TCS – The Mystery of Rhythm – What Explains Poetry

Good Morning!

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Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers
on Monday mornings. This is an Open Thread forum,
so if you have an off-topic opinion burning a hole in
your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.

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“What explains poetry is that life is hard
But better than the alternatives …”
 — Alicia Ostriker, from ‘Daffodils’

“I’m a great believer in poetry out
of the classroom, in public places,
on subways, trains, on cocktail
napkins. I’d rather have my poems
on the subway than around the
seminar table at an MFA program.”
— Billy Collins

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Settle the Question Right

Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919) American author and poet, was born in Wisconsin on November 5, 1850. “Solitude” is probably her best-remembered poem, for its opening lines, “Laugh, and the world laughs with you;/ Weep, and you weep alone./ For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth / But has trouble enough of its own.” Her poetry collections include Poems of Passion (1883), Poems of Reflection (1905), and Poems of Peace (1906).

While many of her poems seem old-fashioned over a 100 years after they were written, “Settle the Question Right” offers a perspective that applies to the struggles of any age. 

To read Ella Wheeler Wilcox’s poem “Settle the Question Right” click:

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Unhalloween Monsters

by IRENE FOWLER, Contributor

In the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country
and to defend Russia and our people, we will certainly make use
of all weapon systems available to us. This is not a bluff.”
– Vladimir Putin

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“Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous.
More dangerous are the common men, the functionaries ready
to believe and to act without asking questions.”
Primo Levi

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That’s the beautiful thing about innocence;
even monsters have a pocketful of childhood
memories with which to seek comfort …”
– Dave Matthes

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To read Irene’s new poem “Unhalloween Monsters” click:

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TCS: “For on All Hallows Eve Will the Spirits Come to Play”

    Good Morning!

______________________________

Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers
on Monday mornings. This is an Open Thread forum,
so if you have an off-topic opinion burning a hole in
your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.

______________________________

By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.
– Macbeth, Act IV, Scene 1

“Oh how the candles will be lit and
the wood of worm burn in a fiery dust.
For on all Hallow’s Eve will the spirits
come to play …”
 – Solange Nicole, author,
     musician, and photographer

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A Poem for National Cat Day

National Cat Day was inaugurated by animal welfare advocate Colleen Paige in 2005.

Eleanor Farjeon (1881-1965) was born in London; prolific English author of children’s stories and plays, poetry, biography, history and satire. Though she wrote many books, she is best remembered for the lyrics of the hymn “Morning Has Broken.”

To read Eleanor Farjeon’s poem “Cats” click: 

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America’s Tipping Point

by IRENE FOWLER, Contributor

America is teetering on the brink, and which side of history it ends up on, will have lasting implications for the global community at-large. The foundations of America are mired in harsh and callous controversy; an inescapable legacy which has dogged and peppered every defining and accompanying narrative of the nation.



Against this backdrop is the astronomical human progress which has been achieved, and has come to represent the flowering of human potential. The apotheosis of America from the terra firma of fellow earthlings to a bestowed characterization, as “God’s own country” is still current. The moniker conjures notions of astronomical power, limitless resources, grandeur, invincibility, dominance and immortality.

Having the imprimatur of ‘America’ affixed to a person, place or thing, is a universal coin of the realm and mark of peculiarity.

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A Poem for World Pasta Day

World Pasta Day: launched at the World Pasta Congress in Rome in 1995.

Brian Bilston, the unofficial “Poet Laureate of Twitter” is a mystery man – very little is known about him, other than his intense dislike of Jeremy Clarkson. Bilston is the author of the poetry collections You Took the Last Bus Home; Alexa, what is there to know about love?; and 50 Ways to Score a Goal and Other Football Poems. He also wrote Diary of a Somebody, a novel with poetry.

To read Brian Bilston’s poem “Remembrance of Things Pasta” click:

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TCS: ‘Is There Anybody There?’

Good Morning!

______________________________

Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers
on Monday mornings. This is an Open Thread forum,
so if you have an off-topic opinion burning a hole in
your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.

______________________________

“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.”
– William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act I, scene 2

It is a mistake to fancy that horror
is associated inextricably with
darkness, silence and solitude.

H. P. Lovecraft

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San Juan Capistrano Swallows Depart

October 23rd is the traditonal date for the swallows to depart from San Juan Capistrano. Thousands of  San Juan Capistrano’s famous cliff swallows leave town every year in a swirling mass, the beginning of a 6,000 mile migration to their wintering grounds in Argentina.

American poet and violinist Leonora Speyer was born in Washington, D.C., in 1872. She won the Pulitzer Prize in 1927 for her poetry collection Fiddler’s Farewell.

To read Leonora Speyer’s poem “Swallows” click: 

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Guns and Roses

by IRENE FOWLER, Contributor

“This is the ultimate weakness of violence:
It multiplies evil and violence in the universe.     
It doesn’t solve any problems.”         

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

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UPDATE: The state of Texas is sending home to parents of schoolchildren identification kits which they can use to fingerprint and DNA swab their children so in the inevitable event of more mass shootings in Texas schools, it will be easier to identify their bullet-riddled bodies. Irene’s “Blood Roses” seems more timely than ever.

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Guns reveal themselves as being central to white supremacy…….Until Americans fully understand and reconcile their past, they have little hope of addressing the epidemic of gun violence in America today.”  – Thom Hartmann



The origins of the second amendment are steeped in the overriding goal, to calcify the institution of slavery, and perpetuate a permanent slave class. Arguably, without slavery, the second amendment, would lack a raison d’etre. There is a through-line from the atrocities of the Atlantic slave trade, to the proliferation of guns in the US.

The phenomena of widespread gun violence, in the US, is of gargantuan proportions. It is tearing away at the fabric of society, with no let up or solution in sight.The rampant, flagrant, orgiastic bloodletting, caused by gun violence, is a sword of Damocles over the nation. Every needless death is a human tragedy, with appalling seen and unseen ripple effects.

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