Monday, December 31, 2012

Defiant Requiem

Just reading a JHU magazine article about this movie made me cry. If it comes near you, seek it out:


* The Story of the Defiant Requiem- Verdi at Terezin from The Voice of Chorus America
* The Defiant Requiem Foundation
* Video of a concert performance
* If you would like information about bringing DEFIANT REQUIEM to your city, community, school, or college, please contact: defiantrequiem.sidlin(at)gmail(dot)com.

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Sweet and the Serious

I wanted to talk about something I enjoyed today, but then I also heard about something disturbing that needs attention. So I am sharing both the sweet and the serious. First, the sweet:

My friend Robyn Hood Black wrote this for our winter poem swap:

What's in a Name?

Tabatha -
dactyl in poetry feet
waltzing in
rhythms of
magical beats
music and
drawing and
writing in lines
synergy -
How your work shines!


I love dancing dactyls :-) I was also excited to receive THE ARROW FINDS ITS MARK – A Book of Found Poems, edited by Georgia Heard. Here's a link to a post where Robyn shares another terrific found poem. Robyn likes using found objects to make visual art, too. She gave me this wonderful decorated antique letterpress T:

Robyn's Etsy shop, Artsy Letters, is here.


Now for the serious bit:

The Committee to Protect Journalists has released statistics for 2012 that are grim. 67 journalists were killed in 2012, particularly in Syria and Somalia. The number of jailed journalists also set a global record. The top offenders were: Turkey, Iran, China, Eritrea, Syria, Vietnam, Azerbaijan, Ethiopia, Uzbekistan, and Saudi Arabia. This is unacceptable.

Ways to Get Involved


Carol's Corner is hosting Poetry Friday today.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Fireworks for the New Year

They rise like sudden fiery flowers
That burst upon the night,
Then fall to earth in burning showers
Of crimson, blue, and white.
~ James Reeves

Fireworks on Shortest Night
by Grzegorz Chorus

Street Light
by Simon Sun

La girandola a castel San Angelo
by Franz Theodor Aerni

Brighton Clock Tower
by Dominic Alves

Starburst Cluster Shows Celestial Fireworks
by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Credit: NASA, ESA, R. O'Connell, F. Paresce, E. Young, the WFC3 Science Oversight Committee, and the Hubble Heritage Team

Nocturne in Blue and Gold: Old Battersea Bridge
by James McNeill Whistler

by Steve Jurvetson

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Frog Prince Tries to Catch Her Eye

Frog by John Morgan

I'm short on time and running off to do Christmas stuff, so I am giving you a poem even though it's Music Monday. If only it was a poem about music! As it is, it just has a lot of sounds.

Mary Lee mentioned the crazy prompt I offered for the winter poem swap. Here's a poem I wrote using the prompt...the lines all start with "T" and the last word of (almost) each line starts with "S":

The Frog Prince Tries to Catch Her Eye
by Tabatha Yeatts

The prince's trembling feet clung to the well's side,
toes desperately gripping the wet stone, sliding
toward the bottom again, startled, speckled
turns, struggling hands, grunts, gulps, stopping
to breathe, listening to the swish
thump of his own heart, still
too far from the top, still
too weak, too soft
to be heard, still
too frog.


Happy Holidays, everyone! I hope you are having a better time than the Frog Prince.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Demand a Plan

“When I say it's you I like, I'm talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed.”
~Fred Rogers

Demand a Plan from Mayors Against Illegal Guns
Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Throstles are Sleeping

The holiest of all holidays are those
Kept by ourselves in silence and apart;
The secret anniversaries of the heart.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

This week, I wanted to do something with a light theme for Heidi, but I was a bit stumped.

A 2006 photo of lights at Brookside Gardens (and me and younger daughter)

I found this winter/spring poem from Myths of the Norsemen by H.A. Guerber. The book is from 1909, but the myth is circa 50 B.C.:

“Out of the morning land,
Over the snowdrifts,
Beautiful Freya came
Tripping to Scoring.
White were the moorlands,
And frozen before her;
Green were the moorlands,
And blooming behind her.
Out of her gold locks
Shaking the spring flowers,
Out of her garments
Shaking the south wind,
Around in the birches
Awaking the throstles,
And making chaste housewives all
Long for their heroes home,
Loving and love-giving,
Came she to Scoring.”


By the way, a "throstle" is a thrush songbird. I had to look it up :-)

If you'd like more winter/holiday posts, visit The Opposite of Indifference Winter/Holiday Collection.

Robyn Hood Black and I swapped poems and gifts for our winter poem swap. I dearly loved the goodies she gave me and will talk about them next week. She has my poem for her up this week.

Heidi is our Poetry Friday host today.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Finding happiness should not be seen as finding a needle in a haystack. Happiness is within...Therefore, finding happiness should be like finding a gift in a stack of gifts.
~Steve Maraboli

I've been working on the PTA Reflections arts program all week. This year's theme is "The Magic of a Moment," so I have enjoyed seeing the many ways that students interpret magic moments. They unwrap them like gifts, great and small.

No student art to share today, but when I put this week's post together, I was inspired by the Reflections theme:

And a New Story Started
by Hamed Saber

Hope on Blue
by Meena Kadri

Something Sweet
by Milena Mihaylova

Doctor Who Adventures
by Thomas Leuthard

Buddha in the Jungle Highlands
by Trey Ratcliff

Chinese Aviatrix Receives Gift Of New Plane From Colonel Roscoe Turner, Washington, D.C. [1939]
shared by Ralph Repo

Paralympians Jaroslav Hadrava and Rene Taus celebrate
by Gaël Marziou

Christmas gift suggestions

“Christmas gift suggestions:
To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect.”
photo by Leland Francisco

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

John Rutter

A bit of cheerful holiday music today. John Rutter is an English composer who was commissioned to write music for the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. He also composed this lovely song, The Shepherd's Pipe Carol, performed by the Batavia Madrigal Singers with the Macau Orchestra:

John Rutter recordings
An article about Rutter and his carols

Friday, December 14, 2012

Absolute Faith

photo by Lindsay Smith

The words of the true poems
by Walt Whitman
from Leaves of Grass

The words of the true poems give you more than poems,
They give you to form for yourself, poems, religions, politics, war, peace,
behavior, histories, essays, romances, and everything else,
They balance ranks, colors, races, creeds, and the sexes,
They do not seek beauty— they are sought,
Forever touching them, or close upon them, follows beauty, longing, fain,

They prepare for death—yet are they not the finish, but rather the outset,
They bring none to his or her terminus, or to be content and full;
Whom they take, they take into space, to behold the birth of stars, to learn one of the meanings,
To launch off with absolute faith— to sweep through the ceaseless rings, and never be quiet again.


Jama is our Poetry Friday host.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Going on a Bear (Art) Hunt

“Always respect Mother Nature. Especially when she weighs 400 pounds and is guarding her baby.”
~James Rollins

Vase in the form of Two Polar Bears inside an Icy Cave
by Miyagawa Kozan
photo by David Jackson

illustrasjon til Kvitebjørn kong Valemon
by Theodor Kittelsen (1857–1914)

The Greenlander's supper appropriated by a bear
"The Voyage of the Fox: A Narrative of the Discovery of the Fate of Sir John Franklin,"
by Captain F. L. McClintock
NOAA Photo Library

Central Library, Portland, Oregon,
National Register of Historic Places

Cherokee Craftsman, Jessie Saunlooke, Carving a Bear
National Archives and Records Administration

Dreilindenstraße in Hödingen, Überlingen
by Frank Vincentz

St. Seraphim of Sarov, feeding a bear
early 1900s

Buinichi, Ethnographic Complex- Belarusian village 19
by Futureal


* Information about polar bear conservation and research (with suggestions for things you can do at the bottom of the page)
* Uncertain future for polar bears (World Wildlife Fund)
* Polar Bears International
* Free WWF wildlife wallpaper backgrounds
* Facts about different kinds of bears from The Bear Trust
* Resources for kids and teachers from the Get Bear Smart Society

Monday, December 10, 2012

Morten Lauridsen

Composer Morten Lauridsen this Music Monday. Why does the Wall Street Journal call Mr. Lauridsen "the best composer you've never heard of"? Take a listen:

There's an acclaimed documentary about Mr. Lauridsen:


To order a DVD of Shining Night: A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen
To order the CD collection
More info about Mr. Lauridsen

Side-note: Dana Gioia is in Shining Night, speaking about the composer.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Low-Tech Communication

Two quiet, sweet poems today. I like the endings of both.

Cymbidium Arcadian Sunrise 'Golden Fleece'
photo by Wilferd Duckitt

Father's Story
by Elizabeth Madox Roberts

We put more coal on the big red fire,
And while we are waiting for dinner to cook,
Our father comes and tells us about
A story that he has read in a book.

And Charles and Will and Dick and I
And all of us but Clarence are there.
And some of us sit on Father's legs,
But one has to sit on the little red chair.

And when we are sitting very still,
He sings us a song or tells a piece;
He sings Dan Tucker Went to Town,
Or he tells us about the golden fleece.

He tells about the golden wool,
And some of it is about a boy
Named Jason, and about a ship,
And some is about a town called Troy.

And while he is telling or singing it through,
I stand by his arm, for that is my place.
And I push my fingers into his skin
To make little dents in his big rough face.


The Telephone
by Robert Frost

“WHEN I was just as far as I could walk
From here to-day,
There was an hour
All still
When leaning with my head against a flower
I heard you talk.
Don’t say I didn’t, for I heard you say—
You spoke from that flower on the window sill—
Do you remember what it was you said?”

“First tell me what it was you thought you heard.”

“Having found the flower and driven a bee away,
I leaned my head,
And holding by the stalk,
I listened and I thought I caught the word—
What was it? Did you call me by my name?
Or did you say—
Someone said ‘Come’—I heard it as I bowed.”

“I may have thought as much, but not aloud.”

“Well, so I came.”


Robyn Hood Black has the Poetry Friday round-up today.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Inaugural Music

A late posting for Music Monday...

* We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial
* Music Performances for the Presidential Inauguration
* Music for Many Firsts at Inauguration Events, an article by the New York Times
* National Emblem Inauguration Music
* "I Do Solemnly Swear . . .": Presidential Inaugurations is a Library of Congress collection relating to inaugurations from George Washington's in 1789 to Barack Obama's inauguration of 2009.
* Presidential Inauguration 2013 : A Guide to Inauguration Day Events in Washington, DC