Archives - May 2010

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May. 31

Let Nature Work


Memorial Day

     In the photo I am sitting on the outer wall of the Presido del Bahia in Goliad, Texas, gazing at the monument to the fallen dead of the Goliad Massacre in the distance.  My ancestor Henderson Cozart was killed at Goliad during the Texas Revolution.  He was nineteen years old, the youngest to lose his life.  He was a member of Col. Fannin's troops and had been captured at the Battle of Coleta.  The men were marched back to Goliad and promised safe passage out of Texas if they agreed to turn over their arms.  But Santa Anna was not a man of his word.  The men were gathered at dawn on Palm Sunday, 1836, and taken to the place of their execution.  Henderson and his fellow San Antonio Grays were marched to the lower ford of the San Antonio River ...

May. 27

Directions for Resisting the SAT




     The end of the school year is fast approaching.  My senior students are contemplating graduation.  They are preparing to take that last step off the platform in the middle of the football field, diploma in hand, and that first step into their new lives, their parents' and teachers' hearts in hand.  I worry about them.  I envy them. 

     I hope they grow up to be conformists and noncomformists, followers and leaders, all at the same time.  They need both sides to be whole and find a balance in the middle.

     I stumbled across a little poem by Richard Hague titled "Directions for Resisting the SAT." In a strange way, this is what I hope for them.


Do not believe in October or May

or in any Saturday morning with pencils.

Do not observe the rules of gravity,

commas, history ...

May. 24

The Great American Novel


Moby Dick

     Okay, I've put this off long enough, dammit.  Yesterday I went to the bookstore and purchased a copy of Herman Melville's Moby Dick.  Over the years I have been scared off by all the talk of pages and pages of whaling minutia that abound in the novel.  But now the time has come.  I am going to read Moby Dick.  I'm turning it into a project of sorts.  I will enter the epic battle with my trusty highlighter and gel-pen in hand. This will not be a quick read.  Melville's masterpiece will be read with deliberation; it may even take me a few weeks to complete.  I'll be sure to write a post when a thought or image or passage catches my attention.

     As a young man, Melville was a crew member on a whaling ...

May. 18

The Tragic Poetess


Sylvia Plath

     Last week I purchased a new book:  The Collected Poems of Sylvia Plath.  The introduction was written by her husband Ted Hughes, the former poet laureate of Great Britain.  In the still early years of their marriage, Ted started an affair with one of their friends.  When Sylvia discovered it, she insisted on a separation from her husband.  At the time they had a two-year-old daughter and an infant son. 

     Sylvia moved, with her children, from the ancient thatched house in which they lived in a Devon village to a flat in London that was once owned by Yeats.  Her novel The Bell Jar was published in January of 1963, and Sylvia was devastated by the early reviews.  She had no telephone in her new flat, the heating and lighting went off at unannounced intervals.  Unfortunately, it was the ...

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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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