A List of Words with Meaning

1. John Donne – “A Valediction Forbidding Mourning.” Lines 12-24. 

Why I love it? I love this poetry quote and the entire poem because I think the poem speaks about the kind of love we should strive to have with our other-halves. Not the love of “[dull] sublunary lovers” which is only a physical connection that “[abscence] doth remove[s] / [those] things which elements it.” But love where, “two souls . . . are one” and when one lover dies the relationship does not end. Instead, the relationship is such as “gold to airy thinness beat,” not a “breach” but an “expansion” of love.

Dull sublunary lovers’ love

   (Whose soul is sense) cannot admit

Absence, because it doth remove

   Those things which elemented it.
But we by a love so much refined,

   That our selves know not what it is,

Inter-assured of the mind,

   Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss.
Our two souls therefore, which are one,

   Though I must go, endure not yet

A breach, but an expansion,

   Like gold to airy thinness beat.

2. John Milton – Paradise Lost: Book 9  – The Fall of Mankind – Eve eating the Forbidden Fruit.

Why I love this quote? Adam and Eve live perfect lives in the Garden of Eden. But Eve is tempted by Satan in the guise of a snake who tells Eve she would be powerful and all knowing like God if she ate the forbidden fruit, even though God said that was the only thing that Adam and Eve cannot do. Many people will say, the Fall of mankind was Eve’s fault because she ate the fruit first and later, gave it to Adam. The thing was Eve was created from Adam’s rib, and he was supposed to love, protect her, and watch out for her. So, even when Eve takes that first bite, Adam has sinned to. And he does it again when he eats the fruit himself. This quote to me is savage and lustful: “Greedily, she ingorg’d without restraint / And knew not eating death.” Imagine this brilliant sexy vivacious woman who has been tricked by the devil, and done herself and her husband in. Immediately, she loses self-restraint and does not realize upon eating the fruit, she was ensuring that she would die, as would every member of the human race one day because we all relate back to Adam and Eve.

So saying, her rash hand in evil hour

Forth reaching to the Fruit, she pluck’d, she eat:

Earth felt the wound, and Nature from her seat

Sighing through all her Works gave signs of woe,

That all was lost. Back to the Thicket slunk

The guiltie Serpent, and well might, for Eve

Intent now wholly on her taste, naught else

Regarded, such delight till then, as seemd,

In Fruit she never tasted, whether true

Or fansied so, through expectation high

Of knowledg, nor was God-head from her thought.

Greedily she ingorg’d without restraint,

And knew not eating Death: Satiate at length,

And hight’nd as with Wine, jocond and boon,

Thus to her self she pleasingly began.

3. Emily Dickinson – ” A Bird Came Down the Walk.” Lines 14-20.

Why I like this quote?  The poetry in these lines is extremely beautiful. The wording is lush and descriptive. It creates this wonderful image. I didn’t quote the entire poem though maybe I should have. But a bird comes down the walk and eats an angle worm raw. This shows the savagery and realness of nature. The bird looks around weary of predators with his beady bird eyes. He is acting as birds do. But there is beauty in the flight of the bird taking off “unroll[ing] his feathers” and “row[ing]” a “softer Home.” The last verse is magnificent and I still barely can wrap my mind around it. Flying like  “oars divid[ing] the Ocean / [too] silver for a seam.” And then a comparison of birds to butterflies who fly like they are swimming “plashless” or splashless in the sky. Just gorgeous wording you can feel and experience from Dickinson.

And he unrolled his feathers, 

And rowed him softer Home –


Than Oars divide the Ocean,

Too silver for a seam,

Or Butterflies, off Banks of Noon,

Leap, plashless as they swim.

4. Robert Browning – “Porphyries Lover.” Lines 28-43.

Why I like this quote? In this poem I like the horror of what Porphyria’s lover does. He thinks she has another lover and when he decides she doesn’t, he decides the only way to keep her his, is to strangle her with her own hair. Clearly, this guy is crazy but Browning writes so eloquently in his poem that the deed of murdering Porphyria is all the more terrible. In his messed up mine the lover thinks, “Porphyria worship[s]” him. To hold that moment in time because Porphyria is at last his, “[perfectly] pure and good,” the lover wraps Porphyria’s hair ” three times her little throat around / [and] strangle[s] her.” Crazy, but Browning does a fantastic job of conveying an obsessive lover.

       Happy and proud; at last I knew

Porphyria worshipped me; surprise

       Made my heart swell, and still it grew

       While I debated what to do.

That moment she was mine, mine, fair,

       Perfectly pure and good: I found

A thing to do, and all her hair

       In one long yellow string I wound

       Three times her little throat around,

And strangled her. No pain felt she;

       I am quite sure she felt no pain.

As a shut bud that holds a bee,

       I warily oped her lids: again

       Laughed the blue eyes without a stain.

And I untightened next the tress

5. Robert Frost – “Mending Wall.” Lines 27-24.

Why I like this quote? Well, I think this an important poem because it talks about how to be good neighbours. I think Donald Trump should read this poem before he builds a wall to keep out Mexico and Canada. The speaker in this story is picking up the rocks from his stone fence and placing them back on the wall. His neighbour does the same thing on the otherside of the fence. The speaker does not understand why each year, him and his neighbour do this. His neighbour believes ” ‘ [good] fences make good neighbours.'” But the speaker wonders ” ‘ [why] do [fences] make good neighbours?'” He would like to know what “he is walling in or walling out.” The speaker “doesn’t love a wall” and he thinks it is unnecessary. But he would like his neighbour to understand why they shouldn’t be putting up walls for himself, but the neighbour will not change his ways. “He will not go behind his father’s saying.” This poem makes me think we too need to be careful what we wall out or wall in, in our lives. We need to be with other people to share and build friendships. We can’t wall each other out because of tradition or things we’ve done. We need to accept people in, and open our doors to be good neighbours.

He only says, “Good fences make good neighbours.”

Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder

If I could put a notion in his head:

“Why do they make good neighbours? Isn’t it

Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.

Before I built a wall I’d ask to know

What I was walling in or walling out,

And to whom I was like to give offence.

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,

That wants it down.” I could say “Elves” to him,

But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather

He said it for himself. I see him there

Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top

In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.

He moves in darkness as it seems to me,

Not of woods only and the shade of trees.

He will not go behind his father’s saying,

And he likes having thought of it so well

He says again, “Good fences make good neighbours.”

Please see The Poetry Foundation for the  complete works of poetry and other poems.


Thanks to La Duchesse D’erat and Rosema for this weeks list prompt of important words.


©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved. 

A List of My 10 most Favourite, “Couldn’t Put Down” Books.


I first read this book in University in an English course. It’s about a Baptist family who leave Georgia in the US to be missionaries in the Belgian Congo. The book is narrated by the family’s mother Orleanna at the beginning of each of the books seven sections. After, each of her four daughters narrate their experiences. Especially, her daughter Leah. The family’s Dad is a crazy Baptist Preacher who will not leave the Congo despite his families extreme difficulties there. The family is forever changed by their experiences as missionaries. This book is life changing. So, interesting and exceptionally written as all of Barbara Kingsolver’s books are. It is even on Oprah’s booklist!


I read this book in University with Dr. McNamara. It is a book about a group of soldiers during the Vietnam War. Some make it home and some soldiers don’t. They carry with them their individual burdens and the burdens they take on in Vietnam. They carried their burdens home with them and if they survived, through out their lives. “They carried the malaria tablets, love letters, 28-pound mine detectors, dope, illustrated Bibles, each other. If they made it home alive, they carried unrelenting images of a nightmarish war that history is only beginning to absorb.” 


I honestly hated studying Thomas Hardy’s poetry. He was a depressed guy with a horrible outlook on society, mankind, God, and himself. But he did write a great book when he wrote Tess of the D’Urbervilles. The book is about Tess’ fall, so to speak. She is a peasant girl who falls in love with Angel, the vicor’s sun. Angel holds Tess to a high ideal. He expects her to be the perfect loving wife he wants her to be. When he finds out Tess is not so perfect, that she was raped, he breaks the betrothal off. Tess must deal with the loss of love and make a new life for herself despite Angel’s blindness.


Not so much poetry as an epic, this epic chronicles John Milton’s interpretation of the creation of the world and the universe; the fall of Satan and his demons who oppose God and are cast into Hell;  the fall of man, God’s best creation, with help from Satan; and how the world works after man has fallen due to eating the fruit from the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden. The lines of poetry are beautiful and eloquent throughout the story. Even though Paradise Lost is long at times, and difficult to read if you don’t read poetry well, it is an amazing story. I learned a lot about my own religion, Christianity, through Paradise Lost, since much of what Milton wrote was based on the Bible and other religious Catholic books. But I’m not Catholic though. 



This book is brutal and awful at times. I think it opened my eyes to how terrible some people can truly be when I read it in second year university. The book compares Dorothy who is a fat, frumpy, and a proofreader with a lurid imagination; with Justine who is smart, slim, and “compulsively” sexual. Justine is a freelance journalist who interviews Dorothy about her past “involvement with a cheesy cult leader.” The book is eye opening, especially the sexual abuse and rape Dorothy received as a girl, and the awful destructive relationship Justine finds herself in with a man who could easily kill her. This is not a nice book but it will make you think twice about how screwed up certain people truly are.


I think Faking It by Jennifer Cruisie is my favourite chick literature book I have ever read. I can’t say why so much. It is only that the characters are so vivid and appealing. Matilda runs the Goodnight Gallery of Art, she inherited it from her father when he died. She has a secret in her past that she is willing to steal back to keep. She runs into Davy, on her first attempt to burgle a secret painting back. 

Davy is an ex con man who was ripped off three million dollars by his financial manager who turned the money over to Davy’s ex Clea. Davy will do anything to get his money back. Davy and Matilda join forces to stop “Clea, suspicious art collectors, a disgruntled heir, an exasperated hitman, a mutant dachshund,  a juke box stuck in the sixties, questionable sex, and the realization they can’t turn their backs on the people they were meant to be,” or love. It’s a good one I promise. You will fall in love with the Goodnight family and Davy.


As you can see, this is a well worn and loved book. It’s a fantastic twentieth- century mystery. Rachel Verinder inherits a fabulous yellow diamond. Outside her house are Hindu priests who have waited centuries to reclaim their talisman looted from the ancient and Holy city of Somnauth. Someone steals Rachel’s diamond. No one is what they seem and nothing can be taken for granted in this story.”Witnesses, suspects, and detectives take up the story in turn.” The Moonstone is suspenseful and fascinating with a surprise ending no one would guess. This book made me look into more mystery books and the ending is unpredictable. I loved it.


This is an extremely old story written poetically in old English. I think I have read it too many times to count. But you can read the book retold in prose if you wish. Sir Gawain is challenged in King Author’s court, to chop of the Green Knight’s head. If he can’t do it, then the Green Knight will have the chance to chop off Sir Gawain’s head. Sir Gawain fails so he journeys to find a way he can save his own neck. He comes across a Lord and his Lady in their castle, where he breaks from his journey. He is encouraged three times by the Lady to sleep with her, even though she is married and through her, Gawain discovers a way to save his head from the Green Knight, or so he thinks.


Madeline L’engle is a young adult writer I grew up reading. I received this book as a present when I was ten-years-old. It’s about sixteen-year-old Vickie who gets to go with her friend Adam’s Aunt Serena on a trip to Antartica for a birthday present. Not to mention, Vickie’s friend/crush Adam will be working at one of the research stations in Antartica. Vickie discovers many of the people on the trip are not what they seem and her trip turns into an adventure both thrilling and dangerous. I reread this book so many times when I was young. I wanted to be like Vickie and travel. Also, I loved the poetry in the book. It’s superb.


Not a reading book. But a handy book to have as a writer. Once you’re out of English classes you can forget a whole lot of terms you learned to describe in a poem or book. Or, when writing an essay and you need to define what “alliterative” means, it’s all in here. This is probably on the internet now, but it was useful in my English degree and I still use it to this day. 

Thanks for reading. Also, many thanks to La Duchesse D’erat for this weeks list challenge.

I am Grateful for . . . A List of 5 Things.

1. I am grateful I can enjoy a mug of tea in the morning. This is my favourite kind. It is green tea but also contains a hint of grapefruit, strawberry, and pineapple. It is called Morning Boost, with all natural ingredients. Besides a hint of fruit and green tea it contains: Yerba mate to boost metabolism; Nettle Leaves which are a natural diuretic and antioxidant; Dandelion which improves digestion, cleanses and detoxifies; and Gurana which increases physical endurance, alertness, and stimulates digestion.



2.  I am grateful for lip balm which works well. I won this Rodial Glam lip balm over Christmas. It is a stemcell super-food lip plumping lip balm. It contains 3D filling spheres and Rose wax. Most of all, it is a good product because it keeps your lips from becoming chapped. Check this product out here.

Rodial Lip Balm

3. I am grateful for great tasting red wine. I have been to a few wine tastings and tried a lot of wine. I picked up a couple bottles before Christmas to keep around. One became a present and this Cabernet-Sauvignon I had a couple glasses of on New Years Eve. My favourite wine speciality shop is Devine Wines in downtown Edmonton. You can even order wine from Devine Wines in the city and have it delivered. Or you can attend one of their fun wine tasting events. Check out their website above.

Red Wine
4.  I am grateful for my IPad mini which I have used until it is barely working. I brought it with me to write in a coffee shop or I used it at home. A lot of time it was easier to use then my laptop. Unfortunately, it’s been five years and the iPad is not performing well. Sad to say goodbye but I will be replacing him this pay cheque. Here’s the new Ipad 4 mini here.

Ipad Mini

5.  I am grateful for this textbook from my favourite English class in university. It was taught by Dr.Eddy who has retired now. From this textbook I learned in depth about John Donne’s poetry, John Webster’s play The Duchess of Malfi, and John Milton’s poetry and epic, Paradise Lost.

Norton Anthology of Literature

Thank you to La Duchesse D’Erat for hosting the challenge A Great Book of Lists. Also, thank you to my friend Rosema from the blog Rosema Writes where I found this challenge because I read her wonderful list of things to be thankful for.


©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

Writing 201 – Paradise Lost – The Fall of Man 

So saying, her rash hand in evil hour

Forth reaching to the Fruit, she pluck’d, she eat

Earth felt the wound; and Nature from her seat

Sighing through all her Works gave signs of woe,

That all was lost. Back to the Thicket slunk

The guiltie Serpent, and well might;for Eve

Intent now wholly on her taste, nought else

Regarded; such delight till then, as seemed

In fruit she never tasted, whether true

Or fancied so, through expectation high

Of knowledge; nor was Godhead from her thought

Greedily she ingorged without restraint

And knew not eating death: Satiate at length

And hight’nd as with wine, jocund and boon,

Thus to herself she pleasingly began,

When I first studied Paradise Lost by John Milton, I hated in first year university. But when I took a course on Renaissance literature in my fourth year, I loved it. It’s an amazing piece of work, an epic, but also with fantastic poetry. I love these lines where Eve plucked and ate the fruit off the forbidden tree in the garden of Edan. Adam later follows suite and eats the fruit as well. Did God create us knowing that man would fall? Yes, but he still created us, created us with free will. And even though Adam and Eve did the one thing God asked them not to do, he loved them enough to send a saviour one day. 

To Fight or Stand and Wait: An Internal Struggle


Sometimes life can be a real struggle. And while we fight our own fights other people can be dealing with worse things in life. They can be fighting for their life while you are trying to climb over an obstacle in life. I always try to think about this when I am having troubles, that I am really blessed, I just have to remember to not take the things in my life for granted. After all, we only have so long in life to live, then we are no more.

Right now I think about all the people I know fighting cancer, especially one close friend and I’m in awe of how they can take the pressure and the all the treatments they have to take to get better. That’s a disease I am exceedingly grateful I don’t have and hope I or my loved one’s never have. I look at my life and think that life maybe difficult but I am not fighting to survive.

But sometimes it’s hard being me. I feel trapped, that I need to take this new medication even though it makes me feel out of it half the time, makes my stomach upset every day, and energy wise has made my standard of life worse — but I can sleep at night. That’s a really big deal. But somedays I wonder what I’m sleeping for if I go out and then come home feeling so sick I am snowed the next day. But I try to tell myself that everything is going to work out and be okay, that God does not let this happen in my life for no reason; even if I cannot see this reason. He has something bigger and better in mind for me, then everything I’ve lost due to mental illness and chronic fatigue.

I went to my Uncle Darvin’s funeral yesterday at church. I haven’t been there in awhile.


Ithink part of the reason I haven’t been there is because I’m angry with God that He won’t make me better. That my friends new and old, are moving on with their lives getting married and having kids. They are at a good place in their careers and I don’t even have one. I always thought things would be okay for me because I was an an adaptable person, that I could handle change and my personality fit in well with most anybody. But now I am not sure what my purpose is in life? I didn’t even know I was angry at God until I was talking to a psychologist and started crying when she asked me if I still think God is punishing me. I don’t think he is but it really made me think. I have no right to be angry at God —  it is the fact that their is sin in this world from Adam and Eve (original sin) that their is disease and a whole lot of awful diseases, events, and people that exist. We are born into sin, just as I am genetically predisposed to have a sensitivity to depression or affective disorders.

But I question why God allows these bad things to happen when he has the power to stop them? Maybe, we are being tested? Maybe, God is teaching us to be faithful to Him and to pay less attention to the world? Maybe, we are meant to bring others to faith through illness? Maybe, God is teaching us to love Him through our suffering? He tells us three-hundred and sixty-seven times in the Bible to not be afraid. But I’m afraid of living my life like this when I cannot fully take care of myself, cooking meals when I need to, going to places I need to go, affording to take care of myself, and having my own life which I can develope relationships with new people. I guess that is why you just take life one day at a time. Because if you looked at the whole picture it might terrify you.

Cima_da_Conegliano,_God_the_FatherBut I was glad to be in church yesterday. There was a lot of people I grew up with there that it was good to see. But it made me realize that a lot of these people are growing old and won’t be around forever. So, I need to make a better effort to visit them, even if I am not feeling up to it. It felt familiar to sing hymns and it was good to say goodbye to Uncle Darvin and hear about his life.

I have always thought God made me fighter. Gave me strength to get through the things I need to get through. But sometimes I wonder if he wants us to fight or if as the Bible says he will fight for us, “we need only be still.” One of my favorite songs is called “Be Still.” I have shared and talked about it on this blog several times, its by The Fray. The lead singer the in song maybe talking to his girlfriend or friend but I think, or like to believe, that He is singing the voice of God, telling us to ” remember hard the words [he] said, be still, be still, and know” that he is here for us.

https://youtu.be/Vtp-p7qFI2I (See my Blog For “Be Still” music video)

Another thought on the subject is the last line of the poem “On His Blindness” by John Milton a favourite poet. John Milton was a writer most famous for Paradise Lost and later in life became blind. He got his daughters to write for him at that point. But he questioned God (he was a Christian) and why God would let this happen. He writes ” [a]nd that one talent which is death to hide / [l]odg’d with me useless . . . (1-2)”. And I kind of feel like him sometimes. At home with my writing and english language skills, how I am serving God and humanity with my talents when I cannot not concentrate long and get a job where I can use these skills or do any volunteer work that uses my talents. But in his poem, Milton comes to an answer about our talents and what God needs of us. He writes in lines ten to fourteen: ”

‘God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.’ “


It’s something to think about that God does not require us to be useful as the world does. “They also serve who only stand and wait.” (14) Like servants waiting for a King those who simply wait to serve God, and never seem useful in life, they also serve God, they are useful to Him.

I think that clears my mind a bit and gives you some insight into my life lately. I know not everybody believes in God or my God but I hope you find it enlightening despite that. Or maybe you will find it helpful, I hope you do. Here is the full poem by John Milton:

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg’d with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide,
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.”

Poetry: Some kind of Grace

Tried to put my life together one more time.
The advantage of time, you’ll just turn it to ashes again.
There’s no such thing as perfection, just a rejection.
Please don’t let me dig a hole I can’t climb out of this time.

Money is power and money is king.
So hard being a material girl, when you haven’t much treasure.
But we survive the days of little wealth, and find in comfort
“I can survive on my own, I can live on what I have, and that makes it okay to
Want what you often must turn your back on.”
But digging holes is what I do daily.

Your choking me now with the thickness of black smoke
That acrid taste that leaves fire in my mouth.
I’ve burnt another bridge, How long before I burn?
You can be forgiven a million times, pray to heaven,
And be replete and renewed in forgivenesses’ blissfulness.

But sometimes you beg for contrition and it’s not a pretty sight.
Pray to not sin those sins again, but sin works in “spirals”
And takes the sinner from “pride”to “despair,” and there is nothing in the middle.
For no one can contain the soak of poison into our veins.

Vanity, is a place I often lie, and think about the beauty that values things
More makeup, more contour, more glitter, more perfume.
Live the life of luxury or step down from your tower and just be human
Pretty and forget to be vain, but vanity and pride sit together as twins
Dig another hole, die another day, live and let live oh but for the propensity of sin.

To touch everyone and everything.
Make them mad again, play my hand again, lose their trust again.
I can only make right what I have confessed, else I’m caught in wrong doing.
Else, I’m sucked in by the twisting of what is good.
When Eve took the apple she sucked and “she ate,” I ate it with her, she should have known, mother of all. That witch!

And I aim for a life where I can have more control because I have less of it.
I aim for a life where it’s okay to smudge your face and pick yourself back up.
Be a little kinder, help a little more, and I find God in the strangest places,
Coaxing me on, let go of everything, come follow me.
And I stumble along contrite for a minute until I twist my ankle in some unlikely hole.
I should know where it is, I was the one who dug it.

And I know moments of grace, undeserved and glorious,
But I’m always searching for that little bit of hope.
Where grace clothes me and I’m adorned, a creature of sin,
Once rejected and torn, now I sit at my father’s heels and I’m content.
No longer forlorn. I am accepted a stranger no more.
For my time…and in eternity forever.

Works Cited

– Milton, John. Paradise Lost.