The Beautiful Poetry of Angelina Weld Grimké – Poets Who Inspire!

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Here is a writer and poet that I have never heard of. Her biography details that she was a lesbian living in a time when it wasn’t accepted. It seems that her mother wasn’t in the picture, possibly in a mental institution, but this young lady went on to publish a number of outstanding poems.

I am learning so much about these incredible people, some who lived long ago. I love reading and am instilling the love of reading in my grandchildren as I did in my own sons. You learn so much from reading and it truly enhances your vocabulary. These writers didn’t have any choice but to sit and read. I wish I had more time to read. I read a lot, but with my job and work schedule, I don’t have time to read as much as I would love to. One day I will. In due time!!

Please sit back, relax and enjoy the poetry of Miss Angelina Weld Grimké!

Biography of Angelina Weld Grimké –

Angelina Weld Grimké was born on February 27, 1880 in Boston and lived most of her life with her father to whom she was extremely attached emotionally. Soon after Angelina’s birth, her mother left the Grimké household. Information concerning Sarah Stanley Grimké is not readily available, it appears that she may have been confined to a mental institution. Angelina was named for her white great aunt, Angelina Grimké Weld.

As a young woman, Weld, along with her sister, Sarah Grimké, left South Carolina in the early nineteenth century to avoid being involved in owning slaves. The two sisters settled in Hyde Park, Massachusetts, and became well-known abolitionists and advocates of women’s rights. At age seven Angela received a letter from her mother which included beautiful metaphors and imagery. It is said that Angelina was awe-inspired by her mother’s ability to write prose so beautifully. This may have very well been what prompted Ms. Weld Grimke to write poetry.

Angelina’s father seems to have been the source of her restrictions and oppression with her sexuality. She was self-consciousness about being a lesbian. She decided to forgo the expression of her lesbian desires in order to please her father, and in her poem written to commemorate his fifty-fifth birthday she describes what she would have been without him in terms of a great horror and scandal avoided. Evidence of her sexuality appeared as early as the age fourteen where she wrote love letters to her lover, Mamie Burrill in 1896.

Grimké was educated at Fairmont Grammar School in Hyde Park (1887-1894), Carleton Academy in Northfield, Minnesota (1895), Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Massachusetts, and Girls’ Latin School in Boston, and in 1902 she took a degree in physical education at the Boston Normal School of Gymnastics (now Wellesley College). That same year she began her teaching career as a gym teacher at Armstrong Manual Training School in Washington, D.C., but in 1907, after much tension with the principal of Armstrong, she transferred to the more academic M Street High School (later Dunbar High School) where she taught English.

Through her father’s assistance, Grimké repudiates her own self-molding and takes her dependent imprint from him. Finally, after depicting the care he has given her through her life, Grimké gives her father her highest compliment, “You have been a gentle mother to your child.” That is, the best she can say about her father is that he is almost a mother.

Much of the work of Angelina Wel Grimke has been rigorously ignored. Most of the poems were too lesbian and too sentimental for audiences during and after the Harlem Renaissance. Her fiction, on the other hand, was too stark in its unflinching descriptions of the violence of lynching. Her scenes of violence were unknown in African-American fictional literature prior to the work of Richard Wright. Her short stories with their announcements of racial self-genocide have been too politically and emotionally threatening for African Americans, and others to receive and accept.

When considering the sizable body of work Angelina Grimke produced, it is important to note that very little of her work was published. The times were not friendly to a person such as Ms. Grimke. Not only was it difficult for a Black woman to be published, but the fact that she was a Black lesbian woman at a time when such sexuality was not spoken of or in any way acceptable, made it that much more difficult when trying to become published, as well as being heard.

In 1930, after her father died, Angelina Grimke moved to New York and published nothing more. She lived there in seclusion and died on June 10, 1958.
The Eyes Of My Regret

Always at dusk, the same tearless experience,
The same dragging of feet up the same well-worn path
To the same well-worn rock;
The same crimson or gold dropping away of the sun
The same tints, – rose, saffron, violet, lavender, grey
Meeting, mingling, mixing mistily;
Before me the same blue black cedar rising jaggedly to
a point;
Over it, the same slow unlidding of twin stars,
Two eyes, unfathomable, soul-searing,
Watching, watching, watching me;
The same two eyes that draw me forth, against my will
dusk after dusk;
The same two eyes that keep me sitting late into the
night, chin on knees
Keep me there lonely, rigid, tearless, numbly
miserable –
The eyes of my Regret.

When The Green Lies Over The Earth –

When the green lies over the earth, my dear,
A mantle of witching grace,
When the smile and the tear of the young child year
Dimple across its face,
And then flee, when the wind all day is sweet
With the breath of growing things,
When the wooing bird lights on restless feet
And chirrups and trills and sings
To his lady-love
In the green above,
Then oh! my dear, when the youth’s in the year,
Yours is the face that I long to have near,
Yours is the face, my dear.

But the green is hiding your curls, my dear,
Your curls so shining and sweet;
And the gold-hearted daisies this many a year
Have bloomed and bloomed at your feet,
And the little birds just above your head
With their voices hushed, my dear,
For you have sung and have prayed and have pled
This many, many a year.
And the blossoms fall,
On the garden wall,
And drift like snow on the green below.
But the sharp thorn grows
On the budding rose,
And my heart no more leaps at the sunset glow,
For oh! my dear, when the youth’s in the year,
Yours is the face that I long to have near,
Yours is the face, my dear.

A Winter Twilight –

A silence slipping around like death,
Yet chased by a whisper, a sigh,
a breath; One group of trees, lean,
naked and cold,
Inking their cress ‘gainst a
sky green-gold;

One path that knows where the
corn flowers were;
Lonely, apart, unyielding, one fir;
And over it softly leaning down,
One star that I loved ere the
fields went brown.

Biography and Poetry Credit: poemhunter.com
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The Poetry of Forrest Hamer – Poets Who Inspire!

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I am featuring a poet that I have never heard of before. After reading his poems, I knew I had to introduce others to his poetry.  I have to say; I am enjoying reading these biographies and poetry. The poets have something in their minds and hearts and need to express it, and poetry is an amazing way to express yourself. Sit back and enjoy the poetry of Forrest Hamer.

 BIOGRAPHY:

Forrest Hamer (born in 1956) is a poet, psychologist, candidate psychoanalyst, and a lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley. He was educated at Yale and Berkeley. He is the author of Call & Response (Alice James, 1995), winner of the Beatrice Hawley Award, and Middle Ear (The Roundhouse Press, 2000), a finalist for the Bay Area Book Reviewers Association Award.

His work has appeared in many journals including the Beloit Poetry Journal, Callaloo, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Shenandoah, Tri Quarterly, ZYZZYVA, Berkeley Poetry Review, Cream City Review, Drumming Between Us, Equinox, Kenyon Review, Negative Capability. Hamer’s work has been anthologized in Best American Poetry, Poet’s Choice: Poems for Everyday Life, The Geography of Home: California’s Poetry of Place, and Word of Mouth: An Anthology of Gay American Poetry.

Credit: www.famouspoetsandpoems.com

 Grace

This air is flooded with her. I am a boy again, and my mother
and I lie on wet grass, laughing. She startles, turns to
marigolds at my side, saying beautiful, and I can see the red
there is in them.

When she would fall into her thoughts, we’d look for what
distracted her from us.

My mother’s gone again as suddenly as ever and, seven months
after the funeral, I go dancing. I am becoming grateful.
Breathing, thinking, marigolds.

Lesson 

It was 1963 or 4, summer,
and my father was driving our family
from Ft. Hood to North Carolina in our 56 Buick.
We’d been hearing about Klan attacks, and we knew

Mississippi to be more dangerous than usual.
Dark lay hanging from the trees the way moss did,
and when it moaned light against the windows
that night, my father pulled off the road to sleep.

Noises
that usually woke me from rest afraid of monsters
kept my father awake that night, too,
and I lay in the quiet noticing him listen, learning
that he might not be able always to protect us

from everything and the creatures besides;
perhaps not even from the fury suddenly loud
through my body about his trip from Texas
to settle us home before he would go away

to a place no place in the world
he named Viet Nam. A boy needs a father
with him, I kept thinking, fixed against noise
from the dark.

A Dull Sound, Varying Now and Again

 And then we began eating corn starch,
chalk chewed wet into sirup. We pilfered
Argo boxes stored away to stiffen
my white dress shirt, and my cousin
and I played or watched TV, no longer annoyed
by the din of never cooling afternoons.

On the way home from church one fifth Sunday,
shirt outside my pants, my tie clipped on
its wrinkling collar, I found a new small can of snuff,
packed a chunk inside my cheek, and tripped
from the musky sting making my head ache,
giving me shivers knowing my aunt hid cigarettes

in the drawer under her slips,
that drawer the middle one on the left.

I am featuring a poet that I have never heard of before.

After reading his poems, I knew I had to introduce others to his poetry.

 I have to say; I am enjoying reading these biographies and poetry. The poets have something in their minds and hearts and need to express it, and poetry is an amazing way to express yourself. Sit back and enjoy the poetry of Forrest Hamer.

 Credit: www.famouspoetsandpoems.com

 

 

 

The Beautiful Poetry of Emily Dickinson – Poets Who Inspire!

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It is such a great feeling to read up on someone who lived such a long time ago, but made the amount of impact on writing and poetry that Emily Dickinson did. She sounds like she was truly an amazing woman with quite a library in her head in which she spent countless hours in her home away from the world writing.  It’s sad to know that she became a recluse in her later years, but she left behind a legacy of great writings and poetry!

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886) was an American poet. Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, into a prominent family with strong ties to its community. After studying at the Amherst Academy for seven years in her youth, she briefly attended the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary before returning to her family’s house in Amherst. Evidence suggests that Dickinson lived much of her life in isolation. Considered an eccentric by locals, she developed a penchant for white clothing and was known for her reluctance to greet guests or, later in life, to even leave her bedroom. Dickinson never married, and most friendships between her and others depended entirely upon correspondence.

While Dickinson was a prolific poet, fewer than a dozen of her nearly 1,800 poems were published during her lifetime. The poems published then, were usually edited significantly to fit conventional poetic rules. Her poems were unique in her era. They contain short lines, typically lack titles, and often use slant rhyme as well as unconventional capitalization and punctuation. Many of her poems deal with themes of death and immortality, two recurring topics in letters to her friends.

Although Dickinson’s acquaintances were likely aware of her writing, it was not until after her death in 1886—when Lavinia, Dickinson’s younger sister, discovered her cache of poems—that the breadth of her work became public. Her first collection of poetry was published in 1890 by personal acquaintances Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Mabel Loomis Todd, though both heavily edited the content. A 1998 New York Times article revealed that of the many edits made to Dickinson’s work, the name “Susan” was often deliberately removed. At least 11 of Dickinson’s poems were dedicated to sister-in-law Susan Huntington Gilbert Dickinson, though all the dedications were obliterated, presumably by Todd. A complete, and mostly unaltered, collection of her poetry became available for the first time when scholar Thomas H. Johnson published The Poems of Emily Dickinson in 1955.

Biography Credit: Wikipedia

A Bird Came Down the Walk – 

A Bird came down the Walk—
He did not know I saw—
He bit an Angleworm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw,

And then he drank a Dew
From a convenient Grass—
And then hopped sidewise to the Wall
To let a Beetle pass—

He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all around—
They looked like frightened Beads, I thought—
He stirred his Velvet Head

Like one in danger, Cautious,
I offered him a Crumb
And he unrolled his feathers
And rowed him softer home—

Than Oars divide the Ocean,
Too silver for a seam—
Or Butterflies, off Banks of Noon
Leap, plashless as they swim.

 

Faith” is a Fine Invention – 

Faith is a fine invention
For Gentlemen who see!
But Microscopes are prudent
In an Emergency!

Much Madness is divinest Sense

Much Madness is divinest Sense –
To a discerning Eye –
Much Sense – the starkest Madness –
‘Tis the Majority
In this, as all, prevail –
Assent – and you are sane –
Demur – you’re straightway dangerous –
And handled with a Chain –

Tell all the truth but tell it slant
Tell all the truth but tell it slant —
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth’s superb surprise
As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind —

 

Much Madness is Divinest Sense – 

Much Madness is divinest Sense –

To a discerning Eye –

Much Sense – the starkest Madness –

‘Tis the Majority

In this, as all, prevail –

Assent – and you are sane –

Demur – you’re straightway dangerous –

And handled with a Chain –

 

Tell all the truth but tell it slant

Tell all the truth but tell it slant —

Success in Circuit lies

Too bright for our infirm Delight

The Truth’s superb surprise

As Lightning to the Children eased

With explanation kind

The Truth must dazzle gradually

Or every man be blind.

 

 

Success Is Counted Sweetest – 

Success Is Counted Sweetest

By those who ne’er succeed.

To comprehend a nectar

Requires sorest need.

Not one of all the purple Host

Who took the Flag today

Can tell the definition

So clear of victory

As he defeated – dying –

On whose forbidden ear

The distant strains of triumph

Burst agonized and clear!

Credit: https://learnodo-newtonic.com/emily-dickinson-famous-poems

The Beautiful Poetry of Jim Morrison – Poets Who Inspire!

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I was only 8 years old when Jim Morrison passed away, but I will always remember my sister with several of the doors posters hanging on her wall and she and her friends playing their music on the record player.  My favorite song was always “Light My Fire,” but now as an adult, I can say I like some of their other songs as well. This band made a huge impact on the music industry, but many people didn’t realize Jim Morrison was also a poet who at one point in his life actually wanted to leave the music industry to write poetry books.  Thank goodness he was able to leave a book of poetry back here for us all to read.

We can all agree that Morrison was a person who made his own rules and didn’t care much for authority, but after all of that is said and done, he was a very talented individual and at the end of the day, he was also a talented poet.  I have posted three poems below that was written by him and I hope you all enjoy them!

James Douglas Morrison (December 8, 1943 – July 3, 1971) was an American singer, songwriter and poet, best remembered as the lead vocalist of the rock band the Doors. Due to his poetic lyrics, distinctive voice, wild personality, performances, and the dramatic circumstances surrounding his life and early death, Morrison is regarded by music critics and fans as one of the most iconic and influential front men in rock music history. Since his death, his fame has endured as one of popular culture’s most rebellious and oft-displayed icons, representing the generation gap and youth counterculture.

Together with Ray Manzarek, Morrison co-founded the Doors during the summer of 1965 in Venice, California. The band spent two years in obscurity until shooting to prominence with their #1 single in the United States, “Light My Fire,” taken from their self-titled debut album. Morrison wrote or co-wrote many of the Doors’ songs, including the hits “Light My Fire”, “Break On Through (To the Other Side),” “The End,” “Moonlight Drive,” “People are Strange”, “Hello, I Love You,” “Roadhouse Blues,” “L.A. Woman,” and “Riders on the Storm.” Morrison recorded a total of six studio albums with the Doors, all of which sold well and received critical acclaim. Though the Doors recorded two more albums after Morrison died, his death severely affected the band’s fortunes, and they split up in 1973. In 1993, Jim Morrison, as a member of the Doors, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Morrison developed an alcohol dependency during the 1960s, which at times affected his performances on stage. He died unexpectedly at the age of 27 in Paris. As no autopsy was performed, the cause of Morrison’s death remains unknown.

POWER

I can make the earth stop in
its tracks. I made the
blue cars go away.
I can make myself invisible or small.

I can become gigantic and reach the
farthest things. I can change
the course of nature.
I can place myself anywhere in
space or time.

I can summon the dead.
I can perceive events on other worlds,
in my deepest inner mind,
and in the minds of others.

I can.

I am.

 

Newborn Awakening

Gently they stir, gently rise.
The dead are newborn awakening.
With ravaged limbs and wet souls.
Gently they sigh in rapt funeral amazement.
Who called these dead to dance?

Was it the young woman learning to play the ghost song on her baby grand?
Was it the wilderness children?
Was it the ghost god himself, stuttering, cheering, chatting blindly?

I called you up to anoint the earth.
I called you to announce sadness falling like burned skin.
I called you to wish you well.
To glory in self like a new monster.
And now I call you to pray.

 

Freedom Exists

Did you know freedom exists
In school books
Did you know madmen are
Running our prisons

Within a jail, within a gaol
Within a white free protestant
Maelstrom

We’re perched headlong
On the edge of boredom
We’re reaching for death
On the end of a candle

We’re trying for something
That’s already found us

This poet-prophet rock idol flung the doors of perception wide open, and as we read his poetry, for an instant we become infinite. His words continue to echo in the young of heart. 

Poems and excerpt credit: culturacolectiva.com

The Beautiful Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe – Poets Who Inspire!

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Edgar Allan Poe; born Edgar Poe; January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American writer, editor, and literary critic. Poe is best known for his poetry and short stories, particularly his tales of mystery and the macabre. He is widely regarded as a central figure of Romanticism in the United States and of American literature as a whole, and he was one of the country’s earliest practitioners of the short story Poe is best known for his poetry and short stories, particularly his tales of mystery and the macabre. He is widely regarded as a central figure of Romanticism in the United States and of American literature, and he was one of the country’s earliest practitioners of the short story. He is generally considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre and is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. He was the first well-known American writer to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career. Poe was born on January 19, 1809

Excerpt taken from: Wikipedia

I have posted three of Poe’s poems which I fell in love with and which made an impact on my writing. I can honestly say that the Raven was a little scary the first time I read it. That was years ago, and now it is one of the poems that has truly stood out with me. Before reading his work, I never knew a poem could be so long! I hope each of you enjoy these poems as much as I have enjoyed them and still do.

The Raven

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—

While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—

Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;

And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.

Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow

From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—

For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—

Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain

Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;

So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating

“’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—

Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—

This it is and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,

“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;

But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,

And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,

That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—

Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;

But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,

And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”

This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—

Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,

Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.

“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;

Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—

Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—

’Tis the wind and nothing more!”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,

In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;

Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;

But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—

Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—

Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,

By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,

“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,

Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—

Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,

Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;

For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being

Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—

Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,

With such name as “Nevermore.”

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only

That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.

Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—

Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—

On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”

Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,

“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store

Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster

Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—

Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore

Of ‘Never—nevermore’.”

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,

Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;

Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking

Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—

What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore

Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing

To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;

This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining

On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,

But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,

She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer

Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.

“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee

Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;

Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—

Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,

Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—

On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—

Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!

By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—

Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,

It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—

Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—

“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!

Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!

Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!

Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting

On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;

And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,

And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;

And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor

Shall be lifted—nevermore!

A Dream Within a Dream

Take this kiss upon the brow!

And, in parting from you now,

Thus much let me avow —

You are not wrong, who deem

That my days have been a dream;

Yet if hope has flown away

In a night, or in a day,

In a vision, or in none,

Is it therefore the less gone?

All that we see or seem

Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar

Of a surf-tormented shore,

And I hold within my hand

Grains of the golden sand —

How few! yet how they creep

Through my fingers to the deep,

While I weep — while I weep!

O God! Can I not grasp

Them with a tighter clasp?

O God! can I not save

One from the pitiless wave?

Is all that we see or seem

But a dream within a dream?

“Alone”

From childhood’s hour I have not been

As others were—I have not seen

As others saw—I could not bring

My passions from a common spring—

From the same source I have not taken

My sorrow—I could not awaken

My heart to joy at the same tone—

And all I lov’d—I lov’d alone—

Then—in my childhood—in the dawn

Of a most stormy life—was drawn

From ev’ry depth of good and ill

The mystery which binds me still—

From the torrent, or the fountain—

From the red cliff of the mountain—

From the sun that ’round me roll’d

In its autumn tint of gold—

From the lightning in the sky

As it pass’d me flying by—

From the thunder, and the storm—

And the cloud that took the form

(When the rest of Heaven was blue)

Of a demon in my view—

Source: American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century (1993)

The Beautiful Poetry of Maya Angelou – Poets Who Inspire!

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I will be posting poetry by poets who have inspired not only myself; but millions of people around the world. These poets have made a huge impact on the lives of those who read their books, but also those whom may have suffered through similar experiences and can relate.

Today I am posting the inspirational poems by Maya Angelou.

Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri, on April 4, 1928. She grew up in St. Louis and Stamps, Arkansas. She was an author, poet, historian, songwriter, playwright, dancer, stage and screen producer, director, performer, singer, and civil rights activist. She was best known for her seven autobiographical books: Mom & Me & Mom (Random House, 2013); Letter to My Daughter (Random House, 2008); All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes (Random House, 1986); The Heart of a Woman (Random House, 1981); Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas (Random House, 1976); Gather Together in My Name (Random House, 1974); and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Random House, 1969), which was nominated for the National Book Award.

Angelou died on May 28, 2014, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where she had served as Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University since 1982. She was eighty-six.

Please sit back, relax and inhale each word of the poems below.  I hope each of you enjoy them and get something out of each of them!

Taken from Poets.org.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

A free bird leaps on the back
Of the wind and floats downstream
Till the current ends and dips his wing
In the orange suns rays
And dares to claim the sky.

But a BIRD that stalks down his narrow cage
Can seldom see through his bars of rage
His wings are clipped and his feet are tied
So he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
Of things unknown but longed for still
And his tune is heard on the distant hill for
The caged bird sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
And the trade winds soft through
The sighing trees
And the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright
Lawn and he names the sky his own.

But a caged BIRD stands on the grave of dreams
His shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
His wings are clipped and his feet are tied
So he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with
A fearful trill of things unknown
But longed for still and his
Tune is heard on the distant hill
For the caged bird sings of freedom.

 

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Alone

Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don’t believe I’m wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

There are some millionaires
With money they can’t use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They’ve got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But nobody
No, nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Now if you listen closely
I’ll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
‘Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

 

The Beautiful Poetry of Gwendolyn Brooks – Poets Who Inspire!

 

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Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks was an African-American poet. She was appointed Poet Laureate of Illinois in 1968 and Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1985.
Biography Credit: Poem Hunter.com
Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks was born on June 7, 1917, in Topeka, Kansas, the first child of David Anderson Brooks and Keziah Wims. Her mother was a former school teacher who had chosen that field because she could not afford to attend medical school. (Family lore held that her paternal grandfather had escaped slavery to join Union forces during the American Civil War.) When Brooks was six weeks old, her family moved to Chicago, Illinois during the Great Migration; from then on, Chicago was her hometown. She went by the nickname “Gwendie” among her close friends.

Gwendolyn Brooks is one of the most highly regarded, influential, and widely read poets of 20th-century American poetry. She was a much-honored poet, even in her lifetime, with the distinction of being the first Black author to win the Pulitzer Prize. She also was poetry consultant to the Library of Congress—the first Black woman to hold that position—and poet laureate of the State of Illinois. Many of Brooks’s works display a political consciousness, especially those from the 1960s and later, with several of her poems reflecting the civil rights activism of that period. Her body of work gave her, according to critic George E. Kent, “a unique position in American letters. Not only has she combined a strong commitment to racial identity and equality with a mastery of poetic techniques, but she has also managed to bridge the gap between the academic poets of her generation in the 1940s and the young Black militant writers of the 1960s.”

Taken from the Poetry Foundation: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/gwendolyn-brooks

TO BE IN LOVE

To be in love
Is to touch with a lighter hand.
In yourself you stretch, you are well.
You look at things
Through his eyes.
A cardinal is red.
A sky is blue.
Suddenly you know he knows too.
He is not there but
You know you are tasting together
The winter, or a light spring weather.
His hand to take your hand is overmuch.
Too much to bear.
You cannot look in his eyes
Because your pulse must not say
What must not be said.
When he
Shuts a door-
Is not there_
Your arms are water.
And you are free
With a ghastly freedom.
You are the beautiful half
Of a golden hurt.
You remember and covet his mouth
To touch, to whisper on.
Oh when to declare
Is certain Death!
Oh when to apprize
Is to mesmerize,
To see fall down, the Column of Gold,
Into the commonest ash.

WE REAL COOL

The Pool Players.
Seven at the Golden Shovel.

We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon

YOUNG AFRIKANS

of the furious

Who take Today and jerk it out of joint
have made new underpinnings and a Head.

Blacktime is time for chimeful
poemhood
but they decree a
jagged chiming now.

If there are flowers flowers
must come out to the road. Rowdy!—
knowing where wheels and people are,
knowing where whips and screams are,
knowing where deaths are, where the kind kills are.

As for that other kind of kindness,
if there is milk it must be mindful.
The milkofhumankindness must be mindful
as wily wines.
Must be fine fury.
Must be mega, must be main.

Taking Today (to jerk it out of joint)
the hardheroic maim the
leechlike-as-usual who use,
adhere to, carp, and harm.

And they await,
across the Changes and the spiraling dead,
our Black revival, our Black vinegar,
our hands, and our hot blood.

THE MOTHER

Abortions will not let you forget.
You remember the children you got that you did not get,
The damp small pulps with a little or with no hair,
The singers and workers that never handled the air.
You will never neglect or beat
Them, or silence or buy with a sweet.
You will never wind up the sucking-thumb
Or scuttle off ghosts that come.
You will never leave them, controlling your luscious sigh,
Return for a snack of them, with gobbling mother-eye.

I have heard in the voices of the wind the voices of my dim killed
children.
I have contracted. I have eased
My dim dears at the breasts they could never suck.
I have said, Sweets, if I sinned, if I seized
Your luck
And your lives from your unfinished reach,
If I stole your births and your names,
Your straight baby tears and your games,
Your stilted or lovely loves, your tumults, your marriages, aches,
and your deaths,
If I poisoned the beginnings of your breaths,
Believe that even in my deliberateness I was not deliberate.
Though why should I whine,
Whine that the crime was other than mine?–
Since anyhow you are dead.
Or rather, or instead,
You were never made.
But that too, I am afraid,
Is faulty: oh, what shall I say, how is the truth to be said?
You were born, you had body, you died.
It is just that you never giggled or planned or cried.

Believe me, I loved you all.
Believe me, I knew you, though faintly, and I loved, I loved you
All.

Beautiful Poems by Christina Georgina Rossetti – Poets Who Inspire!

 

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Since I love writing and love creating beautiful poetry, I thought it would be a great idea to highlight some of the great poets past and present.  I decided to start off with the late, great poet “Christina Georgina Rosetti.

TAKEN FROM WIKIPEDIA:

Christina Georgina Rossetti was an English poet who wrote a variety of romantic, devotional, and children’s poems. She is famous for writing “Goblin Market” and “Remember”. en.wikipedia.org

  •  December 5, 1830, London, England, UK
  •  December 29, 1894, London, England, UK
  •  Cancer
  •  British

One Sea – Side Grave

Unmindful of the roses,
Unmindful of the thorn,
A reaper tired reposes
Among his gathered corn:
So might I, till the morn!
Cold as the cold Decembers,
Past as the days that set,
While only one remembers
And all the rest forget, –
But one remembers yet.

Remember

Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you plann’d:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterward remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

 

Echo

Come to me in the silence of the night;
Come in the speaking silence of a dream;
Come with soft rounded cheeks and eyes as bright
As sunlight on a stream;
Come back in tears,
O memory, hope, love of finished years.

O dream how sweet, too sweet, too bitter sweet,
Whose wakening should have been in Paradise,
Where souls brimful of love abide and meet;
Where thirsting longing eyes
Watch the slow door
That opening, letting in, lets out no more.

Yet come to me in dreams, that I may live
My very life again though cold in death:
Come back to me in dreams, that I may give
Pulse for pulse, breath for breath:
Speak low, lean low
As long ago, my love, how long ago.

Who Has Seen the Wind?

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you.
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.
Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I.
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.

Broken Heart Syndrome

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Photo credit: bing.com/images

Peace can be the smallest or the largest of things.

Living in peace is something many of us want more than anything in this world.

Finding peace can sometimes be difficult, especially when one is dealing with the loss of a spouse. The grief journey goes on and on and feels like it’s never going to stop!

Grief has a way of opening doors for denial, depression, stress & anger, often times leading right up to acceptance and even death.

There have case studies done where a spouse has passed away leaving their husband and/or wife to mourn and grieve their death.

Scientists have proven that intense grief weakens the body’s immune system leaving it more vulnerable to infections.

This is called “Broken Heart Syndrome.”

Broken heart syndrome is a temporary heart condition that’s often brought on by stressful situations, such as the death of a loved one. The condition can also be triggered by a serious physical illness or surgery. People with broken heart syndrome may have sudden chest pain or think they’re having a heart attack.

I found the article below and link to the daily mail to be pretty informative.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2120137/Broken-heart-kill-Losing-loved-really-CAN-make-die-broken-heart.html#ixzz54gOflVdt 

 

The Death of Philomena Lynott – The Mother of Thin Lizzy Front Man, Philip Parris Lynott!

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Photo credit: Getty Images

Wednesday, June 12, 2019 was a sad day in Ireland. Philomena Lynott, the mother of Thin Lizzy front man, Phil Lynott died at her home in Sutton at the age of 88. Ms. Lynott had been battling cancer for years and had refused treatment stating she wanted to die with dignity. Philomena was first diagnosed with lung cancer in 2015 but fought it off after undergoing radiotherapy treatment. Throughout the years she interviewed with several television shows and stated that she felt as though if she were to start receiving chemotherapy that after each treatment, she would just go home and curl up in the bed and be cranky; after all, Philomena was a very out-going woman with a beautiful heart and bubbly personality. In 2018 after a scan it was revealed her cancer had returned.

Philomena was a strong woman and went through a living hell after the birth of her son, Philip August 20, 1949. In an interview with The Irish Sun she recalled the days after her baby was born. “Back in those days if a child was born out of wedlock they would write ‘illegitimate bastard’ on their birth certificate. “That’s what was written on his. I was thrown into a workhouse and spat at because I had a black baby. It was a terrible, terrible time.

After leaving the work house Philomena took her baby to Crumlin to stay with her mother, Sarah and her father whom would help raise Philip while his mother went to the UK to find work. There she met a man named Dennis Keeley, where they set up a hotel in ­Manchester frequented by famous stars.

Later in his teens, Phil began to make a name for himself after joining some of the local bands, such as The Black Eagles,” and later “Skid Row” founded by one of his friends, Brendan “Brush Shields,” but after losing his position as lead singer following surgery to remove his tonsils. Lynott got together with friends, Brian Downey, Eric Bell and Brian Roberson and Thin Lizzy was born. Phil became an icon as the front-man, and this amazing band blew up the charts with great hits like “The Boys are Back in Town” and “Waiting for an Alibi.”

Philomena would attend her son’s shows, sitting in the audience singing to the music, smiling at the crowd or laughing at Phil’s jokes as he worked the crowd as one of the most talented front men in rock history. The world fell in love with Thin Lizzy and Phil Lynott. The group toured the world, the UK and even the USA. The band had such a huge impact on everyone they met and performed for and their fan base continued to grow all over the world. Unfortunately it wouldn’t last, and Philomena would find herself suffering through the worst hell any parent could imagine when her beloved Phil passed away on January 4, 1986 at the age of 36 from septicemia as a result of his heroin addiction. She was crushed, the world has she knew it was gone and she didn’t know if she could make it without her child and didn’t know if she even wanted to.

TAKEN FROM THE IRISH SUN:

She claimed it was meeting another grieving mother, who lost three children in the Stardust tragedy, tending the tombstone of her deceased children in the same cemetery where Phil was buried which changed her life. Philomena said: “That was the day I stopped grieving for Phil.”

Regularly attending gigs, and the annual Vibes for Philo, Philomena was rock royalty in Ireland, and was on hand with Dublin’s then-Lord Mayor, Catherine Byrne, to see a life-size sculpture of her son unveiled on Harry Street, just off Grafton Street, in January 2009.

DAILY VISITS TO ST. FINTAN’S CEMETERY:
Visiting her son’s grave daily, Philomena would clean off the leaves, change the flowers, remove the many guitar picks and other gifts left by the many fans around the world who would fly in to visit his grave and take photos next to his statue.

This is a woman who loved life, loved her son and made sure his legacy lived on years after his death. She will be buried at St. Fintan’s Cemetery.

Rest in Peace Philomena, you will truly be missed!

Phil wrote a song for his mother titled “Philomena!”