The Sound of Life

by IRENE FOWLER, Contributor

“Listen to many, speak to a few.”
William Shakespeare (Hamlet – Act I, scene 3)

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders,
but they have never failed to imitate them.”
–  James Baldwin

“Those who have virtue always in their mouths,
and neglect it in practice, are like a harp, which
emits a sound pleasing to others, while itself is
insensible of the music.”
Diogenes

To read Irene’s new poem “The Sound of Life” click:

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The Summer of 1969 and the Moon Landing

Today is National Moon Day – because on this day in 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the Moon.

Since then, millions of people have been born for whom this is just another day. But for those of us who are old enough to remember, it will always be one of those “where were you when” days.

My story is a little bit different, because I was far from home …

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July 19, 1848 – Seneca Falls Convention Opening Day

From the very beginnings of what George Washington called “the last great experiment for promoting human happiness,” there were women who questioned why they were not to share in what the Declaration of Independence called “unalienable rights” to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

In 1776, Abigail Adams famously wrote to her husband John:

“. . . in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”


In 1844, Margaret Fuller’s book, Woman in the 19th Century, one of the wellsprings of the American feminist movement, was as much excoriated as it was praised, but it foreshadowed the events at Seneca Falls:

“. . . Many women are considering within themselves what they need that they have not, and what they can have if they find they need it. Many men are considering whether women are capable of being and having more than they are and have, and whether, if so, it will be best to consent to improvement in their condition . . .”

And she noted: “. . . The past year has seen action in the Rhode Island legislature, to secure married women rights over their own property, where men showed that a very little examination of the subject could teach them much ; an article in the Democratic Review on the same subject more largely considered, written by a woman, impelled, it is said, by glaring wrong to a distinguished friend, having shown the defects in the existing laws, and the state of opinion from which they spring . . .”

Seneca Falls iron gate

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TCS: Silence Will Contain All the Sounds

Good Morning!

July 18th is World Listening Day

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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.
____________________________

“Still the noise in the mind: that is the first task –
then everything else will follow in time.”

― R. Murray Schafer

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A Poem for Celebration of the Horse Day – by the Newest U.S. Poet Laureate!

I am reposing this to celebrate not only horses, but the great news about the appointment of our newest U.S. Poet Laureate.

Horses and humans have had a relationship for at least 5,000 years – it hasn’t always been a good one on our part, but there are few humans who can deny the attraction of their beauty and grace in motion.

Horse racing is one of the most ancient sports. Nomadic tribesmen in Central Asia have been racing horses since their earliest domestication. What is considered modern racing started in the 12th century, when English Knights returned from crusades with Arabian horses. The Thoroughbred horse came from breeding Arabian stallions with English mares, combining speed with endurance.


Ada Limón (1976 –) is the author of The Hurting Kind, The Carrying, Bright Dead Things, Sharks in the Rivers, and Lucky Wreck. In 2015, Bright Dead Things was a finalist for the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. On 12 July 2022, she was named the 24th Poet Laureate of the United States by the Librarian of Congress.


To read Ada Limón’s poem “American Pharoah” click:

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Summer Reflections

by IRENE FOWLER, Contributor

“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.”
– Franklin D. Roosevelt

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen
or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”
– Anne Sullivan, Helen Keller’s teacher

“It’s always darkest before the dawn.”
Thomas Fuller, theologian

I will not follow where the path may lead, but I will go where
there is no path, and I will leave a trail.”
Muriel Strode, poet


To read Irene’s new poem, “Summer Reflections” click:

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TCS: Life Counts the Rules

  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.
____________________________

“It is the beginning of wisdom when you recognize
that the best you can do is choose which rules you
want to live by, and it’s persistent and aggravated

imbecility to pretend you can live without any.” 

― Wallace Stegner, All the Little Live Things

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A Poem for World Chocolate Day

 

World Chocolate Day: July 7, 1550 is the ‘traditional’ date given for chocolate’s arrival in Europe from the “New World” – in the form of a bitter drink from Mexico – but there is evidence that cacao beans were brought back to Spain earlier than that. However, this date may be when the global craze for chocolate, which shows no signs of slowing down, really took hold.



Rita Dove (1952 – ) American poet and essayist; winner of the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for her book Thomas and Beulah; U.S. Poet Laureate (1993-1995), the first African-American (after the title change from  ‘Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress’ to ‘Poet Laureate’), and at age 40, the youngest poet to be appointed Poet Laureate by the Librarian of Congress. Her poetry collections include The Yellow House on the Corner, Mother Love, On the Bus with Rosa Parks, and American Smooth.


To read Rita Dove’s poem “Chocolate” click:

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A Poem for International Kissing Day

Nizar Qabbani (1923-1998) Syrian poet, diplomat, and women’s rights activist, serving in Syrian missions in Beirut, Cairo, Istanbul, Madrid, and London, and as UAR Vice-Secretary at their Chinese embassy. His sister’s suicide under pressure when she refused to marry a man she did not love made a profound impression on Qabbani, who was 15 years old at the time. He began writing poetry the following year. “Love in the Arab world is like a prisoner, and I want to set [it] free … The relationships between men and women in our society are not healthy.”  He has been both revered and reviled in the Middle East for his erotic romantic verse, and his biting political poems. His work, often banned by authoritarian regimes in Muslim countries, even gained some popularity in Israel, in spite of his anti-Israeli stance, because he also criticized Arab policies and military failures. And lovers from all over the world have found his romantic poetry moving and inspirational. He died at age 75 of a heart attack. Qabbani has often been called Syria’s National Poet.

To read Nizar Qabbani’s poem “Every Time I Kiss You” click: Continue reading

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TCS: When I was a little kid, we’d have a cookout

   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.
____________________________

But what is liberty without wisdom, and without virtue?
It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice,
and madness, without tuition or restraint.

― Edmund Burke

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