Saturday, August 22, 2015

Happy Birthday to American Poet Dorothy Parker

Image credit: imgbuddy.com
One Perfect Rose
By Dorothy Parker

A single flow'r he sent me, since we met.
All tenderly his messenger he chose;
Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet -
One perfect rose.

I knew the language of the floweret;
'My fragile leaves,' it said, 'his heart enclose.'
Love long has taken for his amulet
One perfect rose.

Why is it no one ever sent me yet
One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, it's always just my luck to get
One perfect rose. 

Dorothy Parker (August 22, 1893 – June 7, 1967) was an American poet, short story writer, critic and satirist, best known for her wit, wisecracks, and eye for 20th-century urban foibles.

From a conflicted and unhappy childhood, Parker rose to acclaim, both for her literary output in such venues as The New Yorker and as a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table. Following the breakup of the circle, Parker traveled to Hollywood to pursue screenwriting. Her successes there, including two Academy Award nominations, were curtailed as her involvement in left-wing politics led to a place on the Hollywood blacklist.

Dismissive of her own talents, she deplored her reputation as a "wisecracker". Nevertheless, her literary output and reputation for her sharp wit have endured. Her career took off while she was writing theatre criticism for Vanity Fair, which she began to do in 1918 as a stand-in for the vacationing P. G. Wodehouse.Parker became famous for her short, viciously humorous poems, many about the perceived ludicrousness of her many (largely unsuccessful) romantic affairs and others wistfully considering the appeal of suicide.

The next 15 years were Parker's greatest period of productivity and success. In the 1920s alone she published some 300 poems and free verses in Vanity Fair, Vogue, "The Conning Tower" and The New Yorker as well as Life, McCall's and The New Republic. Parker published her first volume of poetry, Enough Rope, in 1926. The collection sold 47,000 copies and garnered impressive reviews. The Nation described her verse as "caked with a salty humor, rough with splinters of disillusion, and tarred with a bright black authenticity."

Friday, August 21, 2015

Celebrating Poet’s Day

Image Credit: www.daysoftheyear.com
According to www.daysoftheyear.com, Poet’s day is celebrated on August 21 and dedicated to the long history of poetry in the world. Even more so, poetry fills our world with the passion and wonder that flows from the tip of our pens. Each form of poetry is unique to the author, as poetry is inevitably born from feelings and personal experiences; and those experiences are not replicated. 

On Poet’s day it’s time to pick up that pen and write what lies in your heart. Compose poetic art and allow your inner self to overflow on blank pages. You don’t have to be one of the famous masters of prose and poetry in order to celebrate Poet’s Day. Have a poetically divine day of word construction!

Happy Poet's Day!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Celebrating the Birthday of English Poet, Robert Southey

Image Credit: knarf.english.upenn.edu
Robert Southey (August 12 1774 – March 21, 1843) was an English poet of the Romantic school, one of the so-called "Lake Poets", and Poet Laureate for 30 years from 1813 to his death in 1843. Although his fame has long been eclipsed by that of his contemporaries and friends William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Southey's verse still enjoys some popularity.

His most enduring contribution to literary history is the children's classic The Story of the Three Bears, the original Goldilocks story, first published in Southey's prose collection The Doctor. Many of his poems are still read by British schoolchildren, the best-known being The Inchcape Rock, God's Judgement on a Wicked Bishop, After Blenheim (possibly one of the earliest anti-war poems) and Cataract of Lodore.

In celebration of Robert Southey's birthday, we present his poem, Ariste for your enjoyment!

Ariste
By Robert Southey

Let ancient stories round the painter's art, 
Who stole from many a maid his Venus' charms, 
Till warm devotion fired each gazer's heart 
And every bosom bounded with alarms. 
He culled the beauties of his native isle, 
From some the blush of beauty's vermeil dyes, 
From some the lovely look, the winning smile, 
From some the languid lustre of the eyes. 

Low to the finished form the nations round 
In adoration bent the pious knee; 
With myrtle wreaths the artist's brow they crowned, 
Whose skill, Ariste, only imaged thee. 
Ill-fated artist, doomed so wide to seek 
The charms that blossom on Ariste's cheek! 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Today is National S'mores Day

S'mores, National S'mores day, Campfire Dessert
Image Credit: www.foodnetwork.com
Today we celebrate the traditional nighttime campfire treat popular in the United States and Canada, and consists of a roasted marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two pieces of graham cracker. 

According to Wikipedia, S'more appears to be a contraction of the phrase "some more". The first published recipe for a S'more is found in a book of recipes published by the Campfire Marshmallows company in the early 1920s where it was called a "Graham Cracker Sandwich." The text indicates that the treat was already popular with both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. In 1927, a recipe for "Some-Mores" was published in Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts. Although the exact origin of the treat is unclear, reports about scouts from as early as 1925 describe them. Merriam-Webster marks 1974 as the first use of S'more, though recipes for "Some Mores" are in various Girl Scout publications until at least 1973. However, a 1956 recipe uses the exact name (S'Mores), and lists the ingredients as "a sandwich of two graham crackers, toasted marshmallow and 1/2 chocolate bar".

So grab your graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows and have a Happy S'mores Day! And while you're by the campfire, read a little campfire poetry and have a cup of tea!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Follow the Tea & Poetry Book Club on Facebook

Tea & Poetry Book Club, Facebook, Tea & Poetry Facebook Likes

Be sure to follow us for daily posts and updates on our Tea & Poetry Book Club Facebook page. If you have a Facebook page, please share your link so that we can follow you back! #HappyLiking and have a #TEAlicious day!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Celebrating National Clown Week with a Poem

International Clown Week is celebrated each year during the week of August 1–7. Clown groups often celebrate the week with special activities such as performing volunteer shows or having their local mayor declare the week as a city celebration to coincide with the national and international clown week.

In celebration of International Clown Week, we are featuring the poem A Clown's Blessing!

A Clown’s Blessing
Author Unknown

May your noses be red and shiny,
And your smile always bright.
May your cheeks be nice and rosy,
Your eyes sparkle in the light.
May your shoes be always too big,
Your costume be perma-pressed,
Your heart overflow with laughter,
Every time your clown is dressed.
May face paint be at the ready,
And your balloons be “easy-blow”.
May children run to greet you,
Wherever you may go.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Taste of Victorian Poet Gerard Manley Hopkins

Image Credit: poets.org
Gerard Manley Hopkins (July 28, 1844 – June 8, 1889) was an English poet, Roman Catholic convert, and a Jesuit priest, whose posthumous fame established him among the leading Victorian poets. He is regarded by different readers as the greatest Victorian poet of religion, of nature, or of melancholy. However, because his style was so radically different from that of his contemporaries, his best poems were not accepted for publication during his lifetime, and his achievement was not fully recognized until after World War I. His experimental explorations in prosody (especially sprung rhythm) and his use of imagery established him as a daring innovator in a period of largely traditional verse.

Today we celebrate the birthday of Gerard Manley Hopkins with one of his famous poems I Wake and Feel the Fell of Dark, Not Day.

I Wake and Feel the Fell of Dark, Not Day
By Gerard Manley Hopkins

I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day.
What hours, O what black hours we have spent
This night! what sights you, heart, saw; ways you went!
And more must, in yet longer light's delay.
   With witness I speak this. But where I say
Hours I mean years, mean life. And my lament
Is cries countless, cries like dead letters sent
To dearest him that lives alas! away.

   I am gall, I am heartburn. God's most deep decree
Bitter would have me taste: my taste was me;
Bones built in me, flesh filled, blood brimmed the curse.
   Selfyeast of spirit a dull dough sours. I see
The lost are like this, and their scourge to be
As I am mine, their sweating selves; but worse.