Monday, November 7, 2016

Favorite Poem Monday---cummings and whitman

One of my favorite poets of all time is ee cummings.  I know a lot of people share this sentiment.  There is something about his style and approach that I find extremely appealing.  His poetry makes my right brain tingle.  A poem of his that I have practically memorized from reading so much is "since feeling is first".  Here is the poem being read with the text shown.


It is hard to write about romantic love without being cliche' or cheesy.  When I read truly great love poems, it is such a pleasure.  ee cummings is one of my favorites in terms of great love poets.  Shakespeare and Pablo Neruda are two other ones that I love.  Let me know if there is a poet you love who tackles this subject in a way you find amazing!

A poem that I think has a similar theme as cumming's poem is Walt Whitman's "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer".  Whitman's poems seem to have such a vibrant energy and express being in love with the world.




Above is a reading of that poem with text.

 I love how both poems express the difference between poetic experience and poetic expression. Ironically, they both express the uselessness of words and the value of visceral experience by using words.

Other Favorite Poem Monday Posts:
Favorite Poem Monday Transtromer and Frost

Monday, October 24, 2016

My Favorite Poem Monday

I love poetry and I love sharing poetry so sometimes on a Monday, I have decided to blog about some of my favorite poems.  Please leave a link to your favorites in the comments!

A couple of years ago, I was lucky enough to come across a Swedish poet, Tomas Transtromer who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2011.  His official website is https://tomastranstromer.net/.

One of his poems that I really love and often read is called "Blue House".  Here is a video of it being performed.




This poem reminds me in theme to Robert Frost's famous poem "The Road Not Taken". Here is Robert Frost reading this much read and beloved poem.

I have probably read this poem over a hundred times over the years, starting in high school.

Both of these poems capture one of the basic human truths that we travel one path in life (the linearity of time) although we often want to travel many.  Part of growing older is accepting this truth while sometimes being tortured by "What if's" about other paths that were options.

While both poems express this theme deftly, I prefer "Blue House".  I believe it captures more of the emotion of growing older, feeling nostalgia, sorrow, and this aching echo of paths not traveled.  Frost's poem seems intellectual and cold in comparison.  I am a big fan of both poets, though.

I have read a lot of Frost's poetry and have just started looking at Transtromer's work.  I am excited about it and feel like I am getting ready to slowly eat a delicious meal!




Thursday, October 20, 2016

Friday My Town Shoot-Out Orange with Poem

Fall in Clementon, NJ
Candy of the Season
Cheese Balls...a favorite orange snack!

Poem for Autumn

The trees sing the dirge of the season 
as autumn consumes the Earth
in fiery orange that burns into red.

The blackened embers left behind
hold the dusty snow aloft,
the world's dreams hibernating
in the soft snowy bed of death,

Until life springs forth again
in all its blazing green. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

My Town Friday Shoot Out Frames



These two pictures were taken in Asbury Park, NJ.  One of the things New Jersey is known for is its beaches.  There are the more southern beaches of which I am most familiar such as Ocean City, Sea Isle, Wild Wood and Cape May.  Then there are beaches that are more central and north in the state .  My husband James and I are hoping to explore these shores.  We both grew up in South Jersey so it is like exploring uncharted territory for us!  Asbury Park has some fame due to the "Stone Pony" music venue that is famously associated with Bruce Springstein among other famous musicians from New Jersey.   We visited for a different reason which I posted about I Love Silverball.



I Love Silverball




When most people think of Asbury Park, they think of the Stone Pony where Bruce Springstein got his start.  However, I went there yesterday for a different reason.  I went to visit the Silver Ball Museum Arcade.  It is right off of the boardwalk in Asbury Park and one block from the Stone Pony.  They are open all year round.   I love pinball and hope to have a pinball machine someday.  Silverball has pinball machines from the last several decades.  They have the history of each pinball machine so if you are interested in their history, you can learn about them.  The great part is you can play all of them for a flat fee.  You can play for half an hour, an hour, or all day.  They also have classic video games such as Ms. Pacman, Galaga and Donkey Kong.  I have so much fun there and could spend several hours.

They do have food available such as pizza, pretzels, and chicken fingers, but my husband and I, along with my stepdaughter decided to check out Porta.  Porta is a high end pizza place within walking distance of Silverball.  They have long tables for family style seating and a relaxed, unique ambiance.  Porta also has a bar area.  We were there at lunch time and it seemed kid-friendly at that time.  We shared the Shrimp Boat pizza and the Margherita pizza.  The Shrimp Boat was quite spicy but delicious.  The Margherita pizza was more classic and delicious.  They also had desserts such as pine nut pie (similar to pecan pie but lighter) which was amazing and chocolate pizza which was delicious as well.

The Asbury Park boardwalk and the town itself are relatively dog friendly.  We saw many people walking the boardwalk with their dogs which is apparently just fine in the off season.  During the summer months, they have a section of the beach where you can bring your dog.  Many of the restaurants have outside seating where you can have your dog as well.  We have not brought our dog yet but might in the future.  My dog has her own blog http://adoginthelife.blogspot.com/.  

I cannot wait to go back to the Silverball.  It is a great place to reconnect with your inner child and just play some games!  Plus, you can walk the beach while you are there and have many great eating options on and off the boardwalk.  Also, you can check out some cool bands at the nearby Stone Pony.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Friday Shoot-Out Touch the Sky


Here is a baby Robin we saw at our trip to Grounds for Sculpture.  
We were not sure what it was and a woman there who has been birding for over twenty years told us. 
The picture above and below were taken in Avalon New Jersey.  Above is the path to the beach and as you can see from the sky, it was a fairly decent beach day.  In the picture below, you see the famous Lucy the Elephant.  There is a decent snack bar in front of Lucy so you can take a picture with Lucy and get a bite to eat, which is what my husband and I did!
Avalon Post

 Although it is a bit foggy, you can see the Atlantic City skyline from Avalon.
The pic above was taken at a local dog beach.  Our dog Leia was not interested in getting in the water and almost adopted a new owner who was further away from the ocean.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Four Sentence Book Review: The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

I enjoyed The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd and found the character development to be well-done.  Another great aspect of this book was the historical perspective.  She used characters that actually existed in history and imagined quite well what might have led them down certain paths.  This book would make an excellent point of comparison with Toni Morrison's Beloved for the sake of a book club.






Check out my other reviews:
http://www.spiritsoflena.com/2013/01/3-sentence-book-review-sister.html
http://findingelsewhere.blogspot.com/2016/05/a-handful-of-mindfulness-book-review.html
http://spiritsoflena.blogspot.com/2009/08/the-lovely-bones-by-alice-sebold-review.html

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Friday Shoot-Out: Paths and Summer Woods

This path leads to the beach at Avalon, New Jersey.  I recently posted about my experience there http://www.spiritsoflena.com/2016/07/avalon-new-jersey-walking-beach.html 
This sculpture is on the grounds of one of the coolest places to visit in NJ. My trip to Grounds for Sculpture

Here are some woods around a lake near where I live that is peaceful.  There are turtles, birds, and geese.





Check out my other blogs:
http://findingelsewhere.blogspot.com/
http://adoginthelife.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Avalon New Jersey: Walking the Beach






I recently visited Avalon, New Jersey.  My husband James and I like to visit different places and experience some of the special aspects of it.  On this particular trip, we found many horseshoe crabs on the beach.  These particular ones had claws showing.  We also visited a place called Duck Donuts.  You pick an icing, a drizzle, and a topping for your donut--they have many flavors.  James went with vanilla icing, maple drizzle, and bacon topping (he was pleased with his choice).  I chose peanut butter icing, salted caramel drizzle, and chocolate jimmies (aka sprinkles).  I was also pleased with my choice!  If you have the chance to go to Avalon, this place is definitely worth checking out.





Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Grounds for Sculpture: Art and the Outdoors




I recently visited Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton New Jersey.  I love this place.  There are so many sculptures all over the large grounds.  The sculptures are in all sorts of styles as well as sizes.  Some of them are breath-taking in their largeness.  While there, we ate at Rats, a fine-dining restaurant with a French emphasis.  The food was delicious.  There are also more casual dining options on the grounds.  The art of the sculptures are not the only attraction.  The landscaping has its own art.  They have manicured the grounds with the sculptures in mind so that there is this really great synergy between nature and art.  The last picture shown is not a sculpture but a baby robin that was crying out in one of the trees.  We did not know what kind of bird it was and some birders helped us identify it.  If you live in New Jersey or are visiting, I highly recommend checking Grounds for Sculpture out!!
http://www.groundsforsculpture.org/ 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Friday Shoot-Out: Far Out






One of the far out places that I like to visit in New Jersey is the Pine Barrens.  It is easy to get lost in the Pine Barrens.  It is also easy to not get lost.  They have a lot of camp grounds and trails that if you stick to them, you will easily find your way.  However, stray from the paths, and you can be lost for days!  Camping in the Pine Barrens is fun.  We often do cold-weather camping in the winter which requires proper gear.  Luckily, my husband has the necessary gear!  Our dog went with us on this particular camping trip.  She loves running around the camp area.  She generally stays close to us so we don't have to worry about her running off and getting lost.  Another fun thing to do in the Pine Barrens is canoeing down the Mullica Hill River.  I did not do that but my husband and his friend did.  They fell into the river at one point but were able to salvage all their equipment.  We have also hiked through the Pine Barrens several times which is fun, relaxing, and great exercise! 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Friday Shoot-Out; At the Park






One of the great things about living in New Jersey are all the trees.  This lake pictured in the first few pictures is a great place to meet and take a walk.  The pictures with my dog Leia are from Freedom Park in Medford.  New Jersey has many great parks to go walk, meet, sit, or have a picnic.  There are parks that welcome dogs and give them a running area where they can be off-leash so dogs have a place to meet too!  My dog has just started her own blog http://adoginthelife.blogspot.com/2016/05/hi-my-name-is-leia.html.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Anywhere Else: Picture and Poem


This Body

Inside this puppet show
energized by spirit,
a soft hand of energy
that once flowed through
primordial viscosity,
I wait.

I wish
to be anywhere else
but here, in this soft sand of flesh
that holds electricity
full of pain and joy
so intense
lightning is only a candle.

My body is a cradle
for the infinities that wait
amidst time and space,
the simple illusions that dance
on the caves.
I sleep
perchance.

Soft now, I shall go,
a cat slinking by on quiet paws
into the green shadows of forest
fading anywhere else but inside
this waking dream.

I vanish.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday Shoot-Out: Open





These pictures were taken at Freedom Park in Medford, NJ.  Medford, NJ is located in Southern New Jersey which is quite different than Northern New Jersey.  Southern New Jersey is closer to Philadelphia than New York and has an altogether different feel than Northern New Jersey.  Often, they seem to be different states entirely.  Freedom Park has a playground for children and gazebos to sit under with tables and chairs.  Also, as you can see in the pictures, Freedom Park is dog-friendly.  There is even a huge section that is a dog park.  Included in this section are creeks and ponds that dogs can go in.  My dog, Leia, is not particularly fond of the water so she did not partake in that aspect.  However, she loved being around the other dogs!  Leia has just started a blog herself adoginthelife.blogspot.com.