#NaPoWriMo Day 4/Tale Weavers: Poem – Free – Verse – “Infinite Fallibility”#amwriting #poetry #TaleWeavers


For Day 4 of NaPoWriMo the prompt is: “to write a poem that is about something abstract – perhaps an ideal like “beauty” or “justice,” but which discusses or describes that abstraction in the form of relentlessly concrete nouns. Adjectives are fine too!

I’m combining with Michael from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver #162 about an item of magic. To me, something that is ‘ideal,’ has a kind of magic.


Credit: Yuiizaa September via Unsplash


Helen of Troy,

Fairest woman.

The ideal as —

The poet Homer,

The Philosopher Plato’s ‘just’ society;

Yet, the word means,

Not enough;

Not,

Mr. Hawkins’ anomalies,

Nor Virgil’s Aeneid,

Leading Dante on the path —

Purgatory, Hades, and Paradiso.

Yet both were ideal teachers,

For Milton’s Paradise Lost.

Or, consider Coco Channel,

Sewing pockets,

In women’s suits,

Not for decoration,

A utility, women of old —

Weren’t given.

Or Cleopatra the seductress,

Survives Caesar and Marc Anthony;

Her beauty, their destruction; her death.

Or, Shakespeare’s plays,

Ideal comedies, with —

Brilliant histories and tragedies;

Satisfying Queen Elizabeth I’s whims.

And Beowulf’s writer,

Binding the need,

For heroic deeds, boasting —

Revenge and deeds as immortality.

Clashing with,

Holy Scriptures;

And the lone ideal, one man,

From Bethlehem.

Who many still claim,

“He’s a fraud — for freeing me.”

Forgiveness, with heroism,

We have the modern Ulysses;

James Bond, Jason Bourne.

Disney Princesses,

Merida, Elsa and Moana;

Yet, there is no ideal,

On earth we can prefect.

It’s inherit in our existence,

Ideals are lost.

Twisting Milton’s truth,

To Pandemonium.

While Helen’s stare,

Perceives angel- skeletons,

Blaspheming prisoners;

Jews worked, starved to death;

Their figure’s the epitome,

Of models,

Even, ‘Twiggy’s’ bones rattle, and rage.

Yet, Helen smiles,

With visions of new ideals,

Yet, no ideal,

Is ever ideal;

For, to be ideal is to be in paradise.

Not, alive as we are now —

Imperfect as we are.

Our flaws bind us,

In fallibility.


©Mandibelle16.(2018) All Rights Reserved.

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.

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

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved. 

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


1.  

http://www.en.wikipedia.com
 
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!

2.  

 
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.” 

3. 

http://www.goodreads.com
 
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.

4.  

http://www.en.wikipedia.org
 
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. 

5.  

  

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.

6.  

 
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.

7. 

 
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.

8.  

 
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.

9. 

  
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.

10. 

 
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.

 

Tea

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.

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

You Know Nothing


At the beginning of my BA in English, a wise professor told me that you begin university knowing everything and leave knowing nothing. He also said that if this occurred then he and the other university profs had done their job. When I first heard this I considered it carefully. I didn’t think I knew everything, I knew there was a lot for me to learn, so for me how could this be?

A funny thing happened, however, as I begun to learn. Every time I learned about something it was never enough, there were holes in what the university profs taught me. I would learn about John Donne the poet and at first I would only learn one or two of his poems and what he was talking about in them. I read a selection of Paradise Lost and hated it. Then in another class I would learn a few more John Donne poems and a bit about the history of John Donne. But in between those 2 classes there were holes where I wanted or needed to learn something and had not. Then in another class I would learn about Renaissance history, then Renaissance Philosophy, then Renaissance writers, the writer’s John Donne and John Milton.

Then I read Paradise Lost in fourth year university and loved it. I found out how in their thinking, John Donne and John Milton were connected – 2 little lines that went something like: though truth and evil near twins be, truth a little elder be. This is a badly quoted line from John Donne that aptly described the truth in Paradise Lost. Satan tried to foil God through destroying mankind, but God was good, God was the truth and older and more powerful then evil, the twisting of what is good. But after I had taken that 400 level course, I found there were still holes. There was still deeper places one could go into the similarities of Milton, Donne, and other writer’s of the Renaissance. There was more history to learn about the Renaissance, true history, and literary history; there was so much more to learn and there always is in anything. This is how one leaves university having learned so much but having really learned nothing in the grand scheme of things.

Each course I took truthfully, did go deeper into what I was learning but what I was learning only really scratched the surface of what there was to learn on a particular topic, on everything. Looking back on what I learned before I would realize ” I know nothing.” But still I would feel a small victory because at least I knew something; but it was not much. I do not know when you become an expert on something or how. I think it must be impossible.

As for becoming an expert, I wish to become an expert on writing. But I have a lot to overcome to become that expert. I need more education, more discussion and guidence, I need a solid reputation, I need time and experience. I need a A lot of things and still I will only know so much and it will only matter to so many people. This is the nature of learning, it never stops, and you can never know enough because there is always more details to be learned or discovered. It also seems that often only a particular niche of people want to know what you want to know. So having a BA in English, didn’t make me a genius, neither did a diploma in Interior Design. Education is a beginning, a beginning I wish for all of you so you too will see there are holes in what you have been taught and there is always more to learn; you know nothing. I’m sorry, but it’s the truth. Ask my professor.