
each dusted to a ghostly whiteness,
their eyes rubbed red as the eyes of a Zahoris,
who can see the dead under the ground.

And then by trying to transform them:
As each tower goes down, it concentrates
into itself, transforms itself
infinitely slowly into a black hole

infinitesimally small: mass
without space, where each light,
each life, put out, lies down within us.

designed by Faith Ringgold,
featuring panels made by students ages 8-19

by Jesse Glass

it came




it came


& every-


& wept
in the



& some

& some

& some

& some





in the

in the

in the

in the







& lookt
at the

at the


in my



*A song from last September.

*9/11 in the Arts: An Anniversary Guide from The New York Times.

*What Does It Mean to Be Civilized

The Miss Rumphius Effect is hosting this week's Poetry Friday round-up.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Beacon in the Night

Inside my empty bottle, I was constructing a lighthouse while all the others were making ships.
~ Charles Simic

An illustration from Jules Verne's The Lighthouse at the End of the World
by George Roux, 1894-1928

The Pharos of Alexandria
engraving by Martin Heemskerck

Le phare de Cordouan sous le règne d'Henri IV
by Claude Chastillon

Coming home
by Connor Maguire

Faro nella laguna di Venezia
by Pietro Gabrini (1856-1926)

by Nikolaos Lytras

Men-o'-War and other Vessels before the Eddystone Lighthouse
by Isaac Sailmaker (1633–1721)


* Lighthouse Friends has some neat stuff, such as a map of Lighthouses in the U.S. where you can stay the night and a list of Lighthouses in Movies (U.S. and Canada).
* Advice about photographing lighthouses from Peter Cox.
* PBS's Legendary Lighthouses