Joan Didion 1934-2021

Joan Didion, author of Play It as It Lays and Slouching Toward Bethlehem, journalist, short story writer, and screenwriter, died yesterday after years of battling Parkinson’s disease. She was 87 years old.

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Holidays

However and whatever you celebrate in December, may it bring you and yours much joy and all good things. I offer these two poems for those who may be looking for some “all is calm.”

To read “Holidays” and “Another Kind of Christmas” click:

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The World at Midnight

by IRENE FOWLER, Correspondent

I’m delighted that Irene has a new poem to share, and asked me to include this greeting:



To read Irene’s poem “The World at Midnight” click:

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TCS: Not Burning the Clocks

  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.
____________________________

“There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.”

― Leonard Cohen

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A Poem by George Santayana on His Birthday

George Santayana (1863-1952) was born in Spain as Jorge Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás; American philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist. His mother had promised her first husband, an American, that their children would be raised in the U.S., and took them there in 1869. Jose (George) remained in Spain with his father, her second husband, until 1872, when they both joined the rest of the family in Boston, but his father soon returned to Spain, and his son did not see him again until he was at Harvard, and started going to Spain for his summer vacations. After graduating from Harvard, he studied for two years in Berlin, then returned to Harvard to write his dissertation on the philosopher Herman Lotze. He became a professor in Harvard’s philosophy department (1889-1912), and his students included T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost, Gertrude Stein, and W. E. B. Du Bois. Santayana never married. In 1912, he resigned from Harvard to spend the rest of his life in Europe, living on his savings and a legacy from his mother. After 1920, he began spending winters in Rome, and later lived there year-round until his death. He wrote 19 books, and had a considerable correspondence. His 1935 novel, The Last Puritan, was an unexpected best-seller, and made him financially comfortable. He then came to the financial aid of a number of writers, including Bertrand Russell, even though they were in fundamental disagreement both philosophically and politically. Santayana considered himself an “aesthetic Catholic” and spent the last decade of his life in a Roman residence under the care of Catholic nuns. He died in 1952 at the age of 88 in Rome.

To read Santayana’s poem “The Poet’s Testament” click:

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TCS: The Frost-Fires Kindle – Winter Poems

   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.
____________________________

“I heard a bird sing in the dark of December.
A magical thing. And sweet to remember.
We are nearer to Spring than we were in September.
I heard a bird sing in the dark of December.”

― Oliver Herford

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Happy Birthday Jean Sibelius

Jean Sibelius, Finland’s greatest composer, was born on December 8, 1865.  He began taking piano lessons at age nine, but it was the violin that became his favorite instrument. He became a very good player, but as composing quickly became his main passion, he was not quite good enough to play his own Violin Concerto.

His most famous piece is of course Finlandia. It has roused the Finnish spirit ever since, in their struggle to be free from Russian dominance, and when the Nazis invaded during WWII.

Sibelius is a national hero in Finland, and his birthday is a flag day, known as the Day of Finnish Music.

To hear Finlandia click:

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TCS: Winter Poets – Musical and Rumorous

  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.
____________________________

There is no winter without snow,
no spring without sunshine, and
no happiness without companions.

Korean Proverb

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A Poem for International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

Modern slavery is defined as forced labour, debt bondage, forced marriage, and human trafficking. Essentially, it refers to situations of exploitation that a person cannot refuse or leave because of threats, violence, coercion, deception, and/or abuse of power.

It’s estimated that over 40 million adults are victims of modern slavery, and 150 million children are subject to child labor.

Langston Hughes (1902-1967) was born on the 37th anniversary of the day Abraham Lincoln signed the 13th Amendment: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” Hughes became an American poet, novelist, short story writer, non-fiction writer, and playwright. He was a major figure of the Harlem Renaissance in New York.

To read “Remember” by Langston Hughes click:

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TCS: November Ends and December Begins – The Music Plays Itself

   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.
____________________________

When I tell the truth, it is not for the sake
of convincing those who do not know it,
but for the sake of defending those that do.

— William Blake

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