Look What Happened!

This is a wonderful post (via https://jenniefitzkee.com) and I was so surprised at these 4 year old students gathering together to read, even though they can’t truly read yet. However, the environment in their teacher’s school room has fostered a love of books and the need to want to learn to read. Remarkable!

A Teacher's Reflections

Independent reading.  SSR.  Call it what you like.  It is crossing over from learning to read words, to learning to read.  Parents and teachers alike take a deep breath and clasp their hands together when this happens.  There are no words to say.  Words might spoil the moment.  After all, major milestones don’t happen often.

Look what happened!

I was busy in the classroom, working with children on a 100-piece puzzle. Things were bustling yet quiet.  I looked over at the big rug and saw children dragging chairs.  Little did I know that they wanted to arrange chairs in order to read books.  After they set up chairs on the rug, they went for the books.  Then they sat down, together, to read independently.

These are young children who cannot read, yet that is exactly what they are doing.  Babies hear words; that’s how they learn to talk. …

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What is True Love?

 

 

 

 

 

 

True Love is Selfless. It is prepared to sacrifice. Sadhu Vaswani 

“Love is the emblem of eternity; it confounds all notion of time; effaces all memory of a beginning, all fear of an end.” Madame de Stael

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Love is the voice under all silences, the hope which has no opposite in fear; the strength so strong mere force is feebleness: the truth more first than sun, more last than star.” e. e. cummings

Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds, William Shakespeare, Sonnet # 16

 Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Admit impediments. Love is not love

Which alters when it alteration finds,

Or bends with the remover to remove:

O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,

That looks on tempests and is never shaken;

It is the star to every wandering bark,

Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.

Love ’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

Within his bending sickle’s compass come;

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,

But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

If this be error, and upon me prov’d,

I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.

  What Shakespeare is referring to in this love sonnet: As the title suggests, the poem argues that true love will not be impeded, changed or stopped by transitory circumstances. True love, implicitly opposed to lust or some shallower form of affection, is a fixed form: the narrator describes it as “an ever-fixed mark.” The poem sets it in opposition to all that is changeable.

If the love between two people is real, it will rise above whatever temporary material conditions might get in its way. If trouble comes, which the poet likens to “tempests” or storms, true lovers are not “shaken” by this. If time ravages the looks of the beloved, wreaking damage on rosy cheeks and lips, that doesn’t matter either: love transcends physical appearance. The poet likens true love to a star that stays unchanging in the sky. It is eternal. The poem argues that true love is a perfect, Platonic form based on the union of minds, impervious to what can happen to the body.

If we understand this sonnet as the voice of a lover speaking to his beloved, it mounts a strong and fervent argument in favor of the depth and sincerity of the poet’s love, reflecting the heart of a person who even promises to stay with the beloved to “the edge of doom.”  Written by F. Steinbeck 2016  

 

 

A Review: Far from the Madding Crowd

Far from the Madding Crowd is the first of Hardy’s novels to gain him widespread popularity. What can one say about the incredible writing of Thomas Hardy. This story is lavish and romantic with characters that are unforgettable. The historical details are rich in nuance and fascinating for the period. Hardy’s use of the English language is exquisite. When readers discover Thomas Hardy they always comment, “I fell in love with 19th Century English literature because of Thomas Hardy.” And, so did I.

The Story is set against the backdrop of the beautiful landscape in Wessex, England. The overall theme of the story questions rural values and is striking for its singular sensibility. The story revolves around Bathsheba Everdene and her suitors, as well as the Bathsheba’s difficulties managing a large farm.  One of her suitors, Gabriel Oak is attracted to the very modern sensibility of the independent and spirited Bathsheba. She is also charming, beautiful and vain. However, he must compete with the roguish and dashing soldier, Sergeant Troy, and the wealthy, respectable, middle-aged Farmer Boldwood. While their fates depend upon the choice Bathsheba makes, she must learn the consequences of vain flirtations with all three.

 

THE GIRL IN BLACK by Kathy Lauren Miller – A REVIEW

“The Girl in Black” by Kathy Lauren Miller is a hauntingly taut murder mystery as well as an awesome page-turner! The mystery begins with high school senior, Kate Mckenna who happens to live in an old Victorian manor that is also the Mckenna Memorial Funeral Home. Her father, Dr. Brendan Mckenna, happens to be the county’s Chief Medical Examiner. Shy Kate, whose social life as always been nearly non-existent until she is thrust into the limelight when the promiscuous prom queen, Ashley is found tortured and murdered.

Accusations run rampant in Kate’s High School concerning several male students that were involved with Ashley. To make matters worse, Ashley’s remains now reside at the funeral home where Kate lives. Kate and her best friend Cooper, a computer nerd, and Kate’s unattainable heartthrob, handsome Shane, all become involved in Ashley’s murder. Suddenly, Kate finds herself in the cross hairs of the sadistic killer and the vengeful ghost of Ashley, the murdered prom queen. What happens next is beyond Kate’s worse nightmare. The Girl in Black is a fascinating and terrifying murder mystery that will keep you guessing until the end. I highly recommend this book. (less)

For Earth Day: Tears of Morning

early-morning-dew-5

 The world awakes each day,

Wet with tears of morning,

And in the silent dawn,

Upon the earth’s sweet tears,

The world begins a new,

For with the promised sun,

The earth renews its hope,

In life itself,

And dries its tears,

In the morning air,

To begin again,

For what have we,

On this earth so rare,

Is to forgive,

And be forgiven.

 

 

 

 

Poets on Poetry

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry, I surmise, came into being with the first words of rhythm, by some primative human, banging on a drum of sorts, and I suppose after a time, it became the method to express complex emotions of the lovelorn, the limerick, and the soul searchers.  Here are a few thoughts from several great poets and thoughts on what poetry is and the elements that allow it to be called poetry. Of course what I have listed here is only a sample version of the complexities involved in understanding and writing great poetry.

‘Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.’  William Wordsworth

‘A good poet is someone who manages, in a lifetime of standing out in thunderstorms, to be struck by lightning five or six times; ….and then…he is a great [poet].’  Randall Jarrell

In simple terms, ‘Poetry is a type of literature, or artistic writing, that attempts to stir a reader’s imagination or emotions. The poet does this by carefully choosing and arranging language for its meaning, sound, and rhythm. Some poems, such as nursery rhymes, are simple and humorous.’ www.britannica.com

‘In the case of free verse, the rhythm of lines is often organized into looser units of cadence. Poetry in English and other modern European languages often uses rhyme. Rhyme at the end of lines is the basis of a …. common poetic forms, such as ballads, sonnets and rhyming couplets.’ www.poetry.org

‘Some elements of poetry are rhyme scheme, meter …. and word sounds like alliteration. These are sometimes collectively called sound play because they take advantage of the performative, spoken nature of poetry. Rhyme is the repetition of similar sounds.’ www.learn.lexiconic.net

The following is one of my rhyming poems (sort of)

BENEATH A SATIN MOON

In a golden wood

Beneath a painted sky,

A paper house is standing

Beneath a satin moon,

And in the garden growing,

 Pastel flowers flourish,

And never lose their bloom,

Winter, summer, spring or fall,

As lovely as they are,

They never see a raindrop fall.

And Tiger lilies, made of silk,

Slink around a lily pond,

Of which they are, you know,

Quite fond,

As gilded Goldfish swim

Amidst the frilly lilies,

They gaze upon the heavens

Reflecting all they see,

In nature’s perfect harmony,

 All this of course,

 Is nothing more

Than pure imagery,

Yet, none the less,

 it interests me!

Copyright Karen Dowdall 2005

 

Deciphering Book Descriptions

Fresh Eggs

 

 

 

I am reblogging this post for good reason. I am reading books, lately, that don’t seem to have cogent descriptions and left me wondering: what’s it all about?

How interesting and telling are most book descriptions?  Most are not at all. Maybe there should be professional book description writers.  Reading a book description should not be a word puzzle to try and figure it out. It can be daunting to write your own book description, especially if one is so subjective, the premise can be lost entirely. It is  better to have a Beta Reader or a Reviewer with a successful blog write a book description, if the author is having problems pinning down a short description that actually describes.  On WordPress, there are many experienced and talented reviewers and beta readers.

Here is a book description that does not describe the content of said novel : Fresh Eggs – a novel by Rob Levandoski. 

“Calvin Cassowary is ready to do whatever it takes to keep Cassowary Farm in the family for one more generation. Hatching a scheme to specialize in chickens, soon he’s got a million hens laying eggs for Gallinipper Foods, b…ut he’s getting deeper and deeper into debt. To make matters worse, his chicken-loving daughter Rhea starts growing feathers. Filled with as many tears and chuckles, Rob Levandoski’s Fresh Eggs is a provocative father/daughter tale guaranteed to make you ponder the realities of modern farming and think twice the next time someone asks, “white or dark meat?”

What we know about this book:  All we know so far is that raising and selling chickens will get you into debt and chicken farm daughters tend to grow feathers.  So far, so what.  Who sheds tears and why is the owner chuckling? After all, I can’t think of anything worse things than to have a child grow feathers.  Pondering the realities of modern farming?