Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Solar Minimum, Jazz Guitar, Vitamin Deficiency, Italian Cookery and Mischief in the court of Charles II


Welcome to the round up of posts that you might have missed on Smorgasbord during the week..

We are still waiting for summer with four times the annual monthly rainfall already in June. Not good news for the farmers and their crops… We also have a northerly air flow across Europe which means that even Madrid where we used experience temperatures in the late 20s and early 30s at this time of year, is only getting 16 to 20 degrees.

There is no doubt that there is climate change, but it is hard to put much stock in the warming that is threatened when the central heating is still on in June. There is no doubt that mankind is damaging our planet to a great degree but we have been also experiencing a reduction in solar activity in the last few years and are now in what is called Solar Minimum. This actually could put climate warming on the back burner for the next 50 years with extensive cooling and longer and colder winters for us all.. You might find these posts interesting   especially as we had 16 days of solar inactivity in the last month.

The Climate Depot: https://www.climatedepot.com/2018/02/08/solar-minimum-may-bring-50-years-of-global-cooling/

Astronomy Now: https://astronomynow.com/2015/07/17/diminishing-solar-activity-may-bring-new-ice-age-by-2030/

On a more cheerful note…..I have received some wonderful submissions for the new Sunday Interview beginning at the end of the month, and I will be scheduling posts in the next week. I would love to hear from you, with your perspective on the human senses.. and sixth sense, along with the opportunity to promote your blog and books if you are an author..

Here are the details: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/23/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-new-sunday-interview-series-human-in-every-sense-of-the-word-starting-sunday-june-30th-2019/

Looking forward to hearing from you…

Here are the posts from the week that you might have missed….

As always I am very grateful for the contributions from the regular guests and also to everyone who drops in during the week to like, comment and share.. the blog would not be the same without you.

This week William Price King shares the music of Grammy Award winning American Guitarist Pat Metheny

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/11/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-pat-metheny-guitarist/

Thomas the Rhymer

Part two of the story of Barbara Villiers, mistress of Charles II by Paul Andruss

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/14/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-barbara-villiers-part-2-uncrowned-queen-by-paul-andruss/

Carol Taylor and I team up to share the deficiency of nutrients that are likely with a poor diet, the foods that contain this week Vitamin B12 and Vitamin E.. which helps B12 be absorbed.. and some recipes that contain healthy amounts of both..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/12/smorgasbord-health-column-cook-from-scratch-to-prevent-nutritional-deficiencies-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-vitamin-b12-cyanocolbalamin-combined-with-vitamin-e/

This month Silvia Todesco begins a series of summer themed recipes, beginning with the classic rice salad…Classic Rice Salad (Insalata de Riso)

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/13/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-italiancookery-with-silvia-todesco-summer-classic-rice-salad-insalata-de-riso/

The story continues with Winter: Chapter Four – The Flight to the New Land and the court must pack up and leave the palace under the magnolia tree in Spain and head off on the backs of the Goose Express to The Emerald Island to face an unknown future.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/15/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation-winter-chapter-four-the-flight-to-the-new-land-sally-cronin/

The next episode this weekend is Winter: Chapter Five – The Dapperman..unable to bring all the clothes from the queen’s wardrobe of of her courtiers, the services of the local fashion designer is sought.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/16/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation-winter-chapter-five-the-dapper-man-sally-cronin/

Lovely to welcome back Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 131 following her relocation and settling into her new home. This week she set us the challenge to find synonyms for her prompt words ‘Beginning and Consume’… here is my response.. Old Soldiers.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/12/smorgasbord-poetry-colleens-tuesday-poetry-challenge-131-double-etheree-old-soldiers-by-sally-cronin/

That time of the week when I participate in the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills the prompt is ‘Many Hands’ and here is my piece of flash of 99 words, no more, no less.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/15/smorgasbord-short-story-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-many-hands-by-sally-cronin/

This week Sherri Matthews shares her father’s story, which was complicated. It is a frank look at his life and also acknowledgement of how much he is loved. This was first posted in 2013. Sherri’s father sadly passed away in 2016, but she had dedicated her blog to him with a lovely tribute..About Sherri Matthews

Most recent photo of me and my dad taken in 2006 during a day out from his halfway house. No photos allowed in prison! (c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/13/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-sherri-matthews-memoir-my-dad-the-great-train-robbery-and-a-game-of-cricket/

Time to welcome another regular contributor to the Archive series John Rieber.. this time I am going to be selecting the posts from his extensive archive..This week a restaurant with a difference.. and if you remember your grandmother’s cooking.. you will want to eat at this restaurant. A Staten Island Restaurant Hires Unique Cooks – The World’s Nonnas!

Image CBS New York

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/10/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-recipes-grandmas-cooking-in-the-kitchen-a-staten-island-restaurant-hires-unique-cooks-the-worlds-nonnas-by-john-rieber/

This is the second post from  mother and daughter writing team HL Carpenter (Helen and Lorri). Here is a short story… keeping the fairy tale alive.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/10/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-fiction-the-truth-about-fairy-tales-by-hl-carpenter/

Today I am sharing the second post from the archives of Marian Wood and her blog Just Muddling Through Life Marian has been blogging since October 2018 and posts about family life, writing, fiction and poetry…for her second post I have chosen a short story…..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/11/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-short-story-money-a-row-a-walk-and-a-tight-situation-by-marian-wood/

In June 2017, Frank Prem posted a poem a day.. and so I have chosen the poems he posted on this day and then the subsequent poems that correspond to his posts here…this based on his experience as a psychiatry nurse.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/11/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-psychiatry-4-acute-observations-the-futility-of-triple-words-by-frank-prem/

This is the second post from the archives of Tasker Dunham. I have selected this post as I remember my father building a replica biplane for my brother when he was four, along with a headset borrowed from the station we were based on.

Grandad Dunham's Chair - Flight Simulator

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/12/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-memoir-grandad-dunhams-flight-simulator-by-tasker-dunham/

This is the second post from the archives of fantasy author Lorinda J. Taylor and in this week’s post she explores some of the grammatical changes over time and some E-Book formatting tips..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/12/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-ye-olde-grammarian-no-6-a-hodgepodge-plus-some-e-book-formatting-tips-from-lorinda-j-taylor/

Olga Nunez Miret writes detailed and thought provoking book reviews and here is one that caught my eye..

Fallen Idols. A Century of Screen Sex-Scandals (Images of the Past) by Nigel Blundell

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/13/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-bookreview-fallen-idols-a-century-of-screen-sex-scandals-images-of-the-past-by-nigel-blundell-penswordbooks-by-olga-nunez-miret/

Pre-school teacher of over 30 years, Jennie Fitzkee, has been a welcome guest here many times but this time, Jennie has let me loose in her archives… this will be fun.  In this post Jennie compares childhood and summer.. then and now.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/13/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-childhood-and-summer-then-and-now-by-jennie-fitzkee/

This week London  Cabbie writing as Gibson Square shares a post from the Urban View series which looks at buildings or locations in London that have a hidden history..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/13/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-an-urban-view-223-bow-road-by-gibson-square-the-cabbie-blog/

This is Elizabeth Slaughter’s third post from the archives and I remember watching black and white movies at the cinema as a child and then on our television that was not colour until well into the 1960s.. Elizabeth shares her love of the big screen.

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/14/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-movies-in-colour-by-elizabeth-slaughter/

Time for another post from Kim of By Hook or by Book and  I have selected one from her Whimsical Wednesday Series – Mr. Rogers Edition

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/15/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-whimsical-wednesday-mr-rogers-edition-by-kim-of-by-hook-or-by-book/

This week’s post from Susanne Swanson is a post which mirrors my sentiments about team building exercises in general.  And it is something to think about in relation to how we all react when we here the words ‘Think outside the Box’

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/16/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-thinking-outside-the-box-puzzle-by-susanne-swanson/

And for her final posts…appropriately by Balroop Singh... I have shared an ode to Poetry.

Poetry

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/16/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-ode-to-poetry-by-balroop-singh/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/10/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-bette-a-stevens-andrew-joyce-and-marina-osipova/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/14/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-sue-vincent-janice-spina-christoph-fischer-and-teri-polen/

Eggs are highly nutritious and have been much maligned over the years. But they do need to be prepared carefully.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/10/smorgasbord-health-column-food-safety-eggs-are-wonderfully-nutritious-but-should-be-prepared-carefully-by-sally-cronin/

This week I share the shopping list of foods that may help you ward of dementia… but also some things to look out for in elderly relatives if you are caring for them.. Sometimes dementia symptoms can be down to interaction with other drugs or a urinary tract infection.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/11/smorgasbord-health-column-the-brain-shopping-list-for-the-brain-and-its-support-systems-by-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/11/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives-7/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/13/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-random-thoughts-and-a-joke-from-the-archives/

 

Thank you very much for dropping in today and for all your support… look forward to seeing you again soon.. Sally.

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Smorgasbord Poetry – Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 131 – Double Etheree – Old Soldiers by Sally Cronin


Delighted to say that Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 131 is back and we have missed Colleen Chesebro as she has moved to her new home and settled in..

This week Colleen has set us a challenge to find synonyms for ‘Beginning and Consume’ in our poem and I have chosen ‘Onset and Devour’.

As we have just commemorated the D.Day Landings, and watched the last remaining survivors relive their experiences, I wanted to honour my grandfather and his comrades from an earlier war too.

Here is my double etheree…

Image Sally Cronin

Old Soldiers by Sally Cronin

Old
soldiers
pack away
their uniforms
place treasured medals
in velvet lined cases
proud reminders of their youth
and the onset of the battle
when fear threatened to devour them
as comrades fell to the sand at their side
Many a tear will roll down wizened cheeks
now this anniversary has passed
and although khaki and merits
are returned to their boxes
the memories remain
etched upon their hearts
their minds and dreams
where comrades
haunt them
still.

©Sally Cronin 2019.

If you would like to participate in this week’s Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 131 you have until Sunday to get your syllables in order.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck #Poetry – The Sun Welcomes Me by Miriam Hurdle


Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Today we continue with the series of posts from the archives of poet Miriam Hurdle, who is a regular contributor to the blog. This time I am selecting the posts and the next one I would like to share with you is another of her poems which I know you will enjoy.

The Sun Welcomes Me by Miriam Hurdle

The theme for  Lens- Artists Challenge #12 is Path. This reminds me of some poems I have written about the path I have traveled.

Silver Falls State Park 2018.02.13

We may have decided on a destination or direction to go, but we don’t get to choose the path to get there. It is true in my journey. It was through pain and suffering, travel high and low, to come to where I am at this point in my life. If a time machine could take me back and give me a chance to choose a path, I wouldn’t have chosen a different path. I believe there is a reason for every season.

This poem was written in reflection to my diagnosis of stage IV Melanoma cancer in 2008. I went through six months of harsh chemotherapy treatment, three surgeries, and two months of radiation therapy. After the treatments, it took two years of physical therapy and ongoing exercise to recuperate. My left leg still suffers lymph-edema (swelling) and requires daily exercise and wearing the compression stocking.

But, I’m happy! My physical condition motivates me to go to the gym with my husband and go walking either with or without him!

The Sun Welcomes Me

Journey through high and low
amid worrisome melanoma cancer.
The sense of mortality heightened, with
no assumption of the survival chances.
My prayer was to ask the mercy of the Maker
granting me one more moment to live.
Every new morning was a precious gift.
cloudy or sunny the sky might be,
trotting on the street rain or shine,
even when having no energy to pick up my feet.
hoping to keep up the physical strength
to sustain through six months of harsh chemotherapy.
What a profound gratefulness as treatment fading at the end
when the sun pierced through the clouds to welcome me.

©Miriam Hurdle

 

About Miriam Hurdle

Miriam Hurdle is a multi-genre writer. She writes poetry, flash fiction, and short stories. Her poems are included in Letters to Gaia, Whispers and Echoes Issue 2, Whispers and Echoes Issue 3, and Outcast and More Words.

Music has rooted in her life. Being a soloist as a teenager led her to taking voice lessons and to have ongoing singing engagements. She continues to sing soprano in choral groups. Lyrics have a major influence in the natural flow of her melodic writing. She writes memoir in the form of poetry.

Along with her brother, she took photos when the films were black and white. Photography is still her enjoyable hobby. Drawing and painting were fun activities as a child. Her favorite was to draw a Japanese girl with big eyes, long hair, small lips and chin. She resumed drawing and watercolor painting several years ago. In her poetry collection, photos and paintings are included to illustrate the poems.

She earned a Doctorate of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public school teaching and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California.

About  Songs of Heartstrings which has a recent review

Human being has the willpower to travel through an exhausting journey, win a tough battle, and heal a deep wound. Strength from hope keeps us going until the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight and striving until the storm is over.

This poetic memoir comprises themes ranging from the suffering through an undesirable relationship, surviving an aggressive cancer, to the happiness in true love, the joy of parenthood, and gratefulness toward the Maker. Hurdle reveals the honest self-talk and reflects a heart filled with optimism, faith and trust. She illustrates the poems with her beautiful photos and paintings.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

A fantastic collection of honest, heartfelt poetry that takes the readers on a journey through good times and bad. She writes about a health scare that could have easily ended her life. She weaves nature, family, love and faith through her writing. If you love REAL poetry – poetry that moves you, you will enjoy Miriam’s book! 

Read the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Songs-Heartstrings-Poems-Gratitude-Beatitude-ebook/dp/B07K1S47W9

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Songs-Heartstrings-Poems-Gratitude-Beatitude-ebook/dp/B07K1S47W9

Read reviews and follow Miriam on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17252131.Miriam_Hurdle

Connect to Miriam

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Miriam-Hurdle/e/B07K2MCSVW
Website and blog: https://theshowersofblessings.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/miriam.hurdle.1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mhurdle112

My thanks to Miriam for allowing me access to her archives… it has been a pleasure to read her posts.

Thank you very much for dropping in today and I know that Miriam would love your feedback. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Lord Byron – Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know by Paul Andruss


Following on from recent posts on poets and poetry, I am sharing two more on the subject from Paul Andruss in 2017.

Lord Byron – Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know by Paul Andruss

 

Byron in Greek National Dress

No, not me… but I’m flattered you considered it, even for a moment.

‘Mad, bad and dangerous to know’ was how Lady Caroline Lamb described her lover Lord Byron after he dumped her. Caroline Lamb was as mad as a box of frogs. Even Byron couldn’t handle her, which, God knows, given his track-record should be proof enough.

Caro Lamb (Wikipedia)

During one vitriolic public spat with Byron, ‘Caro’ attempted suicide in the middle of a ball by slashing her wrists with a wineglass. Talk about hell has no fury; she then took it on herself to blacken his name with a public eager for any breath of scandal from this rock-star.

Hang on, rock star? Well famously, sex, drugs and rock-n-roll makes you a rock-star. All you gotta do is substitute poetry for rock-n-roll and….

What d’ya think the big appeal was for people like Keats? Consumption?

Considering we have a song for every occasion from weddings to funerals, with lyrics so personal they are meant only for us, is it really so hard to image getting the same chills from a poem?

In the days before I-pods, Discmans, Walkmans, transistor radios, dancettes, radiograms and even wind up gramophones (not though I’m implying any of you are that old) music was not personal, but public. After all, you can’t take a piano on a picnic. But you could a poetry book; to be read aloud or even in dreamy silence.

Ken Russell brought home the idea of poets as rock-stars, as only he could, in his film Gothic: about the summer Byron spent with fellow poet Shelley in the villa Diodati on the shores of Lake Geneva. A holiday that saw the creation of Frankenstein and the first inklings of vampire fiction based on Byron’s remembered folktales from his travels in Greece. In the opening scene two prim young women sneak into the villa gardens, spot the poets, start screaming hysterically and throw their bloomers at them.

Mary and Percy Shelley; Byron and John Polidori (National Portrait Gallery)

Due to the huge volcanic explosion of Mount Tambora the year before, 1816 was called ‘the year without a summer’. Byron and Shelley, along with the Wollenscroft sisters, stayed in the Villa Diodati. Imprisoned in the house by the appalling weather they did what any self-respecting rock-stars would do: got drunk and off their heads on opium, and no doubt hashish from Ottoman Turkey.

George Byron was born in 1788 with a club foot, something that caused him acute embarrassment and violent fights at school. It also added to his allure an adult: sure proof he was the Devil. His deformity possibly gave him the idea of controlling his image when famous. He personally approved all portraits, only allowing himself to be presented in certain studied poses that gave rise to an ideal of a Byronic hero: mean, moody and magnificent.

Byron Portrait (From Britannica)

So, we know Byron was a poet, even though we can’t quote any lines of poetry (*see footnote); that he was devilishly handsome (remember he approved his portraits); and a thoroughly bad lot. But who was Byron and why did the very mention of his name make men, as well as women, want to lie down and reach for the smelling salts?

One of the first things you come across is Byron’s bisexuality. Although, I think that term is a bit post-Freudian. People are sexual, and of course opportunistic. In an all-boys school with hormones raging, then…

Byron confessed to ‘violent passions’ with school friends and had a protégé at university. In later life, he admitted believing ‘consciousness of sexual difference made England untenable’. In those days, homosexuality and sodomy was not just social ruin, but also hanging offences.

Byron also had women: lots of women. One was a distant cousin, Mary Chatsworth; another was his half-sister, Augusta Leigh. Rumours of incest abound. It was claimed he fathered a child on Augusta. His introduction to sex started at the age of 9, when a serving girl visited his bedroom to ‘play tricks on his person’: her way of ensuring he did not tell his mother of her drunken binges.

Underpainting sketch for portrait of Byron’s half-sister Augusta Leigh

During this time his widowed mother’s suitor Lord Grey De Ruthyn also made sexual advances on him. The first vampire story, and possible origination of the genre, was written by Byron’s physician John Polidori during that fateful summer at the Villa Diodati. The vampire, a suave nobleman based on his employer Lord Byron, is called Lord Ruthven, making one wonder what Bryon confided to his handsome, young doctor and under what circumstances.

At the age of 21, Byron headed off on a European Grand Tour as did most young noblemen. An influencing factor may have been a friend downing himself rather than risking public exposure of his sexuality. Byron later admitted sexual freedom was also a lure.

In 1809, with Napoleon rampaging through Europe and Wellington fighting the Peninsula War in Portugal, Byron headed to Italy and through the Ottoman Empire to Turkish Greece. (Greeks and Turks still hate each other.) Here he took up with a 14 year old boy and a 12 year old girl in Athens.

(Even writing this leaves me feeling contaminated – child abuse: one of the many unpalatable facets of history. The past is not just a foreign country; it’s your worst nightmare.)

On a brighter note the Pasha of Greece allegedly wanted to make Byron his catamite. Byron only managed to evade his advances because of his title.

Returning to England, Byron wrote of his travels in the first cantos of his ‘Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage’ and became instantly famous. Of course despite mounting debts, Byron, being a gentleman, refused payment for his work, which must have made his publishers very happy indeed.

Annabella Milbanke

During this time came his scandalous affairs, mounting debts and unhappy marriage. His wife’s wealthy family were ‘trade’. They had the cash: he the title. Annabella Milbanke, a ‘blue-stocking’ (i.e. educated), their heiress was their pride and joy.

She was also Caro Lamb’s cousin, which couldn’t have gone down well with her deranged relative once she realised Byron had no intention of revisiting that pasture. Fervent, pure-minded and madly in love with Byron’s poetry, Annabella believed she could cure her husband’s excesses and thereby save his soul.

Hmmm… guess what!

Eventually Byron was forced to flee rather than face prosecution for sodomy with his wife. Society gasped to learn Annabella was prepared to face such public humiliation merely to punish her husband. They suspected Caro was behind it. A trifle hypocritical considering Byron had also indulged himself in that way with Caro before marriage and Caro rather enjoyed it, even dressing up as a young manservant to facilitate the illusion.

However, exile did allow Byron to escape his ruinous debts – so it wasn’t all bad.

While living in Venice in 1816, he learned Armenian, co-authoring an English-Armenian Grammar, and eloped with the young wife of an old count with whom he resided until he left for Greece 7 years later. During this time he wrote many important works including Don Juan. His friend Shelley died in a boating accident as did his illegitimate daughter to Mary Wollenscroft Shelley’s sister. Dead of fever at the age of 5, while under her father’s loving but negligent care.

Memorial to the drowned poet Shelley in Oxford

In 1823 Byron joined the Greek fight for Independence from the Ottoman Empire. While sailing to the Greek mainland from the island of Kefalonia, Byron’s ship, fleeing the Turkish navy, landed to Messalongi where Byron joined the rebels. The following spring he caught a chill which may have resulted in pneumonia. With unsterilized instruments the usual medical practice of bloodletting left him with blood poisoning. He died on the 23 April 1824 aged 36.

He left instructions in his will for all his personal papers to be destroyed. His executors carried out his last request: making him even more of an enigma and ensuring the myth of the Byronic hero influenced generations of poets, writers and bohemians. Although lauded by the Greeks and an object of endless fascination to the British public, the establishment never really forgave him.

Byron Memorial Messalongi Greece

Byron had a daughter with his wife Annabella: the famous ‘blue stocking’. No surprise Ada turned out to be a brilliant mathematician, developing computer programmes for Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine (1837): the first general purpose programmable digital mechanical computer of the modern age. The size of a small palace it was worked by gears and handles. Due to its size and complexity Babbage only completed a small part of the Analytical Engine, before his death. But all this of course is another story.

Ada Lovelace (nee Byron)

*Footnote: Opening lines of ‘She Walks in Beauty’ by Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies,
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meets in her aspect and her eyes;

©Paul Andruss 2017

About Paul Andruss

Paul Andruss is a writer whose primary focus is to take a subject, research every element thoroughly and then bring the pieces back together in a unique and thought provoking way. His desire to understand the origins of man, history, religion, politics and the minds of legends who rocked the world is inspiring. He does not hesitate to question, refute or make you rethink your own belief system and his work is always interesting and entertaining. Whilst is reluctant to talk about his own achievements he offers a warm and generous support and friendship to those he comes into contact with.

Paul is the author of two books and you can find out more by clicking the image.

Finn Mac CoolThomas the Rhymer

Connect to Paul on social media.

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/paul.andruss.9
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Paul_JHBooks

You can find all of Paul’s previous posts and gardening column in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/paul-andruss-myths-legends-fantasy-and-gardening/

Thank you for dropping in today and as always please leave your questions and comments for Paul… thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – #Poetry – Fear by Charles E. Yallowitz..


Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Today the final post from fantasy author Charles E. Yallowitz who has a wonderful blog where you can find stories, thoughts on life, book related posts and poetry.  This week I have selected another poem from Charles that I thought was fantastic..Packs a lot into a few lines.

Fear by Charles E. Yallowitz..

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The darkest depths of the mind are my playgrounds

I am omnipotent

Spiders, heights, and death are my faithful minions

I am everlasting

Both strong and weak fall before me

I am destructive

My power will consume the cosmos

I am unbeatable

This world would be nothing without me

I AM FEAR

©Charles E. Yallowitz 2014

I think he nailed it.. Spiders, heights and death…..

A selection of the most recent books by Charles Yallowitz

 

A recent review for War of Nytefall: Book Three – Rivalry

Apr 16, 2019 Ionia rated it four stars

I am not someone who typically loves books that are centred around vampires. I have never had much of a fascination with them, (perhaps this comes from Romanian roots and the eye-rolls that go along with those roots,) however, I feel like the author has created a new and interesting breed of vampire in his Dawn Fangs. They extend the normal parameters that one expects with vampires and I like that they are not all simply humans, but other species as well. They have a range of personalities, which, is nice to see.

This book is not light on action and there is always something happening to capture the reader’s attention. It is a bit gorier than some of the other works set in Windemere, but one should probably expect that when the book is about vampires. I like the various settings in the book and the author does a good job of visual imagery and transporting the reader to a new location each time the characters move on to a different place. There has been quite a lot of character development and some fantastic new arrivals since the first book in the series.

All of that being said, I do have some fundamental issues with this book, as with the other books by this author. I want his characters to take themselves more seriously. I can appreciate a moment of levity here and there when it is called for, but sometimes, I feel like you never get to feel the pain these characters truly feel, because there is usually comedy of one variety or another involved. For me, this takes away from a serious situation and makes it seem superficial, casting the same unfortunate glow on the characters. I want to hurt and feel pain when the characters I have grown to love are feeling it. I want to feel their joy and triumph when they overcome an obstacle or share something special. I don’t always want the two things to be mixed.

It seems to me, that the author is fully capable of producing material that will shock and please an audience and could grow these books into something much bigger than they are. Still, I feel he is holding back. Perhaps is afraid to offend the audience with too much darkness when exploring the depths of his characters? I personally think any author with the talent to write such creative works, should not be afraid to express themselves fully and take ordinary to extraordinary by not worrying so much about what the audience may think.

In any case, there were a lot of good things about this book, and a lot of reasons that you might want to pick it up and give it a read. I, for one, love the tournament style fighting–which is kind of Roman Colosseum with added magic. I enjoyed the suspense of those fights and never knowing what kind of opponent the characters were going to face.

Overall, this is a good book, written by a highly talented author who is good at provoking the reader’s imagination.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Charles-E-Yallowitz/e/B00AX1MSQA

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Charles-E-Yallowitz/e/B00AX1MSQA

Read more reviews and follow Charles on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6965804.Charles_E_Yallowitz

About Charles E. Yallowitz
Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire Stare. When he isn’t working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. ‘Legends of Windemere is his first series, but it certainly won’t be his last.

Links to connect to Charles on websites, blogs and social media.

Legends of Windemere Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Pinterest
Tumblr
LinkedInCharles E. Yallowitz Website

My thanks to Charles for allowing me to delve into his archives and I hope you will head over and do some of your own browsing.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – William Blake A Man Born Before his Time by Paul Andruss


Following on from last weekend’s posts on poetry I am sharing two more on the subject from Paul Andruss in 2017.

William Blake A Man Born Before his Time by Paul Andruss

Ancient of Days (Frontispiece from Europe a prophecy- Blake)

William Blake 1757 –1827 is best remembered for lines from a handful of poems.

Jerusalem

And did those feet in ancient time,
Walk upon England’s mountains green?

The Tyger

Tyger, Tyger burning bright,
 In the forests of the night;

Auguries of Innocence

To see a world in a grain of sand
and heaven in a wild flower
Hold infinity in the palms of your hand
and eternity in an hour.
A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all of heaven in a rage

The Sick Rose –   

O Rose thou art sick.
The invisible worm…
  Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy

William Blake 1757 –1827

William Blake was born in 1757 to English Dissenters who had separated from the Church of England over State interference in religious matters. At the age of 10, he had his first brush with the spiritual and mystic realm that came to dominate his life, experiencing a vision of a tree full of angels on Peckham Rye Common. Blake continued to have visions throughout his life.

Around this time his parents sent him to drawing classes. When the young Blake developed a preference for engraving, his father apprenticed him at 14 to a print-maker. As a printer and engraver Blake was able to print his own poetry books illustrated with hand-painted watercolours.

Dismissed as idiosyncratic, his genius was ignored during his lifetime. An exhibition of his paintings was poorly attended and the only review hostile. In his twilight years Blake gathered a small group of disciples who kept his flame flickering until his biography in 1865 introduced him to the poet Swineburne, luminaries in the Arts and Crafts movement and the Pre-Raphaelite Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

The Pre-Raphaelite revival during the hippy era ensured Blake’s rediscovery. His unique artistic style and mystical poems struck a chord with a generation yearning for spirituality. Today he is chiefly remembered for his hand-tinted etchings and two collections of illustrated poems: Songs of Innocence (1789) and Songs of Experience (1794).

A large part of his work languishes unknown. These are his visionary books, a series of almost incomprehensible interrelated illustrated poems. Described by Blake as prophetic and apocalyptic, they show him to be a revolutionist.

A prophet is not a fortune teller but someone God uses as a mouthpiece. For Blake, God was the embodiment of natural truth and justice, while the church was no better than the Biblical Great Whore.

Babylon the Whore mounted on the Great Beast from Revelation (Blake)

In the Greek, Apocalyptic means to uncover or reveal; accounting for the Apocalypse of St John’s other name: the Book of Revelation. Having said that in Blake’s day the word meant the same thing we understand today: the end times. Yet in Revelation, when the old world is swept away, the righteous inherit New Jerusalem. Rather than the penalty of sin, it is the harbinger of heaven on earth.

Blake may have deliberately sheathed his work in allegory because his radical political views were considered treasonable. He was tried for sedition in 1803 after an altercation with a soldier where the old man was supposed to have cried out: ‘Down with the King!’ He was acquitted.

Blake was an advocate of the Free Love Movement, which wasn’t about throwing your car keys into a fruit bowl – I’m pretty sure Mrs Blake would have had something to say about that. Rather it espoused the political equality, and social and sexual freedom of women. It also advocated the removal of all laws against adultery, homosexuality and prostitution. And was the director ancestor of the Suffragettes and Family Planning.

Blake believed marriage was slavery. This was a time when marriages were often arranged. A woman was required to be obedient and subservient to her husband. Her wealth became her spouse’s on marriage. More or less considered her husband’s property, she was obliged to fulfil his needs and condemned to perpetual pregnancy.

It wasn’t until over a century later, Margaret Sanger opened the first birth Control Clinic in New York City in 1921. The police closed it down. A year later, Marie Stopes – scientist, academician, campaigner and author of the best-selling female sexual health manual, Married Love – opened a Birth Control Clinic in West London that fared better.

Blake was an admirer of the radical English philosopher Thomas Payne whose work ‘The Rights of Man’ played a significant role in the American Revolution and provided the blueprint for The American Constitution and The Bill of Rights. He also admired the French Philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau, who most famously said: Man is born free and is everywhere in chains. He may have even met Rousseau during his exile in London during the 1760s.

England was the birthplace of revolution. In 1215 King John capitulated to the barons in the Magna Carta. In the 1649, Parliament executed King Charles who believed he was directly appointed by God. In 1688, the Glorious Revolution saw Parliament overthrow of the Catholic sympathiser James II in favour of a restricted monarchy by his daughter and her husband: William and Mary.

Yet, the American Revolution was viewed as a unique and radical event in that it enshrined the rights of citizens and created an egalitarian society. Although women were not in actuality much better off, the ethos of Revolutionary Motherhood gave women a say in rearing their children and eroded the patriarchal rights of paterfamilias. Marriage focused on love and affection rather than wifely obedience; allowing the next generation to choose their spouses and use birth control.

Educated in the newly translated Greek classics, and struggling to shake off the last shackles of absolutism in religion and politics, Europeans looked on the American Revolution as a renaissance of (in their idealised view) ancient Athens: the birthplace of democracy (rule of the common people). That was in fact a slave owning society that denied rights to women.

America a Prophecy Frontispiece (Blake)

In ‘America a Prophecy’ Blake lauds America for overthrowing tyranny, considering it a beacon of liberty and equality. In ‘Visions of the Daughters of Albion’, he has the women of England look to America, where he believes all discrimination one day will end and where they will receive equal rights.

From the Visions of the Daughters of Albion (Blake)

Blake created a whole mythology around his romanticised version of England. He renamed the country Albion, after a giant who settled here island and whose sons and daughters inhabited it for a thousand years until Brutus came from Troy… the story which begins Geoffrey of Monmouth’s ‘History of the British Kings’.

Blake was very much in tune with contemporary historical ideas when he created his mythology, borrowing heavily from the Bible, including the newly translated excluded books, fragments of classical myth and medieval works such as Geoffrey of Monmouth and the ancient Welsh Black Book of Carmarthen and Red Book of Hergest.

As with all his work, at the heart of his mythology is a lament for the loss of the traditional rural past and a condemnation of the industrialisation and urbanisation ruining England’s once green and pleasant land. Blake’s poem Jerusalem (in full below) is a plea to end the madness of modernity and return to Eden, where Adam and Eve were equal.

It references the medieval story of Jesus visiting Glastonbury in England with his uncle Joseph of Arimathea. Christ’s presence made England a holy land; a New Jerusalem. Where, in the words of John Ball’s sermon preached 400 years earlier during the Peasant’s Revolt…

‘When Adam delved and Eve span who was then the gentleman? From the beginning all men by nature were created alike, and our bondage or servitude came in by the unjust oppression of naughty men… I exhort you to consider that now the time is come, appointed to us by God, in which ye may (if ye will) cast off the yoke of bondage, and recover liberty’

During his life Blake saw the agricultural villages and cottage industries that characterised Britain since the Middle-Ages, being overturned by farming machinery and more efficient practices requiring fewer workers. Common land was enclosed by landowners – preventing tenant farmers and smallholders the right to graze animals on common ground – denying an important source of additional income and effectively reducing them to servitude.

Abandoning the traditional way of life, the rural poor flocked to the newly expanding squalid overcrowded cities. Here they were forced to work long hours for little money and less consideration, as unskilled labour in the new steam powered manufactories – giving us the modern word factory.

Is it any wonder the French industrial poor threw wooden clogs into the machines that destroyed their livelihoods? The wooden clog or sabot gave rise to the name Saboteur.

Some analysts equate the ‘dark Satanic mills’ of Blake’s Jerusalem not with the new manufactories but the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford – spewing out the new-age men of science and engineering, and the clergy who enslaved Christ’s own Englishmen for the greedy landowner and fell industrialist.

Others, less given to allegory, point out he could be referring to Albion Flour Mills the first big factory in London, situated close to Blake’s house. When it burned down, possibly due to arson, a contemporary illustration showed the devil squatting over the burning building.

In 1776, France had helped the American Revolutionaries. This was more to piss off the English than for any genuine fellow feeling. The French Monarchy was far more totalitarian.

Thirteen years later it seemed only fair the Americans should in turn help the French Revolutionaries … despite their actions not displaying much gratitude to the French king. (In thanks, the French Republic later gifted America with the Statue of Liberty. Constructed by Gustav Eiffel, a copy gifted by America to France, stands in Paris not far from Eiffel’s Tower.)

With the French Revolution came another prophetic book ‘Europe a prophecy’, where Blake praised the French, as he had the Americans, for having the courage to do what the English would not: embrace liberty, fraternity and equality. This has led some to consider ‘The Tyger’ (in full below) a paean to the French Revolution.

Blake’s fervour is evident in lines like:

What the hand, dare seize the fire?

A reference to Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods, putting man above the rest of creation; which begs the question: if man is the pinnacle of creation why are some less than others?

And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand & what dread feet

The French Revolution began among the poor and disenfranchised – the labourer working with his hands to produce a wealth he does not share. His tools, used to make profit for others, will now smash his chains. Its revolutionary anthem was the marching song ‘La Marseillaise’’ calling volunteers from Marseilles to fight tyranny-

“To arms, citizens,
Form your battalions,
Let’s march, let’s march!
Let an impure blood
Soak our fields!”

The Tyger’s concluding lines can be simultaneously read in two contradicting ways.

Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Is Blake parodying his earlier poem The Lamb’ (from Songs of Innocence) with a jab at the complacent and long-suffering English working class; unfavourably compared to their French brothers?

In his complex mythology Blake thought Christ visited England. If Christ is the Good Shepherd; we are his flock. Unlike the tigers of France, Englishmen are content to be sheep and so he wonders: Is the god of universal justice, pleased to see his chosen people bought off by boiled beef and carrots?

By the time the poem was published in 1794, the ideals of the Revolution were lost to the Reign of Terror. Aristocrats and citizens alike where daily denounced and guillotined to the clack of les tricoteuses’ knitting needles. Worse the Terror played into the hands of the English Establishment who had always belittled the Revolution. The English press jocularly compared English Slavery to French Liberty in contemporary cartoons.

French Liberty and English Slavery (a satirical cartoon)

Because the Tyger is a savage beast who knows only how to destroy and devour, do we, in Blake’s last lines, hear his despair that man, by his very nature, is incapable of embracing the universal justice of brotherhood, equality and freedom?

End-piece to Jerusalem (Blake)

JERUSALEM

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?

And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic Mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!

I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England’s green and pleasant land.

THE TYGER

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!

When the stars threw down their spears
And water’d heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

©Paul Andruss 2017

About Paul Andruss.

Paul Andruss is a writer whose primary focus is to take a subject, research every element thoroughly and then bring the pieces back together in a unique and thought provoking way. His desire to understand the origins of man, history, religion, politics and the minds of legends who rocked the world is inspiring. He does not hesitate to question, refute or make you rethink your own belief system and his work is always interesting and entertaining. Whilst is reluctant to talk about his own achievements he offers a warm and generous support and friendship to those he comes into contact with.

Paul is the author of two books and you can find out more by clicking the image.

Finn Mac CoolThomas the Rhymer

Connect to Paul on social media.

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/paul.andruss.9
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Paul_JHBooks

You can find all of Paul’s previous posts and gardening column in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/paul-andruss-myths-legends-fantasy-and-gardening/

Thank you for dropping in today and as always please leave your questions and comments for Paul… thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – #Poetry Beautiful Tiny Baby by Miriam Hurdle


Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Today we continue with the series of posts from the archives of poet Miriam Hurdle, who is a regular contributor to the blog. This time I am selecting the posts and the next one I would like to share with you is a poem that is clearly very close to Miriam’s heart.

Beautiful Tiny Baby written by Miriam Hurdle at Spillwords.com

Beautiful Tiny Baby by Miriam Hurdle

Seven months of being pregnant,
driving from California to Oregon
for a Christmas family gathering.
“Take breaks more often,” Doctor said.

Still, it was 1,000 miles in distance.
When we arrived, I started the contractions,
went to the hospital in Salem.
“We have no equipment to care for
premature babies.” Doctor said.

An ambulance took me,
traveled one hour to Portland.
I was holding my baby tight,
praying, telling her, “I love you,”
all the way.

We arrived at the hospital safe and sound,
the contractions seemed to quiet down.
I had a belt on my belly strapped around
to monitor the frequency of contraction.

Not long after I had dinner,
the monitor beeped a warning sound.
Yes, my daughter wanted to come around.
A cesarean section was in order.

“An experimental drug could be
injected into your spinal cord
to mature the baby’s lungs, so
she could breathe on her own;
the effect on you is unknown.” Doctor said.

Without hesitation, I wanted the injection.
It turned out to be a sound decision.
Baby Mercy only needed twelve hours of
respiratory help.

She was tiny and beautiful.
I had her in my arms.
Her eyes followed mine.
My baby had the angel’s guide.

Her birth was years ago,
the vivid memory never gets old.
She started with her tiny feet,
her steps have been directed by
the heavenly Father’s lead.

Note from the author:

This poem is about the unexpected birth of my seven-month premature baby Mercy who was born safe and sound on the day after Christmas and my joy and gratefulness for the beautiful baby. Mercy is married with a beautiful family.

©Miriam Hurdle

About Miriam Hurdle

Miriam Hurdle is a multi-genre writer. She writes poetry, flash fiction, and short stories. Her poems are included in Letters to Gaia, Whispers and Echoes Issue 2, Whispers and Echoes Issue 3, and Outcast and More Words.

Music has rooted in her life. Being a soloist as a teenager led her to taking voice lessons and to have ongoing singing engagements. She continues to sing soprano in choral groups. Lyrics have a major influence in the natural flow of her melodic writing. She writes memoir in the form of poetry.

Along with her brother, she took photos when the films were black and white. Photography is still her enjoyable hobby. Drawing and painting were fun activities as a child. Her favorite was to draw a Japanese girl with big eyes, long hair, small lips and chin. She resumed drawing and watercolor painting several years ago. In her poetry collection, photos and paintings are included to illustrate the poems.

She earned a Doctorate of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public school teaching and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California.

About  Songs of Heartstrings which has a recent review

Human being has the willpower to travel through an exhausting journey, win a tough battle, and heal a deep wound. Strength from hope keeps us going until the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight and striving until the storm is over.

This poetic memoir comprises themes ranging from the suffering through an undesirable relationship, surviving an aggressive cancer, to the happiness in true love, the joy of parenthood, and gratefulness toward the Maker. Hurdle reveals the honest self-talk and reflects a heart filled with optimism, faith and trust. She illustrates the poems with her beautiful photos and paintings.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

A fantastic collection of honest, heartfelt poetry that takes the readers on a journey through good times and bad. She writes about a health scare that could have easily ended her life. She weaves nature, family, love and faith through her writing. If you love REAL poetry – poetry that moves you, you will enjoy Miriam’s book! 

Read the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Songs-Heartstrings-Poems-Gratitude-Beatitude-ebook/dp/B07K1S47W9

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Songs-Heartstrings-Poems-Gratitude-Beatitude-ebook/dp/B07K1S47W9

Read reviews and follow Miriam on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17252131.Miriam_Hurdle

Connect to Miriam

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Miriam-Hurdle/e/B07K2MCSVW
Website and blog: https://theshowersofblessings.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/miriam.hurdle.1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mhurdle112

My thanks to Miriam for allowing me access to her archives… it is a pleasure to read her posts.

Thank you very much for dropping in today and I know that Miriam would love your feedback. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – According to the Muse (A monologue in 2 parts) Part Two – Born to Die by Paul Andruss


Time for another post  by Paul Andruss who gave us plenty to think about in terms of poetry in part one of According to the Muse yesterday: Part One

According to the Muse (A monologue in 2 parts) Part Two – Born to Die by Paul Andruss

Illustration by Donata Zawadzka

So saith the Muse: Now you see poetry lies in what is written, not how it is written, or even how it looks written, you understand poetry is no mere academic exercise but an irrepressible urge. A writer without passion is naught but a scribbler Pilgrim. Artists have no choice but to strive, for poetry is the soul. And shall I tell you what lies in a poet’s soul?

Pilgrim: No! No you’re ok… That was lovely thanks, but I’ve gotta get…

Muse: It’s a rhetorical question. This is a never-to-be-repeated offer: a lesson from the Muse. You’ll get such a sip from the cauldron of inspiration it will blow your socks off and you’ll never look at a poem in the same way again. And that, my boy, is the first step to becoming a poet.

Pilgrim: Alright then, hit me.

Muse: And don’t think I won’t!

You may believe poetry is all unicorns and rainbows. Wrong. Poetry is fear. Man did not invent poetry Pilgrim. Poetry was birthed in forgotten aeons before man was dragged up from the apes to stand beside the angels. Poetry always existed, unknown and unshaped. Man merely gave it voice, words and reason.

Stripped of language, culture and intellect, poetry is the primal scream of naked panic at descending darkness. Poetry comes from the blind abject terror of believing unless you beseech the gods correctly the sun will not rise tomorrow; the rains will not fall; spring will not come; plants will not grow and the herds will not return.

Predators in Africa make more kills during the new moon. On moonless nights, lion attacks on humans increase threefold. It is not lunacy driving the wolf to howl at the full moon, it is a poetic lament for an empty belly. Does it surprise, man also sings to the goddess Moon and her daughter the hearth fire to keep him safe?

Unlike animals, man knows he is mortal. It drives the two warring forces in his soul. Eros, or lust, is the will to survive no matter what, to seek communion, to create life and art. Thanatos is chaos, death, war, melancholia, and fear.

Man is not simply afraid of death. He dreads when and how it comes. He frets if and how he will be remembered. He believes his only choice is dying ignominious and forgotten, or departing in a blaze of glory.

She died in the upstairs bedroom
By the light of the ev’ning star
That shone through the plate glass window
From over Leamington Spa

Beside her the lonely crochet
Lay patiently and unstirred,
But the fingers that would have work’d it
Were dead as the spoken word.

 Death in Lemington – John Betjeman: https://allpoetry.com/Death-In-Leamington

It is not bad. Let them play.
Let the guns bark and the bombing-plane
Speak his prodigious blasphemies.
It is not bad, it is high time,
Stark violence is still the sire of all the world’s values.

The Bloody Sire – Robinson Jeffers : https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/22770/the-bloody-sire

Pilgrim: Not though I don’t believe you Muse, but what about humour?

Muse: Scared chimpanzees make the same facial expression as a smile and the same sound as a laugh. Why do strangers passing on a narrow track often say hello or excuse themselves with a smile? What is humour if not something to laugh off fear and threat?
Poetry is never humorous Pilgrim, though rhyme often is. Rhyme is a delight. A game of ambiguity and wit played with devices of semantics and grammar to the point of absurdity.

The common cormorant or shag
Lays eggs inside a paper bag
The reason you will see no doubt
Is to keep the lightning out
But what these unobservant birds
Have failed to notice is that herds
Of wandering bears may come with buns
And steal the bags to hold the crumbs.

Christopher Isherwood – Poems Past and Present : https://www.poetrysoup.com/famous/poems/christopher_isherwood

According to the Norse Skalds, rhyme is not poetry. Skalds, drunk on poetic mead, considered rhymesters only sipped the drops spilt by Odin as he fled with his stolen prize.

Pilgrim: And what about love? Surely, the greatest poems are love poems.

Muse: Does not the fear of loss, betrayal and rejection haunt love? Ask any mother if she worries over a child. Ask any lover. While some stories end with ‘and they lived happily ever after’, those that don’t, deal with loss.

Cold in the earth—and the deep snow piled above thee,
Far, far, removed, cold in the dreary grave!
Have I forgot, my only Love, to love thee,
Severed at last by Time’s all-severing wave?

Remembrance – Emily Bronte:  https://www.wuthering-heights.co.uk/wh/emily-bronte-poetry.php

Come, walk with me,
There’s only thee
To bless my spirit now –
We used to love on winter nights
To wander through the snow;
Can we not woo back old delights?
The clouds rush dark and wild
They fleck with shade our mountain heights
The same as long ago

Come walk with me – Emily Bronte: https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/come-walk-with-me/

All religions offer prayer in song: Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Taoist, Shinto. Even the angels in heaven sing their praises. Poetry is the source from which all art flows: dance, music, song.

Incantation, meaning to sing and chant, comes from Proto-Indo-European, the ancient mother tongue that gave rise to of Sanskrit, Persian, Slavic, Celtic and the other European languages. The Proto-Indo-European word means to speak with the voice of a god. When the gods speak through prophets and poets, the listeners become intoxicated. It is for this reason the Irish God of eloquence, Ogma Sun Face is shown leading men bound with golden chains running from the mouth of one to the ear of the next.

The earliest medieval French poems called lais, meaning ‘songs’ in German and Irish, gave way to chivalric Chansons de Geste or heroic songs. Renaissance poems like Dante’s Divine Comedy, Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso (Roland’s Madness) and Tasso’s Gerusalemme Liberata (Jerusalem Liberated) are divided into cantos (songs). Poems and songs still have verses and refrains.

Because gods speak through poets, poetry is not meant to be easy. Poets are held in high regard because they suffer and sacrifice for art. Odin gave an eye at the well of Mimir for a sip of poetic inspiration. Druidic poets took 25 years to learn poetic lore, including scores of epic poems.

Skilled in extempore composition, they drew on myth to make history mythic. Trained in verse form, rhyme, assonance, alliteration, onomatopoeia, symbolism, metaphor, simile and metonymy, irony and other stylistic devices, they intoxicated audiences leaving them drunk on loquaciousness.

Homeric poets could recite 25,000 lines of epic poetry. Lines burn into minds in the fearful knowledge, one misplaced rhyme would cause everything to be irrevocably lost. A practice continued in Greece and Rome as part of a child’s education; learning by heart Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. Poetry is meant to be spoken and heard, not read.

Pilgrim: Not read? The world’s oldest written text is a poem. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, written four thousand years ago, Gilgamesh seeks immortality only to learn the gods have made death man’s fate. Writing preserved that poem for us.

Muse: Killing poetry in the process. As soon as poetry is written down, it dies.
When science and logic won the battle for men’s souls, the godless Greeks shrank poetry to an intellectual game. Aristotle claimed to analyse poetry. Broke it down into different parts and drew up rules for its application. I was split into nine muses, one for each liberal art, and reduced to a handmaid of Apollo… me, the goddess Muse!

Apollo, a mouse demon, only conquered my shrine a Delphi once the sacred aether had left in its rocky cleft. My pythoness, a slave of unscrupulous priests, was made to sprout gibberish over piles of smouldering laurel, for them to interpret according to their schemes.

I am no handmaid of gods Pilgrim. I am their mother, bride and undertaker. Before a sterile satellite, I was the White Goddess governing the tides of life and death, of women and water. My new, full and old moon faces lit the night, or consigned men to darkness and dread. I was spinner, weaver and cutter of the thread. The morning star, heralding dawn; the evening star bringing the sun home; the midnight star the heavens revolved around: keeper of the pearl-rimmed cauldron frothing with poetic mead. My name meant illumination of thought and I was worshipped as mind, struggle and offering. Then I became memory, practice and recitation.

Odin, like Hermes, is the god of thieves. His ravens Thought and Memory swept the nine realms gleaning news. Learning I governed the nine worlds with charms written upon the World Tree Yggdrasil, Odin thought to steal my power, the power of the Norns. Knowledge made Grimnir arrogant. He hung on Yggdrasil for nine days without food or drink until his flesh felt rough as bark and when the runes travelled over his skin, he greedily gathered them in.

The Norns (The Nordic Fates):
Andruss adapted from Gehrts’ lithograph

Men entombed me in books, captive within grand libraries at Athens, Ephesus and Alexandria. Mistaking knowledge for wisdom those arrogant fools believed themselves gods. Where are those monuments to conceit now? Consigned to flame; their writings ash.

Only the Druids’ poets refused to write my secrets down. Though versed in Greek and Latin, they lived by my code:

Memory to recollect where you come from
Practice so you do not forget
Recitation to tell those to come after

They knew books destroyed poetry and encouraged the unworthy. Had not the sea god Manannan kept the Irish alphabet of trees in a crane skin bag, immune to magic, lest it corrupt men with literacy?

Yet the druids were slaughtered by Caesar; all their wisdom, all their gods, lost, the only survivors Apollo, Odin, Hermes and Thoth. The gods who imprisoned me ensured immortality by hiding inside the written word. Or was it man who made gods subjugate me? For what are gods but inventions of man?

Under gods, man thought me tamed. Then man forgot the gods. But poetry remained. A poet seeking to invoke no longer knows how, he thinks to flatter and seduce and if he succeeds, in blind fumbling excuse, believes I allow because he understands a woman’s needs. As if setting a rose in my hair like I were a Andalusian girl kissed breathless against a Moorish wall under a hot Alhambra moon with him urging my yes, putting hands on me and kissing my neck while I thinking as well him as another draw him down to the perfume of my breasts with his heart drumming like mad in the expectation of my yes. The bloom and the breast is not his to possess or caress until my liberal yes, for this is woman talking and I am sick of love. Yes I am no more his than a snatch of song heard on the jessamine breeze or a flower of the mountain born to die. So let me be yes set me free from the inky bars of this prison page to roll off the tongue careless as a lover’s air whistled on Palma Violet scented breath let loose in an empire of senses where guileless yes is yes, a paradise garden of delight, a sensual world pregnant with life.

(According to the Muse her soliloquy must be read aloud)

Illustration by Donata Zawadzka

Please check out Donata’s website: http://dezawadzka.wix.com/donatasgallery
Buy her prints: http://www.redbubble.com/people/donattien/works/7004053-the-birch-maiden?c=32080-ink-illustrations
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/donataewa.zawadzka?fref=ts
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DonataEZawadzka

©Paul Andruss 2018

About Paul Andruss.

Paul Andruss is a writer whose primary focus is to take a subject, research every element thoroughly and then bring the pieces back together in a unique and thought provoking way. His desire to understand the origins of man, history, religion, politics and the minds of legends who rocked the world is inspiring. He does not hesitate to question, refute or make you rethink your own belief system and his work is always interesting and entertaining. Whilst is reluctant to talk about his own achievements he offers a warm and generous support and friendship to those he comes into contact with.

Paul is the author of two books and you can find out more by clicking the image.

Finn Mac CoolThomas the Rhymer

Connect to Paul on social media.

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/paul.andruss.9
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Paul_JHBooks

You can find all of Paul’s previous posts and gardening column in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/paul-andruss-myths-legends-fantasy-and-gardening/

Thank you for dropping in today and as always please leave your questions and comments for Paul… thanks Sally.

 

 

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives According to the Muse (A dialogue in 2 halves) Part 1: What is Poetry? Paul Andruss


It is time for another post from my archives and one of the articles by Paul Andruss.

Paul who shares a conversation between a Muse and a Pilgrim on the subject of poetry…..and its various forms.

According to the Muse (A dialogue in 2 halves) Part 1: What is Poetry? by Paul Andruss

Wrapped in Light  An illustration by Donata Zawadzka (for Thomas the Rhymer by Paul Andruss)

There are people who,
Aspiring to be considered poets,
Devise mundane sentences
Usual to any written piece
And arranging them in verse
Claim it is a poem
According to the muse
It’s not

Pilgrim: So why Mother Muse, why’s it not a poem? Coz, it sure looks like poetry to me.

So saith the Muse: First of all son, I’m not your mother, I’m a goddess. You can abase yourself on the ground before me if you like, but otherwise less of your lip. Second, do I look like a bloody English teacher?

Pilgrim: But, but, but…

Muse: Oh dear, you sound like an outboard motor.

Let me put you out of your misery. It is not poetry because, although it has rhythm, there is no poetic impulse. It is not what a poem looks like that matters. It is the emotion it stirs.

As a dear friend of mine, Marianne Moore said, ‘Poetry is a matter of skill and honesty in any form whatsoever, while anything written poorly, although in perfect form, cannot be poetry.’  Let me quote from her poem:

nor is it valid
to discriminate against “business documents and school-books”;
all these phenomena are important.
One must make a distinction
however: when dragged into prominence by half poets,
the result is not poetry,

Marianne Moore – Poetry
http://www.poetrybyheart.org.uk/poems/poetry/

Pilgrim: So who’s she then?

Muse: How can you hope to write poetry if you do not know the first thing about it?

Marianne Moore (1887- 1972) was a modern American poet whose Collected Poems published in 1951 won the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and the Bollingen Prize. In his introduction to her work, T. S. Eliot wrote: ‘My conviction has remained unchanged for the last 14 years; Miss Moore’s poems form part of the small body of durable poetry written in our time.’

I take it you know T.S. Elliot?

Pilgrim: Sort of!

Muse: The Lovesong of J.Alfred Pruflock?

Pilgrim: Errrrrmmmm…

Muse:

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/44212/the-love-song-of-j-alfred-prufrock

Anything Pilgrim? Does it yield any emotion?

Pilgrim: Well it’s good inn’t it

Muse: Good inn’t it! Blimey! This is going to be harder than I thought.

Marianne Moore revolutionised the rhythmic base of poetry by only using a pre-determined number of syllables per stanza as her unit of measure. In some ways she was extending what had been done previously with classical English poetic meters such as Iambic Pentameter, which used small groups of five stressed and unstressed syllables in a line.

Originally derived from Classic Latin verse, Iambic Pentameter was adopted by Medieval French troubadours in their Chansons de Geste (heroic songs such as the Song of Roland) and developed in the Renaissance by Dante and Petrarch. It is also believed Shakespeare’s own actor troupe at the Globe Theatre, stressed his words to make the speeches of his plays follow iambic rhythm.

Due to his influence it became a dominant meter in English poetry. Compare Ozymandias a sonnet written by Shelly in loose iambic pentameter with Byron’s lyrical She Walks in Beauty, in iambic tetrameter.

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Percy Bysshe Shelley – Ozymandias
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46565/ozymandias

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies,
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meets in her aspect and her eyes;

Lord Byron – She Walks in Beauty
http://www.bartleby.com/106/173.html

In using used a pre-determined number of syllables within the verse, Marianne freed poetry from the historical anchors of rhyming schemes, alliteration and assonance, ensuring nothing got in the way of the sheer delight in language, and the precise, heartfelt expression, poetry must contain.

Notice how Sylvia Plath echoes this in Fever 103°, allowing the poetic impulse to transcend the limits set by the verse by flowing into the next

Pure? What does it mean?
The tongues of hell
Are dull, dull as the triple

Tongues of dull, fat Cerberus
Who wheezes at the gate. Incapable
Of licking clean

The aguey tendon, the sin, the sin.
The tinder cries.
The indelible smell

Of a snuffed candle!…

Sylvia Plath – Fever 103°
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/29479/fever-103

By working in syllabic blocks, Marianne rekindled interest in free verse, which had originated with the English translation of the Psalms in the 1300s. Its use in Walt Whitman’s strictly metric but unrhymed experiments led to Allen Ginsberg’s 1957 ground breaking radical performance poem Howl.

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night, who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz, who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs illuminated,

Allen Ginsberg – Howl
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/49303/howl

Ginsberg’s stream of consciousness approach in turn influenced the whole beat generation, allowing free poetry to find its way into all forms of expression: books, plays, cinema and music. His descendants are the Punk and Post-punk poets, and modern RAP (Rhythm And Poetry) artists.

Critics saw stream-of-consciousness as containing the poetic purity of speech. Half-poets, as dear Marianne would say, saw no more than liberation from difficult poetic constraints, and thought, no doubt with relief, ‘anything goes’; not realising poetry lies not within its form but its emotional impact.

They could not see free verse is only free from ‘the tyrant demands of the metered line’. It retains poetic form and impulse. As T.S Elliot said, ‘No verse is free for the man who wants to do a good job.’

F. Scott Fitzgerald advised a young writer asking for his opinion, ‘I’m afraid the price for doing professional work is a good deal higher than you are prepared to pay at present. You’ve got to sell your heart, your strongest reactions, not the little minor things that only touch you lightly… This is especially true when you begin to write, when you have… none of the technique which it takes time to learn. When, in short, you have only your emotions to sell.’

Poetry is not meant to be easy. It is forged in suffering and sacrifice, shaped with sweat and toil, and tempered by blood. This is what earns poets the right to high regard. For they willingly paid the price lesser mortals shrank from.

Now do you understand Pilgrim?

Poetry is what you write; its source; its inspiration.

Not how it looks, written upon a page.

©Paul Andruss 2018

About Paul Andruss.

Paul Andruss is a writer whose primary focus is to take a subject, research every element thoroughly and then bring the pieces back together in a unique and thought provoking way. His desire to understand the origins of man, history, religion, politics and the minds of legends who rocked the world is inspiring. He does not hesitate to question, refute or make you rethink your own belief system and his work is always interesting and entertaining. Whilst is reluctant to talk about his own achievements he offers a warm and generous support and friendship to those he comes into contact with.

Paul is the author of two books and you can find out more by clicking the image.

Finn Mac CoolThomas the Rhymer

Connect to Paul on social media.

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/paul.andruss.9
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Paul_JHBooks

You can find all of Paul’s previous posts and gardening column in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/paul-andruss-myths-legends-fantasy-and-gardening/

Thank you for dropping in today and as always please leave your questions and comments for Paul… thanks Sally.

Part two tomorrow…..

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Weekly Round Up – Bloggers, Authors, Music, Health, Food and Funnies.


Welcome to this week’s round up where I share the posts you might of missed, and thank you for taking the time to drop in.

It has been a busy week from a blogging perspective as the new series of Posts from Your Archives gets under way. I did wonder if the previous series which usually featured 12 or so bloggers was restricted due to natural reticence. I have noticed before that you are a shy in coming forward which is why I changed the concept this time so that I went into your archives to select four posts to share.

Boy, did that turn things on its head.. there are now 45 bloggers on the list and I am having the time of my life delving into all the archives to select posts to share. And I am finding some gems that I delighted with.. such as poetry hidden away, wonderful personal stories, travel experiences, family sagas and it just goes to show what a thoroughly talented bunch you are. It has also been great to see lots of discussions going on between everyone about the subject of the posts… loving it.

Clearly it is going to take me a little while to get through all the archives and they will appear over the next three months.. I will try to let you know dates in advance of that, but I am totally privileged to be allowed to access your archives and thank you for trusting me with that. This week’s archives coming up later in the post.

Facebook

After several attempts to delete my account (following weeks of blocked posts and nasty messages), and then receiving emails welcoming me back to Facebook…..(I do not understand the inner workings of FB Bots!) Anyway I have been back tentatively for the last month, keeping in touch with friends and sharing their posts internally, and so far so good. I am hugely grateful to those of you who have manually shared posts using the URL.. and that has worked thank you.

I am now re-installing my Facebook share button and I would be grateful if you would let me know if you get any messages if you share a post. I know that a lot of other bloggers such as The Story Reading Ape, Debby Gies and  Ellen Best to name a few had exactly the same problem, and there is apparently a reason for it.. Facebook does not want their members to leave the site to go off to visit another, particularly if that site is selling stuff they are not getting a cut of!

Since Smorgasbord is not monetized in any way.. I am hoping that things are now back to normal.

It looks like we will be getting the contractors in to do the back garden this week… fingers crossed.. and we are then 95% finished on our project that began 3 years ago on this house. When I look at the before and after pictures the thought runs through my mind “What were we thinking”…..but it is now a lovely family home that we hope to hand over to someone with lots of kids who will enjoy for many years. Our original plan was to put it on the market next spring but now we will probably go ahead as soon as it is finished.

Anyway… time to get on with the posts from the week that you might have missed… thanks as always to contributors and guests who give so much time and effort to providing amazing posts.

D.G.Kaye.. Debby Gies, gives us the low down on the popular holiday destination of Puerto Rico…essential reading if you are planning to travel there.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/06/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye-san-juan-puerto-rico/

This month Siliva Todesco serves up a quick and simple classic that is hard to resist for pasta lovers…and I am sure your families… Garlic, Olive Oil and Red Pepper spaghetti.

GARLIC, OLIVE OIL AND RED PEPPER SPAGHETTI (Spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino)

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-italiancookery-with-silvia-todesco-garlic-olive-oil-and-red-pepper-spaghetti-spaghetti-aglio-olio-e-peperoncino/

Two stories from me this week.. one in response to Diana Peach’s Speculative Fiction Prompt I went a bit outside my comfort zone and went forward in time….with The Enhancement Project..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/08/smorgasbord-short-stories-mays-speculative-fiction-d-wallace-peac-the-enhancement-project-by-sally-cronin/

and the second story was in response to Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills on the subject of getting old. A Small Price to Pay

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/11/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-a-small-price-to-pay-by-sally-cronin/

Weight loss and sleep are connected, and if you are not getting enough sleep your body will not get sufficient time to repair, regenerate and restore balance…The sleep process and the benefits of a good night’s rest.

beating heart GIF

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/11/smorgasbord-health-size-matters-the-sequel-weight-loss-the-benefits-of-sleep-by-sally-cronin/

Debby Gies was back on Wednesday with a guest post about a topic we are reluctant to talk about… with doctors included.. our inner workings and colonoscopies. Debby shares here experiences to demystify the process and stress the need to get checked.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/08/smorgasbord-health-column-guest-writer-d-g-kaye-what-i-did-yesterday-besides-having-a-colonoscopy/

I look at the myths surrounding cholesterol and the importance of eating good fats from grass fed animals, including dairy to obtain sufficient Vitamin K2

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/07/smorgasbord-health-column-cholesterol-and-fat-myths-part-two-vitamin-k2-and-healthy-fats-by-sally-cronin/

And a reminder about the dangers of Carbon Monoxide poisoning, a silent killer that almost ended my life. The statistics in the USA and the UK are not improving fast enough.

 

Each year, approximately 20,000 people in the United States visit the emergency room because of carbon monoxide poisoning. While many of those people are treated and released, on average, 400 people will die from carbon monoxide poisoning in a given year.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/09/smorgasbord-health-column-something-to-think-about-carbon-monoxide-poisoning-statistics-by-sally-cronin/

Do you remember the song Dominique by The Singing Nun?  Find out more about the singer and this one hit wonder and the life it led to.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/07/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-one-hit-wonders-the-singing-nun-dominique/

This weekend I share two more posts from my archives, featuring Paul Andruss with Houdini and Arthur Conan Doyle.

picture29

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/11/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-rosabelle-b-e-l-i-e-v-e-by-paul-andruss/

Doyle and Houdini (library picture)

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/12/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-doyle-and-houdini-the-dream-team-by-paul-andruss/

Jacquie Biggar shares her first camping experience which seems to have been one shared by many….would have loved to have been a fly on the wall of the tent!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/06/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-camping-woes-by-jacquie-biggar/

Robbie Cheadle with some Flash Fiction…and it is all about the lavender.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/06/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-flash-fiction-lavender-not-forever-by-robbie-cheadle/

Financial expert Sharon Marchisello shares some of the ways to prevent being taken for a ride.. literally in New York..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/07/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-money-navigating-new-york-by-sharon-marchisello/

Fantasy author Diana Wallace Peach shares the miracle and importance of reading with grandchildren…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/07/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-the-miracle-of-reading-by-d-wallace-peach/

In Miriam Hurdle’s first post I shared her responses to a challenge that asked specific questions about life… such as ‘A piece of clothing from your younger childhood you still remember?’

Miriam_0001 (2)

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/08/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-share-your-world-by-miriam-hurdle/

Beetley Pete.. Pete Johnson with a thought provoking memory of meeting a man blind from birth who explained how he perceived images we take so much for granted.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/08/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-thinking-aloud-blindness-by-beetley-pete/

Debby Gies shares the stunning photos of her grandmother who competed in the Miss Toronto 1926 pageant, and also other photos that show that the good looks run in the family.

Miss Toronto beauty pageant 1926

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/09/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-miss-toronto-1926-my-grandmother-by-d-g-kaye/

The Story Reading Ape.. Chris Graham is well known for his guest posts and in this series I am sharing four from his archives.. this week his guest is Michelle Clements James who puts forward the perspective of a reader.. important for all writers to understand.. after all, readers are our customers.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/09/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-the-story-reading-ape-with-his-guest-michelle-clements-james/

Darlene Foster poses the question… Are blogging friends real friends? and there was a lot of discussion on the matter.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/10/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-are-blogging-friends-real-friends-by-darlene-foster/

A lovely poem on the joy of sunshine from Christine Campbell.. certainly one I can endorse.. we so little of of it, it is like gold around here!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/10/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-summer-sunshine-by-christine-campbell/

Fantasy author Charles E. Yallowitz on the subject of standing out from the crowd.. and being labeled ‘odd’.. and why there is no ‘normal’ to be judged by. Something to think about…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/11/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-whats-wrong-with-being-odd-by-charles-e-yallowitz/

The second part of the linked Flash Fiction that reveals a family drama – The Fold by D.Avery

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/11/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-pot-luck-the-fold-part-two-by-d-avery/

Jane Risdon who has been in the music industry for many years, shares an audition in Hollywood that had its moments!! Part one here with more to follow.

 (c) Jane Risdon 2014

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/12/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-the-auditions-part-one-snore-poison-so-ill-know-it-by-jane-risdon/

Mary Smith takes us on a trip to visit some sacred crocodiles.. fascinating history.. watch your fingers now!

IMG_0008 (Small)

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/12/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluckmary-smiths-place-karachi-crocodiles/

New book on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/09/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-desolation-bluff-by-toni-pike/

Author Update – Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/06/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-c-s-boyack-lizzie-chantree-and-sheila-williams/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/10/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-robbie-cheadle-leslie-tate-peter-weisz/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/07/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives-3/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/09/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives-4/

Thank you very much for your ongoing support and I hope you will pop in again next week.. thanks Sally.