Thursday, January 31, 2013

Self-Propelled Flowers

“I almost wish we were butterflies and liv'd but three summer days - three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.”
~John Keats to Fanny Brawne

Butterflies, from modern to four hundred years old:

Mardi Gras Butterflies
by Mills Baker

Scent of Spring
HK Admiralty Tamar Park, Hong Kong

Participants in the Bernese Carnival

Okayama flag of the crest of the Ikeda clan
Himeji Castle Festival

Vase, Lemmer (Steenstra), 1st quarter 20th century
Harlinger Pottery Museum

"The Flapper," Life Magazine, 1922
by F. A. Leyendecker

A La Parisienne
Hiver magazine 1913-1914; Page 45

A pair of pearlware vases designed by Courtney Lindsay at Wedgwood, 1900-1901
Photo by Sean Pathasema/Birmingham Museum of Art

Princess Nobody: a tale of fairy land, by Andrew Lang, back cover, circa 1884
illustrated by Richard Doyle
University of Florida Digital Collections

Cartoon of a butterfly catching a human, 1881
from Butterflies; their structure, changes and life-histories, with special reference to American forms.
by Samuel Hubbard Scudder (1837-1911)

Vlinder en blauwe vlieg, circa 1680
by Rochus van Veen
Teylers Museum, Haarlem


* The Holocaust Museum of Houston's butterfly project (Why butterflies? It's from a poem. As a child/teen, I liked to read plays and one of my favorites was also inspired by that poem.)
* Monarch butterfly migration and how to make food for traveling monarchs
* How to fold an easy origami butterfly
* Tons more origami butterflies
* Free butterfly pattern stitching card

The title comes from Robert A. Heinlein's The Cat Who Walks Through Walls: “Butterflies are not insects,' Captain John Sterling said soberly. 'They are self-propelled flowers.”

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Skies Are Blue

Proceeds from this version of "Over the Rainbow" sung by the children of Newtown with Ingrid Michaelson benefit the Newtown Youth Academy and the United Way of Western Connecticut.

While we're at it:

Monday, January 28, 2013

Music Postcards

Sharing music postcards this Music Monday. It must have been Laura Shovan's postcard project that sparked my interest. I think she could write some interesting poems from these:

La Sousa Clown Band at Luna Park, 1909
Postcard collection (Record Series 9901-01), Seattle Municipal Archives.

Brass ensemble signalling the beginning of a performance
Front Text: "Bayreuth, Fanfarenbläser am Festspielhause"

Year of the Pig
Japanese New Year card. Probably from 1911 (or maybe 1923).

Reverse Text: "Musikverein Wien, Ball der Wiener Philharmoniker"

During the 1996 fire
Translation of reverse text: "Venice - Gran Teatro La Fenice - built in 1792 (Arch Selva) - rebuilt in 1837 after the fire - major renovations in 1854 (Arch Meduna) - destroyed by fire in 1996"

Rosa Grünberg och Thorleif Allum i "En valsdröm" (1908)
Photographer: Ukjent (Atelier Jaeger)
Stockholm, Sverige
The Municipal Archives of Trondheim

"Music Hall, New York World's Fair"
Reverse Text: "The World's Fair Music Hall, erected by the New York World's Fair 1939, seats 2,500. The auditorium is egg-shaped, without balconies or interior columns, thus affording perfect sight lines and acoustics. A dominant feature is a box-like stage house, rising to a height of 80 feet. The Music Hall, designed by Reinhard and Hofmeister, is of modern design, of fireproof construction, air-conditioned and equipped with latest stage mechanisms and appliances."

Concert hall, built 1901 by August Esenwein and James A. Johnson for the Pan-American Exposition 1901. Site of the assassination of President William McKinley on 6 Sep 1901. Used for orchestral and organ concerts during the exposition. 2200 seats. Demolished after the exposition.

Hero & Jollytown Band, organized circa 1913 by George B. Hennen and Charles Dye.
Photographer: John Harvey Hamilton
Part of the John Robert Rice Collection

Andreas Praefcke has an extensive and well-organized postcard collection of theatres and concert halls worldwide

Saturday, January 26, 2013

I Carry Your Heart (with me in my Tardis)

from strange things are afoot @ the circle K

Poetry and Doctor Who might seem like a surprising mix, but there's actually a Doctor Who poetry collection written by fans, plus these Doctor/poetry connections:

* In the episode Midnight, a character quotes, and the Doctor references, Christina Rossetti's poem "Goblin Market":

"We must not look at goblin men,
We must not buy their fruits:
Who knows upon what soil they fed
Their hungry thirsty roots?"

* A poem figures prominently in the episode Demon's Run:

Night will fall and the dark will rise,
When a good man goes to war.
Demons run, but count the cost.
The battle's won but the child is lost.

* Poem Girl from the episode The Beast Below

* Twas the Night Before Christmas (Doctor Who style)

* Dr Who becomes rhyme lord of poetry from The Belfast Telegraph

* A page about William Shakespeare and the Doctor

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Round-Up, Plus Thinking Ahead

"Ah," I smiled. "I'm not really here to keep you from freaking out. I'm here to be with you while you freak out, or grieve, or laugh, or suffer, or sing. It is a ministry of presence. It is showing up with a loving heart."
~Kate Braestrup

Happy Poetry Friday! Thanks for coming. If you have a post to share, please leave a link in the comments.

I thought this would be a great time to share some thoughts about National Poetry Month. It's not until April, but I would love to have any submissions from you by the end of February so I can get my posts in order during March.

What submissions, you ask? There are a few different things I would like to share in April:

1) I love the idea of Poetry T-shirts. I've talked about them before, here and here (and here). If you have ideas for Poetry t-shirts, please send them to me by the end of February. You can even design it yourself and send me the link or image. I am hoping to share some designs on The Opposite of Indifference and possibly even have some made.

2) I am interested in poems written to politicians (past, present, or future). If you write one, please send it to me by the end of February.

3) I would like to see some poems inspired by music. I have a bunch of music posts -- if any inspire you to write a poem, please send it to me by the end of February.

That's it! Now, time for a poem. I didn't know how to get permission to share this poem, so I will just give the link: It’s Time to Find a Place by Indian poet Eunice de Souza.

If you get a chance, tune in tomorrow for a post about poetry and Doctor Who :-)


The Round-up:

Robyn kicks things off with "overheard at the grocery store" and Delmore Schwartz's "I Am Cherry Alive."

Violet shares her original The Witness of Rooms.

Myra spotlights Red Sings from Treetops by Joyce Sidman.

Renee is featuring children's poet M.M. Socks with his math poem video "Fiesta for Fractions", which she says is for all those math geeks out there looking for a party!

Joy offers an original "Cowgirl Abecedarian."

Mary Lee gives us "It's Time to Say Goodbye," an original poem.

Laura Shovan brings Postcard #17, a triolet about Gladiole (postcard art by Sulamith Wulfing). But she's especially excited about the postcard art project that Linda Baie sent her.

Jama is also excited. She has a guest poet today, Nicole Gulotta of EAT THIS POEM. Jama suggested that Nicole create a recipe inspired by a children's poem, and Nicole selected Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's, "Apple Pockets."

Ruth is in with the Richard Blanco poem from the inauguration and so is Tara.

Laura Purdie Salas has David Elliott's "The Shark" from In the Sea.

Laura also shares 15 Words or Less poems.

Liz Steinglass contributes three winter haiku.

Mother Reader provides another installment in her songs-as-poetry series, but with a personal touch - a video of her daughter singing it: Crazy Dreams

Catherine gives us a Pam Ayres poem.

Linda lets us join her as she contemplates her wedding anniversary with a poem called Traveling.

What do Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Burns, and the New England Patriots have in common? Matt's blog post!

Dori shares an original poem about a moment with her father: Confinement.

Bridget brings us Exciting News :-)

Katya was inspired by the moon to visit Alfred Noyes' The Highwayman.

Sylvia responds to the strange weather with a list of weather-themed poetry.

Sylvia also showcases one of her favorite poems from The Poetry Friday Anthology: The Do Kind by Janet Wong.

Tamera muses on the parallels between home renovation and revision, plus a bit of a poem inspired by the need to renovate.

Elaine offers an original list poem about the sun.

We're invited to play in Amy LV's Dollhouse today.

Bildungsroman has a song for us: LadyLuck by Maria Taylor.

Ralph posted a favorite quote about poetry (from Robert Frost) followed by one of his poems, "running water."

Charles turns to Downton Abbey for help at Snickers and he reads and writes silly animal poems at his Father Goose blog.

Lorie Ann gives us a Yellow Heart haiku.

Jone shares Old Dog by William Stafford.

Diane wrote a poem in honor of Inauguration Day 2013.

Kurious Kitty's Kurio Kabinet shares The Open Door: One Hundred Poems One Hundred Years of Poetry Magazine

Margaret contributes a poem by one of her students.

Janet shows us Lives: Poems about Famous Americans selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by Leslie Staub.

Anastacia is in with a 2012 CYBILS nominee: Edgar Allan Poe’s Pie: Math Puzzlers in Classic Poems by J. Patrick Lewis

Dina was inspired by Helen Frankenthaler's painting Venus Revealed to write Shell Shocked: Venus Revealed.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

John Atkinson Grimshaw

John Atkinson Grimshaw

Moonlight, water, a bit of mystery. Art by English painter John Atkinson Grimshaw (1836-1893) today. A self-taught artist, Mr. Atkinson was working as a railway clerk when he decided to quit his job and support his family as a painter.

A Moonlit Lane
by John Atkinson Grimshaw

Shipping on the Clyde
by John Atkinson Grimshaw

Blackman Street, London
by John Atkinson Grimshaw

Reflections on the Thames
by John Atkinson Grimshaw

The Lady of Shalott
by John Atkinson Grimshaw

In Peril, The Harbour Flare
by John Atkinson Grimshaw

Evening, Whitby Harbour
by John Atkinson Grimshaw

The Lotus Gatherers
by John Atkinson Grimshaw

Autumn Gold
by John Atkinson Grimshaw

Snow and Mist (Caprice in Yellow Minor)
by John Atkinson Grimshaw

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

MLK in the UK

There's a Dr. King sculpture by Tim Crawley that I would like to (belatedly) share with you. It's from the series of Modern Martyr statues at Westminster Abbey, London:

Grand Duchess Elizabeth, Martin Luther King Jr., and Oscar Romero

All the Westminster Abbey 20th century martyrs:

You can read about them in this article from BBC News.

Monday, January 21, 2013


Ragtime for this Music Monday. Ragtime music originated in the mid-1890s.

Scott Joplin, the "King of Ragtime"

Four videos -- an original recording by Scott Joplin, a guitar version of a Joplin song, dances from the time period, and ragtime versions of '80s songs. Quite a mix, eh? There's a link to ragtime scores at the bottom.

Information about 100 Years of The Maple Leaf Rag

Between the guitar playing and the shirt, he's pretty irresistible

Rag's Rag: free ragtime music and scores

Friday, January 18, 2013

So much we can have

Today's poem/music is an excerpt from Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No.13 in B flat minor - "Babi Yar" opus 113. Shostakovich's music was inspired by a poem by Yevgeny Yevtushenko. For information about the Babi Yar massacre, visit here or here. You can really feel the juxtaposition of youth and hope against violence in Shostakovich's music (see the video below).

...I imagine myself as Anne Frank,
Transparent as a sprig in April,
And I love, and have no need for phrases,
But I do need for us to gaze into each other.
How little one can see, or smell!
Leaves - we cannot have,
Sky - we cannot have,
But there is so much we can have -
To embrace tenderly in a darkened room.

"They're coming!"

"Don't be afraid, those are the booming sounds
Of Spring itself. It's coming here.
Come to me,
Quickly, give me your lips!"

"They're breaking the door!"

"No, it's the ice breaking..."


Violet is our Poetry Friday round-up host today.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Botanical Gardens

Gardens are a form of autobiography.
~Sydney Eddison

Winter has its own charms, but (if you live in my part of the world) I thought you might like a change of pace. So we have an international trip to botanical gardens today! Botanical gardens have greenhouses which are great to visit year-round -- if you have one near you, consider making the trip.

What makes a garden botanical? The New York Botanical Garden explains that classical botanical gardens "study, exhibit, and teach about plants." The merit of learning about plants seems self-evident. For more info, see H. Bruce Rinker's The Weight of a Petal: The Value of Botanical Gardens. Additional links below.

Adelaide Botanic Garden, South Australia
photo by Les Haines

National Garden of Belgium- Balat Greenhouse (1854).
photo by Jean-Pol Grandmont

Phalaenopsis philippinensis in Singapore Botanic Gardens

Botanical Garden of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

Jardin des Plantes, Paris
Architect: Charles Rohault de Fleury
photo by Jebulon

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, California
photo by Cliff Hutson

Botanischer Garten Berlin (Dahlem)

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
photo by Alan Craigie

Botanical Gardens in Ooty
photo by Swaminathan

Auburn Botanical Gardens, Australia
photo by Louise Docker

A model version of the Washington Monument, Reflecting Pool, and Lincoln Memorial
United States Botanic Garden, Washington, D.C.
photo by Fletcher6

* Botanical Buzz Podcasts from the San Francisco Botanical Garden
* Interesting (and strange) science news for kids about plants
* Meet the Plants videos from the National Tropical Botanical Garden. They also share articles from their magazine.
* Chihuahuan Nature Center "Nature Notes" about desert plants
* Botanical Garden shops: NYBG, Chicago BG, Kew Royal BG, Missouri BG Press notecards and rare book prints