Random Thursday: Random Ranting Iambic

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.

It’s only fair: I did one on Bacon.


Fitzgerald Monkeys

I was going to make some kind of parallel
with the perils of downsizing without adjusting one’s expectations,
but that’s sort of the definition of Fitzgerald, so . . .

(Thanks for the reassurance, Andy!  Ook Eek!)


Beautifully Written, but Still Statutory

Romeo and Juliet for Reals

I feel the same way about Romeo & Juliet that I do about The Giving Tree.

Since that little nerve is already starting to tick in my left eyelid,
I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

(Thanks, Kev–I needed that!)


Who’s in Primary?

Lay on, Mr. Leibowitz.

And damned be him that first cries, “I’ve heard enough!”

(My husband sent me this to celebrate baseball season.  Huzzah?)


If He Had . . .

Shakespeare makes it up

. . . .we’d be using it right now.

Kind of frightening, right?


If you ever encounter someone who wonders aloud why Shakespeare isn’t translated into modern English so people can understand it
inform them that Shakespeare actually wrote in modern English
and slap a copy of the Canterbury Tales into their hands.

After they ask you why you’ve given them a Dutch doorstop,
take another big linguistic step back
and hit ’em upside the head with a untranslated copy of Beowulf
and send ’em to the theater to see Midsummer Night’s Dream.

(I might be a little testy today . . .)


To Edit or Not to Edit

You have to wonder . . .

“Bums in seats.”

Well . . . yeah.

But Meanwhile . . .

I have no post for you today.

But I do have an image of the Ultimate Imaginary Wrinkle Dog that will magically make you forgive me all transgressions, past, present and future and make you come back tomorrow for the first Poetry Wednesday we’ve had for a while.

Himalayan Squishie


More of Dave Kellett’s irresistible squishiness—oh, hush, you know what I mean—can be found here.  And here.  And starting here.

See you tomorrow!

Poetry Wednesday: One Talking Duck’s Opinion

Dave Kellett, whom I’ve exaulted mentioned here before, is the creator of one of my favorite webcomics, Sheldonwhich is ostensibly about a ten-year old billionaire and his talking duck (and the billionaire’s best friend, his grandpa, and his pug and the talking duck’s lizard son)

Not only is Sheldon sweet and funny and sarcastic and nerdy, it also examines literature, philosophy, language, historical precedent . . .  and poetry:

Eliot Sheldon

Just because it’s funny, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.



Sheldon® is owned lock, stock, and legalities by the amazing Dave Kellett, who has so far been blessedly non-litigious about my borrowing of his strips for this blog, possibly because he doesn’t know me from Eve.

Poetry Wednesday: Other People’s Opinions

National Poetry Month is coming to a close.

And as a gift to you, I’m stepping back and offering other people’s opinions on poetry.

You’re welcome.


 Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder, with a dash of the dictionary.

—Khalil Gibran

The Persian language has only one pronoun for all genders. This means that genders in Persian love poetry—and in verses meant to celebrate the adoration of the divine— are essentially fluid.  How cool is that ?


Simple Haiku Mug


I’ve had it with these cheap sons of bitches who claim they love poetry but never buy a book.

—Kenneth Rexroth

Folk Music and Bees(Me, too)

Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things.

—T. S. Eliot

Poet Mug

Poetry is the opening and closing of a door, leaving those who look through to guess about what is seen during the moment.

—Carl Sandburg


Slam the Poet on Writing Poetry

His Prayer to Gaia blew me away.  Go watch it now.


There’s no money in poetry, but then there’s no poetry in money, either.

—Robert Graves

Cow Mug

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth.

—Jean Cocteau

(For more appropriate Emily, sort of, try these)

The poetry you read has been written for you, each of you – black, white, Hispanic, man, woman, gay, straight.

—Maya Angelou


Limericks Mug


To be a poet is a condition, not a profession.

—Robert Frost



All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.

—Oscar Wilde

chickenpoetblog(For more of Doug Savage’s insanely funny poetry cartoons, try his website)


Okay, y’all . . . 

I’ve been doing Poetry Wednesdays here since April of 2011, which is roughly 167 posts.  And though it may seem like I winged most of ’em,  it  does take time to research and write these particular posts—and it seems like reader interest has been flagging over the past few months.

So, while my enjoyment of poetry of all kinds—not to mention my prurient curiosity about the people who write the stuff—hasn’t diminished at all, I’m thinking it might be best to drop the regular poetry posts and just save ’em for April or when I feel the random need to share.

If I’m wrong about the general disinterest, and you’d like me to keep going, please give me your opinion by liking or commenting on this post, or by dropping me an e-mail.

Otherwise, it’s been a terrific run and I’ve met a lot of wonderful poets and poetry lovers along the way.

Thank you all—even you Thomas Hardy fans—for letting me babble on for so long about something I truly love.

And also for all the reprehensible limericks.  You know who you are.

Drama Mama


Wondermark is created by David Malki!, Sheldon is the brainchild of Dave Kellett, xkcd is written by Randall Munroe, and Savage Chicken is drawn by Doug Savage.  Ownership of these images remains with the creators, and in some cases permission to repost is restricted—so please check before sharing!

Poetry Wednesday: Tell it Slant, Emily

A friend once told me that Emily Dickenson’s poetry was like something Wednesday Addams might write.

And while I’d argue that Christina Rossetti* would be a closer match to Wednesday’s style, I get the point:  Emily Dickenson’s stuff  might be whimsical, but most of it ain’t light-and-fluffy whimsical.

I mean, even that bird of hers bit that poor anthropomorphized** worm in half.   And there are times when her penchant for layered thought doesn’t quite fit the bill.

But I like her poems anyway, or most of ‘em—she wrote over four hundred, so there’s something in her oeuvre for almost everyone, even those of us who prefer not to dwell on our own mortality, thanks so very much.***

And I can’t help but adore her definition of poetry:

“If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only ways I know it. Is there any other way?”


I’m not going to bother with a biography today—there are a million of ‘em out there written by far more articulate people and I stayed up way too late last night trying to bend characters to my mighty will,^ so I’m even less articulate than usual.

But look her up if you have a minute—she was a fascinating woman who may or may not have led exactly the life she wanted.  And her poems are over 125 years old and still being read and interpreted and quoted.

So no matter what some talking ducks might think, the lady clearly had it going on.

Here are a few of her verses that speak to me, or at least speak to me today^^—it varies.   If I’ve missed one of your favorites—and odds are, I have— please share them in the comments.

Share two, they’re small.  Or at least compact.

Tell All The Truth
(Emily Dickenson)

Tell all the truth but tell it slant,
Success in circuit lies,
Too bright for our infirm delight
The truth’s superb surprise;

As lightning to the children eased
With explanation kind,
The truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind.

A Word
(Emily Dickenson)

A Word is dead
When it is said,
Some say.
I say it just
Begins to live
That day.

The Brain
(Emily Dickenson)

The Brain is wider than the sky,
For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include
With ease, and you beside.

The brain is deeper than the sea,
For, hold them, blue to blue,
The one the other will absorb,
As sponges, buckets do.

The brain is just the weight of God,
For, lift them, pound for pound,
And they will differ, if they do,
As syllable from sound.

I Lost a World
(Emily Dickenson)

I lost a world the other day.
Has anybody found?
You ’ll know it by the row of stars
Around its forehead bound.
A rich man might not notice it;
Yet to my frugal eye
Of more esteem than ducats.
Oh, find it, sir, for me!

(Emily Dickenson)

Remembrance has a rear and front,—
’T is something like a house;
It has a garret also
For refuse and the mouse,

Besides, the deepest cellar
That ever mason hewed;
Look to it, by its fathoms
Ourselves be not pursued.


Sheldon® is one of the best webcomics ever produced, and Dave Kellett is its brilliant and essentially non-litigious creator.  Revere him.


*Who gets my personal vote for the Thomas Hardy Mental Funk Award

**I might be exaggerating (and showing off) just a tad . . . But that line still seems a bit too nature red in beak and claw to me.


*** Plus, most of them are short, so when things get weird, at least they aren’t weird at length—which, especially after tackling Dante Alighieri, can come as something of a relief.

^Actually, I was bending the laws of  elevator physics while trying to ignore the fact that everyone is wired for instant communications.  We all came to an agreement in the end, I think—I finished up so stinkin’ late I’m afraid to look.

^^No deep psychological mysteries here . . .