Archives - April 2011

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Apr. 29

to Nazia



       Sixteenth-century poet Edmund Spenser wrote "Prothalamion," a betrothal ode before a wedding, in honor of the double wedding of the daughters of the Earl of Essex and his close friend the Earl of Worcester. 

       This is the second stanza of the ten-stanza poem, dedicated to my former student Nazia Khan.  The photo on the right is from her traditional Pakistani wedding ceremony.


There, in a Meadow, by the Rivers side,

A Flocke of Nymphes I chanced to espy,

All lovely Daughters of the Flood thereby,

With goodly greenish locks all loose untyde,

As each had bene a Bryde.

And each one had a little wicker basket,

Made of fine twigs entrayled curiously,

In which they gathered flowers to fill their flasket:

And with fine Fingers, cropt full feateously

The tender stalkes on hye.

Of every sort, which in that Meadow grew,

They gathered some; the ...

Apr. 25

... I mean Zippy


A Girl Named Kelley ...


       Haven Kimmel wrote a beguiling memoir titled A Girl Named Zippy.  I fell in love with Zippy from the first word of the first sentence.  In "Hair," the third chapter, her father brings home a wig he won in a card game.  Kimmel writes:  I can imagine that some eight-year-olds would see an implied message in the gift of a wig; all I saw was hair, long and straight and mahogany colored, like the tail of a horse.  That same day her big sister gifts her old house slippers, which Zippy had been admiring from afar.  According to Kimmel:  They were made of the most fabulous, long, fake fur, and when worn, made the human foot look like a pink, oval biscuit.  The fur kind of sprouted up off the top of the slippers and hung down to the floor ...

Apr. 25

Love Poetry


Lord Alfred Tennyson


       When I hear the name of Tennyson, the first poem that comes to mind is "The Charge of the Light Brigade," which is based on a tragic tactical error during the Crimean War.  (And if you're like me, you need to look that up: a war waged by Russia against France, Britian, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia -- a strange group of bedfellows, to be sure.) 

       Our literature textbooks can be creatures of habit.  If I had my say, this poem would be replaced with Tennyson's love poem "Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal."


Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;

Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;

Nor winks the gold fiin in the porphyry font:

The firefly wakens:  waken thou with me.


Now droops the milkwhite peacock like a ghost,

And like a ghost ...

Apr. 20

Just because ...


Ah, Poetry (Deux)


     ... it's still National Poetry Month, I need to return to my favorite -- Edna St. Vincent Millay. Every time I see a picture of Miss Edna, she reminds me of Grandmamma, another red-headed sprite.

     The following poetic duo is from her book A Few Figs from Thistles. The two poems are a perfect embodiment of my grandmother as well.


                     First Fig

      My candle burns at both ends;

        It will not last the night;

      But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends --

        It gives a lovely light!


                       Second Fig

Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand:

Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!

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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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