Ode to Motherhood

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The Mother

by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Here I lean over you, small son, sleeping
Warm in my arms,
And I con to my heart all your dew-fresh charms,
As you lie close, close in my hungry hold . . .
Your hair like a miser’s dream of gold,
And the white rose of your face far fairer,
Finer, and rarer
Than all the flowers in the young year’s keeping;
Over lips half parted your low breath creeping
Is sweeter than violets in April grasses;
Though your eyes are fast shut I can see their blue,
Splendid and soft as starshine in heaven,
With all the joyance and wisdom given
From the many souls who have stanchly striven
Through the dead years to be strong and true.
Those fine little feet in my worn hands holden . . .
. . .
Books in the Spirit of Motherhood:

Four mothers, four daughters, four families whose histories shift with the four winds depending on who’s “saying” the stories. In 1949 four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mahjong, and talk. United in shared unspeakable loss and hope, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club. Rather than sink into tragedy, they choose to gather to raise their spirits and money.

 

Set within a contemporary black community in Southern CA, Bennett’s first novel is an emotionally perceptive story about community, love, and ambition. It begins with a secret.
In entrancing, lyrical prose, The Mothers asks whether a “what if” can be more powerful than an experience itself. If, as time passes, we must always live in servitude to the decisions of our younger selves, to the communities that have parented us, and to the decisions we make that shape our lives forever.

“Mothers are all slightly insane.”
~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

The Mother
Continued

Where will they tread ?
Valleys of shadow or heights dawn-red?
And those silken fingers, O, wee, white son,
What valorous deeds shall by them be done
In the future that yet so distant is seeming
To my fond dreaming?
What words all so musical and golden
With starry truth and poesy olden

Shall those lips speak in the years on-coming?
O, child of mine, with waxen brow,
Surely your words of that dim to-morrow
Rapture and power and grace must borrow
From the poignant love and holy sorrow
Of the heart that shrines and cradles you now!

Some bitter day you will love another,
To her will bear
Love-gifts and woo her . . . then must I share
You and your tenderness! Now you are mine
From your feet to your hair so golden and fine,
And your crumpled finger-tips . . . mine completely,
Wholly and sweetly;
Mine with kisses deep to smother,
No one so near to you now as your mother!
Others may hear your words of beauty,
But your precious silence is mine alone;
Here in my arms I have enrolled you,
Away from the grasping world I fold you,
Flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone!

9d6715843aa1ce1c0df00b81875be7c6“If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?”
~Milton Berle

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In Memory of Maya Angelou

Marguerite Annie Johnson; April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014)
49d88b296835f6f1d715de7c02f902b5An acclaimed American poet, storyteller, activist, and autobiographer, Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri. Angelou has had a broad career as a singer, dancer, actress, composer, and Hollywood’s first female black director, but is most famous as a writer, editor, essayist, playwright, and poet. As a civil rights activist, Angelou worked for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Here is a book as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right. Maya Angelou’s debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide.


Throughout her illustrious career in letters, Maya Angelo gifted, healed, and inspired the world with her words. The beauty and spirit of those words live on in this new and complete collection of poetry that reflects and honors the writer’s remarkable life.

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

 


The story of Maya Angelou’s extraordinary life has been chronicled in her multiple bestselling autobiographies. But now, at last, the legendary author shares the deepest personal story of her life: her relationship with her mother.

 

 

Dedicated to the daughter she never had but sees all around her, Letter to My Daughter reveals Maya Angelou’s path to living well and living a life with meaning. Told in her own inimitable style, this book transcends genres and categories: guidebook, memoir, poetry, and pure delight

 

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude”

Filled with unforgettable vignettes of famous people, from Billie Holiday to Malcolm X, but perhaps most important is the story of Maya Angelou’s relationship with her son. Because this book chronicles, finally, the joys and the burdens of a black mother in America and how the son she had cherished so intensely and worked for so devotedly finally grows to be a man.

In what ways has Maya Angelou inspired you?

René Descartes Remembered

“The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries.”

unnamedRené Descartes (1596 – 1650)
French philosopher, mathematician, scientist and writer of the Age of Reason. He has been called the “Father of Modern Philosophy”, and much of subsequent Western philosophy can be seen as a response to his writings. He is responsible for one of the best-known quotations in philosophy:
“Cogito, ergo sum”

(“I think, therefore I am”).

Meditations on First Philosophy by Rene Descartes is widely considered to be one of the top philosophical books of all time. For many, Meditations on First Philosophy is required reading for various courses and curriculums. And for others who simply enjoy reading timeless pieces of classic philosophical literature, this gem by Rene Descartes is highly recommended.

“If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.”

“It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well.”

A Seussical Tribute

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

How appropriate that this year UK World Book Day falls on the Birthday of the legendary Dr. Seuss!

drseuss300Theodor Seuss Geisel was born today March 2 in 1904 in Springfield, MA. The pen nameDr. Seuss was developed during his years at  Dartmouth College and the University of Oxford. His first jobs were mainly that of an illustrator, working for such companies as Time magazine, Vanity Fair, and Life. Our beloved Dr. Seuss  later became a famous American writer and illustrator; who we know as the author of famous children’s books such as The Cat in The Hat, Oh The Places You Will Go, and How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

Here are a few of my favorites:


Green Egg’s and Ham

“Try them, try them, and you may! Try them and you may, I say.”

 

 

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

“From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere!”

 

 

Horton Hears a Who!

“A persons a person no matter how small.”

 

 

 

 

The list goes on, and on. I have honestly never read a book by Dr. Seuss
that I did not like, let alone love. drseuss-brand-hero-01

His brilliance and charm have always captured my heart, as well as many others (of all ages and backgrounds.) I believe his clever and inspiring words will continue to have a profound effect on the literary minds of children, the world of education, and serve as an inspiration to those needing to get back to the basics.

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Fun Fact:
  During World War II, he worked in an animation department of the United States Army where he produced several short films, including Design for Death, which later won the 1947 Academy Award for Documentary Feature

 

Please share about your Dr. Seuss experiences, books you love,
quotes that inspire you, etc.

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

For the Love of Longfellow

“The love of learning, the sequestered nooks, And all the sweet serenity of books. “
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Born today in 1807:
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
(February 27 – March 24, 1882)
An American poet and educator whose works include “Paul Revere’s Ride”, The Song of Hiawatha, and Evangeline. He was also the first American to translate Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, and was one of the five Fireside Poets.

“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times
we call a man cold when he is only sad.”

 

As the most widely known and best-loved American poet of his lifetime, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow achieved a level of national and international prominence previously unequaled in the literary history of the United States.

 

I adore Longfellow. I fell in love with his poignant yet beautiful poetry early on, and he has remained a favorite of mine. He has a way of mournfully telling you how wonderful life and love are, and someone it makes the meaning stick with a realness that is more lasting. A Psalm of Life was the first poem I ever committed to memory, every line enchanted me.

Afternoon in February

The day is ending,
The night is descending;
The marsh is frozen,
The river dead. 

Through clouds like ashes
The red sun flashes
On village windows
That glimmer red. 

The snow recommences;
The buried fences
Mark no longer
The road o'er the plain; 

While through the meadows,
Like fearful shadows,
Slowly passes
A funeral train. 

The bell is pealing,
And every feeling
Within me responds
To the dismal knell; 

Shadows are trailing,
My heart is bewailing
And tolling within
Like a funeral bell.

I end with a quote from my all time favorite:
“Let us, then, be up and doing, with a heart for any fate; still achieving,
still pursuing, learn to labor and to wait.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

My Birthday Tribute: Poe

“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”
~Edgar Allan Poe

EDGAR ALLAN POE
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Today is my birthday, and I am honored to share it with Edgar Allan Poe, born January 19th 1809. Poe was a brilliant writer, and I love his work. I admire the deep sentiment within his work, which draws you in. His style is not for everyone, it’s sometime long and daunting, but there is beauty laced within the lines that you must keep reading to find.

     Quotes by Poe:

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I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.

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Hauntingly. Mysterious. Beautiful.all-that-we-see-or-seem-is-but-a-dream-within-a-dream-edgar-allen-poe
What are your thoughts on Poe?

You can’t spell Poet without Poe 😉