Archives - January 2010

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Jan. 31

Homegrown Democrat


Garrison Keillor

     I fell in love with Garrison Keillor the first time I listened to his Prairie Home Companion on NPR.  What an inventive, creative mind.  His eccentric characters in News from Lake Woebegone remind me of eccentric family and friend from my own hometown.  But my adoration for him was cemented when I read Homegrown Democrat: A Few Plain Thoughts from the Heart of America, published in 2004.  He hit on so many of my own thoughts about the party itself and the state of our country.  Here are a few:

     From Chapter 11: The Good Democrat -- Democrats distrust privilege and power.  Power unchecked runs amok, tears up the garden, and the privileged become sluggish and dull if nobody talks back to them.  We think royalty should ride bicycles and carry their own luggage; we think famous people ought to fix their ...

Jan. 30

"Hazel Tells LaVerne"


Dramatic Monologue

     A dramatic monologue is a type of poem in which a character -- the speaker -- addresses a silent audience in such a way as to reveal (unintentionally) some aspect  of his or her temperament or personality.  The classical example is  Robert Browning's "To His Last Duchess,"  which is far too stuffy.  My favorite is Katharyn Howd Machan's "Hazel Tells LaVerne," a poem in which a maid tells a friend about a frog she discovered while cleaning a toilet.


last night

im cleanin out my

howard johnsons ladies room

when all of a sudden

up pops this frog

musta come from the sewer

swimmin around an tryin ta

climb up the side the bowl

so I goes ta flushm down

but sohelpmegod he starts talkin

bout a golden ball

an how I can be a princess

me a princess

well my  mouth drops

all the ...

Jan. 28



All the World's a Stage

     Every year when I teach Shakespeare's Hamlet to my senior English class, I am reminded how much I love The Bard and The Melancholy Dane.  Hamlet is a paradoxical character, one of the many reasons I adore him. 

     Hamlet, the Smartass --  Polonius:  What do you read, my lord?

                                         Hamlet:    Words, words, words.

     Hamlet, the Sublime -- ... this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire -- why, it appeareth no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapors.  What a piece of work is man! how noble in reason! how inifinite in faculties! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty ...

Jan. 27

Statement of Intent


A Desire to Write

     I recently applied to the University of Houston, for the second time, for an MFA in Creative Writing.  This is the required statement of intent sent with my application.  I shamelessly stole from my own poetry and essays to complete this letter.    Hopefully it works this time.

     I was born in a town of 200 nestled in the hills of East Texas and blessed with ten grandparents, storytellers one and all.  Grandmamma told stories about the hobos who rode the rails during the Great Depression; Mamma told stories about her Choctaw grandfather, an illiterate traveling preacher who went from town to town by horseback to spread the Word; Granddaddy told stories about the scared-baby-faced German soldiers who fought for their homeland at the end of WWII; and Pawpaw told stories about the infamous Bonnie and Clyde who visited his drugstore on the town square ...

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Listening to the whispering pines

Hello. My name is Donna Cozart Pauley. Welcome to The Whispering Pines, a literary blog dedicated to my love of the written word. It is an eclectic collage of my life -- from my poems to my stories to my family to my pets to my causes to my photographs to my recipes to my love of teaching to my favorite literature. Please feel free to comment. Words are only important if they are heard or read. Just like those soundless trees falling in the forest.

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