Miscellaneous Readings; BWEJ

Miscellaneous Readings

A variety of selected poetry frames.

Poetry (derived from the Greek poiesis, “making”) is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and often rhythmic[1][2][3] qualities of language—such as phonaestheticssound symbolism, and metre—to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning.

The Parnassus (1511) by Raphael: famous poets recite alongside the nine Muses atop Mount Parnassus.

Devouring Time; William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare; The Chandos portrait (held by the National Portrait Gallery, London)
Dampen Delight; BWEJ
First page of Beowulf in Cotton Vitellius A. xv
“A humble bumble me” BWEJ

Iambic pentameter (/aɪˌæmbɪk pɛnˈtæmɪtər/) is a type of metric line used in traditional English poetry and verse drama. The term describes the rhythm, or meter, established by the words in that line; rhythm is measured in small groups of syllables called “feet“. “Iambic” refers to the type of foot used, here the iamb, which in English indicates an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable (as in a-bove). “Pentameter” indicates a line of five “feet”.

A soft sort of sending, a quiet sort of mending; BWEJ

Iambic pentameter is the most common meter in English poetry; it is used in the major English poetic forms, including blank verse, the heroic couplet, and some of the traditionally rhymed stanza forms. It is used both in early forms of English poetry and in later forms; William Shakespeare famously used iambic pentameter in his plays and sonnets.[1]

A matter of perspective
Cathedral; BWEJ
Winter Forest Walk

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886) was an American poet. Little-known during her life, she has since been regarded as one of the most important figures in American poetry.[2]Emily DickinsonDaguerreotype taken at Mount Holyoke, December 1846 or early 1847; the only authenticated portrait of Dickinson after early childhood[1]BornDecember 10, 1830
Amherst, Massachusetts, U.S.DiedMay 15, 1886(aged 55)
Amherst, Massachusetts, U.S.OccupationPoetAlma materMount Holyoke Female SeminaryNotable worksList of poems

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

Angel Wings; BWEJ
posthumous Portrait of Shelley Writing Prometheus Unbound in Italy – painting by Joseph Severn, 1845
Equinox Mirror; BWEJ

The oldest surviving epic poem, the Epic of Gilgamesh, dates from the 3rd millennium BCE in Sumer (in Mesopotamia, present-day Iraq), and was written in cuneiform script on clay tablets and, later, on papyrus.[12] The Istanbul tablet #2461, dating to c. 2000 BCE, describes an annual rite in which the king symbolically married and mated with the goddess Inanna to ensure fertility and prosperity; some have labelled it the world’s oldest love poem.[13][14] An example of Egyptian epic poetry is The Story of Sinuhe (c. 1800 BCE).

Evensong; BWEJ
Portrait of Chaucer (19th century, held by the National Library of Wales)

Metrical rhythm generally involves precise arrangements of stresses or syllables into repeated patterns called feet within a line. In Modern English verse the pattern of stresses primarily differentiate feet, so rhythm based on meter in Modern English is most often founded on the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables (alone or elided).[41] In the classical languages, on the other hand, while the metrical units are similar, vowel length rather than stresses define the meter.[42]Old English poetry used a metrical pattern involving varied numbers of syllables but a fixed number of strong stresses in each line.[43]

Grey Mountain Woods; BWEJ
Hush and Whisper; BWEJ

Edgar Allan Poe (/poʊ/; born Edgar Poe; January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American writer, poet, 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. He is also generally considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre and is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction.[1] Poe was the first well-known American writer to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.[2]

The North Wind roils and rakes. BWEJ
Mondrian; BWEJ

Longfellow had become one of the first American celebrities and was popular in Europe. It was reported that 10,000 copies of The Courtship of Miles Standish sold in London in a single day.[141] Children adored him; “The Village Blacksmith”‘s “spreading chestnut-tree” was cut down and the children of Cambridge had it converted into an armchair which they presented to him.[142] In 1884, Longfellow became the first non-British writer for whom a commemorative bust was placed in Poet’s Corner of Westminster Abbey in London; he remains the only American poet represented with a bust.[143] In 1909, a statue of Longfellow was unveiled in Washington, DC, sculpted by William Couper. He was honored in March 2007 when the United States Postal Service issued a stamp commemorating him.

New Year! BWEJ
O Canada! BWEJ

RIn prosody, alliterative verse is a form of verse that uses alliteration as the principal ornamental device to help indicate the underlying metrical structure, as opposed to other devices such as rhyme. The most commonly studied traditions of alliterative verse are those found in the oldest literature of the Germanic languages, where scholars use the term ‘alliterative poetry’ rather broadly to indicate a tradition which not only shares alliteration as its primary ornament but also certain metrical characteristics. The Old EnglishepicBeowulf, as well as most other Old English poetry, the Old High GermanMuspilli, the Old SaxonHeliand, the Old NorsePoetic Edda, and many Middle English poems such as Piers Plowman, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and the Alliterative Morte Arthur all use alliterative verse.[a]

Prairie Flower; BWEJ
Portrait of Elizabeth Barrett Browning in 1859
She was educated at home and tutored by Daniel McSwiney with her oldest brother.[7] She began writing verses at the age of four.[8] During the Hope End period, she was an intensely studious, precocious child.[9] She claimed that at the age of six she was reading novels, at eight entranced by Pope‘s translations of Homer, studying Greek at ten, and at eleven writing her own Homeric epic, The Battle of Marathon: A Poem.[4]
In 1820 Mr Barrett privately published The Battle of Marathon, an epic-style poem, though all copies remained within the family.[8] Her mother compiled the child’s poetry into collections of “Poems by Elizabeth B. Barrett”. Her father called her the “Poet Laureate of Hope End” and encouraged her work. The result is one of the largest collections of juvenilia of any English writer. Mary Russell Mitforddescribed the young Elizabeth at this time, as having “a slight, delicate figure, with a shower of dark curls falling on each side of a most expressive face; large, tender eyes, richly fringed by dark eyelashes, and a smile like a sunbeam.”
At about this time, Elizabeth began to battle with illness, which the medical science of the time was unable to diagnose.[4] All three sisters came down with the syndrome although it lasted only with Elizabeth. She had intense head and spinal pain with loss of mobility. Various biographies link this to a riding accident at the time (she fell while trying to dismount a horse), but there is no evidence to support the link. Sent to recover at the Gloucester spa, she was treated – in the absence of symptoms supporting another diagnosis – for a spinal problem.[6] Though this illness continued for the rest of her life, it is believed to be unrelated to the lung disease which she developed in 1837.[4]
She began to take opiates for the pain, laudanum (an opium concoction) followed by morphine, then commonly prescribed. She would become dependent on them for much of her adulthood; the use from an early age may well have contributed to her frail health. Biographers such as Alethea Hayter have suggested this may also have contributed to the wild vividness of her imagination and the poetry that it produced.[4][10]
Silicone Thin; BWEJ
Transformation; BWEJ

The English Wikipedia is the English-language edition of the free online encyclopedia Wikipedia. It was founded on 15 January 2001 as Wikipedia’s first edition and, as of June 2021, has the most articles of any edition, at 6,364,670.[2] As of August 2021, 11% of articles in all Wikipedias belong to the English-language edition. This share has gradually declined from more than 50 percent in 2003, due to the growth of Wikipedias in other languages.[3][4] The edition’s one-billionth edit was made on 13 January 2021.[5] The English Wikipedia has received praise for its enablement of democratization of knowledge and extent of coverage.[6]

The beginning of the Spectator Magazine by Richard Steele and Joseph Addison in 1710.
Gigantic Elf in Blue; BWEJ

Ozymandias

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—”Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desart….Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1818

“Morning Mist” BWEJ
Bridge Passage; BWEJ
Posthumous portrait of Keats by William Hilton, National Portrait Gallery, London (c. 1822)

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art-  
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night 
And watching, with eternal lids apart, 
Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite, 
The moving waters at their priestlike task 
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores, 
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask 
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors- 
No- yet still stedfast, still unchangeable, 
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,

To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever- or else swoon to death.John Keats

The Double Dragon; BWEJ
Spectacle of life overflowing…. BWEJ

This poem was written in 2007, a decade before the mass of displaced persons (“migrants”) became such a visible and “normal” part of the international landscape. As such, this was prescience and a foreshadowing of what eventually occurred. However this was based on the pragmatic and uncomplicated mathematics related to the ongoing doubling of the global population, rather than a magic ability to see the future; the writing was on the wall then, and now…

BWEJ