Poetry and Paint

January 27, 2014 at 12:05 am (Education, Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Robert FrostTitle:The Road Not Taken and Other Poems

Author: Robert Frost

Publisher: Dover Thrift Edition

Genre: Poetry

I have a hard time reading poetry silently.  When I’m reading it in my mind, my eyes tend to skip over the words like stones on water.

But aloud – that’s a different story.

Nothing calms us faster in my house (the kiddo and I) than poetry, painting, and a little Alt-J in the background.  I don’t know how I survived sadness and melancholy before Alt-J was a part of my world.

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The latest masterpiece – age 3.

This week we read through a Dover Thrift Edition of Robert Frost: The Road Not Taken and Other Poems.  Like most people, kiddo will probably be far more familiar with The Road Less Taken than any of Frost’s other poetry.  We don’t just read it out loud when we paint, but out on the trails in the woods too.  Poetry is appropriate for painting, Frost is great while tromping on leaves.  He just has a woodsy feel to him.

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Starting a new piece during a poetry day.

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Whispers for the Soul

November 5, 2013 at 9:00 pm (Guest Blogger, Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , )

nemerTitle: Whispers in the Dark

Poets: Ashley Nemer, Stacy Moran, Torie N. James

Genre: Poetry

A Product of The Art of Safkhet

A Guest Review by Angelina JoiAnn

As I was reading Whispers of the Heart by Ashley Nemer I felt depressed at the beginning by reading words like cry, darkness, kill, and beat. The first poem “They Say” gave me hope with “angel, strength and spirit.” I did not understand why “I walk and feel wetness” is in the “Darkness” poem – I am guessing it is raining, but to me darkness is not wet. Rain is more of a cleansing – a way to feel alive – not isolated. The the depression goes into a vampire and human relationship with “Forever you are mine” and “Immortal Love.” I can picture a vampire saying/writing those words after biting a human. I kind of get the darkness feeling going into the Vampire poems but after that I get thrown off with memories, dog, and grandpa.

While reading Whispers in the Storm by Stacy A. Moran I felt like the section would have been more aptly named Whispers of the Soul. It felt like the poet was writing poems from different growths of her soul, and perhaps had even lost a child. The poetry seemed to speak from a child to a woman, from a woman to a mother and so on. I would have liked to see them organized from love to heart break, but I felt a lot of growth over all and really enjoyed this section.

Whispering Flames by Torie N. James has to be my favorite. I felt like a phoenix flying out of the fire. I felt free while reading the different poems – as though the weight of the first two sections were being lifted off my shoulders.

Overall, I was taken on different feelings and journeys throughout the book and felt the different aspects and growth from the souls of the writers. I did feel that each section had a weird, random organization, and that the poems could have been better placed within each author’s portions, but that’s just my OCD. I enjoyed peeking into each poet’s lives.

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Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2013 at 3:26 pm (Events) (, , , )

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This is what I’m doing for Halloween tonight! What are you up to?

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October 2013 Events

October 1, 2013 at 5:21 am (Events) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

JoAnn SalmorettiWayne BastaMEB BRYANTOctober 26 HumbleOct 26 NO

ALSO, Don’t forget to check the Good Books in the Woods Event Page… That place has some nifty stuff going on this month too.  http://www.goodbooksinthewoods.com/news/

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Where the Windwalk Begins

September 27, 2013 at 3:26 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

windwalk-books-tunisTitle: Where the Windwalk Begins

Poet: Todd Dillard

Illustrator: Paul K. Tunis

Too cute. These poems are ideal for lazy breakfast reading or luncheons on the patio.  We love to read over our meals and kiddo has really enjoyed Where the Windwalk Begins.

I personally loved Airlephant, mostly because I have a ridiculously large soft spot in my soul for all things regarding elephants.  Kiddo’s ears perked up the most, however for Flock of Flying Carpets, which I admit is pretty awesome.  The alliteration of that particular poem fascinates little people, and her eyes lit up with delight at hearing the same sounds over and over again.  We’ve been working on our phonics lately and you could see the recognition of certain letter’s sounds all over her face.

The poems are really fun and the illustrations are equally so.  I was pleased with how well paired the illustrator was to the over all vibe of the book.  Sometimes you can have a great illustrator and a really great storyteller or poet, but they don’t necessarily make the best pairing, but these two seemed pretty in tune to each other.  Spunky and very light heart-ed, moms and dads everywhere should keep this title in their personal library stock.

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A Life With Poetry

March 10, 2013 at 7:33 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , )

calvertTitle: God’s Love Spiritual Liberation through the Emancipation of Virtue

Author: Calvert Tynes

Genre: Poetry/ Religion

Let me premise by saying I don’t review a lot of poetry.  I actually didn’t read a lot of poetry outside of what was required of me for school and pieces my friends wrote until my daughter was born.  It was then, rocking a sleepy baby back and forth in a glider, that I really started to enjoy the genre in its full capacity.  Kiddo and I spent a whole year reading Edna St. Vincent Millay and it was very comforting.

Calvert Tynes is not comforting.  He’s raw, but not in a crass way or anything.  Tynes’ poetry has very few soft rhythms, instead I imagine his work being best presented in person in a performance setting. There are a few kids at the Poetry Nights in Humble that could read some of these pieces and rock an audience’s socks off with them… I’m not so talented and my kid asked me to hush when I tried to read this to her.  So though my kiddo didn’t much care for the book, she’s two and there are some things she just doesn’t have a say in right now, whether or not Calvert Tynes is a good poet is one of them.

God’s Love is indeed a testament to the love Tynes has found in Christ, but from where I’m sitting it reads more like a memoir than a spiritual guide.  I’m probably biased in saying this, as I’ve never been a fan of things with pictures of Jesus on them…  probably a narcissistic issue after the emotional damage of drawing the worst stick figure of Jesus ever on my leather bible when I was seven and getting in a lot of trouble over it; I wasn’t upset I was in trouble so much as I was upset that my mother couldn’t tell that my stick figure was my portrayal of Christ.  But still, knowing what I know about the crucifixion it seems a little grotesque to immortalize the moment in graven images.  For that reason, I was a little turned off by the front cover, although a lot of people I know would find it beautiful – it’s just me and I get that.  Tynes may have turned me off with the cover, but he won me over with his poems.

I particularly liked I See You, Love and Theodora.  Nope, I’m not going to print them here, you have to buy the book for that!  But I will share my favorite quote from I See You, Love:

“If your love was land, then I am its sea,/because your love exemplifies/ the completion of me.”

Of course I adore the sappiest line in the whole book… of course.

I also adore how God is clearly a part of every aspect of Tynes life, but I think this book of poetry (if true) is as much about Tynes as it is about God.   In my perfect book world,  the front cover should reflect that in some way.  The thing I’m finding I love about poetry, that you don’t always get with fiction, is how autobiographical a writer’s book of poems can be.  Poetry is so personal.  Especially touching are Tynes pieces on fatherhood and the stories he shares about his children, something I’m not sure I could have appreciated as much three years ago.

In God’s Love Tynes shares a full life with God, a full life with poetry, and well, a really full life.  He has a lot to offer the world and I’m glad I have a little piece of that offering in my library.

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Spoken Word and Live Poetry!

March 8, 2013 at 3:32 am (Events) (, , , , , , )

For those that used to frequent EB5 off Aldine Westfield, Half Price Books Humble is the new place to be every first Thursday of the Month at 7pm:

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To My Beagle

January 13, 2013 at 2:05 am (In So Many Words) (, , , , , , , )

Geoffrey Guard DogOh dear boy how you’ve aged…

As a pup I loved your floppy ears and soft belly

Now ears are lumpy, feel like hardened jelly

That belly is fat and your hair is half gone

You are going gray and don’t have long

Oh my dear, dear boy

How you’ve aged

Flopping in the WindYou were so tiny, you brought me my keys

You gazed at me ’til I gave you a squeeze

We snuggled and played every day

On long walks you’d lead the way

You still snuggle, despite your bad skin

When we walk, you have trouble breathing in

Oh dear boy how you’ve aged!

DSC02349My sweet little beagle, once so soft and fun

Has gotten old and greasy, too tired to run

I called you ‘boyfriend dog,’ side by side we slept

You’d rest your head on my shoulder whenever I wept

And now you curl up, away from us all

Old, tired, your peppy step now a crawl

We love you old boy, our sweet beagle dog

Our little old man, a bump on a log

My dear, dear, sweet boy

How much you have aged…

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Poetry Nights at Half Price Books

January 8, 2013 at 8:11 pm (Education, Events) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Make time in your life this Spring for student led Poetry Nights at Half Price Books in Humble.

Poetry night

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How I Waste My Time

November 14, 2012 at 8:13 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I am supposed to be reading The Old Curiosity Shop for HPB Humble’s December Book Club meeting.  I love and adore Dickens so I’m actually very excited about this.  Plus, the weather is perfect for it.  But every time I sit down I find something else has made it into my hands and reading time.  Yesterday I breezed through Unrecounted by W.G. Sebald and Jan Peter Tripp before starting and completing Sarah N. Harvey’s The Lit Report.  Both were short, breezy books, but neither were on my immediate TBR pile.

Unrecounted is a coffee table book shrunk down to the size of a trade paper back, in my opinion.  Housed in poetry, yet I find myself more captivated by the art.  The book is a series of Tripp’s art and Sebald’s verse married together very simply in a manner you might see at an art gallery rather than in a poetry book.  I enjoyed it immensely, but I would have preferred to walk through a perfectly lit hall with the images taking up half the wall, the verse on a plaque nearby, rather than flip through the pages of a book.  Although it would be far less accessible that way, the emotional impact would be far greater.

The Lit Report is a fabulous young adult piece for older teens.  In the style of So Many Books, So Little Time, the story follows a year in the life of Julia questioning the beliefs of those around her and defining her own world view while reading and walking her best friend through a secret teen pregnancy.  Christians are not shown in the greatest light.  In fact I doubt that the ‘Christians’ presented in this book actually are Christians as they tend to be people more focused on beating religion into others or attempting to save themselves from the wrath of God by burying themselves into activities of a highly questionable church, instead of simply believing in the Truth and love of Jesus Christ.  The book is also pretty consistent with how most modern teens live and has its fair share of swearing , misbehavior, and (obviously) sexual activity (after all, one girl is pregnant).  But the novel rings true as a supposed memoir of a girl’s life… while reading it you feel as though this could be someone’s experience somewhere – this could happen.

The Lit Report is something I wouldn’t mind re-reading with the kiddo when she is older and we can discuss the thoughts and opinions of the girls, their actions, and the actions of their parents.  It has valid and necessary topics to discuss: the cruel dogmatic ways of some people who call themselves ‘Christians’ and how they influence the public’s view on what being a Christian means, sexual activity as a teenager, and of course how literature can be a part of your daily life.  It is important to see what someone who ‘walks the walk’ looks like in comparison to somewhat who has hardened their heart and spouts biblical references at people out of context.  It is important to know where you stand as a sexual being and what your expectations and standards are, and finally, how your decisions affect those around you.  The novel really makes you stop to think what the author’s own life experiences with so-called Christians have been.

As for The Old Curiosity Shop, I am a few chapters in and it waits patiently for me on my night stand.  Maybe tonight will be the night… or, maybe I’ll find myself wasting more time.

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