facebook
twitter

needayoutubeicon donate

GoodPoems by alongtheserivers
A poem is never finished, only abandoned. A blog by Judith Robinson
May 31, 2016 | 103388 views | 0 0 comments | 514 514 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

view as list
POETRY AND PAINTING
by alongtheserivers
Aug 14, 2017 | 2207 views | 4 4 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Painting by Judith Robinson
Painting by Judith Robinson
slideshow

HI POETRY LOVERS,

IT SEEMS TO BE A RIGHT BRAIN FACT: MANY OF US WHO WRITE ALSO PAINT OR PLAY AN INSTRUMENT, OR ENGAGE IN OTHER CREATIVE ACTIVITIES, ON ALL LEVELS, AMATEUR TO PROFESSIONAL. THIS INCLUDES ACTORS, CRAFTPERSONS, GARDENERS, PLAYWRIGHTS, DOODLERS, ETC. THERE ARE LEGIONS OF HUMAN BEINGS WHO EXPRESS THEMSELVES CREATIVELY.

ONE OUTSTANDING POET/ARTIST OF THE PAST WAS WILLIAM BLAKE, AN ENGLISHMAN WHO LIVED FROM 1757 UNTIL 1827. BLAKE WROTE AND ILLUSTRATED HIS POETRY BOOKS; HE ALSO WAS A SONGWRITER AND ENGRAVER. ALTHOUGH UNDER-APPRECIATED IN HIS OWN TIME, HE IS TODAY HELD IN HIGH REGARD FOR HIS EXPRESSIVENESS, AS WELL AS THE MYSTICAL UNDERCURRENTS IN HIS WORK. HE WAS AN EARLY ROMANTIC, THAT IS, HIS WORK PRECEEDED THE ROMANTIC POETRY MOVEMENT (1798-1837) BUT VERY MUCH INFLUENCED IT.

BELOW IS A LINK TO AN ILLUSTRATED VERSION OF ONE HIS MOST FAMOUS POEMS. WRITTEN EARLY IN THE 18TH CENTURY, IT IS STILL TAUGHT AND READ TODAY.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2014/nov/18/william-blake-the-tyger-art-poem-tigers

Photograph: British Museum

AND HERE IS THE POEM:

 

The Tiger

 

Tiger, Tiger, burning bright

In the forests of the night;

What immortal hand or eye,

Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

 

In what distant deeps or skies

Burnt the fire of thine eyes!

On what wings dare he aspire?

What the hand, dare seize the fire?

 

And what shoulder, and what art,

Could twist the sinews of thy heart?

And when thy heart began to beat,

What dread hand? & what dread feet?

 

What the hammer? what the chain?

In what furnace was thy brain?

What the anvil? what dread grasp

Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

 

When the stars threw down their spears

And water'd heaven with their tears:

Did he smile his work to see?

Did he who made the lamb make thee?

 

Tiger, Tiger, burning bright,

In the forests of the night:

What immortal hand or eye,

Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

 

                                            --William Blake

 

I HAVE BEEN DEEPLY INFLUENCED BY BLAKE.

NOW FOR A "PLUG"--

AS ARE MANY OTHERS HERE, PITTSBURGH HAS BEEN A SUBJECT FOR PAINTING AS WELL AS POEMS.  I AM VERY PLEASED THAT THIS MONTH, JULY, 2017,  MY WORK IS ON DISPLAY AT THE SQUARE CAFE, 1137 S. BRADDOCK AVE, 15218. (OPEN EVERY DAY FROM 7 AM TIL 3 PM, THEY SERVE GREAT FOOD).

THANKS FOR INDULGING THIS BIT OF SELF PROMOTION! FOR YOUR PLEASURE, HERE IS SOMETHING WITH A FOND REFERENCE TO OUR CITY BY A WONDERFUL POET FROM PITTSBURGH:

 

TRYING TO HAVE SOMETHING LEFT OVER

 

There was a great tenderness to the sadness

when I would go there. She knew how much

I loved my wife and that we had no future.

We were like casualties helping each other

as we waited for the end. Now I wonder

if we understood how happy those Danish

afternoons were. Most of the time we did not talk.

Often I took care of the baby while she did

housework. Changing him and making him laugh.

I would say Pittsburgh softly each time before

throwing him up. Whisper Pittsburgh with

my mouth against the tiny ear and throw

him higher. Pittsburgh and happiness high up.

The only way to leave even the smallest trace.

So that all his life her son would feel gladness

unaccountably when anyone spoke of the ruined

city of steel in America. Each time almost

remembering something maybe important that got lost.

                      --JACK GILBERT  (1925-2012)

 

THANKS FOR CLICKING IN!  XO JUDY

 

comments (4)
view/post comments
BEGE
|
July 25, 2017
After reading your blogs of poetry and your books, and seeing your paintings on display I would have to consider you as one of the very creative artistic person group. And your willingness to teach others shows even more talent.


A POETRY COMPARISON
by alongtheserivers
Jun 26, 2017 | 988 views | 2 2 comments | 52 52 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

HI POETRY LOVERS,

 

DESPITE ALL THE CHANGES TAKING PLACE AROUND US, AS WELL AS THOSE LOOMING ON THE HORIZON, (MORE OUTER-SPACE TRAVEL, ARIFICIAL BODY PARTS, ETC.) AND THANKS TO "AI"*(DRIVERLESS CARS, ROBOT PIZZA MAKERS, ROBOT RETAIL CLERKS, ETC.), AS FAR AS THE HUMAN CONDITION, ALL REMAINS THE SAME.

WE EACH STILL POSSESS A HUMAN BRAIN AND A HUMAN HEART.

POETS DEAL WITH LIFE IN ALL ITS ASPECTS; LIKE ALL ART, POETRY EXPANDS AND ENHANCES EXISTENCE. POETS DO THIS WITH LANGUAGE: WORDS, AND THE WAY WORDS SOUND.

AND WHILE I BELIEVE THAT ALL THE WORLD'S GREAT POETRY HAS NOT YET BEEN WRITTEN, THERE HAVE BEEN THE MASTERS OF THE PAST WHO HAVE ADDRESSED ALL THE BASICS OF LIFE: ALL THAT MATTERS, AND ALL THAT DOES NOT CHANGE. SUCH A POET WAS THE GENIUS, WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE.

SO BECAUSE THIS IS A VERY BEAUTIFUL EARLY SUMMER DAY, AND MY THOUGHTS ARE ON THOSE MATTERS THAT HAVE ALWAYS BEEN WITH US, SUCH AS LOVE, AND MORTALITY, I OFFER YOU A POEM THAT ADDRESSES THESE ETERNAL SUBJECTS. I THINK YOU WILL ENJOY READING IT, AS I HAVE.

Sonnet XV111

 

Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?

 

 

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer's lease hath all too short a date;

Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;

And every fair from fair sometimes declines,

By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd:

But thy eternal summer shall not fade

Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;

Nor shall Death brag thou wand'rest in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st;

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

 

                                                ---William Shakespeare

 

SHAKEPEARE USED THE THE POWER OF HIS PEN AS AN ANTIDOTE TO MORTALITY. HE BELIEVED IN THE BEAUTY OF THE CREATURE HE IS ADDRESSING; IN THIS POEM HE PROVES HIS POINT: SHE REMAINS RIGHT THERE FOR US, AS HE PROMISED.

THANKS FOR CLICKING IN.

                                                             xo JUDY

*AI is artificial intelligence

 

 

 

comments (2)
view/post comments
BEGE
|
July 10, 2017
Centuries have passed, and his words still draw the emotional picture that he saw and wanted everyone else to see.

Perfect timing for this poem.

POETRY, SONG, AND SHAKEPEARE, TOO!
by alongtheserivers
May 16, 2017 | 2869 views | 1 1 comments | 79 79 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

HELLO POETRY LOVERS,

LOTS TO REPORT ON TODAY!

IT IS SOMETIMES THE CASE THAT POETRY CONNECTS WITH PROJECTS THAT INVOLVE OTHER ARTS.

IN MY EXPERIENCE, THESE COLLABORATIONS HAVE BEEN DELIGHTUL. ALONG THESE RIVERS, (QUANDRANT PRESS, 2008) WAS AN ANTHOLOGY OF POETRY AND PHOTOGRAPHY, DONE TO COMMEMORATE THE 250TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH.

FISSION X FORM (2009) WAS A JOINT PROJECT OF THE  PITTSBURGH SOCIETY OF SCULPTORS, PITTSBURGH POETS, AND THE PITTSBURGH SOCIETY OF ILLUSTRATORS. AS A RESULT OF WORKING TOGETHER, A BOOK, AN EXHIBITION AT THE PANZA GALLERY, AS WELL AS A POETRY READING HAPPENED.

TODAY I AM PLEASED TO TELL YOU ALL ABOUT A COUPLE OF EXCITING UPCOMING EVENTS, THAT BOTH INVOLVE MORE THAN ONE ART FORM--ARTISTIC HYBRIDS, I'LL CALL THEM.

SATURDAY, JUNE 3, 7:00-9:00, SPINNING PLATE GALLERY, 5821 BAUM BLVD. 15206: SHAKESPEARE DRAWINGS BY RICK CLARAVAL.

"THIS WORK IS INSPIRED BY SHAKESPEARE'S GENIUS, HIS MOST FAMOUS AND INFAMOUS CHARACTERS, PERSONALITIES AND SETTINGS...RENDERED THROUGH POWERFUL CHIAROSCURO ACHIEVED WITH CHARCOAL..."

IN CELEBRATION OF RICK'S WORK, I WILL BE READING FROM SHAKESPEARE, AS WELL AS FROM "CAROUSEL," MY NEW BOOK OF POETRY AND FICTION.

ADMISSION TO THE EVENT IS FREE, AND I PROMISE FUN AND PERHAPS SOME SURPRISES, SO I ENCOURAGE ALL WHO VALUE PASSION IN THE ARTS TO ATTEND!

ON WEDNESDAY, JUNE 7, THE SOUND OF JEWISH MUSIC, 7:15 PM, BELLEFIELD HALL, U. OF PGH. HOSTED BY CHANI ALTEIN AND HER COMMITTEE, WILL FEATURE MUSIC, CHOREOGRAPHY, PAINTINGS, AND MORE, ALL DONE BY AND FOR, JEWISH WOMEN.

FEATURED MUSICAL ARTISTS INCLUDE SARA STOCK MAYO, GILAH MORITZ, KOL SHIRA, THE TZOHAR VOCAL ENSEMBLE, TO NAME JUST A FEW!

THIS WONDERFUL EVENING ALSO INCLUDES A DELICIOUS DESSERT RECEPTION BEGINNING AT 6:30 PM.

COUVERT FOR THIS EVENT IS $20 IN ADVANCE, $25 AT THE DOOR. SPONSORSHIPS ARE AVAILABLE FOR $36, DONOR $100, AND PATRON $180.

I AM DELIGHTED TO BE A PART OF THE COMMITTEE OF ARTISTS FROM MANY DISCIPLINES TAKING PART IN THE SOUND OF JEWISH MUSIC.

FINALLY, AS ALWAYS, I WILL LEAVE YOU WITH A POEM. IN HONOR AND ANTICIPATION OF THE EVENING OF SHAKESPEARE INSPIRED ART, HERE IS THE BEAUTIFUL EIGHTEENTH SONNET, ONE OF MY FAVORITES:

Sonnet XV111

 

Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?

 

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer's lease hath all too short a date;

Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimmed;

And every fair from fair sometimes declines,

By chance or nature's changing course untrimmed:

But thy eternal summer shall not fade

Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;

Nor shall Death brag thou wand'rest in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st;

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

 

                                         ---William Shakespeare

 

HOPE TO SEE YOU JUNE 3 AND JUNE 7!

AND THANKS FOR CLICKING IN!

                                                                                                         XO JUDY

 ps: the image above is by artist Rick Claraval

comments (1)
view/post comments
Neilsaunt
|
May 23, 2017
Ah, the immortal Bard! So lovely the way he immortalized that individual he describes ... wonder what the surprises will be on June 3rd!

A THANK YOU TO THE CHRONICLE!
by alongtheserivers
Apr 20, 2017 | 1612 views | 1 1 comments | 115 115 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
<i>Judith R. Robinson
<br>
Photo by Toby Tabachnick</i>
Judith R. Robinson
Photo by Toby Tabachnick
slideshow

Hi Poetry Lovers,

Today I would like to thank our publisher, The Jewish Chronicle, and its reporter, Toby Tabachnick, for the review of the launch event for CAROUSEL, my newest book.

 

See The Jewish Chronicle, April 21, 2017, page 3, or soon at http://www.thejewishchronicle.net

 

I feel most appreciated, and most grateful.

(As I also am to editor, Angela Leibowicz, for all her tech-savvy assistance with this blog!)  

 

COA, City of Asylum, and its newest space, Alphabet City, were my hosts. COA is a remarkable organization, founded by Salman Rushdie, to rescue and support writers who are censored (or worse) by governments all around the world.

Diane Samuels and Henry Reese founded the Pittsburgh chapter. Their fine work deserves to be supported: check out http://www.cityofasylumpittsburgh.org.

 

CAROUSEL, the title poem's video can be seen at

http://www.helenpresents.com/fns-carousel-judith-r-robinson.

The book is available at Caliban Books, Craig St. Oakland, or from www.amazon.com.

 Readings are listed on my website, www.judithrrobinson.com

Finally, we cannot close without a poem, and since The Jewish Chronicle is the voice of our community, and so much more, I have chosen a poem that in some respects is an homage to us all, the Jewish people of Pittsburgh.

 

Squirrel Hill, 2012

 

 

The well-built 2 and 3-story bricks

still house the dreams of the middle-class.

 

Fewer gas stations service many more cars,

 

while people who are not in a hurry run as fast as they can

along beautiful Beechwood Boulevard.

 

Murray, the longest Avenue, hosts a hillside

of new food purveyors, of different origin

than the hardy bakers and butchers of the past---

more pizza now and sushi than kosher chicken

and kreplach soup---but the liveliness

and sweat-for-every-dollar hours remain the same.

 

Allderdice High School has changed, too.

Gone is the vast green lawn that lent dignity.

What is left to mask the rowdiness and shenanigans inside?

 

Another generation of oddballs shuffles past

the Manor, turns up-street at Forbes, these days.

Do they call out to the same unseen angels on high?

Do they chat with the same absent friends?

 

Synagogues of each persuasion offer old prayers and answers

alongside the newer Korean church.

 

Change has been ushered in at the post office as well:

bright blue counters and shining bulbs light up the lines

of weary, outraged customers.

 

Robins and cardinals still do business in the ancient,

thick-trunked sycamores of Schenley Park, especially upon

the car roofs of young lovers, necking in Toyotas, not Chevys.

 

And the squirrels still abound, the small, beloved,

plume-tailed rodents who named our little place in the world.

 

Thanks Toby, thanks Chronicle, and thank you for clicking in!

 

                                                         xo Judy

 

 

 

comments (1)
view/post comments
BEGE
|
April 29, 2017
The history of our neighborhood condensed to a poem. A poem that so correctly describes the place we live in and do not want to move out of. We dream about the long gone shops on Murray, and realize that the neighborhood has changed and now would not be able to support them.

Such picturesque writing.


BOOK RELEASE: YOU ARE INVITED!
by alongtheserivers
Apr 01, 2017 | 2044 views | 1 1 comments | 123 123 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Hi Poetry Lovers,

 

Taking the opportunity to let you know about the publication and public events in connection to the release of my new book, CAROUSEL. 

Carousel is a collection of poetry and fiction, just published by Lummox Press, of Palo Alto, California. Lummox is an interesting publisher: their website is worth a look. lummoxpress.com

The title poem was recently published as a video by "Helen, A Literary Journal". see

www..helenpresent.com/fns-carousel-judith-r-robinson/

I am including a schedule of readings/events, all coming soon.

I would love to meet you, readers! I would love to have any and all interested parties attend!

 

Spring 2017 Reading Schedule for CAROUSEL

 

April 6, Thursday, 7:00 PM: Book Launch Party

City of Asylum/Alphabet City

40 W. North Ave.

Pgh. PA 15212

alphabetcity.org -- please click on for free reservations

 

April 20, Thursday, 6:30 pm

Art & Inspiration Series

Shaler North Hills Library

1822 Mt. Royal Blvd.

Glenshaw, PA 15116

with Hiram Larew, visiting poet from Washington, DC.

https://www.facebook.com/hiramlarewpoet/?fref=ts

 

April 21, Friday, 7:00 PM: With Hiram Larew and Lawrence Wray

The SouthSide Presbyterian Church Café

1926 Sarah St.

Pgh, PA 15203

with poets Lawrence Wray and Hiram Larew, see above

 

May 12, Friday, 6:00 PM

Zed’s Café Poetry Series

8225 Georgia Ave.

Silver Springs, MD 20910

 

June 3, Saturday, 8:00 pm

Spinning Plate Gallery

5821 Baum Blvd. 15206

in conjunction with Richard Caraval's art exhibit

This is the press release statement about the book:

ABOUT CAROUSEL by Judith R. Robinson

"For me, reading and writing are the two sides of world-exploration. Poems and stories, at their best, are at once both unique and all-embracing, and as necessary to a fully realized life as food and drink---and more, a human pleasure. My hope is that this book will bring a measure of satisfaction to readers. While "Carousel," contains new material, it is also the culmination of many years of work and publication.  I am grateful to my publisher, Lummox Press, and its editor, RD Armstrong, for an opportunity to share this writing and, hopefully, to cross the bridge from the personal to the universal."

Finally, a sample poem:

 

Heaven

 

I hope to kiss both my grandmothers,

who I have missed all my life,

to have them cradle & comfort me,

as curled in their arms

and no longer numb, I cry.

 

I cry as I am rocked back & forth

and passed between them;

my grandmothers’ hands stroke my skin

until the ravages of life

that have branded me, 

are healed & I am pink & tender

& new as first wildflowers.

 

Then my grandmothers croon

the truth, a cadence sweet & simple,

and at once the onionskin layers

of mind-papering are peeled away

and the confusion that reigned

shoots high & away & scatters~~~

buck-shot confetti swirling in ice blue air.

 

At last, unscarred & clean, I understand.

I know why one soul was born---lean & blessed,

supple & strong: Joe DiMaggio!---

& sent to this earth on the exact same day

as Jimmy Jones, who I remember

at our door each June, blind and nodding

in unmatched plaids,

come to tune the old player piano.

 

Everything is explained: my grandmothers

tenderly place each note of precious truth

in a hollowed green melon, carved into a basket

I can carry, and we are blown home, completely;

and all is just as it should be

and never, until this moment, was.

                                                                  --Judith R. Robinson

 

links for CAROUSEL

https://www.amazon.com/Carousel-Judith-R-Robinson/dp/1929878559/ref=sr_1_1?s=instant-video&ie=UTF8&qid=1488488592&sr=8-1&keywords=carousel by Judith R.Robinson

lummoxpress.com/lc/carousel/

http://www.judithrrobinson.com/carousel

 

Join me at any of the above places for a glass of wine, some stimulating thought, and some fun!

Thanks for clicking in!   xo Judy

 

comments (1)
view/post comments
Neilsaunt
|
April 03, 2017
The poem "Heaven"expresses as keenly as any work I have ever encountered the longing for some transcendent truth to salve the wounds and injustices of this world. Devastating. Thank you.

ARTISTS TRANSCENDING POLITICS
by alongtheserivers
Feb 28, 2017 | 2483 views | 3 3 comments | 160 160 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

HI POETRY LOVERS,

 

A SLIGHT DEPARTURE TODAY. IT IS NOT NEWS TO ANYONE THAT OUR COUNTRY IS IN UPHEAVEL, POLITICALLY.  I, FOR ONE, FIND MYSELF WISHING TO ESCAPE FROM THIS TURMOIL, AND MY USUAL ESCAPE ROUTE IS INTO THE ARTS. POETRY, PRIMARILY, IS THE VEHICLE FOR ME. BUT OF COURSE THERE ARE OTHER ARTS THAT TAKE US AWAY FROM MISERY---MUSIC, FOR ONE.

YET IN THIS FREE LAND ARTISTS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEIR RIGHT TO EXPRESSION, SO WE SOMETIMES ENCOUNTER MORE OF THE SAME DIVISIVENESS AND ANGER IN THEIR WRITINGS AND SONGS. AND, IT MUST BE NOTED, THERE CAN BE VERY ANGRY, EVEN VICIOUS MATERIAL, CONTAINED IN THEIR WORK.

TRUE, MANY ARTISTS FEEL THIS IS THEIR DUTY, TO OPPOSE WHAT THEY SEE AS WRONG, AND PROTEST IS LEGITIMATE. THEY ARE EXERCISING A BASIC RIGHT, AND I AGREE WITH THAT PRINCIPLE. BUT UNFORTUNATELY SOMETIMES EXTREMELY BIASED AND ANGRY ATTITUDES CAN SEEP IN. THEY SEEM TO FEEL THEY SHOULD PROTEST "HATE" BUT THEY ARE OFTEN CREATING AND EXHIBITING "HATE" THEMSELVES.

BUT THANKFULLY THERE ARE ALSO SOME ARTISTS WHO SEEK TO TRANSCEND. THEY MOVE BEYOND THE POLITICAL AND FOCUS ON THE CREATIVE ASPECTS OF THEIR ART.  VIOLA DAVIS IS ONE OF THESE PEOPLE. IN MANY INTERVIEWS SHE REVEALS HER PASSION FOR HER WORK; SHE IS A PARTICULARLY TALENTED ACTRESS, DEVOTED TO HER ART.  I HAVE NOT HEARD HER SPEAK IN ANY DIVISIVE WAY ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE OR CURRENT EVENTS.

AN INTERESTING EXAMPLE OF THE ARTIST'S ROLE IN SOCIETY IS REFLECTED IN THE FOLLOWING LETTER, WRITTEN BY JAZZ GUITARIST LARRY CORYELL, TO DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE.

Coryell’s Letter to DownBeat

I need to walk back some of the statements I made to DownBeat (“Back from the Brink,” February). I am no longer angry about the election; I accept it. I have musician friends who did not vote my way. I have no place implying, as I did in the article, that their votes were insincere or illegitimate; that is a sacred choice for all Americans and it needs to be respected.

Also—and this is very important—I believe that I have a responsibility to transcend politics, focusing instead on finding ways to touch people’s hearts through music. I never want to forget all the great players who mentored me in the art of demonstrating restraint regarding hot-button issues; these men and women advised me to exercise discretion, and to behave with exemplary humanity. I need to follow that advice.

I regret that I may have offended anyone. DownBeat is, after all, a journalistic haven for art and creativity. DownBeat and the other jazz magazines assiduously focus on America’s greatest art form: jazz. We need for these publications to continue their mission of creating value through promoting and exploring jazz. My comments did nothing to further the cause of our music. I apologize.

With best regards from Berlin, Germany,

Larry Coryell

I WILL CLOSE WITH A POEM TO TAKE US BEYOND THE DIVISIVENESS AROUND US, AND TO FOCUS ON THE HOPE OF BETTER TIMES TO COME. ENJOY.

Music

 

Let me go where'er I will

I hear a sky-born music still:

It sounds from all things old,

It sounds from all things young;

From all that's fair, from all that's foul,

Peals out a cheerful song.

It is not only in the rose,

It is not only in the bird,

Not only where the rainbow glows,

Nor in the song of woman heard,

But in the darkest, meanest things

There always, always something sings.

"Tis not in the high stars alone,

Nor in the cups of budding flowers,

Nor in the redbreast's mellow tone,

Nor in the bow that smiles in showers,

But in the mud and scum of things

There always, always something sings. 

 

                                 –Ralph Waldo Emerson

THANKS FOR CLICKING IN.  XO JUDY

 

 

comments (3)
view/post comments
HAGMAN
|
March 10, 2017
WOW!!!!WOW!!!and WOW!!! U R right on the proverbial button.CHEMINviale

SATURDAY POEM
by alongtheserivers
Feb 05, 2017 | 2225 views | 0 0 comments | 179 179 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
By Scott Bauer, USDA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Scott Bauer, USDA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
slideshow

Hello Poetry Lovers,

 

This year is starting off as an extraordinarily busy one for me. I am delighted to announce the publication of a new collection of poems and stories titled CAROUSEL, from Lummox Press. Soon I will blog some information about the reading/appearance schedule I will follow to introduce the book. Please stay tuned!

Poetry readings don't hold vast appeal----but you, my readers, are special: I suspect you already know that many, many literate people are not drawn to poetry; our readership, as well as our live poetry presentations do not command mass audiences. On this subject I like to quote the late, witty Polish poet, Wislawa Zymborska, who asked: "Oh Muse, where are our crowds?"

Zymborska then goes on in her poem to humorously contrast the number of audience members at her reading to that of any boxing match!

Of course there are lots of reasons for this, one of which is the sometime "inaccessibility" of certain modern poetries---but that is a subject for another day.

The point here is that I ask you, poetry devotees, to please accept the mantle of specialness---you are very select group.

So I suspect you know that our local paper, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, has continually published a "Saturday Poem," for many years. Kudos to them for that! I am grateful to them, and especially wish to thank their current poetry editor, Lori Jakiela, herself a wonderfully talented writer/poet, for this past Saturday's publication. Hope you enjoy a commonly shared, human "dilemma".

 

 
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Saturday Poem:
February 4, 2017
 
Dilemma
 

As children

our willing hearts

encompass them.

Fluffy lambs frolic

across Little Golden pages

so do the tiny piglets.

We learn to say baa, baa

oink, oink, oink

and smile.

But behind our lips

our own baby teeth come in

and fall out like wisdom.

We grow canines

those teeth that tear flesh

and it is constantly time to eat.

 

                           — Judith R. Robinson

 

Thanks for clicking in! xo Judy

 

comments (0)
view/post comments
no comments yet

POLITICS AND POETRY
by alongtheserivers
Dec 31, 2016 | 2978 views | 2 2 comments | 216 216 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Hello Poetry Lovers,

I am pleased today to add a final blog post for the year 2016. Such a year! (as my grandmother would say)

I don't write about politics, I write about poetry. These two subjects are worlds apart from each other, for me, although I (very occasionally) and many others do in fact write political poems. And since I have observed over time that traits do tend to cluster, I can't help but notice that many poets are political liberals, Democrats who supported Clinton and who are now in abject despair over the election of Trump.

To them, particularly my fellow Jewish poets, I have one word to say and that is: Israel.

From a memory a few years ago of Hillary Clinton kissing Mrs. Arafat, to President Obama's petty, although dangerous vindictiveness at the UN, (and the list could go on) I will simply quote President-Elect Donald Trump's recent tweet to Israel: "Stay strong. January 20th is coming soon."

I don't usually speculate on why some American Jews blindly follow people and positions that are clearly against their own self-interest. Really, that is a subject for psychiatrists to answer. But the subject intrigues.

So while I don't write about politics, I do write about the phenomenon described above.  

Such a poem will appear in a forthcoming collection, "CAROUSEL," by Lummox Press. I will have more to say about the book in another posting. For now, and I will share the poem, which attempts to address the mind set of many co-religionists.

HISTORY LESSON

 

“A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.” --Saul Bellow

“That Netanyahu is such a troublemaker!”  --Esther Skirboll

 

deny the audacious faces

hide away from the bold defenders

disavow them, never swear never again

do not expect a place at the table

you know you will be despised

you know you will be punished

you know you will be called pariah

 

dig deep into any nether world dark enough;

scurry along with bats and insects

into the plum black of the cave

never let the sun dance on your head

or the moon flush you out

never let them unwittingly betray you

 

the world will not condone strength

do not condone it yourself

do not make mayhem

do more than smile and bow

do more than join the chorus

with all your heart

with all your might

suckle up crawl inside

make mad crazy love with the enemy

& be not afraid; perhaps you will survive.

this is the lesson history has taught you.

 

                                                     --Judith R. Robinson

 

That's my take on those whose concerns do not include the continued existence of the state of Israel.

I believe I'm in good company with Saul Bellow.

Thanks for clicking in. xo Judy

 

 

 

comments (2)
view/post comments
Gefferman
|
January 01, 2017
To open the New Year with mind, heart and soul ablasin is the

best testimony to you true character and courageous nature. Thanks from those of us who share your perspective but don't

have your voice. Gefferson

THREE FILMS
by alongtheserivers
Nov 30, 2016 | 3140 views | 2 2 comments | 239 239 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Maya Angelou reciting her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at President Bill Clinton's inauguration in 1993.
<br>From Wikimedia Commons
Maya Angelou reciting her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at President Bill Clinton's inauguration in 1993.
From Wikimedia Commons
slideshow

Hi Poetry Lovers,

As promised in the last blog post, I am writing some brief reviews about the three films about poets presented by the Three Rivers Film Festival.

The films were MAYA ANGELOU:AND STILL I RISE; NERUDA; and A QUIET PASSION.

The focus of each film was the life of the poet--Angelou, Neruda, and Emily Dickinson.

Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise is a documentary, one that traces the entire life of the poet, whom we learn lived a life that included far more than poetry. A desperately deprived and injured child, Angelou spent much of her early life refusing to speak, mute because she feared giving voice to her thoughts would bring death to others. Her remarkable trajectory through pain to performance, to art, to world citizenship is carefully and lovingly attended to in this film. Her accomplishments were at the highest level in the arts; heaped with awards, she became an outstanding example of the heights to which a human can aspire.

The film is an homage, much deserved, well and accurately done.

One fact of Angelou's life and work was her ability to inspire. A good example of this is her famous poem,

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops,

Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don’t you take it awful hard

 ‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines

Diggin’ in my own backyard.

 

You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?

Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I’ve got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?

 

Out of the huts of history’s shame I rise

Up from a past that’s rooted in pain

I rise I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,

Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise

Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise.

Finally dear Readers, I will add what is really just a matter of opinion--the Angelou film was, for me, clearly the best of the three.

"Neruda," the film, was abstract to a fault, particularly since the work of the poet was anything but abstract. Neruda was the quintessential man of the people, a known Communist, who wrote of the simplest things. His "Odas Elementales," is the perfect example of this. Odes to things like the onion, the tomato, even his socks!

The Emily Dickinson film, "A Quiet Passion," was extremely melodramatic; Emily was, in life, a recluse; in the film she is portrayed by Cynthia Nixon, as a hysteric, which I question as true.

This is not to say that I did not enjoy these two films---I did. My mother used to say that comparisons are usually odious, which may be so. Each film was well worth seeing. Angelou was merely the best.

Thanks for clicking in! xo Judy

comments (2)
view/post comments
Neilsaunt
|
November 30, 2016
"A desperately deprived and injured child, Angelou spent much of her early life refusing to speak, mute because she feared giving voice to her thoughts would bring death to others."

I've always loved Angelou, but I wasn't aware of the biographical fact above. How heart-wrenching this background story, and how inspiring her life story! How Brave.

It makes me think of this song by Sarah Bareilles

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUQsqBqxoR4

POETRY AND FILM!
by alongtheserivers
Nov 11, 2016 | 3570 views | 0 0 comments | 250 250 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Daguerrotype of Emily Dickinson, age 16, c. early 1847. It is presently located in Amherst College Archives & Special Collections.
Daguerrotype of Emily Dickinson, age 16, c. early 1847. It is presently located in Amherst College Archives & Special Collections.
slideshow

Hello Poetry Lovers,

 

This morning I received word of some interesting happenings, soon to happen! Iris Samson, filmmaker, journalist and dear friend to all Pittsburgh ---Jewish and everyone else---has shared some exciting news. Take a peek:

 

Maya Angelou: And Still I RiseNeruda, and A Quiet Passion

 
 
Three films that explore lives of three of the world's most beloved, brilliant poets: Emily Dickinson, Pablo Neruda and Maya Angelou.
I am excited. These are special, not-to-be-missed!
 
Will post reviews--and look for your feedback.
 
Thanks, Iris, and thanks to the Three Rivers Film Festival.
 
And thanks for you for clicking in! See you at the movies!
 
                                     xo Judy


comments (0)
view/post comments
no comments yet

page
2 3 .. 10